|Posted by Pastor Jono on December 19, 2014 at 11:35 PM|
I AM NOT THE AUTHOR OF THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE, IT WAS WRITTEN BY A YOUNG FIRST-TIME MOTHER IN OUR CHURCH. I KNOW IT WILL BE A BLESSED ENCOURAGEMENT TO ALL WHO READ IT...
These past few months have been blissful. I have been enjoying my precious little girl, Arceska. She brightens up our home with her squeals of delight, her wide toothless smiles, her playfulness, and her mere presence. I would catch myself just staring at her serene face as she sleeps. I want to be there every morning when she wakes up because her first early morning smile is the sweetest. She opens her eyes and sees me or her dad, she squeals happily and reaches out her hand for her morning cuddles. My heart glows with love knowing that this little girl has been entrusted to me by the Lord.
A few nights ago, God talked to me about brokenness through my personal devotion. When something breaks, it will never be the same again, even if the pieces are put back together. There will always be traces of a crack. There will be a scar, a mark, an evidence of the break.
I look back to my difficult pregnancy and delivery. I still remember how it felt like to be a victim of the dreaded pre-eclampsia, how it felt like to come face to face with its dangers. It could kill both the baby and me. I still remember how it felt to have that tightening over my chest, that pressure and pain wrapped tightly around my head, as I waited for the nurses to bring me my medications, praying desperately that my high blood pressure won't affect the little one inside my tummy. I still remember that feeling of helplessness knowing there's really nothing I can do but to wait. I still remember the warmth I felt in my cheeks as tears silently flowed against them. Two long weeks of waiting and praying before they bring out my little girl.
Yes, God broke me - physically, emotionally, spiritually. Worrying instead of trusting, doubting instead of lifting it all to the Lord - that was me. I worried about everything. Will the baby be alright? Will they be able to control my blood pressure for two weeks? Will my condition have any effects on the baby? Will I ever get to meet her?
Every time I started to worry, I would hear Him say: "Be still, and know that I am God." Be still... be still... Do not worry, I am in control. I heard that verse again and again in my head that I began to meditate on it. "Know that I am God." God reminded me of who He was, who He is. He is the God who created the whole universe in six days. Nothing is impossible for Him. He is the God who gave His only Son to die the cruel death of the cross just to save me from my sins. He is the God who gave me a clean slate when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and personal Savior. He is the God who helped me and guided me in all my decisions. He is the God who has been with me through every trial, every grief. He has been my Comforter. He is my Father. What can He not do for me? Why was I worrying when I knew that He is in control? "Know that I am God."
I knew and told my husband that this trial was for us. There was no asking, "why us? why me? why my baby?" I knew that there is no accident in the life of a Christian, God is always in control. Hard as it was, I embraced my trial, and I embraced my Lord.
Another fear gripped my heart. What if God wills for my baby to be taken away from me? The thought of losing her was painful. Long before she was conceived, this child has been prayed for, longed for, loved, deemed precious in our hearts. Long before she was conceived, she had been dedicated to the Lord. Long before she was conceived, she already had been dearly named. But I knew in my heart that if I lose her, God will be beside me as I grieve and mourn. He will be there to give me the strength I'll need. He will see me through it all. I will find it hard to understand, but there will be a reason if that happens. I found peace in such thoughts.
During my hospitalization, God never failed to show me His grace. I saw the grace of God in the faces of friends who visited in the hospital, I saw the grace of God as they prayed for my health and the baby's. I saw the grace of God in my husband's voice as he read the Bible to me by my bedside every evening, in the way he catered to my littlest needs. I saw the grace of God in the support and prayers of my church family. I saw the grace of God as I felt reassuring, strong kicks from my little one.
Finally, the two weeks were up. More prayers as I anticipated the arrival of my precious baby. The induction didn't go well as the baby was distressing every time I had a contraction. They rushed me to the operating theater for an emergency C-secion. Why was everyone moving so fast? Why did they seem to be panicking? I started to worry again. "Be still and know that I am God," I heard my Lord reassure me. I felt this reassurance as my husband held my hand while they were rushing us to the theater. Then everything became a blur. I heard staff shouting, everything that was happening was happening fast! I just kept praying until they put me out.
The next thing I knew was that I was already in the recovering unit. I was half asleep, half awake. I was trying to gather all my strength to open my eyes but they seemed too heavy. I saw glimpses of my husband, the medical staff, a blood pressure monitor. All of them seemed to be waiting in anticipation. Somehow I managed to stare at those numbers flashing on the screen and made sense out of them. My blood pressure was still high. The medical staff was trying to manage it. Finally after several attempts, I was able to utter, "How's Chessey?" I wanted to know. Was she safe? Did she make it? Will I ever get to see her? Hold her in my arms? I needed to know that she was fine.
Then I heard my husband's voice, "She's perfect." He tried to show me pictures of the baby from his phone but I wasn't able to stay awake for long. I heard what I wanted to hear. My baby girl was alright. That was all I needed to know. That was enough for now. I praised God as I drifted back to sleep.
Recovery was tough. I had a bleeding complication and they had to take me back to the theater for another surgery the day following my C-section. And at that time I was experiencing an excruciating abdominal pain despite taking loads of morphine for pain relief. I was in so much pain that the bleeding was the least of my concerns. I lost so much blood and was feeling so faint that I needed to have a transfusion. Also my blood pressure was still all over the place. I was still symptomatic - the tightness all over my head did not subside at all. My feet and legs were still very swollen. It was still a long journey to full recovery. I just thank God for the wisdom He gave the doctors, nurses and midwives who took care of me. I felt so blessed to be in such great care. And I thank God for a wonderful husband who lovingly and cheerfully took care of both me and the baby while I was recovering. I have never seen a prouder dad in all my life.
Now, as I look into this tiny little face, all I see is God's grace. Every time I look at her, I am reminded of everything that we've been through, and how God has comforted, reassured, and strengthened me through it all. I carry the scars and marks of difficult pregnancy and delivery - I struggled spiritually. These evidences of brokenness will never go away. They will remain with me and will always remind me of a great and faithful God! I never take little Arceska's presence in our lives for granted. "Arceska" will always mean "God's grace" to me.
"For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him." ~ 1 Samuel 1:27
ARCESKA was born at 37 weeks AOG on the 13th of August 2014 at 5:01pm. She came out tiny but strong and healthy. Thanks be to a wonderful, faithful and loving God!