I remember late December, everyone was talking about the year 2020. How this was going to be their year. How we should have 2020 vision. I mean we all had our hopes and dreams for the New Year, we all had our plans on what we aimed to accomplish for 2020. I, myself had set targets for the year. I had my own hopes and dreams.
There are so many bible verses talking about God’s will. I know for one I have prayed that may Gods will be done in our lives. We even pray it in the Lord’s Prayer. People use terms like “God willing”.
This got me thinking, we read the scriptures, we pray the prayers, we use the terms in our daily conversations, but do we actually mean what we say?
I have seen countless WhatsApp messages and Facebook posts about how messed up this year is because of Covid-19. How nothing is going as planned. I, myself have shared those same messages with friends and family. I just feel like I have missed the point altogether.
Let me recap my year for you, how it turned out to what I have finally learnt from it.
It all started in January, when I was prepping for the school year. We always take our annual leave during February. It works out well for us because we home-school, so we have that freedom and we always find our holiday destinations to be quiet and affordable. So January we prepped and recapped and reviewed all our work. I was mentally exhausted from the work I put into the New Year.
Early February we went on holiday. This holiday, I felt so drained and sick no matter how much I tried to rest. I batted to eat and drink and apparently I was so moody. Halfway through our holiday, I took a pregnancy test. Like the countless pregnancy tests I had taken before, I automatically expected and negative result. You see we had been trying for a baby for almost about 6 years. My doctor told me when I had my daughter that it was highly unlikely that I would ever fall pregnant again. Over the years my doctor’s statement proved to be true. Until now, until 8 years after we had our daughter, now…now I fall pregnant.
I was filled with so many mixed emotions. My husband was over the hill with the news and I was not taking it well. I mean I had given up hope several years before, I had accepted the fate that we would only ever have our son and our daughter. I mean 8 years is a huge gap and I was feeling it. I fell into a massive depression. I was trying so hard to be happy but I was so torn. I always believed that a baby is a blessing and I have said this to numerous woman over the years, but I couldn’t even swallow my own words. It didn’t help that I was feeling so discouraged and that I had had such bad morning sickness that it was difficult to keep water down and that I was an emotional wreck.
Shortly after returning from holiday, Covid-19 hit our shores. Things started going south! Next thing we know, our daughter starts to get very sick. We first suspected a stomach bug because several other family members had a stomach bug, but while everyone else got better she just got worse. So I took her to our GP who gave me the worst news at that time. My 8 year old little girl had a burst appendix. I rushed her to a hospital for sonars and scans a blood tests and next thing we knew we were doing CT scans and being transferred to another hospital. Now because of Covid-19, only 1 parent was allowed to stay and it had to be me, my hubby had to sit back and stress from a distance because they would not allow him near us. It was such a difficult and trying time. It was especially hard because I was also very sick with being pregnant. I remember sitting in the casualty with my daughter, crying my heart out to Jesus. I remember asking him why I had to fall pregnant now, now when my daughter needed me to be the strongest and I couldn’t even carry her around. Now when Coronavirus was preventing us from having the support of my husband. I kept asking God why, I kept asking God how I was meant to be strong.
The doctors then informed us of the severity of our daughter’s situation and how an abscess formed around her burst appendix, thus preventing leakage into her body which would have caused life threatening septicaemia. We were informed that she needed to have a complicated appendectomy and it would leave her with a scar down the middle of her abdomen, not a small one might I add. I remember sitting in the waiting room with my hubby whilst our daughter was in surgery. We were wrecks, but we weren’t the only parents waiting to hear the fate of our child. We were surrounded by many other parents whose children also were scheduled for surgery, all different circumstances and situations. We were all broken. We were all praying for our children to come out of surgery. Thank God our daughters operation was a success. Doctors then informed us on how lucky she was to be alive and how difficult her surgery was because some of the toxins had leaked into the surrounding area of her abdomen, but they managed to get all the toxins out and she would be just ok. She spent several days in the hospital and it was so difficult for us all, but we were grateful for how God had taken care of our baby girl.
Just after being released from hospital, a few days later our country went into lockdown, which put my husband in a situation because he wasn’t an essential worker. He was told that they can’t work, so no work- no pay. This became stressful because we had now accrued many medical bills from our daughters hospital stay. A few days into lockdown I had to go for my check up for baby where I was informed that I was pregnant with twins but the one twin didn’t make it, they call it the vanishing twin syndrome. This was also the reason as to why I was so sick and was vomiting up to 15 times a day. At this point in time I was just like “God, I can’t understand why all of this is happening to us.”
I just kept getting more and more depressed and discouraged. I felt like this year was just not meant for me and I really just wanted to give up. Each day onward came with its own troubles and it kept weighing me down. A few weeks later, my hubby phoned me to inform me that his mom was in hospital, and in very bad shape and we must all just pray. This just sent me over the edge. I just sat there crying, trying to figure out how to tell my kids that their grandmother was very sick. It was just too much to take on with all we were dealing with at the same time. We prayed and thankfully God’s hand was in the situation and my mom-in-law was operated on and was out of hospital ready for recovery.
This brings me to the now, I have been reflecting on all that has happened this year. How this was not what I had planned for our family. How I felt so alone and defeated. But this was so far from the truth and now I can finally see it.
Firstly with me falling pregnant. I always said if God wants me to have another baby, then be it. Well now I am living those words. I am overjoyed that we will be having another life to grow and nurture into a beautiful servant of the Lord. I learnt to practice what I preach when I said “a baby is always a blessing.”
Secondly with my daughter being in hospital, I learnt to let God be my strength. I can honestly tell you now, that if I didn’t let God take control of that situation, the outcome would have been very different. I learnt that God used my eight year old daughter to bring love and light to the nurses of the paediatric ward. One day when I went to visit her, a nurse stopped me and she thanked me for raising such a well-mannered and loving little girl. She said our daughter was so kind and caring and polite and that I should be very proud as a parent. I was just like “thank you God”. I learnt that God was using me in the waiting room with the other parents. One thing God has blessed me with is the ability to encourage others. I was able to talk to the other parents and hopefully help to encourage them in their difficult time. It’s true when they say that if you want to be encouraged you should encourage others.
I found myself not only praying for my daughter but for the parents and their children, God honestly humbled me in that waiting room.
Thirdly, God taught me to trust in Him when my hubby sat with no work and no pay. God honestly provided in a way I never thought was possible and He brought our family together by doing it, which was more of a blessings than I could ever express.
Fourthly, God showed me that the baby that didn’t make it was for a reason, He knows what He is doing and I just need to trust Him.
Fifthly, when my kids and I were praying for my mom-in-law, God showed all of us how He answers prayers. My kids could see first-hand how great God is and how important prayer is. It was a life lesson that I’m sure they will never forget.
Lastly, God showed me that it’s easy to harbour on the negative and to feel defeated and alone, but to look at all the good instead of the bad, to focus on what God did in our lives instead of what we lost, that we always have a choice.
So what do you choose to focus on this year, in every situation you have faced or might still face?
Remember when we pray, “God let Your will be done”, let God do what He needs to do, trust Him, there is so much more to what meets the eye, it’s not just your life He is working on…there’s always a bigger picture!
Jeremiah 29 vs 11-13, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”