In October 2018, my sisters and I met for breakfast in a nearby café. As we laughed and shared our experiences of God’s grace, the topic of childbirth was discussed. My sisters openly shared their pregnancy journeys and their time in the delivery room. Being one of two persons around the table yet to experience the miracle of childbirth, I was slightly petrified by some of their stories. A few months later, your girl was pregnant!
I had an amazing pregnancy until week 39 ( 40 weeks is considered to be full-term). I had no experience of morning sickness or any other severe pains. You see, everyone’s experience of pregnancy will be different. Do not be turned off by someone else’s story if you are planning on having children in the future. God will give you a pregnancy which is designed just for you.
At 39 weeks, I was diagnosed with mild preeclampsia, which led to a scheduled induction. Preeclampsia is an illness which is characterised by swelling in one’s hands, face and feet due to water retention. It is also marked by high blood pressure and protein in one’s urine. While its exact cause is unknown, it is believed to stem from issues with the placenta.
According to BabyCenter UK, it causes the flow of blood through the placenta to be reduced and can mean that the baby won’t get enough oxygen and nutrients, which may restrict their growth . The only cure for preeclampsia is to have the baby as soon as it is safe to do so.
In my BC (Before Christ) days, I remember laughing at Kim Kardashian when she too was diagnosed with preeclampsia. Pictures of her swollen face and ankles painted the internet and your girl was loving it. She was induced at 34 weeks.
It’s great to know that we have such a merciful and forgiving God. He did not let me suffer because of my past, but showed that his grace was sufficient. Thank you Lord.
As I approached my induction date, I looked forward to feeling a contraction. I remember asking my best friend, “What does a contraction feel like?” She described it as a menstrual cramp, but ten times worse. I laughed, but she was spot on!
Following a 24 hours induction process, I was greeted with contractions. It was a pain I had never experienced before. They did warn that an induction was more painful than a normal labour, as with a normal labour, contractions are gradual. On the other hand, the contractions which stem from an induction are more intense, they go from 0 to 100. Throughout the pain, I called on God, but I did not feel his presence.
To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 NIV
It’s interesting, God did say that childbirth was meant to be severe. However, I couldn’t imagine a pain of such nature. As a Christian, I am not immune from suffering. The difference between a believer and a nonbeliever should be how we cope with pain. How we use the Word to bring hope and peace through difficult times.
Nonetheless, even a believer can struggle to see God through physical pain. I struggled in the beginning of my labour. I was not like Job, who did not sin when he was faced with sores all over his body. He did not even wish death upon himself.
“Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Job 2:8-10 NIV
In the beginning of my labour, I was more like Paul who prayed for God to remove the thorn from his flesh.
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV
Throughout the pain, I called on God, but no response (so I thought). I felt that God had forsaken me. I searched for his presence; I needed him desperately.
As I reflect on my time in the delivery room. I knew that God was right there with me. As I turned to my right, I saw God’s love through my husband’s eyes. He held my hand and together we worked on my breathing techniques. When I lost all my strength, my husband reminded me of how to breathe. I was thankful that I had the support of my other half. Some women go through labour on their own, while others cannot cope with another person being around them.
As I turned to my left, I felt God’s presence. Through my mother’s touch, I experienced his love and saw His heart. Mother and I held hands and we prayed together. At times when I couldn’t pray, I heard her whispers. Mother was calm, positive and ever so reassuring. She only had three days left in the country, but God ensured that our little one arrived before her departure.
As I looked ahead, there He was, covered in scrubs. Through the words of the doctor, I knew that I was well looked after. She made decisions that were only based on God’s wisdom and insight. She did everything she could, to ensure that we were safe. Through the pain, I felt that God had placed a trusting spirit within her.
God dropped the miracle in, when I pleaded for an epidural to ease my pain. My family insisted for the doctor to perform an internal examination instead. I was 10cm dilated when she checked! Oh the room was filled with laughter when we heard the news. There was no need for an epidural! God knew that this was not his plan for me.
When I thought God was finished with me, He passed the baton to a midwife who had 18 years of experience. She came just in time for the third and final leg. She too was a Christian who was missing church on Sunday. She said, “God is right here with you.” God had used her to speak to me. He knew I needed this reminder; it gave me the strength I needed for the final hurdle. Our little one arrived at 8:45 am on that blessed Sunday, we left the hospital on that Sunday.
