Hell and Heaven all at once – Part 4

Continued from Part 3

Two hours had passed since my mum went into the operating theatre, and in those two hours we had run out of things to say.  Though we remained quiet for the large part of those two hours, it was very apparent that inwardly we were all talking to God in our very own personal way.  Nerves got the better of us, and so two hours exactly after the operation had begun, we headed towards the building where the operating theatre was, and just as we arrived, we saw the surgeon outside the door glancing at us from a distance.  We decided to go in and find out whether they had finished, and literally as we went in, the surgeon approached us to let us know they had finished the operation and it had been successful in that they had managed to insert a coil in the vein and in that way sealed the aneurysm to avoid risk of further bleeding.  Another hurdle overcome, another miracle!  There was just no getting away from the fact that the only thing sustaining our desperate situation at this point was purely and simply waves and waves of GRACE.  I remember sobbing with joy, the joy of a new hope and a future, not just for my mother, but for all of us as a family whose ties had finally become so united by the raw fire of affliction.  My family has never been one for showing emotion, specially my parents, but this one experience was allowing each and every one of us to in a way be born again with a newly found freedom, a newly found honesty, a newly found vulnerability which will always be the best starting point for a season of character growth and Christ-likeness.

After the surgery was over, my mum was taken back to the Intensive Care Unit.  We were told that the next 7 to 10 days were absolutely critical still, because though her life was no longer at risk, her quality of life would be decided within those next few days.  At this point, we were still not sure whether she could recognise any of us.  Day by day she gradually showed deeper levels of consciousness and after a few days the doctors begun to remove some of the machines and tubes which were aiding her recovery.  I will never ever forget the day the nurses began to feed her through the mouth again, and literally seconds within the first meal reaching her stomach, she broke into one song after another.  Tears filled our eyes to think that not only she was back, but she was back with joy and singing.  Again, the love of God was so fervent in my heart at that very moment.  We were so moved by my mum’s fighting spirit that we all sung along with her.  It was something I will never forget.  But of course during those critical 7 days, she was still heavily sedated in order to keep her blood pressure and general condition under control, and so most of the time she slept.  It was during one of those days that the vision God had given me in the car the very first day I went to see her, became a reality and a real turning point during which my fear and doubt turned into absolute certainty and unwavering hope.  One morning during our visit, I began to massage her feet and though she could not speak, it was clear that she was grateful for the touch and the care she was receiving from her very own flesh and blood.  For me, it was lovely to give something so small back to her for all the years of sacrifice and of putting herself last so that her children could thrive and her husband could succeed at what he wanted to do.  A tough example to follow and one my heart often wrestles to get away from in an attempt to put myself first, to chase my own dreams, to, in essence, be selfish.  Deep down I know Christ’s call to pick up our cross and follow HIM is the hardest voice one will ever have to follow, and that though many say Christianity is a crutch, nothing can be further from the truth.  Only those who are truly captivated by the love and legacy of Christ can know that for the genuine Christian such a choice of beliefs is anything but a crutch.

In the midst of this hellish and desperate situation, I felt God’s presence and gift of love on many occasions.  One of them being that hours after she had come back from the comma and not having said much at all, as we tried to assess whether her long-term memory had been irrevocably damaged, she suddenly recognised me and immediately enquired after a benign tumour which I had been diagnosed with days prior to her collapse.  I immediately knew that she knew exactly who I was and to remember something which had been concerning me so, was a real blessing. 

The day I got my sister’s phone call letting me know about what had happened, I immediately went into a shaking fit and I just could not stop.  Last time I ever felt like that was during the birth of my second child.  Having had a c-section first time round, I was determined to not be told ever again that I was “too posh to push”, and so I was in labour for 33 hours after which my body was so worn out, I began to shake uncontrollably and at the risk of my c-section scar tearing, the doctors decided to not let me go on for any longer.  Wasted effort?  Maybe so, but at least no one will ever say again that I chickened out.  Come to think of it, years later a pastor’s wife did say that to others about me when I failed to do ab-sailing, but that’s another story entirely, and one during which I was the one having to dispense much grace to someone else.  It’s funny how the tables can turn and how though we are freely given, we are not so willing to freely give.

Once the shaking ceased, I began to pray and in the midst of my prayers I remembered the army of prayer warriors who have fought alongside me on previous occasions, in the midst of other trials, none as desperate as this one though.  I got in touch with every single person I knew would wholeheartedly and genuinely pray for my mum.  And I say genuinely because it is the easiest thing to say to someone:  “I will pray for you or for what concerns you” and then to turn round and forget all about it.  I knew that these people I was asking to pray for my mum would pray as if it was their own mother that was undergoing such plight, and so I was immediately reassured that whatever would come against me and my family in the spiritual realm would encounter much attack and retaliation, and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  And so it was that for a few Sundays after my mother’s aneurysm the whole of the church I attend, prayed during services for miraculous healing and many of them at home prayed day after day.  Not only members of my church, but other friends and family round the country and many of the people I have befriended through the blog all over the world were also praying for my mum at the very same time.

There are so many things I do not know about the God I worship, so many mysteries and at times painful and distressing question marks which I cannot solve, but what I do know is that when His people are drawn to their knees in humble supplication and with a united spirit; when His people worship him in spirit and in truth, God moves; He shows up and he demonstrates His love in ways which only God is capable of orchestrating. 

To be continued in Part 5

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