NOTE: I am writing this to simply tell about God’s revelation of His grace and love in our lives as a family. I speak of this not out of self-confidence as some might assume. I speak out of my confidence in the power of God’s love.
In such a spoilt world where there’s so much wretchedness and grief, it’s either we choose to believe in God’s promises or we let ourselves be governed by our emotions due to the things that we witness in this physical world. But making the right choice is never easy especially during difficult times. And one day, I learnt the hard way and, boy, was it a life-changing experience.
My 6-year-old son Bori suddenly got sick. For 2 consecutive days at home, my boy was complaining about a pain in his left neck and a very bad headache. He literally couldn’t move his head at all and with every strained movement he would be in a very excruciating pain. I knew he was in serious pain since he was a very lively boy with so much audacity and brightness. We gave him some paracetamol to ease the pain but it kept on getting worse. On the third night, all he could do was cry so my husband and I took him to the hospital straight away.
I prayed for God to supply us with the right people while we were on our way. I read a lot of real-life stories from social media that a lot of medical staff can really be unkind to patients. But then I thought, what’s the difference? Everyone can be so unkind sometimes regardless their profession or state in life. However, thinking about it didn’t help.
My in-laws accompanied us all the way. They’ve always been my unwavering source of strength and support when it comes to caring for my son. Their love is undivided and unbiased towards their grandchildren and I couldn’t thank God enough for their lives. When we got into the emergency room (ER), the doctor did seem like what the social media posts had said. But then, I thought that I was just probably so high with so much anxiety and worry for my child’s well-being that seeing someone so unsympathetic towards the situation was all the more disheartening for me as a parent. I wanted to get angry but then I suddenly remembered my prayer and reiterated it in my mind.
“God, supply me with the right people,” I prayed.
Then just after a few moments, I looked outside the door and there was my cousin who was a nurse on duty at that time. I never knew that he worked there! He waved at me and the doctor saw our gestures to each other. At that point, I really felt that the doctor became more engaged during our conversation. My cousin stayed with us until we left the ER. It gave me a sense of composure that somehow a close family member from the medical industry was around to ensure that we were being attended to. Thank you JJ. You were one of the right people that I was praying for.
After a few tests, Bori was sent to his assigned room. It was a ward located at the 4th floor of the hospital. It was already occupied by a few patients, two of who were kids but were in no such agony like my son was. Then, he was given some painkillers and felt a little less in pain for a moment.
I sat beside him and smiled. I asked him how he was feeling and he said that he still had a very bad headache. I could tell. Then he said to me,
“Inay, parang hindi yata tunay si papa Jesus.” (“Inay, I’m starting to think that Jesus isn’t real.”)
My heart slightly cracked upon knowing that doubt slightly lingered in the heart of my child just as it lingered in mine as I see him being robbed of his lively spirit. But then I told him that it’s the devil who wants him sick. And that Jesus is so sad to see him that way. I then assured him in his heart that Jesus was at work and will definitely kick the enemy’s bum.
I barely slept. Half the night I was doing some online research and half I was massaging my son’s head to keep his headache from waking him up. I was tired. I thought of my bible which I brought with me. I thought of pulling it out of my bag and reading it but my mind was full of thoughts which the world has been feeding me. I was afraid. I had no clue about the findings yet. There were no sign of doctors, too, just nurses who were actually quite very nice. But all I wanted to do was find a fast forward button.
Next day, my son was initially visited by his doctor. She’s been my son’s pediatrician once from some years back though I could tell that she couldn’t really remember my son anymore. As for the findings, she couldn’t tell what it was yet and told us that the meds will be supplied and she’d be back the next morning. I was so disappointed. I was itching to know what was wrong with my son.
That morning, my mother-in-law asked me to go home and take a shower. I didn’t want to leave my son but she insisted to look after him for a while.
My husband and I went home. We barely said a word to each other. Barely looked at each other in the eyes. Both of us were weary and very sad. Regardless of what I long thought was a very dramatic thing to do, I cried in the shower. I guess, during such times it really can’t be helped. I just wanted to wash off all the photographic memory of my son in pain, almost trying to rip his hair off of his head. I wanted all my motherly pain to drain away. But it was a quick shower. A quick release yet it didn’t really do much.
By the time we got back to the hospital, my husband and I already got what we prayed for financially – in full cash.
