"THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD" - A PHOTOGRAPHER''S JOURNEY
The summer of 2002 I hit rock bottom. I had messed up my life, my
husband had just left me and I was suffering with fibromyalgia. The
fibromyalgia was so painful, I could barely get out of bed. I would
tremble in the middle of the night. I would have to crawl around
before I could walk. The muscles had to be massaged out every morning
before I could think about going to work.
I thought about ending my life. I was wondering if I killed myself,
would my body just sit in a grave or is there really life after death?
One day on the way to the doctor, I had an out of body experience. I
found myself floating above my car. I could see the top of my head,
the steering wheel and the trees and telephone wires going by. When I
arrived at the doctors office, I shut the door and I entered back into
my body. God used this experience to answer the questions in my heart
and show me that I had a spirit that would live on after death.
God didn''t abandon me. True character was being developed in the dark
rooms of my life. He showed me that there''s something beyond this
world that is worth it. Although I was suffering, I was surrounded by
beauty. But there seemed to be an invisible barrier keeping me
separated from it.
The only thing keeping me alive was the glimmer of hope that I
experienced while photographing children.
I was raised in a Christian home, but by the time I was married, I
abandoned my faith. It wasn''t long before I gave into deception and
found myself on a path of destruction. I focused intensely on
building my career as a professional photographer. I denied my faith
in God and relied on myself -- my own efforts to get me through life.
As my husband and I grew further apart, we turned to drinking and
avoided issues instead of confronting them. He would party all night
with his buddies and I would return the favor. This went on for quite
some time. One night I rolled over and bumped into him, realizing I
hadn''t seen him for over two weeks. I was filled with rage. I went
out and had an affair out of revenge.
The weight of guilt and shame was unbearable. I cried every day and
sank deep into depression. I developed severe anxiety, chronic
fatigue, and fibromyalgia and a host of other problems which made it
almost impossible to function. I wasn''t able to sleep more than a
couple hours at a time. I couldn''t hold down my food. I could feel
my blood moving in all my veins.
The emotional, mental and physical pain I was in brought me inward. I
couldn''t express what was happening to me. I just knew the life as I
have known it was about to end. It didn''t seem like there was any
reason to live.
My friend got married and on the way back from her wedding, I pulled
the car over because it was unsafe for me and others if I continued
driving. I felt my kidney and liver and bodily functions starting to
shut down. I noticed that I was in front of a resort. I knew I
needed help, but I also had a death wish, so I pulled out my note pad
and started to write a note to leave behind. I decided to finally end
I wondered who I should leave the letter for. I decided to address
the suicide letter to God. To my amazement, I found myself pouring
out my heart. The words reflected repentance and a desperate cry for
help. I said, "I''m sorry for what I''ve done in my life and I''m sorry
for what I''m about to do."
As I wrote … as I started to weep ... then suddenly ... it seemed
like time stood still. I began noticing every little detail. The
wind stopped blowing; the birds stopped chirping; the clouds stopped
rolling and the water stopped flowing.
Then like a movie reel, everything went back into motion. It was like
a brand new life started. Slowly at first, then faster and faster.
Everything seemed surreal, like I had just entered into another
dimension. My eyes were opened like I was seeing for the very first
time. Everything was amazing. The world was so beautiful.
A cool breeze came by and when it touched me it got warm. Something
like electricity entered my chest. There was a thick radiant presence
all around me.
FILLED WITH LOVE
A sense of peace overwhelmed me, and I was filled with amazing love.
Love for life, love for the world and it''s beauty and even love for
those who had wronged me. I had true love for my enemies, the same
kind of love that held Christ to the cross. He said, “Father forgive
them, for they know not what they''re doing.” I knew for sure that
Jesus is alive. If He wasn''t, there''s no way I could feel this way.
As time went on, I wanted to show the world what happened to me that
day and illustrate it in my own language, through the gift of
Children gave me new eyes with which to see the world. It became my
creative outlet of communication. Their joy was pure water, their
laughter became a beam of hope. They taught me about rediscovery -
putting my mind back into perspective.
The beauty of this story is I wanted to die, and I did. To my old
life that is. Through faith in Christ, He gave me a new heart and a
new beginning. Because of His amazing love, I can show others just
how important even just One Life is to this world.
I tell you the truth, unless you humble yourself and become like
little children, you will not enter the kingdom of Heaven. (Matt