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Esther's Story

Is God in our suffering - telling my story.

  I really shouldn’t be alive today! I suffered severe pneumonia with sepsis in 2016. As a result, I was treated by 3 different hospitals and was in ICU for 3 months and hospitalised for 17 weeks. My condition was so serious that my family was told to say good-bye to me on more than one occasion. However, by the grace of God, I survived!

  When I came out of sedation after my first month in ICU, I had lost all muscle mass. I thought
 I was paralysed from neck down. I was fitted with a tracheostomy  (an incision made in the windpipe through the base of my neck to help me breath), which meant I could not speak. Unfortunately, when the tracheostomy was being
 inserted, it tore the back of my windpipe causing devastating complications.

  I woke up in ICU, with complete loss of movement and communication, connected to all sorts of machines, beeping periodically. I was being fed through a nasogastric tube which was also connected to a machine to monitor my hourly intake. I had to be bathed and “toiletted” in bed. I had lost all independence and stripped of all dignity. Like a “pin-cushion”, I constantly had injections and blood extractions for tests. As I couldn’t move, I had to be “turned” every few hours to prevent bed sores. To top it all, experiencing extreme tiredness and excruciating pain from the chest drains which were inserted to drain out the air that had escaped through the hole in the windpipe, which then had formed air pockets between my lungs and the chest wall, causing my lungs to collapse.

  Those few months in hospital were the most horrific experience of my life. The prognosis of the operation that I needed to mend the hole in my windpipe was not good. My chances of going home was slim. My family and I were devastated, we felt helpless and lost, angry at the circumstances, fearful emotions flooded our world.

  Huge questions come to mind.“Why me?”. Some trying to sympathise, asked “If God really works for the good of those who love him, why didn’t He stop this from happening?”. Some theological reasoning were being offered such as, “God will only give us trials that we can handle” or “God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts", which then brings me back to “why me?” again! People do mean well, but sadly these reasonings did not help. I then decided to draw my strength from “who” God is, instead of “why”.

  I clung on to one of God’s many attributes, “Faithfulness” which gave me most comfort.
Psalm 89:8 Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. The hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” kept playing in my mind over and over while lying in ICU. Especially the chorus......

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.

  Every day His mercies are new, they never run out. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” a beautiful promise from the King James Version of Jeremiah 33:3. I called out to Him every day, searching for a miracle. This gave me strength to persevere.

  Peace that surpasses all understanding came over me. Despite the uncertainties that was before me and my family, our hope was in The Lord. God promised in
Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. We were in His righteous right hand, loved and secure for we knew, that our God is faithful to His Word.
  Through the sustaining power of prayer by all who prayed for us around the globe, the hole in my windpipe was healed naturally without the operation. According to the Surgeon, it was a miracle! God had heard our cry and had been faithful. 

  The great preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “God’s people have always found out the best of their God when in the worst of conditions.” Job in the Old Testament is the perfect example of this. His story can hardly be equalled. Yet after all he endured, Job was able to declare “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5). In the midst of suffering - I can say “my eyes have seen You, Lord. Now I don’t just know about You, I know You!” Through suffering, I am certain that if we will look past the pain of what we are experiencing, we can see God in our own story, suffering alongside us, comforting, strengthening, and carrying us through our seasons of darkness. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. Lamentations 3: 22. Hallelujah!

  In times of trials, when nothing makes sense, remember we have a Faithful God. Choose to persevere with Him, as promised in James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

  My health has suffered a serious knock back as my lungs had been rather severely damaged. However, the suffering was worth it, for I now have seen God and I know who He really is. I know I can trust Him under all circumstances, because in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose Romans 8:28.

by Esther Beaumont