When we got back, my mother-in-law told us that my son was complaining and crying about his very bad headache again. I had to massage his head again ALL AFTERNOON. He was very lethargic. I guess it was the antibiotics that they gave him just that morning. And so he slept a lot. Whenever he stirred, he would complain about his neck and his headache. Then, I noticed that the lump on his neck was getting much more swollen by the hour.
It was raining. How gloomy could things get, I thought. Just before dusk, my son had another shot of antibiotics. Then, he woke up due to the extreme pain from both his head and his neck. The lump on his neck got a lot bigger. He could barely get up and sit. He screamed in pain as I watched him helplessly. I felt my heart crumble into tiny sore pieces. Bori was asking me if he’d ever get better. I didn’t have the words to respond. I just held him tight. I was holding it all in like a dam about to break from the weight of a great flood of emotional pain.
Then I saw her walking in – a comrade for caffeine or for worse, Nathalie. I think she was pretty much the closest to me (apart from my husband and in-laws) who saw how my son suffered the terrible pain.
Being a mom herself, I knew at some point she felt my pain, too. I was close to breaking down if it weren’t for her words that matched her tough yet comic facial expression,
“O.. Mukhang mauuna ka pa yata umiyak kesa kay Bori.” (“Looks like you’re already about cry before Bori could even get his chance.”)
And just in the midst of our conversation, my son calmed a little.
She asked me how things were and I finally had a chance to talk about how I felt. I realized upon telling her that I haven’t had anything to eat for the last 24 hours. I literally couldn’t eat and I remember my in-laws complaining about it. It’s like my intestines were twisted into knots or something.
Then Nath told me, “Aba’y kakain ka dre. Mahina na nga ang bata ay ikaw [ay gagaya] pa. (You gotta eat, dre. When the kid’s already weak, you can’t afford to be weak, too.) You gotta be strong for the kid.”
I knew her best for raising her kid with a tough-love approach which I think really pays off since her daughter is growing up to be an independent young little lady. That time, such was what I needed – a boost from a co-mom, not to mention the dose of caffeine that she brought for me. Strongly brewed, black and slightly sweetened – just like the friend that she is. By the time she left, I already felt a little better. I remember my prayer, “Lord, supply me with the right people.” I certainly knew that she was one of them.
When my son woke up again from the headache that night, it was when it finally hit me. God kept on supplying us with the right people. I knew right then and there that God was responding to my prayer. I don’t really believe in coincidences. I suddenly realized that my emotions were the culprit in keeping me from trusting in the Lord Jesus and in the power of His love. I was busy “hoping” but I didn’t really have “faith” in what He could do – same thing my dear discipler told me: Hope is not enough. You got to have faith that all things will come to pass. It was in the same moment that I went to reach for my Bible and read the whole Chapter 53 of Isaiah, emphasizing on verse 5:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
I read it aloud regardless the surroundings, declared it with a firm fist. Then my husband and I prayed over our son steadfastly regardless the people around us, regardless our parental worries and fears, regardless our horrifying assumptions due to too much online research. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to lead me since I did not know what to pray for.
I suddenly found myself praying for my own physical endurance and strength, which I found strange at that moment. Why would I be praying for myself? That would seem selfish! This is not how I would choose to pray given this circumstance, I thought. But then, I just assumed that God directed me to pray like so since I was kinda tired and all – but not long ‘til I realized that the Holy Spirit was leading me to something else. I needed to stay up for something grand that the Lord was about to do. I stacked 3 pillows to support my son’s back as he laid down. I told Him I love him very much and he responded with a smile.
God prompted me to acknowledge my place in His heart not through my own doings – I knew my works are all in vain – but instead by the perfect work of Jesus Christ on the cross. I acknowledged the truth that Jesus has conquered sickness and death for us from the very day He died and rose from the grave so that today, we can live a blessed life. That moment I was willing to believe and acknowledge this truth and nothing and no one could’ve made me think otherwise.
I started to cast out the sickness out of my son’s body, saying: “Sickness, infirmity, I command you in the mighty name of Jesus to leave my son’s body. He’s promised that by Jesus’ stripes, my son is healed. I refuse to live a sickly life for me and my family. I believe and receive healing for my son, in Jesus’ mighty name. Whatever’s causing my son pain, drain out of his body now. Be uprooted.” I was holding my son’s head and holding God’s Words at the same time. It was such an extraordinary feeling to be stripped off of all the emotions and just let the words flow out. It was as if everything was suddenly on mute, on pause, or something in between. God helped me prayed the whole night. I was sure I wouldn’t have done it alone, given the fact that I haven’t slept from the previous night either.
