Not a Spirit of Fear, But of Love

Whenever this Scripture is read during Mass, I smile and remember the handsome young man who gave it to me and who was much too young to die.

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“I have not given you a spirit of fear but one of love, power and self-control.”—2 Timothy 1:17

A wonderful 29-year-old patient of mine gave me this Scripture verse many years ago. He told me to remember, every time I heard it, that he had given it to me, and I do. Whenever it is read during the Mass, I smile and remember the handsome young man who gave it to me and who was much too young to die.

During one visit, he expressed great frustration and sorrow. He was beginning to lose control of his ability to walk, shower and do things on his own. This was a man who had always been in control of his life and able to handle everything. His current situation was new to him and left him anxious. He asked what I could do to make this time better for him.

I was at a loss as he was beginning to decline rapidly and his symptoms were not going to get better, they would only get worse. I told him that I could pray with him about his feelings and all that was happening to him and leave it in God’s hands to help him, since there was little I could do for him.

We stepped into a small room at the back of his house and he reached for both my hands as we began to pray together. I begged God to place his loving arms around him, to let him know how dearly he loved him and how safe he was in his care.

I asked God to give him peace in the midst of all his frustrations and to let him know just how close he was to him and to reassure this young man that he would never leave him. We prayed that way for quite awhile, just speaking to God as a friend on whom we could depend completely, with perfect trust. Every time I spoke with him from that day, until the day he died, in person or on the phone, he always said to me, “ I have my peace now, Trudy, I have my peace.”

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