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Question for God

I was thinking about Nathan when it happened.

It was January 2018. I sat in a small room in my company’s office, in utter despair.

The reasons were numerous – my inability to help Nathan, a close friend who was dying of brain cancer. My growing six-figure student loan debt, my drug addiction, my four years of hard work with little to show for it financially, immense pressure from my company and live-in girlfriend. Everything.

I felt myself breaking. So I did something I had never attempted before.

I called out to God. Audibly.

“God, what can I do in 2018 to make this year better? To change my life?” I asked, with tears streaming down my face.

I heard the words.

“Laugh more. Love yourself.”

Heard them.

“Laugh more. Love yourself.”

The voice was not a voice, in the human sense of the word.

It was like hearing a clap of thunder through a storm, as those words flashed through my brain.

That’s the best I can describe it.

Flash forward to January 2019. Everything had changed.

I was drug free. Healthier and fitter. Living in a new city with a new job. My student loan debt was suddenly manageable. The pressures of work and my girlfriend were lifted.

I was starting to love myself.

Nathan passed away from Stage 4 Glioblastoma in January 2019.

The night of Nathan’s funeral, there was a massive reunion of old friends and coworkers. His passing doubled as an opportunity to reconnect with close friends I hadn’t seen in years.

Nathan’s wife took a a picture of me that night. I had no clue she took it until she posted it on Instagram a few days later.

It’s the first picture of me laughing in years.

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