For many years my signature statement on my email messages and blog has been:
"Kept by the Hands of God, day by day, come what may!!!"
My first son's middle name means:
"God is standing by my side"
David in Psalm 30: 1-3 gave praise to the Lord Who delivered him from the place of much distress (from death).
"I will exalt you, O LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
O LORD, you brought my soul up from the grave; you have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit."
These scriptures and the above quotes summarizes the events that transpired in my life over the past three months, which also explains my absence from the blog.
Before the events of the last three months, let me back track and share you with some background story about how it all began.
The cough started in 1993 while I was on a duty travel in the North of Nigeria. It was unresponsive to treatment. Soon a cyst that had earlier been seen on X-ray in my chest during a medical examination in 1991 became the suspect. The rib-cracking cough remained even after a major surgery to remove, what turned out to be a benign tumor. from between my heart and lungs. Details about these events and God's deliverance are shared in my book 'Empowered For Victory' (in progress).
From thence on, the respiratory disease became chronic and got progressively worse to the extent that by 2007, I became oxygen dependent requiring 24 hours oxygen supplementation. You can read Stepping Out In Faith and Praise That Breaks The Yoke (click on the links) for more information about how this condition affected my life and the diverse ways God intervened on my behalf.
Fast forward to 2013.
It was a phone call… Long awaited phone call... It came when least expected.
I was deep in the middle of the preparation for a Women's Seminar in church, an event I was looking forward to with great expectation.
I did not hear much of what he said, my mind had wandered far away.
"Are you ready?" He asked.
My heart skipped a beat and began to race. Panic…
Am I ready?
I muttered a weak "Yes"
"See you in the hospital," with that he signed off. It was the Head of Pulmonology unit who called.
Panic. Panic.. Panic…I sat there on the sofa and tried to calm myself down.
God now? You are in control, I whispered in prayer. Called my husband to return back home. An hour later, the ambulance was at our doorstep and we left for the city 60km away from
specialist centre is located. That was Saturday April 13th, 2013. Geneva
I remembered praying and asking God to hold me in His Hands. I remembered telling my husband I will be back as I was wheeled away from him to the theatre.
My next recollection was on a day I thought was April 22nd when I told the nurse that the following day was my wedding anniversary. I am not sure if that indeed happened or it was in my subconscious. From the bits and pieces of information I have been able to put together of the events that transpired during that period, it seemed most unlikely.
I was told that the surgery itself went very well. They finished in the early hours of April 14th. That I developed severe complications post-surgery to the extent that coma was induced. I was in that state for almost 4 weeks. I learnt was on heart-lung machine (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation), haemodialysis and ventilator, to sustain my systems during this period.
Subsequently, I had another far-reaching complication which resulted in life-changing consequences, details of which will come later. I was transferred back to
on May 15th.
I spent almost 8 weeks in ICU in the two hospitals. Geneva
He Gave Me Victory
It was a battle for my life. But not only medically but in the unconscious state I was, I also battled for life in several scenes I saw. I still don't understand them fully. Day and night became merged together. The clock was ticking but time was meaningless. Pain, distress and overwhelming discomfort were my constant companions. "It has come to pass, it has come to pass" - was my sing-song.
In all of these, God gave us victory. I was like a burning stick snatched out of fire, a branch plucked out of fire (Zechariah 3:2). God rescued me from the jaws of death as He rescued Daniel from the power of the lions (Dan. 6:27).
I give praise to God that we hearkened to His voice when He asked us to raise a clarion call for prayers. We had called some of our close friends and our family to stand in the gap for us. Read At The Precipice Of Despair for more information.
"I will not die but live to declare the Word of God" - was my constant declaration. My mind was a battle field as the enemy brought all sorts of suggestions. I had to use the Word of God stored up within me to keep my mind from going off track to places I didn't want it to go. Reading the Bible or praying in this state is difficult, if not impossible. It is the Word that has been stored up in you that will flow back and you will speak out to override every suggestion of the enemy and forcefully switch your mind back on the right track.
Psalm 54:1-7 summarizes my experience especially verse 4.
"Surely, God is my helper. He keeps my soul alive."
If it were not for God standing by my side when the enemy of my soul rose up against me, then they would have swallowed me up quick. But thanks be to God Who kept me in His mighty Hands and snatched me out of the jaws of death.
My Heart Will Sing Praises To God
The Lord kept me through the dark night and His mighty Hands lifted me like an eagle soaring over the stormy blast.
"That my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever"- Ps. 30:12.
On Sunday, June 2nd, 2013, after 6 years of continuous dependence on supplemental oxygen, I started to breath without any external support. The ventilator was switched off and the oxygen tube removed, I took a deep breath on my own and oxygen saturation remained stable.
My heart sang for joy, it was like a dream — when the Lord turned away our captivity we were like them that dream. Then my mouth was filled with laughter and my tongue with singing…(Ps. 126: 1,2)
God, You are good,
God, You are kind
God, You are wonderful
My God, You are excellent
Oh! I worship the Lord. My soul magnifies His Holy name. I will sing psalms and shout for joy. God has been good to me and my family. He broke the gates of brass and cut the bar of iron asunder. The shackles are broken and I am set free. God is worthy of my adoration. I will prostrate before Him and give Him thanks.
I thank God for the gift of life and for the love and care of my dear husband, our sons, families and friends. We were blessed with remarkable friends and family who faithfully stood by us during this period.
Many see me now and are amazed, some even burst into tears of joy especially those who knew where I was coming from and what happened post surgery. To see me breathing on my own, no tubes attached to me and talking with fullness of life, is overwhelming even for me. I am a wonder unto many, even to my doctors, nurses, care givers and therapists. Everyday God gives me brand new testimonies and reasons to give praise to Him.
I thank God for the grace He has given me to go through this period and to prepare me for the next phase. My hospital stay has been lengthened by the complications I suffered after the first surgery. The next phase requires a lot of rehabilitation. The Lord Who brought me this far does not do half measures. As He promised, He will restore my health and heal my wounds. He will surely perfect all that concerns me.
God's dealings with me are for a reason and a purpose. I will not miss out of that purpose in Jesus name. I receive the grace and strength to live the new life ahead of me.
You are blessed and kept by the Hands of our Loving Father!