Thursday, July 25, 2013

For A Purpose And A Reason

There has been an overwhelming response from families and friends after I shared I Am Back and Kept By The Hands Of God both on the blog and by email. Many of the responses had one message in common beyond joining me to rejoice and give thanks to God, and that is, God has a grand plan for my life.

I have pondered on this truth. I was encouraged to take time to dwell in the presence of God to seek His face to make His grand purpose plain and clear.

Walking The Rough Path:
© Dandamanwasch |

In agreement with Rosann Cunningham of, I also can say "My life has been a non-stop roller coaster ride of faith-building and character-refining trials." God's sovereign hand and control over my life has often placed me in humbling circumstances.

Many years of struggling for breath, the fear of not knowing when things could suddenly go wrong, numberless long stay in the hospital over twenty years, many times flat on my back and confined within four walls. This time, oscillating between the bed and wheel chair for months, loss of independence and autonomy, and at the mercy of others. On top of these, food becomes monotonous, eating a challenge and often with pain. And this is just a tip of the ice-berg of the many challenges, distress and discomfort I suffered.

At such times as described above, it can be too much to bear. Even the most righteous will find it hard to hold back some grumbling and murmuring. It takes grace, divine strength and the knowledge of God's love for you not to focus on the challenges and the little irritations which seems to mushroom the more you think about them.

Not surprising, once you get into that mode, the enemy will bring more stuff to irritate and distress you. So what do you do? I tell you, I have had my fair share of this inward struggle. It takes grace, grace and more grace not to go off track like a derailed train with devastating effects, such as despair, despondency and discouragement.

Things can get to the point where you cry out, "I had enough, I can't take any more."  Prophet Elijah went through such a valley of discouragement and despondency. But see the way God ministered  and revealed Himself to Elijah at the lowest point in his life. He also revealed the purpose He wanted him to fulfil (1Kings 19).

At first, when I contemplated on the limitations the current situation imposed on me, I was confused. I was angry. I wanted to know why. I felt I did not need this kind of complication in my life after all I had been through.

In the midst of my emotional struggle dealing with these complications I had after the first surgery, which necessitated a second surgery, a dear Sista said to me, "No one expects you to be a super Christian, you can approach God and tell Him how you feel, you can ask why, and you can pour out your heart before Him. He is your Father, He will wrap His arms around you and comfort you." That was exactly what I did. He did wrap His arms around me and spoke His peace into my heart, giving me an assurance of what He is about.

This is when an understanding of God as a God of purpose becomes a life-saver.

This situation is for a purpose. I am being processed and refined to fulfill destiny. Last year, I wrote; There Is Purpose In The Process. That message is more real to me now. I refuse to miss the comfort God has for me through this situation. Most importantly, this is not about me, it is for the glory of God to be put on display in my life and for many lives to be impacted and touched for good.

My husband and many others encouraged me; "Focus on the victory God has given you and all He brought you through. Keep the ultimate goal in view, that is, fulfilling your God-given purpose," they said to me. I have come too far to give up now. God gave me the special gift of grace to regain my cheerfulness and to remain positive and focused. Having such an assurance that God's dealings with me are for a reason and a purpose has been a great encouragement.

He ministered to my heart that this situation will only be a limitation if I allow it to be. He has given me the feet of grace to break away from the restrictions and to enable me fulfill His calling upon my life.

We have a choice to view God by our situation or to view our situation through God.

God of Purpose:

There is a divine purpose for everything that happens to us in life. I know for sure that there is a reason for the experiences  and rough roads God has taken me through. Because I know God is a God of precision. Not one event in our lives is purposeless. It is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, which has a definite place to occupy for the final picture to be complete.

Stormie Omatian wrote on her Facebook page; "Don’t let the storms of trials, struggle, grief, or suffering (affliction), make it hard for you to see what is ahead. There is always a place of  calm, light, clarity and peace to be found, if you will take God's Hands and let Him lift you above your circumstances into His rest, comfort and protection."

In the midst of your trials and sufferings, be assured that it is God's purpose and counsel for you that will prevail (Prov. 19:21). God's plans stands forever and the purpose of His heart remains through all generations (Ps. 33:11, NIV). Job said, "God performs His plans for me." What He wants to do is what He does (Job 23: 13-14). God is unchangeable (Heb 6:17). He is working out His purpose in us when He takes through the rough path..

God's purpose for me is definite, unique and unchangeable.

Because of the unchangeableness of  God's purpose and plans, we who are called to inherit the promise can have indwelling strength and strong encouragement to hold fast to hope appointed for us (Heb 6: 18). This hope is a sure anchor for our soul, holding firm and secure through our trials and struggles.

"Hope is the light shinning in the darkness of disappointment."
- Sarah Young (Author, Jesus Today Devotionals)

Jesus walked the rough path to the rugged cross at Calvary for the purpose of reconciling us to the Father. On that rough path, He was beaten, spat on and jeered at, yet He did not utter a word. He is our perfect example.

I have learnt that being the Beloved of God does not grant us immunity from sufferings, tests and trials. If we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ Jesus, we must of necessity suffer with Him, if we are to share in His glory (Rom. 8:17). I have also learnt a deeper depth of hope and faith through my tests and sufferings.

"Faith is a mindset that expects God will act no matter what happens. No matter what I may be going through."

I know that I am going to the nations, that much has been impressed upon my heart. The more I dwell in God's presence in obedience, the more He will reveal His plans for me. He will give me step-by-step directions. I wait with great expectation for God's grand design for my life to unfold.

Whatever you may be going through at this moment, never give up, hold fast to hope, God is working out His purpose in you. Be assured that God has a unique and unchangeable plan for your life, if you will trust Him with your life.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kept By The Hands Of God

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 my God, I called to you for help and you healed 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.

The Beginning

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 Geneva where the specialist centre is located. That was Saturday April 13th, 2013.

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 Geneva on May 15th. I spent almost 8 weeks in ICU in the two hospitals.

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.

Will you join me to worship and adore the Lord Who kept me by His mighty and loving Hands?

You are blessed and kept by the Hands of our Loving Father!