BELIEVE By: Jamie Len Cumbo

 photo b70c3c1d-2281-41b3-9666-e0996f1eed13_zpsc691d194.jpg

It’s amazing how much personal growth can happen when you hit those crossroads of struggle and uncertainty and you open your heart to changing your ways and the path you’re going down.

For me, I have hit a huge turning point in my life. And it was a long time coming.

I’ve learned it’s good to share these experiences when you can share how you overcame them. I hope it helps someone, somewhere shed some light to what they are going through.

We all struggle. Every single one of us. The key is to use the struggles, the hurt, and the pain you feel as a reason to push harder. But more importantly, we must use the pain we have felt to help others gain from it. We survived the things we went through for a reason. It fuels our ability to inspire the ones around us.

This is NOT a pitty story. This is to share what I wish I would have learned a long time ago. Even though I have dealt with many obstacles and tragedies over the years… so has everyone else. I am no different.

I’ve learned the only real tragedies that exist are the ones where people experience incredible ‘aha’ moments and they don’t share them with others.

There has been a lot of crap that had to happen to open my heart. To build my faith. Especially recently. It wasn’t fun. Looking back, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of staying positive through it, but there were times I crumbled. Hard. I’ve been broken too many times to count. Especially this year. Thought I had everything under control. But I was wrong. And the answer was in front of me the whole time.

My journey with faith.

I’ve been angry at God for many years for everything I went through. Losing a brother who committed suicide, dealing with my parents long custody battle and divorce, having cancer, health issues, and dad being paralyzed in his car accident this year. There have been a lot of things over the years and I never really understood WHY he let these things happen. And continue to happen.

I decided I would control things with the power of positive thinking, the Secret, the law of attraction. Whatever you want to call it. Because that stuff is extremely powerful.

But I’ve learned it’s not everything.

I realized the more I thought I had full control, the less I did.

And then the crossroads came.

We’ve all been there. It seems to happen so quick to where you step back and you don’t remember HOW you got there, but you know a series of decisions and events took place and have led you to exactly where you are meant to be. And it’s not always the place you want to be in.

There have been several things that have happened that led to this point. And some events along the way that was God’s way of shaking me trying to make me see it all…. And I kept putting it off.

It was all right in front of me and I failed to see it. Even though that desire got stronger and stronger.

Saying goodbye to Grandma Lenee started this. She was one of a kind. She was almost 90 years old, had bright red hair, wore miniskirts, and loved to dance.

Everyone loved Lenee.

I remember the day so clearly mom called me and said to go by grandma’s because she wasn’t feeling well and had lost some weight. I went over there. And remember the moment I saw her thinking ‘this is it’. She wasn’t even diagnosed with anything at that time, but I could feel her energy and the way she kept repeating, ‘everything is going to be ok’.

I just knew in my gut.

Over the next week, we made some really good memories. She smiled a lot. She laughed. Shared stories with us. We held hands. We cried. On one of her last days, she lay in bed, too weak to get up, but raised her hands with a big smile on her face and said ‘I’m dancing my way to heaven…. I hope they’re ready for me!!’

She knew it was time. And she was ready.

Grandma Lenee wasn’t always a believer. But over the years she became a Christian & strong in her faith. She was so excited to get to heaven. SO EXCITED. She had no doubt where she was going. And you could feel it.

It may sounds strange, but she had the most beautiful death that could ever be had. She went quick, we had precious memories in her last days, and though none of us wanted her to go, we knew it was not in our hands.

So we focused on that beautiful death and the amazing life she lived. It opened my eyes to see someone who was such a strong believer and the excitement for death she felt, because she knew exactly where she was headed.

I wanted that kind of faith so much, that strong belief she carried, but wasn’t sure how to get it.

Then in April this year, was dad’s accident.

He was in a bad car accident and was paralyzed. It was not only a miracle he survived, but only a scratch on the outside.

The damage was on the inside. And we knew immediately this accident happened for a reason.

One of the strongest, most active and most independent 70 year olds I’ve ever known, now had to rely on others for care for the rest of his life. He’s still in the hospital almost 7 months later. So this is far from over. But here’s how faith opened my eyes right when it happened.