In that delivery room, God was truly at work. I was in a private room with the best technology. I had trained staff around me. Thanks to the National Health Service (NHS), I could leave the hospital without worrying about paying a hefty bill. No need to worry about health insurance! How blessed are we?
Sometimes in our suffering we can struggle to see God. God in the storm doesn’t always look like God. Sometimes it may take a few months or even years to realise it was all Him. If only we can learn to focus only on the good, how amazing would this be. It reminds me of this scripture,
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 NIV
Why does God permit us to suffer?
Perhaps you’re in a delivery room of your own at this present time. That place where you’re in extreme pain and you’re waiting to give birth to a new life, a new beginning or a new opportunity. You’re waiting for God to come through for you, but it’s taking some time. You’re wondering why did God allow this to happen. I asked questions as well. Why did God permit me to go through such a long labour? Why did God permit an induction?
I believe that God wants us to share our experiences of His love with others. He wants us to share our stories with others to provide comfort. He wants us to tell others how He provides comfort in our times of suffering. In times of suffering, His angels may be disguised, we just need to pay close attention.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
Lord, thank you for remembering me in my time of suffering. Sometimes I may not be able to feel your presence, but I know that you are there.
Lord, teach me to be like Job in times of physical pain. Let my pain not cause me to sin, but let me lean on you instead.
Thank you God for always looking over me, for not leaving nor forsaking me. May you continue to provide opportunities for me to experience your loving presence. May you continue to comfort me, so I can learn to comfort others.
In Jesus name I PRAY, Amen
God bless you for reading.
The most perfect example of love
Is God’s gift of His one and only son
To give means to love
To show others that your heart
To give means to tell others
They are truly important
They are your brothers and sisters
They are not forgotten
Be cheerful in your giving
Do it without frowning
Give in different ways
It doesnt have to be silver, gold or diamonds
Just give what you can
Give your time
Give your laughter
Give a listening ear
Show that you truly care
Always give back to others
It is only by giving you can receive
More than what you already have
Give in secret
Give to the poor
Give when you know you get nothing in return
God gave you two hands for a reason
One to help yourself
The other to help others
Give with the helping hand
Give what you can
Show that you are truly human.
Inspired by the following scriptures:
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:2-4 NIV
2. All riches and wealth come from you; you rule everything by your strength and power; and you are able to make anyone great and strong.
Lord, give me a heart like thine. Heavenly Father, thank you for blessing us with this earth and everything in it. Lord, thank you for making me a steward of your gifts. Heavenly Father, let me not hold tightly to anything of this world, especially when I see my brother or sister in need. Lord, teach me how to give with an open my heart. I want to be a cheerful giver at all times. Lord, let me remember that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are true gifts which can also be shared with others. Let me use these gifts to serve others.
Every now and then
I stop and think how God intervened
how He rescued
how He healed
Every now and then
I close my eyes and smile
I think of His unfailing Love
which come from above
Every now and then
I look at the birds, skies and seas
His glory can truly be seen
Every now and then
He touches, embraces
kisses me gently
He tells me I’m loved
I’m wonderfully made
It is He who created me
Every now and then
I glimpse at the heavens
I search for his presence
I search the Bible
I race to church
Then he nudges me
He whispers softly
“Not every now and then,
Not every so often
Search for me within your heart
for that’s where I’ll always be.”
Poem inspired by the following scriptures:
1. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
2. “But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV
Father, thank you for chasing me with your goodness. Thank you for always rescuing me in times of weakness. Lord, there are times when I may lose my faith in you; times when I may feel you are not near. Lord, nudge me gently, remind me that your spirit dwells within me. Lord, fill me with your perfect strength today. Fill me with your perfect love. I need you God today and every day.
May God richly bless you 🙂
In the early hours of August 3rd 2018, my husband and I sat in the corridors of our local hospital. My anxiety had led to panic attacks, which triggered tremendous fear. It was the safest place for me at the time. I was surrounded by persons who knew what this was all about; it provided reassurance for my other half.
On August 11th, we decided it was probably best for me to take a mini break and return to the Caribbean (home) for a few weeks. My mental health had taken a turn for the worst. The thought of flying made me more anxious. What if I had panic attacks on the flight? It was almost a seven hour flight. One sister looked for the flight, while the other prayed. Mother contemplated as to whether she should book some time off to pay me a visit. I was about to book an appointment with my GP to discuss my mental health, but felt I was running out of time. I had stopped eating and now had a fear of driving. There were numerous ideas floating about; I felt completely lost. In the midst of chaos, something happened.
