If you’re new here you can catch up on my week prior, if not you’ll know that we ended up taking Honor for her simple and somewhat ‘non-event’ biopsy. We came home that night with a little girl tender but very full of beans. Lets be honest for a second, when you’re the star of the show and you have presents and teddies and too much sugar in your world, things can’t be going too badly right? All was well. Or so I thought. I was still anxious about the test results and trusted that we would get a positive result – no nasties lurking in the shadows. (which praise Jesus we got). But at about 11:30pm that night Honor had a raging fever and was in excruciating pain. We calmly took her back to hospital the following morning and what followed was a week that I can only describe as hellish to its core. Her little body was attacked by a secondary infection caused by a rather aggressive bacteria. I can’t paint a glamorous and Instagram worthy picture of the ICU ward and 2 further operations that followed. I can’t tell you that I was fully together at all times and full of faith for whatever came my way. But what I will tell you is that I went to places and saw things that shook me beyond what I have ever experienced before. I lost my breath as we faced complications. I sobbed until I had no more tears. I prayed through the night often convinced that when I stopped she got worse. I repeated for hours on end RISE UP LITTLE GIRL, RISE UP. I begged nurses to make it go away. I promised Honor I wouldn’t cry anymore. I did everything and anything to try and ease her pain and discomfort. I sang songs from the rawest places of pain and I stared at a heart rate monitor for 5 days. It was hellish.
But we’re home. (I still actually want to pinch myself.) Thank you precious Jesus that I am home WITH my babe. But now I need to will myself forward and journey out my broken heart with the Holy Spirit. And so, as one does, I’ve been taking moments to appreciate where God fits in to my pain. Where is God when it hurts? When it hurts like hell?
And friends I am sorry to report that I don’t have the answers. The restorative nature in me longs to fix this with knowledge and reason but alas no. This is not gonna be a blog about why bad things happen and how we can walk through it. This is an honest account of my encounter with the Holy Spirit in my pain. My encounter with Jesus the healer and my encounter with a Father God who is ONLY good. End of discussion. Good. I’m not pretending to have a theology of pain and suffering. Maybe someday I will. For now my heart is that my writing would bring a raw reality and HOPE to this life here on earth. A life full of joy but yet full of pain. A life that can catch you off guard and take your breath away. A life that sometimes doesn’t make sense. I am hoping that as I share my burden with you, the pain will lift somewhat. I am so reminded in this moment in time that Jesus is the one who is mighty to save and with the power He uses to secure our salvation, with that same power He lifts our pain and despair. I believe that most of trauma is dealt with significantly when it’s spoken through and so I’ll do that. But psychology aside, I can not deny the presence of my God, the presence of JESUS, in my most desperate of circumstances. I do not fully understand why this happened or where it came from but I know that Jesus is ushering me into a place where I can begin a journey of finding meaning in my pain.
And so again I ask where was God when it hurts?
He was there.
He was there in the humility of the doctors. The men who are yet to know Him but were made in His image and consistently fought for our child until she was well again.
He was there in the kindness of the nurses. In Vashti and Thuthu who arrived at the perfect time to CARE for us and ensure Honor did not deteriorate. These nurses are angels. They did more than just do their job, they partnered with the will of God to see Honor healed on this earth. And side note Thuthu is from Groutville. The very place I felt to go to as a Sisterhood- to bring a message of hope and unity- to bring value to the women of this community. You see when we sow we will reap.
He was there in the kitchen maid who hugged me every morning and told me my baby would be ok. In the smiling man in bed no.9 who gave me a gentle salute and smile as I passed by his bed. In the family trusting god for their miracle who prayed for my baby even amidst their pain.
He was there in my husband. My strong, brave and courageous mighty- protector who sometimes drove to us 3-4 times a day (30-40 one way). A man who helped me remain calm even when everything inside of me was crumbling under the weight of our situation. A man who fought for us and spoke up for us. Who encouraged and prayed and believed. God was so evident in a man who would not entertain a bad report but rather believe supernaturally for the best.
He was there in the hospital. In the very fibre of its being. Remember I said before in my last post that God promised me He would CARE for me. Well the 4 VALUES of Ethekweni hospital are
E – Excellence
Around every corner there was a CARE sign reminding me that my Father cares deeply for me and for Honor and I can trust in Him despite the severity of what I saw with my eyes. He had gone before us. He would make a way. I could place the entire extent of my anxiety on Him. (1 Peter 5:7)
He was there in my friends and my family. The men and women of God who rose up like a ferocious army and prayed unswervingly for us. He was in each one. Leading and guiding us to pray specifically against the heinous evil causing Honors sickness. In each message and prayer sent. In the women who came through every day with enough food to feed a small village. In the the caring for my other girls He was there through it all.
He was in my heart. Willing me to sing like I had never sung before. Ushering in peace even when I had lost all hope. Getting me up and giving me strength to face what came next.
He was in my mouth as I declared, spoke, pleaded and sang HIS WORDS over our situation. As I held onto His promises that SURELY He will heal us from every sickness and pain.
And He is here right now. In this moment. Leading me gently through the emotional aftermath, giving me grace and mercy fresh for each day.
You see as hard as this was to face I know that God did not leave me because I saw Him in people and places. My physical eyes couldn’t always see Him in the harshness of my situation but I truly saw HIM (if that even makes sense). What Honor went through and suffered was not of Him but every glimmer of hope and good gift bellowed His name around me.
And so without all the answers and without crystal clarity I can still praise Him today, even though it hurts. Does this feel easy all the time? No, not really. Sometimes I sing and praise loud enough for the neighbours to complain and other times I can barely hear my whisper as I cry out my thanks. But whenever I get the chance, I look at my baby and I say thank you Jesus. My heart and flesh failed me, somewhat, but this I KNOW for sure (like I know like I know like I know) that you JESUS CHRIST are my strength- my spirit strength and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)