“Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mt 17:20)
Jesus promises us this power if only we have a little faith.
Then why didn’t He cure my daughter of her depression? Around this time six years ago, we were fighting to keep her alive. Twice she planned to kill herself. The pain inside her was so intense, so bad, that she did not want to live any longer. She had lost all hope. She was tired and worn out from the struggle. She just wanted it to end.
I was positive that I had faith at least the size of a mustard seed. Have you ever seen how small a mustard seed is?
And if I didn’t, then surely someone in my family or parish did. So many people were praying for her. Besides, if you put all of us together, how great would our collective faith be! Way bigger than a mustard seed!
I even enlisted the prayers of Father Joseph Peak, a young, holy priest who had passed away not long after my daughter’s second suicide attempt. I was sure that he was before the throne of God and would be willing and able to procure the miracle of her healing.
So, why did God not answer our prayers? I believe, no, I knew God could heal her. Why didn’t he?
Looking back now, I realize that sometimes the miracle we don’t see, the one we did not even realize happened, is, nonetheless, a miracle. A greater miracle even.
You see, God did give us a miracle. It wasn’t the one we were asking for. I had everyone praying for an instant cure. Instead, God gave my daughter the power to deal with her depression.
If you would have told me six years ago that she would have to live with depression, I would have said that is impossible. But Jesus said, “Nothing will be impossible for you,” and God is true to His Word.
This miracle that God granted us, the miracle of living with depression, made me realize something about Jesus’ promise in Matthew 17:20. He says if we have the faith the size of a mustard seed that we would be the ones to move mountains – not that He will move them for us.
In other words, God fulfilled His promise. My daughter was eventually able to say to the mountain of depression weighing in on her, “Move!” and it went from where it was controlling her to where she is now in control.
Our miracle did not happen instantaneously or dramatically. It was a process. Yet, a process that gave my daughter the gifts of fortitude and perseverance. At first, she needed medicine to help her. She learned coping skills and how to “think rightly.” Above all, she needed the graces from all the prayers of family and friends, especially during the time when it was too difficult for her to pray herself.
Today, my daughter no longer needs medication. She still uses her coping skills and sometimes we have to talk her through situations so she can dismiss incorrect thoughts and see things as they truly are. Graduating from college magna cum laude with a biology degree, she now works in a lab at the National Institute of Health. More importantly, my daughter is once again loving life, even on the hard days.
This Thanksgiving, I will be especially grateful for the miracle we didn’t ask for, praising God in awe and wonder for His faithfulness. I am also thankful for faith-filled family and friends and for guardian angels who light and guide, rule and guard us. Furthermore, I’ll praise God for the communion of saints, for I know Fr. Joe Peak watches over my daughter still. I will also give Him thanks for all my children and the many lessons they teach me. Indeed, I have so much for which to be grateful.
We all do. What are the blessings for which are you most thankful? Make a list; share it with God. And then, share your gratitude with others.