As I walked down my stairs on the morning of the 11th, a thought came to me, “find a church.” It was as clear as day. I knew it wasn’t my thought. God was not even on my mind. It was a Saturday, were churches opened on a Saturday? Looking back, I believe that this was the moment that Jesus called me.
Jesus loves me
On August 11th, I responded to the call. I met with my spiritual sister and her husband (Reverend) at his home. As he prayed with me, I felt lighter. After not being able to eat, I found myself eating in his home. This wasn’t a regular talk; regular talks would have brought shortlived happiness, this was different. He told me about Jesus’ love for me and His power. I believed Him; my life depended on it. I had given the world a chance and that didn’t turn out so well did it? I needed to give Jesus a chance. On August 11th, I walked away from his home with the belief that Jesus would save me; I slept peacefully for the first time in months.
On August 12th, I attended church for the first time in years. I cried! I was broken, timid and afraid, but I listened and believed every word which was spoken. On that day, I made the decision to let God take full control of my life. I didn’t know the Bible, but I believed in God. On August 12th, I confessed to mother that I needed a Saviour. This was an answered prayer for mother; a wonderful birthday gift.
On August 13th, I resigned from my new role in Adult Services. I had only been there for two days. In all the chaos, I somehow believed that if it was God’s will for me to return, I would return. This was the beginning of me learning to trust God.
On August 13th, I told my husband that I was not returning to work. It was his birthday gift. He wasn’t shocked by the news. He had seen how unhappy I was over the last few months and couldn’t do much about it. I remember him saying, “we will be ok, you’ll find something you love soon.” No questions asked, only his full support.
On August 14th, Shan visited my home. She came to assist with job applications, I was so pleased to see her. My anxiety had made it difficult to remain on my own; her presence was more than enough. We stood in the kitchen area and wept, she said we would get through everything together. Shan had seen how my time in Children Services had broken me, how fear had consumed my life. I had spent four years training for a role which took every bit of me; all the strength I had left.
So on August 14th, we applied for about six different jobs. The same day, my manager emailed, then called to say she was not accepting my resignation letter. This led to me blocking her number! The nerves of this lady, how dare she dismissed my application? We just met. Within a few days of me resigning, I received a number of interviews. I had to make a decision. Do I return to social work or was it time to move on?
On August 17th , I returned to social work. I returned to an old situation, but this time it was different, I had Jesus with me. I took a chance on a man whom I just met. My manager and I sat in a cosy room as we discussed my anxiety. She heard the horror stories in Children Services, but never experienced this type of social work. She provided reassurance and created an action plan with me. She said, “in this job, you will get to kick butt, you will get to fight for the vulnerable.” This was right up my street! You know what, she was right 🙂
Can I say this? I applaud children social workers for their hardwork, commitment and their ability to thrive in stressful situations. There are persons who are made for these roles, persons who have found ways to be emotionally resilient or are well supported to manage these complex yet rewarding roles. I truly appreciate what they do.
After meeting with my manager, my anxiety returned. Most mornings, I stopped at my local petrol station and admired the lady behind the till. She was always happy. I would have happily traded my attire, wages, badge, mobile and laptop in receipt of her smile. I had hit rock bottom. I now smile, because it was here I discovered Jesus.
For the remainder of August, God held my hand. I started to pray more, I needed him every second of the day. Together, we attended meetings, visits and wrote case notes. When I felt fearful, this scripture kept me going.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Each day, my smile got a tiny bit broader. I became more confident in my work, but there was a shift in my spiritual life. I started seeing the world in a different way.
I felt like God was creating a new life within me. I was puzzled, as I asked random questions about life. How was the world created? How and why did God do this? I remember looking at the sky and trying to make sense of it all. Of course, I couldn’t reveal these thoughts to anyone. Can you just imagine me telling others about this? So I went searching, I opened the Bible and started with Genesis.
Genesis provided the answers to the puzzle of life. In the book of Genesis, I saw that the world was made with extreme love. I saw that God’s primary focus was about Him and his relationship with us. Genesis did save me; I saw God’s love and mercy for humans. I felt his love. Looking back, I am certain I wasn’t losing my mind, but the shift was me seeing the world through spiritual eyes.
