Hell and Heaven all at once – Part 5

Continued from Part 4

God gave us the grace to get through each and every single of those 10 days during which my mother was still at high risk of brain failure.  Don’t ask me how, but in my innermost being I knew she would get through it; I knew the Lord had saved her life in a miraculous way.  Not many people who suffer what my mum suffered and with such intensity and gravity come back to tell the story, and those who do will often be left with some sort of brain damage.  One of my cousins’ husband suffered an aneurysm too at the age of 33 and when he came back, he had forgotten all his past.  He did not remember his wife or children and it has taken him years to be able to lead a semi normal life.  Though he does not remember his wife, he has accepted that she is the person he fell in love with all those years ago, and they continue to make a go of their relationship.  The hardest blow of course has been for my cousin who has suddenly found herself without a husband, father and best friend.  I mention this because it has now been two months since my mum got sick, and today she remembers everything except the days she spent in hospital.  God is merciful indeed!  My mother had to be hospitalised twice during that time.  When she first came home, she was not sleeping at all and after a few days her recovery regressed and she lost her speech again.  Her behaviour was very weird and for myself and my family caring for her was the hardest challenge we have ever had to face.  I had to get on my knees quite a few times to beg for the strength to deal with a person whose behaviour had completely changed due to her condition.  She had become aggressive, childish and completely uncontrollable.  And yet, I knew that the hand of God had been and was upon her so clearly; she had been spared for a very good reason, and my family and myself growing in humility and a sacrificial servant’s heart was definitely a big part of it. 

During the time she was home, it was not all bad.  She would not sleep and so my brothers, sisters, dad and myself had to take turns to watch her every move, because she was very unstable and a fall would have been an absolute disaster at that point.  Because of this, somebody had to sleep in the bed next to her every night and me being the one who had come from abroad was staying permanently with my dad to help him out and give him moral support.  During one of those nights, my elder sister stayed in the same room as my mother and I, so that we would take turns keeping an eye on her.  It is impossible for a human being to stay awake every single minute of the night for consecutive nights and not go mad and so we arranged shifts so that not one of us would have more that one sleepless night on the trot.  I will never forget that night.  To begin with my mum was quite lucid and amusing and it reminded me of when we were kids and she would sit with all of us and tell us stories and make us laugh.  That night, we laughed a lot too, but within seconds of that laughter, she would have the most horrible of headaches and her behaviour would change dramatically.  Anyway, those days were very challenging and I am choosing to not dwell on them any more, because what took place was not pretty, and I am not proud of some of the things I said and did, and as God has been merciful to stop my mum from remembering any of that, so I am choosing to put it behind me.  I will just say that my character and resilience have never been stretched so much until that time, and that I am absolutely convinced that what God polished and refined within me during that time will serve me in great stead for what He has in store for me next.  Much repentance and contrition has had to happen since I left my mum behind to come back home and I sure view Jesus and discipleship in a completely different light now.   My faith has been altered and shaken up, but is still there.  I have seen God’s power and might first hand and the “fear of the Lord” in me has magnified tenfold.  All I know is that I know so little and that I am and forever will be at His complete mercy.

Right throughout this experience, Satan and his allies manifested just as strongly as the power of God.  My mother battling with a brain that was seriously malfunctioning, sleepless nights, my husband and children thousands of miles away, and family tensions at their highest peak, surely nothing else would be thrown at us.  Wrong!  The day before my mother was meant to be discharged from hospital the first time and as we were making some serious changes round my parents house to facilitate her moving round the house with ease and to reduce risks to a minimum, my father got run over by a car at a zebra crossing.  He was thrown forward  a couple of meters but apart from a sprained knee, he walked or limped home unharmed.  He is 74 years old.  If that is not another miracle, I don’t know what is.  Of course his injured knee meant that he could not look after my mum as well as he hoped and that he himself now needed looking after, so there I found myself once again at another hospital waiting to hear about my dad.  It almost felt like God was trying to tell me something, and I had not been listening, or perhaps my family had not been listening.  After all, I was the one who kept reminding them all along that I had half my village back in England and people on the other side of the Atlantic praying for mum, but my hope and excitement were often thrown back at my face with sarcasm and doubt.  The day my dad was run over and walked away pretty much unharmed, sarcasm turned to awe and humility and doubt turned to certainty, the certainty that GRACE was very real and that ONLY faith in Jesus Christ breeds true healing and restoration.

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