In the hospital everyone in my dad’s life he had push out, whom he had not spoken to in months, some in many years, were there by his side. Almost every one of them was a strong believer. And it was so amazing to see the love they showed him, when they had every reason to hate.

It was so clear right after the accident happened there was something bigger happening, even though we couldn’t see it. They all knew. I wanted to know on that level. But still, wasn’t sure.

The next big thing that happened was at the Lake. The night my heart changed.

Several weeks ago I was out on the boat with some friends. Drinking. Having a good time. Until I fell off the back. I remember in my drunken stupor falling in. I also remember after I fell off looking up and the boat continued going. It was after midnight and no other boats were on the lake. The music was up loud and I didn’t think anyone heard me fall in the water. I knew I wouldn’t be able to tread the water for long, my eyes were heavy and felt like I was on the verge of passing out. I could feel my body wanting to go to sleep.

For a long time.

I remember floating on top of the water, in the middle of the lake. It was so quiet. So peaceful.

And strangely enough, whatever was happening, I was ok with it. I felt a love and presence around me that night when I fell in the water. Something I’ve NEVER experienced.

I lay there and thought about the people I loved. The life I lived. And what I had left behind. I thought that was the end. For the first time in my life, I really thought it was my time to go.

But clearly God had other plans. And they got me out just in time.

After replaying over and over what happened that night, totally embarrassed, shaken, scared, confused, you name it. I was having a hard time understanding it all. Why didn’t he just let me go? What was he trying to make me see? Why does he keep doing these things?

Even after what happened that night in the water, having what in my eyes was a second chance at life didn’t fully make me realize just how big his love really is. At least not to the point to where I handed everything over to him. But it definitely shook me to my core and opened my heart to wanting to know more.

In a big way this time.

I finally had the ‘aha’ moment I had been searching for with my faith. And it definitely was not the way I imagined it would be.

I’ve seen the miracles God has been working in my brother’s life the past few years, and couldn’t explain it, but was feeling a strong urge to go somewhere with him. When I told my brother about it, he didn’t question it. Like he knew he was meant to take me.

The next thing I knew we were getting on a flight to Europe to go see the Swiss Alps. We took a gandala to the top of the mountain to see what we were told was the most spectacular view in Switzerland. As we got off the gandala the man opened the door and said “Welcome to heaven”.

Ironic. Because there we were at one of the most breathtaking places on earth and we couldn’t see the beauty 20 feet in front of us because the fog was so thick. We KNEW the mountains were there, but we couldn’t SEE their beauty.

Disappointed? Of course. Until I realized it was all planned that way. It was the ‘aha’ moment I had needed for a long time. It was at that moment, I realized His love is surrounding me even when I couldn’t see it and sure didn’t feel like I deserved it.

It took me traveling half way around the World to open my eyes and to finally realize I can’t control everything that was happening around me.

He had it planned this way the entire time. It clicked.

And after all this time it finally happened. I surrendered and put it all in His hands.

ALL OF IT.

An overwhelming peace with everything has taken over. I finally realized I don’t control it all and even though positive thinking is good it’s not everything.

Unfortunately, it takes being broken so you can be rebuilt stronger. We know this. But it’s easy to lose sight of that when you’re in the midst of heartache or when you’re struggling when hard situations come into your life.

The lesson learned is this. If you’re hurting. If you’re not happy with where you are and the path you’re going down in ANY area of your life. Don’t make the same mistake I made for so long. You don’t have to figure it out on your own.

It’s so much bigger than thinking positive. It’s FAITH. It’s BELIEVING. It’s understanding that all of this is leading you to your purpose. And HE controls it all. Once you accept that fully, the good, the bad, everything that comes your way from now on…. will ALL be ok.

After everything that has happened over the years, the hurt, the pain, the mistakes… I now understand it’s part of the story that has led to this point. It was all preparing me to hand it over to Him. Not just going to church. Not just praying. But BELIEVING with all my heart this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. And leading me into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

It has not been an easy ride. And I know it’s not all smiles and rainbows from here.

The difference is now I am at peace with it all and know without a doubt I can handle anything that comes my way because I will never have to do it alone ever again. xo

Nov 2013