On August 31st, I was in awe of God when I received my wages. I felt it didn’t belong to me; if it had not been for the grace of God I would not have made it to the end of the month . On that day, I made it my duty to use my gifts to give back to God and to share with others. I saw the importance of tithing. More importantly, it was the beginning of my journey of faith.
A year later, a lot has happened. In August of 2019, I knew that God had sent me to my job to fullfill his purpose. I was not only there to assist the vulnerable clients, but to support those who were spiritually poor. As I read my final review, I knew I had made the right decision.
A year later, God turned my mourning into dancing as I await the birth of Genesis. I am overwhelmed with joy, as it’s a new beginning for me. I am intrigued as I await to see where he leads me. My life is in his hands and it is the best place to be.
A new life
So here’s to hitting rock bottom and understanding that with Jesus we can always make it to the top. Even if God lets us fall a million times, He will always be our Rock. When we feel like we have hit rock bottom, we just need to look up; God is willing and ready to lift us up. Hitting rock bottom can truly be the foundation where one can build a new life, a life built in Christ.
Today, I pray for anyone who is battling with their mental health. Please know it’s nothing to be ashamed of; we are all susceptible to this. I pray that God will provide for you as he does for me. May God send angels in the form of friends, family, managers or work colleagues to you.
I believe in my heart that Jesus is the greatest healer. He not only healed me of my anxiety, but he continues to save me from the attacks and lies of the enemy. However, I am mindful of those whom he has not yet called; the spiritually poor or those weak in faith.
I pray that God directs you to professionals whom he has given the knowlege, skills and wisdom to assist you during this time. Contact your GP if you need to, there might be some underlying health problem which may be undiagnosed.
My brothers and sisters, please check on that friend who has been inactive on social media for the past few days. In moments of depression or anxiety, all hope and joy is stolen. They may not be able to reach out to you, so call or pay a visit. Your support is truly needed at this time.
As I sign off, I beg of you to pray for me. I may not be able to write as much, instead I’ll share some of my poetry with you. Please let me know what you think, as poems are a bit new for me. Looking forward to being back with you soon. May God be bless and keep you.
Love ANG 🙂
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
A few weeks ago, I was disappointed in myself and rather embarrassed of my actions. In an attempt to prevent a hospital admission, I found myself lying to a panel of professionals. When I joined the Adult Services, I was aware of the limited community resources and funding, which made it difficult to support persons with complex health needs. Nonetheless, lying was not an excuse. As a Christian, the truth should permeate every aspect of my life. God is a God of truth.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. Deuteronomy 32: 4
I have always said, a career where I must lie to earn a living was one that I could not be a part of. In this case, I was not forced to lie and this was the difficult part. I had failed to do what was right.
“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin,” James 4: 17
How could I have done such a thing to God? As I write to you, I am reminded of the story of David.
David was an ordinary man, who lived an extraordinary life. He trusted and believed in God, yet he lived a sinful life.
At first, David was a righteous ruler, but power and wealth took a toll on his moral compass. In lusted after Bathsheba, wife of Uriah, called her to the palace and got her pregnant.
David tried to cover his sin by having her husband come home from war and sleep with her (2 Samuel 11:9–13). When that didn’t work, he conspired to have her husband killed in battle (2 Samuel 11:15). He murdered an honest man to protect his affair with his wife, then Prophet Nathan confronted him about it all (2 Samuel 12:1–14).
David was punished for his sins, but God forgave him as well. David later confessed and acknowledged his sins; he hungered for a pure heart once more. God restored their relationship in the end.
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2)
Acknowledgement and Confession of sin
I remember approaching Jesus and feeling a sense of shame and guilt. As I prayed, the words were stuck in my throat, yet I continued. Why didn’t I just walk away?
Over the last year, I had grown to know my Father. Through my daily reading, I had developed a personal relationship with Him. I knew His qualities. My Father is slow to anger; His love is everlasting. He was waiting for me to come to Him, just as David had done.
It was as though he was singing these words to me.
“Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling.
Have you come to the end of yourself?
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling.
O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ.”
Conviction of Sin
As he calmed the storm in my heart, I opened up to him. I asked that He remained in me and I in Him. As we conversed, my heart was lighter, I smiled. God was working in me; I was under construction and this was good. How can God dwell in me if I am not worthy? The Holy Spirit was working in me, He had convicted me of my sins.
