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Winter 99 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)


By Cathy Allen

When I thought Rachel would die---
I didn't have the courage to ask God for her life to be spared.
I also didn't have the courage to ask God to deliver her from the pain of living.

It is hard to have courage in the face of the unknown because you can't size up the enemy to determine how much strength is needed to win the battle.

And I didn't know which required more courage---living or dying.
I could never answer that question for Rachel.
But what about me?

Would it take more courage for me, a mother, to walk each day weighted down with the medical difficulties my daughter faced and with a lifetime of painful challenges before us---each step through life another obstacle to overcome?

Or would it take more courage for me to walk each day weighted down with the vast emptiness of life without her---each step through life another reminder of what might have been?

Because I didn't know how much strength (or weakness) was inside me and because neither choice would be easy, I didn't know how to pray.
I had always thought the easiest way was best---the easy path the one to be chosen.

I didn't like these choices---I wanted to choose healing. I wanted a life without pain.
But in this case, that wasn't an option.

And so I prayed. "Lord, Your will be done. You know me and You know Rachel.
Accomplish Your plan in us."

And I prayed that I would find joy in the midst of the living or the dying.
And I vowed to allow God's strength to be shown in my weakness because surely, in life or death,
I would find the burden of grief too heavy at times to carry alone.
And I knew in death she would experience God's love immediately.
But in this life it would be up to me to show her a glimpse of That Love.

And now, as I retrace the steps of the journey so far, I must say that I have found this path to be treacherous and full of hidden hazards---
A very different path than the easy one I would have chosen.
And yet, somehow I am at peace as I travel because in the most rugged terrain I have discovered treasures rarely found on the easy path.
Treasures that cannot be displayed for all to see but that nevertheless are to be found in the depths of my soul.

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Last Revision: September 4, 2003