I remember sitting in the Multi-sensory room with my son and telling Natasha (a lovely nurse from Rainbows Hospice) how much I’d felt so grown up in the past months. That is what 2017 was mostly about for me – Growing Up. Not that I’m any older than 27 but I had to learn a lot of things and learn them fast in 2017. The responsibilities that come with motherhood are in themselves daunting but then sometimes you get a bit more than you bargained for.
At the end of the year, most people tend to take stock. Stock of their lives, achievements, successes and even failures. Businesses balance their accounts and prepare for the new year. Then lots of resolutions are being made for the new year, many of which never see the light of the day. Anyway, this is not a post about resolutions…
I started the year with so much expectations and hopes, I was already about 2 months pregnant at the start of the year and was looking forward to being a mum. So it was a bit of a surprise when we went for our first scan in January and the baby was diagnosed with an inoperable neural tube defect. I kinda blanked out of it and felt like all the words the doctor was saying was from a movie or just wasn’t for me.
And so began my 2017 journey… A journey with so many decisions, a journey that drew me closer to my source – God. Sounds cliché like but that’s the simple truth. The typical first response to such news is a lot of prayers for healing and/or change of circumstances but we were at a point where we understood that nothing happens to us without God being aware and thus our prayer points were more guided. Instead we prayed for understanding of the situation and God’s word for the baby’s life.
We had a lot of support and guidance from some brethren that we strongly believe God put in our lives for times like these. They joined us in praying along and God gave us a word which only got clearer a lot later down the journey. Romans 1:20 – “From the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and Divine nature, have been clearly observed in what he made. As a result, people have no excuse.” And thus birthed the name Divine.
At every scan, we were reminded of the uncertainties that lay ahead but we reminded ourselves of the greater purpose of God. We went ahead to prepare for his grand entrance against all odds. The prognosis was basically that he might not survive full term or birth. Therefore, I was scheduled for an induction because the doctor said he would not be able to go into labour naturally as he was missing the hard bit of the skull which presses down.
And thus began the miracles. My due date was 15th of July, an induction was scheduled for two weeks after 29th of July. Everything was medically being planned but little Divine decided to break all the rules. As his doctor fondly said “He didn’t read the books”. My water broke on the 9th of July and Divine was born naturally on the 10th of July, 2017.
As joyful as I should have been, I felt a taint of sadness in not knowing how long he had to live. The journey continued from the hospital to Rainbows Children’s Hospice with lots of visits from medical professionals – doctors, nurses, midwives, health visitors, consultants and carers. Indeed God sent us all the help and support we needed, medically, physically, emotionally and most of all spiritually. We kept trusting God’s divine purpose over every medical diagnosis and prognosis.
Little Divine didn’t have any hope medically but he defied all medical odds for 15 weeks (almost 4 months). He needed almost no medical intervention from birth even with the neural tube defect. Breathing, eating, weeing, pooing, gaining weight all happened in their strides. And we eventually went home after about 6 weeks to experience our everyday lives.
Bus rides, church visits, business trips, going to the office, shopping and lots more happened. We soon got into a very regular routine with Divine and he brought so much joy. Such a peaceful and cooperative little beauty except when hungry. He was a sucker, oh you should see him suck or stick his tongue out with his head full of curls.
But then came the time when his journey on earth was completed. He didn’t suffer at all. He just grew tired and after just under 48 hours in full-time medical care he drew his last breath on daddy’s chest at about 11am on the 24th of October, 2017 to be with his heavenly daddy. Many would class this as “Gone too soon”, we say “A purpose filled life”. 3 months of parenting, 15 weeks of miracles and forever in our hearts.
2017 might hold all the memories of our Firstborn Son but we’ll spend the rest of our days running with the baton he has left. The legacy of a Greater Purpose. One of which is the understanding that we already have enough evidence through creation to see God’s eternal power and divine nature and as such no body has any excuse. The only problem we face is giving up control of our ‘self’s. And this goes across board – Christians or non-Christians alike, Self-sufficiency. We simply ignore the bigger picture.
It is all a matter of faith and since it is the same God that created us that breath His life in us, then we have the innate ability to believe and commit to His ways. This is the journey I am on now. Not a journey of self discovery, nor a journey of success, not a journey to make something out of my life nor a journey to be someone great but a journey to be conformed to the life of the one who came to save me.
A Journey of Faith, a Journey of Purpose, a Journey of Discipleship.
That the Scripture might be fulfilled “And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans. For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him—and all along he knew who would—should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the First, with many brothers.” – Romans 8:28-29
This is not a post to invoke pity or attention but to remind us all of our greater purpose. Jesus’ birth, life and death was not just for us to celebrate Christmas or Easter or share Bible stories (nothing is wrong with those). It was for a greater purpose of saving us from our selfish nature and conforming us to the image of Christ (vs 29, above); and until we fulfill this purpose, we have not yet arrived at God’s destination for our lives.
2017 is not the end of the Journey, it is just the beginning…
… Have a Purposeful New Year!