In this week’s installment of Faith-Filled Moms, I invited my friend Giselle to share her story. Giselle is a gifted writer and editor, and was a huge source of help and encouragement when I started on this blogging journey. I’m so excited to share her story with you!
I woke up in a cold sweat, unsure of what had just happened. Thankfully, I looked around my room and realized it was just a dream. Or a nightmare. At that moment, I wasn’t sure. But I prayed anyway. My middle son was attacked, in the dream. I had received a phone call from his school with disturbing news that he had been severely beaten by a bully. In my deep sleep, I could see myself rushing down to his school, running towards the office. I had to see my son, but as I approached the office, all I could see was a glimpse of his bruised face. He was hurting and I couldn’t get to him. I called for him, but a man blocked the door. It was my dad, and he held me back saying, “Don’t worry, I got him. He’s going to be okay.” I looked at my father’s face, yet I couldn’t see him clearly. My only clarity were his words, that resonated in my heart after I awoke. What could this mean? I prayed for my son, thanked God for his life, and went back to bed.
A week later, my middle son, Johan was complaining of stomach pains on Thursday evening after dinner. I have three children and, of all three, he is typically the one to eat more than he can handle. So, this was not uncommon for him. I gave him water and told him to use the bathroom. The next day the pain continued, but again, I thought it was something he had eaten. Now it was Saturday, and we had family over to visit. We decided to go out to eat and Johan’s stomach didn’t seem to hurt any longer. However, as we sat around the table, his expression changed, and I could tell he was still in pain. I had given him medicine and couldn’t understand why he was still hurting. My kids don’t usually get sick and, even when sickness does come on them, they bounce back the next day. This is how it’s always been, especially with Johan. He’s a good eater, the only one who will opt for fruit instead of candy or a yogurt instead of chips. I knew something wasn’t right.
By Sunday morning, my son could hardly get out of bed. He was in tears and couldn’t bear the pain any longer. This was the last straw. His father took him to the emergency room, and I stayed with our other two children, praying. Less than an hour later, my husband called me. My son needed immediate surgery as his appendix was about to burst and needed to be removed. There was no time to waste. I agreed with my husband and the medics prepped my son for surgery. I took my kids and drove to the hospital to be by Johan’s side.
By the time I arrived, he had already been given anesthesia and was knocked out. I stared at my boy and prayed as I held his little hand. He was only seven at the time, yet so brave. They took him to the O.R. and I waited patiently with my daughter and my youngest son. When the doctor came out, he took my husband and me aside and quietly broke the news. Before they could remove his appendix, it had ruptured inside of him. His abdominal cavity was covered in bacteria and severely infected. For an adult this was still life-threatening, although easier to treat. Because Johan was only seven, the doctor offered no signs of hope. He simply informed us they would keep him and treat him for a while.
A while? So many thoughts flooded my mind. Why did I wait so long? Why did this happen? What was going to happen to my baby? I sank into the chair in the waiting room and let my thoughts linger. The doctor was not comforting and did not give any signs of hope, probably because his occupation caused him to judge Johan’s outcome by what he had seen in countless other cases.
All of the sudden, Holy Spirit reminded me of my dream. This was it. My son had been attacked and his life was in my Father’s hands. I felt peace as I realized that the man blocking the door, the one holding me and comforting me with his words, “Don’t worry. I got him. He’s going to be okay,” – that wasn’t my natural father. It was my Heavenly Father, warning me of what was to come and assuring me that He was in control. The days passed in the hospital, my husband and I took shifts with Johan, and the doctor still offered no optimism in his reports. On day 5, I sat by Johan’s side, God brought a song to my heart.
Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand hath provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
I held onto Lamentations 3:23 for the remainder of Johan’s time in the hospital. I prayed with him and showed compassion for the doctor who was shocked at my son’s resilience and healing. He had based his report on what he had seen. I had to base my hope on what I knew. God saved my son because He loves him, but not without first reassuring me because He loves me too. Ultimately, I had to surrender my worry, my doubt, and my trust to Him in exchange for His peace. As parents, we want to protect our children and would rather suffer ourselves than to have them suffer. But God showed me that He is the Best Parent not only to me, but to my children. He wants to know that we will entrust our children back to Him as Abraham with Isaac and Hannah with Samuel. And as I did with Johan. Whatever you’re believing God for with your children, I encourage you to offer them back to Him as His faithfulness is truly great!
Pray With Me
Thank you for your faithfulness. Help me to remember that your mercies are new every morning, and that your compassion will never fail me. I will trust you, even when things aren’t always looking good from my point of view, because I know you are you in control. I can always put my hope in you.
In Jesus name, Amen
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