You Must Not Quit

~~Matthew 17:20~~ If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “’Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Rebecca Hynes. Photo property of Carla Cooper. All Copyrights Reserved. Worship Melodies
Rebecca Hynes (Photo by Carley)
I will never forget the day when we got the call telling us that Rebecca was rushed to the emergency room.  Our friend Miguel was in such a panic that he was practically incoherent on the phone.  My boyfriend and I spent almost all of our time with Rebecca and Miguel during that spring and summer of 2003.  We were like 4 best-buds, and we had so much fun together.  Rebecca, only 25, was pregnant with twins and was in her sixth month.  I was helping Miguel plan her Jack ‘n Jill baby shower.  It was going to be a great one.  We were so excited.

Suddenly one night Rebecca passed out.  Miguel got her to the emergency.  We went to meet him at the hospital in downtown Toronto.  The doctor told us that Rebecca had a problem with some blood vessels in her brain.  It was a condition that was always there, but it was never a known; and probably would not have ever been known if it were not for her pregnancy.  It was the stress on her body of being pregnant that caused these vessels to rupture.

She was in a coma for 2 weeks.  Miguel spent all his waking time with her.  I gave him a book of poetry for inspirational support.  He used to sit and read it to her.  After about 2 weeks he noticed that tears started to run down her face.  She was still in the coma, but she could hear him!  It was such incredible hope for him.  Then her parents decided that they would ‘pull the plug’.  They did not want to leave her and their grandchildren in this condition.  Miguel did not get to be part of this decision because he was not legally married to Rebecca.  Her family had shut him out of the decision.  He was shattered when he found out that he would lose his new family.  Rebecca and her babies passed away shortly after the machines were turned off that night.  We were all so devastated.  How could this happen to such nice people?

I have been reliving this story today because of a book I am reading.  This book teaches you how to never give up hope; how to turn your negatives into positives.  It teaches you how to be tough through thick and thin.  In this book the author tells a story of how his dear friend was in a coma.  A ‘death-coma’ they called it; which means there was no hope, according to the medical team.  The author, however, is a pastor who was taught in seminary to always ‘think life’ when in this type of situation.  He talked to his comatosed friend and said “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “’Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ~Matthew 17:20 (NIV84).  He assured his friend that he was going to survive because the Lord said ““I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV1984).  At this point, beyond all human hope, a tear started to run down the face of this friend in a ‘death-coma’.  A year later this friend could talk full sentences.  Then not long after that his life was practically back to normal. 

One thing that life has taught me is that you never, ever give up hope.  Even, and especially, when things look hopeless.  I have inherited a stubborn streak that could try the patience of Job.  I am aware of this.  It can be a bad character trait at times.  However, it is this stubborn streak that I have learned to use as a tool to hold on to hope and faith where others tell me there is none.  I refuse to let go of it.  This faith has helped me get through the toughest period of my life, especially in the past 5 years.  I have gotten blessings that I never in a million years would have thought of on my own.  I have survived things that I most certainly would / could not have survived otherwise.  This hope has also helped to put behind me, the horrible chapters of my life that I had been holding on to.  I’m not perfect yet.  There are still a couple of anchors that I need to learn to let go of; but one thing is for certain, I will not let go of my hope and faith.  No matter what!

This book also quoted a poem that was near and dear to my heart.  My parents gave me this poem in a frame many years ago to help me hold on to hope.  To have it quoted back to me in this book, I saw, as a direct message from God.

Don't Quit
by Edgar A. Guest
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
What things are you keeping faith for today?  What things seem hopeless to you today?  Do you need a job?  Are you lonely?  Have you been given a diagnosis that scares you?  Do you need money to pay bills or to buy food?  Is your marriage in trouble?  Are you sharing custody of your child and the situation seems to be always very tense?  Maybe, you need hope to finish an assignment at work or at school before a deadline.  Please, do not give up.  The storm will pass.  The night will give way to dawn.  Spring flowers will start to appear.  My pastor said to me not long ago “you will get through this”, God says so!  You must not quit.
How would my life be different now if my friend Rebecca was given just one more week of hope?  How would the world be just a little bit different, a little more blessed, by having Rebecca and her babies to be a part of it?  Even as it is, my life has been blessed by knowing her.

 ~~Dear God~~ Thank You for never giving up hope on me no matter how many mistakes I continue to make, no matter how many times I forget to turn to You for guidance.  Thank You for giving us Jesus as the perfect example of never giving up hope even in the darkest of moments.  Please make my heart into one like His that You would be so proud of.  In Jesus name, AMEN.

NOTE:  The photo above of my friend Rebecca was taken when we all went to the circus one afternoon in the summer of 2003.  It was my first time going to the circus since I was a kid.  We had such fun that day... as we did so many other days that summer.  I miss her.

Here’s an inspirational video of the poem ‘Don’t Quit’.  Enjoy.

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