Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: I SURRENDER ALL (to God) (don’t write about the song) (05/07/15)
- TITLE: Lydia's Love
By Hannah Gaudette
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
How many mothers can say that their own daughter gave her life to serve those she loved? I can. And that memory is as clear as the sun that now beams through our window. I can hear her voice, both now and forever. I can see her face, before she fell ill . . . and after.
It was 1793 – about five years ago now – when the epidemic of yellow fever hit our city. My daughter, Lydia, was nineteen, and I had taught her many basic medical skills to take with her in life. When the plague hit, she was pledged to be married in six weeks. The man she was engaged to was among the first to fall ill. I'd never seen Lydia so determined, so sincere, in any one task. But she took on the responsibility of caring for Aaron on her own two shoulders. And when more and more in our city fell victim to the terrible disease, she and several doctors worked inside a makeshift hospital to care for them.
Aaron died two weeks later. My husband and I were ready to leave the city along with our other two children, and we begged Lydia to come with us. I'll never forget her words of courage which sounded like words of foolishness to me then.
“God has asked me to do this. I will stay for Him, and He will decide my future.” Her face filled with certainty, she bid us farewell.
Not three weeks later, we received word that our Lydia had taken terribly ill. We hurried back to Philadelphia to be with her. When we reached the bedside, I nearly collapsed at the sight of her. Her complexion, once so beautiful, was plagued by patches of yellow and the fever was burning her alive.
The doctor informed us, “She fought bravely to save the others, but paid dearly for her decision.”
I wept for three days next to her, ignoring my husband's pleas for me to get out of harm's way. On the fourth day, I read to her from the Bible and prayed aloud beside her. Most of the time she slept, but late on the fourth day, she opened those sky blue eyes and I saw a weak smile come to her lips.
“Mama,” she whispered, her voice trembling with lack of strength. “I had a choice. I chose to surrender myself for Him.”
I forced my own tears not to flow as I steadily looked at her. “Yes, Lydia,” I said. “I'm proud of you, my child. I love you.”
“I love you.” Lydia could no longer keep her eyes open. I sat with her for the rest of the night, and she died at sunrise the next morning, at the same time we discovered that our youngest daughter, who had also taken ill, would recover.
Lydia had a choice: a choice that not everyone is faced with. My daughter could have left the city and lived, but she was willing to give herself to save lives. She lives with her Father in heaven, but five years later, that memory is still fresh and haunting. Her decision to serve God will forever challenge me. I miss my daughter terribly, but I will never ever forget her last words to me, and every day I pray that God will give me strength. Not everyone is faced with the challenge my daughter faced. Some of us would surrender some, while others would be willing to surrender all.
As I sit at my desk beside the window, I can look out to the field and the pond below the hill. We have left the city permanently, as my husband thought it would be best. Our youngest daughter is picking flowers from the rose bushes and I can so vividly recall that morning when she overcame the fever, while Lydia joined her heavenly Father. Today, though that memory is still painful for me, I can honestly say that Lydia lived out her dream: to follow God, even to death. Her courage will be an everlasting legacy to me.
And as each day passes, drawing us further and further away from 1793, I will thank God for the daughter He so richly blessed us with for nineteen years, and the courage He gave her to surrender all.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.