And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. John 16:8
The word convict is “to convince someone of the truth; to reprove; to accuse, refute, or cross-examine a witness.” The Holy Spirit exposes anything which is not of Christ and convinces people that they need a Savior. We are convicted when we become mindful of how much our sin dishonors God.
God wants us to live a life which is pleasing to Him; sin dishonors God. When we sin, the Holy Spirit becomes sad because of our disobedience. Yes, the Holy Spirit is Christ himself, with all of His emotions.
And do not make God’s Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the ay will come when God will set you free. Ephesians 4:30 GNB
To make ammends, God desires for us to repent. This in an opportunity for our sins to be wiped away. We repent when we turn away from all which is evil and make it our business to do good.
Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Acts 3: 19
Renew My Heart
I know that God sent his son to die for me and my sins are forgiven, but in no way should I continue to abuse this free gift.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2: 8-9
In no way should wilful sin continue. I craved the opportunity to make it right with God. Not only did I desired forgiveness, but I desired a change of heart.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV
Sanctification and Salvation
As humans, we will never be sinless, but once we come to Jesus a process occurs. First, we receive the Holy Spirit, then we are convicted of our sins, we confess our sins to God, then we repent. God will then continue His purification process (called sanctification), until we grow to become more like Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit’s conviction, there can be no salvation; we cannot be saved from hell.
As I reflect on those past few weeks, I must give God thanks. God used a complex situation to highlight the unholy aspects of my life. Therefore, I must act in obedience. It is good that I have the Holy Spirit to teach me how to live a godly life. This can only be true love.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Titus 2:11-12 NIV
I do not know which sin you are struggling with. Perhaps it’s lying, greed, envy, pride, stealing, adultery or lust. My prayer is that you can find it in your heart to boldy approach God and confess your sins to Him.
May the Holy Spirit convict us of our sins, so we can receive salvation.
May we make it our business to live a life which is pleasing to God. May we crave for a pureness of heart.
If you are reading this and you are not a Christian, thank you for reading until the end. Please know that you are not alone when it comes to sin; we are all born of sin and will continue to sin. However, with the help of the Holy Spirit you can be saved from sin, you just need to come to Jesus. May you be called by Christ Jesus and may you answer His call.
God wants you to know that your sins might be great, but His love is greater than you can ever imagine.
May God bless you richly.
Thank You Dawn (Drawing Closer to Christ), for nominating me for this award. I love how detailed your writings are. When I read your posts, I feel like we are facing each other in a cosy room. I feel relaxed, yet I am in deep thought.I love your honesty and your passion for Jesus Christ.
Please read Dawn’s blog at http://drawingclosertochrist.com
– Thank the blogger who nominated you.
– Tag your post with #awesomebloggeraward.
– Answer the questions given to you.
– Nominate and inform at least 5 bloggers.
– Give them 10 new questions to answer
Questions for me:
1. Who would you want to have dinner with and why?
Lately, I have been listening to Joel Osteen. His messages are uplifting, I can listen to him over dinner, but I might not be interested in my food any more. I’ll ask him about his journey and share mine with him.
2. What inspired you to start writing a blog?
Oh wow! In August of 2018, Jesus came to me. After He healed me from my depression, I found him irrresistable. I had to start telling others about Him.
3. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
A work in progress.
4. What is one thing you learned in childhood that totally changed your life?
Always share with others. Mama would say, “Give and it will be given back to you.”
5. What is your most memorable vacation?
I travel to the caribbean to visit family. I am from a tiny island called St.Vincent and The Grenadines. It’s more like going home, than a vacation , but I truly love it. I enjoy visiting in the xmas season! I am awaken by cocks crowing and music at 6am. I feel like a child all over again.
6. Are you married or single?
Nine years married 🙂
7. Do you have kids, if so how old?
Pregnant with our first child, she is due in August 🙂
8. What do you want to be remembered for?
Representing Christ with boldness.
9. What is your favorite color?
I am into lime green at this moment, but mustard takes the win.
10. Do you have a favorite blog post you want to share?
I love Dawn’s post about her pregnancy.
Here are your questions.
1.What is your country of birth?
2. Are you married or single?
3. Where do you write the blog?
4. How long have you been writing?
5. What made you started writing?
6. How do you choose what to write about?
7.What is your favourite food?
8. What does Christ mean to you?
9. Were you raised in a Christian family?
10. What name do you call God?