Of course I wanted God to save my mother when I became a Christian. To take the voices away, to stop the visions, to make her normal. She wouldn’t take the drugs, so a miraculous healing seemed perfect. God could really get a lot of mileage out of something like that. It seemed almost as good as raising Lazarus from the dead because she may as well have been dead.
Like anyone who finds life-altering meaning in therapy, or yoga, or God, I wanted everyone around me to feel as whole and new as I did. For me, the Christian God was the road to happiness and healing. And of course, didn’t my mom deserve it? Hadn’t she suffered enough? Hadn’t we suffered enough?
The problem is, I’m not the kind of person who believes in prayer. I mean, I do, but I don’t act like I do because I hardly pray at all. And so, of course, I felt guilty. Maybe she’s not getting fixed because I’m not praying enough. But guilt’s not a very good motivator. It’s almost like I didn’t want to do it because it might not work, and that meant that God didn’t work, or God didn’t care. At least if I didn’t pray it was my own fault if she never got fixed.
It was several years later that I realized that God doesn’t really fix people just because we ask. You have to fight with your spouse, to get angry at your kids and then make up, and I had to be with my mom even though I wanted to be doing anything else. I actually had to go through life to learn the lessons and become the person I wanted to be. Mom didn’t get miraculously healed but I learned to see her in a differently, to love her anyway, and that was a kind of healing that never would have happened if God had just been my fairy godmother.