One day I was coming home from university. Those were the times when I studied in Gdansk. I felt a certain tension in me, anticipation, and I tried to name it. That was the first time I discovered it. I was looking for a car parked on the street where my brother and I lived. I was waiting on someone.
Tomek was a good friend of my brother. He was also the leader of the evangelistic team that I belonged to in our church. He visited us often. I remember him dropping by in the evenings after his on duty in a hospital, only for a moment, as he used to say, and drinking tea for hours from a mug that held more than half a liter of capacity. I liked his closeness to Jesus, his confident faith, reaching for the impossible, being mindful of people, extravagantly giving of time, and funny stories from the hospital. That day I found out I liked him.
On his thirtieth birthday, Tomek asked if I would become his wife. He asked during his birthday meeting, in the presence of important people in his life. And I really wanted to. That evening we went with friends to the seaside. It was already dark. I remember it like a dream. I wanted to sleep. Because of a long time, a large number of people, and the late hour. And I remember Tomek, who was spinning in the wind with his arms spread wide. But I know that he was seeing God then. Me too. I was just grateful.
My life at that time felt like a Christian fairy tale. Not without features, but fulfilling. I had that closeness to God that I wanted. I grew up in the church that was my home. I believed God that everything is possible with Him. I was involved in many activities as I always wanted. I resumed writing and slowly was learning how to do it for the Kingdom. And I was the fiancé of the man who loved God. And everything, what ours, together, was yet to happen.
I remember it like this. It was a routine surgery, a day or two in the hospital and back home. When I asked how he is, Tomek sent me a message with a picture of him – a swollen and bandaged nose. As a joke, everything is great. He was quickly returned to the hospital. They treated him, did more tests, treated him differently, did more tests, they found out. Tomek asked me to come. He said that if he lived the next three days, it would be okay. That day they transferred him to another hospital. The next morning for intensive care. He spent twenty-five days there, dormant.
I can’t remember how I believed at that time. I don’t remember my prayers. All I know is they were. But I remember well that I was paralyzed by what was happening. Everything was so unreal. I looked at myself more often as if from the outside than I was here and now. Knocked out of the imperfect but nonetheless balance in which I lived.
That’s how I remember it. His brother told me that Tomek passed away. He came for me and we prayed over the body together in the hospital. To rise up. Then his brother took me home, bought flowers and tea on the way. We drank it with him and his wife at the table. I stopped fighting a few days later when I heard a handful of ground hitting the lid of the coffin. I only remember a lot of people at the funeral. No faces.
Dark days began. There was just what I needed now. Go to the toilet. Eat. Make a bank transfer. Go to work. Do shopping. Go to the church. Meet someone. Visit my parents. But there was no tomorrow for me at that time. Everything felt black around me. I wasn’t waiting for anything. Moments from the recent past were coming back to me and broke my heart. I watched movies, only movies in which someone died. They were like friends who know what it is like. Later, I unconsciously saved myself with jokes and sarcasm. Back then, I spent a lot of time with my brother, who was just there and listened.
I used to come to God and was silent. I didn’t know what to say to Him. Two tragedies happened on the day Tomek died. My life collapsed and my Christian worldview collapsed. It turned out that the place where I found myself in an unnoticeable moment from my relationship with God turned into knowledge about Him. I tried to read the Bible but didn’t understand. I have not heard God. However, I couldn’t blame Him for what happened. I knew He was Holy God. Even if I don’t understand.
This state of silence or my casual monologues lasted two years. I have not left Him or the church. I haven’t denied everything. But I was in a certain abeyance. I put off dealing with our relationship for a closer, or rather further, undefined later. Until finally He came to me with conviction. I knew I had to make a decision. Will I accept that God is guilty of my fiancé’s death and will I live alone, or will I believe Him again. I was angry that I had to decide. It was not easy at all, so I went around with this question for a while. I also knew it was just a decision, and it would be followed by a long process of dealing with what happened. I could do it my way or the way God wanted. Finally I told Him that I wanted to try again to follow Him. But this time I want Him to explain to me Who He is. I don’t want to hear it from people, traditions, habits of a particular church, or teachings. But from He Himself. I made my decision. And that moment nothing happened.
Half a year later I was sitting in my new apartment, which I had moved into a month earlier. It was so nice there. I only remember one thought. Will I spend the rest of my life here? Will it always be the same, without hope, without a future? Moments later, I felt the words of prayer in tongues pouring out of me. I started to pray. I let them flow. I knew I didn’t have to, that I could keep them whenever I wanted. But I didn’t want to. For the past two years, I have been trying to discipline myself. At least 5 minutes of prayer, 5 minutes of reading the Bible, 5 minutes of praying in tongues. I could have done all of this, but there was no life in it. So now when that lightness suddenly came, I let the words flow. First five minutes, then ten. I don’t remember how long, but after a short time I felt hope appear in my heart, life returning to me. And for the first time in two and a half years, I heard God telling me about my future. About the fact that I have one. About the fact that He has it for me. Suddenly the darkness around me disappeared and a vast expanse with no boundaries appeared. I knew that the decision I had made six months earlier made it possible. I knew God Himself had come for me.
And it stayed that way. This lightness of coming to Him. I prayed almost constantly. I opened my mouth and spoke. Without any preparations, setting aside time for our meetings. I was living alone at the time, so I talked out loud to God all the time. In public, I talked to Him in my mind. I read the Bible, and revelation came to me from almost every verse. I was in love. I remember every now and then people who knew me would ask me gently (because of my experience) if I had met someone. And I replied that Jesus was enough for me and that I was in love with Him. I was happy again. The future was ahead of me again. But what I had was enough for me. He Himself.
From time to time only, thoughts about Tomek appeared. After them, a crush in my heart and a lot of tears. And then again just closeness and joy with Jesus. One time when I was crying, I asked God to do something about it. Until now, I was convinced that I would always be the one whose fiancé died. That it’s part of my identity. I have seen people who mourn a loved one for years after his death. Something about me was wrong with that. The experience of Jesus that I had and the pain that came back from time to time did not match. I started talking to God about it.
“When I heal, I heal to the end. That means it may never hurt again. Will you believe me?” That’s what He said.
I started to cry and tell Him that I want it. That I want to be healed to the end and I believe it is possible. Since then, 2014, the memory of Tomek did not hurt even once. Not once did the tears that accompanied this pain flow. Sometimes it was embarrassing when we remembered Tomek with our friends, and they started to cry. I had no pain or tears, only good and bad memories. God healed me. As He said, until the end.