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His Grace Is Sufficient

Posted by Theology of Home on
His Grace Is Sufficient

By Muji Kaiser

As a child, I had an obsessive fear of my mom dying. If she was running late from work and I wasn’t able to reach her on the phone, I’d think to myself, “This is it. This is the day that I lose my best friend.” Yeah, it was a bit dark. I just knew that we would one day be separated and I feared it. I loved her so much.

My mother saved my life when I was three by emigrating to the US with me after an undiagnosed bone infection brought me close to death. I survived, by the grace of God, but the cost was that we would be separated from my father and three brothers in Nigeria for many years. I needed follow up care, so America became our new home. To me, though, home was simply wherever she was. I was too little to understand what was going on, but, as long as my mother was there, everything was alright.

Her name was Maggie Okaja Mbu-Abang. She was very adventurous and enjoyed climbing trees as a chilf in Nigeria. One day, she fell from a tall mango tree and suffered an injury that would change her life. Her back would never be the same and she experienced debilitating pain for many years.

My mom finally agreed to have surgery in 2016, a few months after her 62nd birthday. I took the surgery in stride. She had so many health scares throughout the years and always pulled through. As the surgery date approached, I was surprised to discover that she was afraid. My mom was the strongest woman that I knew. I was always envious of her strength, being a timid little thing myself. Fear was an emotion that I had never seen in her, so I assured her that everything would be fine.

The surgery was successful and my mom was admitted into a rehab facility. I sat by her side, texting the handsome man that I just met on Catholic Match, Nicholas, who would later become my husband. It was on that day that I lost my best friend to a pulmonary embolism... and I didn't see it coming. This was the same girl who would sit anxiously by the door, waiting for her mom's purple Dodge Caravan to pull into the driveway, praying, “Let today not be the day,” and I didn't see it coming from a mile away. I had no fear of losing her to that back surgery. How? How was it possible that I had no fear of her passing in that instance? It was because of God's grace. His grace also gave me the composure to stay by her side, holding her hand as she breathed her last and reciting prayers that she had taught us as children. “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy.”

And like that, she was gone. I wailed. I cried. I felt pain like no other. But, do you know what else I felt? I felt an overwhelming, inexplicable amount of peace. There were so many people praying for us and God distributed His grace so abundantly that it shrouded me in a blanket of comfort, even amidst the pain. Like the good Father that He is, He knew what I needed and allowed me to feel all the emotions that come with losing a loved one, recognizing that expressing these emotions is an essential part of the healing process. Interiorly, however, I felt an assurance that everything would be alright. My best friend was gone, but God was with me, and He would never leave.

I recently read Fr. Jacques Philippe's book, Searching for and Maintaining Peace, in which he writes, “Do not anticipate the unpleasant events of this life by apprehension, rather anticipate them with the perfect hope that, as they happen, God, to Whom you belong, will protect you. He had protected you up to the present moment; just remain firmly in the hands of His providence and He will help you in all situations and at those times when you find yourself unable to walk, He will carry you.”

As I read that, I flashed back to that little girl anxiously waiting for her mother to come home. I thought of all the years that she spent fearing a day that, unbeknownst to her, was still many years away. I wish she could have spent that time at peace, thanking God for each day that she had her mother and enjoying those present moments with her, rather than anticipating her absence in the future.

My message to my younger self is the same message that I have for myself today, now a mother of five. Strive for interior peace. Trust in God's providence. Pray for those whom you love, then entrust them into His care, for He loves them even more than we do. In the wise words of Fr. Jacques Philippe, “Do not think of what may happen tomorrow, because the same eternal Father who takes care of you today, will take care of you tomorrow and forever.” His grace is always sufficient.

Muji Kaiser is a Catholic writer, speaker and founder of the Okaja Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit that provides aid to Catholic organizations serving orphaned and poverty-stricken children in her home country of Nigeria. She lives in Southern California with her husband and five children. To learn more about her ministry, visit


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