Kisses and Candy
by Melissa Payne
“Sawyer, what makes you happy?” I asked my six-year-old son one day after church.
“Oh, that’s an easy question! My mommy’s kisses…and candy! So, can we have candy now?”
I have to admit, when I think of happiness, like Sawyer, I often think of things that are easy, sweet and fun. A sunny day. The perfect song. Bedtime goodnights that end in sleepy smiles. Coffee. Little kid giggles.
But recently I discovered a drastically different kind of happiness. One that felt deeper, more serious, but that touched my heart and my soul more profoundly than any sunny day ever will.
It was a Thursday. And my mom had just been admitted to the ICU. Earlier, when the paramedics had rushed her into the ER, the doctor looked at me and said, “Your mom is a very sick lady. We don’t know what’s wrong yet. But if she doesn’t start to breathe more on her own we may have to intubate her.”
The ICU doctor was not much more encouraging. “Your mom is critically ill,” the doctor told me. We did not know much, but what we did know was that my mom needed to turn a corner and do it soon. I felt numb. Was I going to lose her? Today, tonight? My mom who has been my rock my whole life. My mom whose own deep faith is what originally anchored our family in God’s love.
I needed to pray. At first I was at a loss. I felt small. So small. I wanted to beg for God to save her, to heal her. Because she’s mine, my mom whose voice I seek almost daily. Whose advice is always strong and clear. My friend. Yet at the same time, I knew that whatever was going to happen was part of God’s plan – even if that plan included something I could not fathom.
And then I remembered. Something my mom had taught me and her mom had taught her. That when we anchor our hearts in Him…we will always be strong enough to handle whatever comes our way.
So I prayed. I prayed for strength. For strength to face whatever was going to happen that night. I prayed for God’s presence with me, my mom, my dad and my siblings. I prayed for courage. And while I prayed, I felt an amazing sense of peace and a calmness wash over me. Because I knew. I just knew from the inside out that God was with me. He was with all of us. And while I still did not know the outcome, the one thing I did know, the one thing I was absolutely sure of was that I was strong enough. That with God beside me, I would get through this night and any nights to come.
And that everything would be okay.
And it was. My mom got better. We all took sighs of relief, we laughed together as we agreed that He must still need her here – she has a purpose to fulfill.
Afterwards, I felt full. My mom got better because she was supposed to. But God gave me something more. He gave me a peek at what I can be.
What I am when I completely rely on Him. The happiness I still feel today comes from knowing that even if that Thursday night had had a different ending, God would have given me the strength, courage and endurance to face it.
So, while I agree with Sawyer that candy is pretty great, I am content to be full of a happiness that is more than kisses and candy.
This article first appeared in Happy.