Somewhere in the middle of the night, Bori woke up. We immediately asked him how he was. He said that he was feeling fine. No pain. But still he couldn’t really turn his neck all the way to the sides because of the lump. I had to ask him a few times every time he would stir up and he would always say there was no pain. His neck was swollen but the pain was just not there. He was finally able to smile. I continued to pray deep into the night, casting the sickness out, commanding it to drain out of my son’s system. Then, finally, he slept deeply.
Morning came, I barely had sleep and woke up somewhat expecting some major headache but, amazingly, I had none. I actually felt fine. I was like, “Wow, Lord. So, that’s what the prayer for strength was for.” Then my husband noticed that the lump on Bori’s neck had shrunk! Not fully, but it did shrink drastically. I was deeply in awe. I praised and couldn’t contain myself on how to thank God. I had to reach for my Bible and came to read Isaiah Chapter 55, entitled “The Compassion of the Lord”. After which, I came to verse 11 of the chapter, it says:
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
I felt God telling me, “I told you I keep my promises.” At the same time, I had goose bumps all over. A good kind.
That early morn when Bori woke up, he asked me to look at him as he got up from the bed. Show off, haha. Still kind of stiff but he did it all by himself. He was in no pain. We prayed together and reminded him that Jesus has kept his promise to him. The young little man that he is, I’m happy that he believes that God made him well and that Jesus is indeed REAL and loves him very much.
His doctor came that morning, I was sure she was also surprised by Bori’s speedy recovery. She told us that it was a lymph infection (presumably from his recent skin infection which he got after swimming in some pool). She said we’re good to go the next morning, will just have a follow-up check-up after a week and will continue the meds just to be sure. Then, she told us that she’ll help cut some cost with the meds. I was just beginning to think that she was also God-send since we had a few other doctors to opt from during the time. By the time we were issued with the hospital bill, we discovered that our doctor had also saved us from paying her extra healthcare taxes. That’s when I thought, “Yep, she’s definitely God-send. Thank you, Lord. You’ve done it again.”
3rd Night/ 4th Morning
From that day up until our last evening at the hospital, Bori was already up on his toes and is his usual “makulit” and “matakaw” self again, creating so much happiness around the people at the ward. That night, I thought of all the things that I could be thankful for, for the support of our friends and families, especially to my mom (overseas) who ceaselessly encouraged me to trust in God’s promises. This has been another established altar between me and God that I will forever cherish. This time, I realized that His love can truly manifest in our lives if we simply let go and find rest in Him. He truly cares – from our littlest concerns to our biggest struggles.
The next morning, we were finally discharged from the hospital. In just a nick of time, we were home again, finally.
To tell you the truth…
I have struggled upon writing this, thinking about what other people might say. But as Jesus stood for me, I’ll stand for Him on this one. This is my personal response for His great love. It’s the least I can do to thank Him. To tell the world that He lives in all of us and that His love makes us endure.
People might say, “Oh, it’s just the meds kicking in at the time or whatever” or “It didn’t work out for me like that.” They will probably say such things, especially for those who have gone through a lot and differently. They’re entitled to their own opinion and I respect that. I do not have all the answers to why such things happen to people either. Plus, I am no better than any person in this world. I am far from perfect of a mother, let alone human. All I know is that Jesus gave such a wonderful gift of life when he died in order to end our sufferings, simply because He is the God of Love and that He loves us.
I know in my heart that despite my broken humanness, Jesus’ love manifested from the time I chose to have faith (despite it being a wobbly one), which is why I believe that this was all his doings. It could’ve gone differently and I knew that despite all my humanly efforts, my ways are not His ways; my thoughts are not His thoughts.
HE HELPED ME cling onto faith into His promises, believing that He already had a plan to make the situation work for the good. What I want to say is: I believe that Jesus is in the midst of us, in us, and forever and always reaching out in every possible way because He loves us.
Christ didn’t die in vain. It was for a cost and that is to pay for something that no man can truly pay for, that is our sins and all that follows after it – including that of sickness. Now that He lives, he has already conquered everything. And with Him living in us, He will make us conquer. He will always work things out for our good no matter how the world tends to mess things up for he’s promised that “though we may stumble, we will not fall for the LORD upholds us with his hand” (Psalm 37:24).
Brewers, in times of need, I encourage you to recognize His promises, read His love letters for you – the Bible. It gives life. Invite Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior. During trials, acknowledge His broken body that hung on the cross. It was all for you and me – for our wholeness. Discover all the good things that He has in store for your life. I’m most excited for you.