In April 2013, I had a life-threatening chest surgery and developed severe complications thereafter. I was in induced coma for the next four weeks. Because of these complications, I suffered insufficient blood flow and oxygen supply to my hands and feet resulting in necrosis of the cells. My husband was told that amputation of both my hands and feet may become necessary but they decided that decisions on this will wait until I came out of coma.
When I came out of coma, I realized that something was very wrong with my hands. They trembled almost nonstop. I could not hold anything without dropping it. My fingers were discoloured with bumps and swellings around them. My nails disfigured with dark bands across them. I wrote about this in the blog post: Blog Post 100: Not Static. Not Stagnant.
It was difficult to feed myself or write. It took almost 30 minutes to type one sentence of text message. It was a frightening and frustrating experience. While all these were going on, my mind was plagued with the thought of not being able to write again. It was simply unimaginable for me not to be able to write. Writing was non-negotiable. I knew I have been called by God to write. He placed the passion to write inside me and for me it is a foregone conclusion that I am God’s warrior of words. At this time, my writing future looked bleak. But I had to hope against hope that God would restore my hands. I refused to accept anything to the contrary.
God gave my husband and I an assurance that He has given me the Feet of Grace and I believed that the grace also extended to my hands and so by extension, I have the Hands of Grace. I realized in 2010 that my hands are a gold mine when God impressed on my heart that I was sitting on a gold mine and led me to start writing actively (see Sitting on a Gold Mine).
Slowly but surely, God restored strength to my hands. Healing and restoration became manifested as I began to hold the cutlery and fed myself. I started writing what looked like chicken scrawl, which became more and more legible as time went on. By July, I was able to type on my laptop and my physiotherapist encouraged me to practice this as often as possible to strengthen the muscles of my fingers. Even though, I had three fingers in bandage at that time, it did not stop me, I started blogging again right there in the hospital.
With the confidence that there will be a complete restoration of the use of my fingers, a desire began to stir up within me to have an income generating activity. I knew it might still be a while for me to go back to my professional career as a Nutrition Specialist and I was not even sure at time if I still wanted to do that fulltime especially within the context of my new definition of normal. I had a strong desire to be able to support my husband with the huge burden my medical expenses had placed on our finances. It was in the process of ruminating on this that the thought of beading and making jewelry with semi-precious gemstones was laid on my heart.
Right there, in the hospital, I started to research the subject. I took online courses and made my first order for the materials and tools required. I drafted my business plan and formulated my vision for my beading business. Within a couple of weeks of returning back home in August, after 4 months hospital stay, my materials, books and tools began to arrive.
I made my first bead necklace set in September and wore it for my thanksgiving on Sunday, September 29th, 2013. It was in October, that God reminded me of the dream He laid upon my heart in 2009. In the search for an article I wrote years ago, which I wanted to include in my book, I stumbled on another document titled: “My Dreams and Vision,” in which I wrote my desire to have a Youth Center that will provide scripture-inspired apparels for our youth. I could not find such apparels with inspired inscriptions in English readily available in my city and I believed that these could provide great opportunities of youths to share their faith in God. It was a much-needed confirmation that I was in the right direction.
My friend and Sista, during her visit to Geneva in November 2013, encouraged me to make my jewelries with a difference; “Let it tell a story.” I pondered for many months after that: “what story can my jewelry tell to make them unique?” In a flash, it came while I was preparing for the launching of the jewelry. They can certainly tell of the grace of God in restoring my hands and indeed, my health. I knew I could not talk about Hands of Grace Creations without sharing the testimony of God’s amazing grace in restoring me to life and full health.
On Saturday, March 8th, 2014, Hands of Grace Creations made its debut as we launched the handmade beads jewelries, made by hands that were once considered for amputation because of the season of lifelessness and loss of functionality that visited them. The God Who restored the dead body of Lazarus to life and wholesomeness, the same God Who caused dry bones to live again is the God Who restored life and functionality to my hands. He caused them to do detailed work of beading, creating beautiful and unique pieces, in addition to writing the words God keeps giving me.
Indeed, I have recovered all. Not only did I recover the capacity to write again, I recovered much more. I was compensated with the skills to bead and do detailed beading work with my hands (Gen 14:16, 1Sam 30:18).
Each piece of jewelry I make is assigned a name, which describes the attributes of God and denotes a piece of my testimony of Who God has been to me through my seasons of storm, affliction and trials. They speak of the might and faithfulness of God as He intervened in my situation. Hands of Grace Creations will share a part of my story. Such that each person who buys and wears Hands of Grace Creations is not just wearing a piece of jewelry but is wearing a piece of my testimony and story, and by doing so, also join me in
acknowledging the goodness of God.
Here are some of the names:
- Titilailailopemi: I will give thanks to God forever.
- Oluwafifehansimi: God puts His love on display in me
- Oluwadamilare: God justified me
- Oba Awi ma yeun: The Lord that speaks and does not renege on His Word
- Oluwasoromidayo: God turned my story into joy
- Oluwaferanmi: God loves me
- MotilayoninuJesu: I have joy in Jesus
- Oluwasegunfunmi: God gave me victory
- Oluwamayomikun: God made my joy full
- ModupeoreOluwa: I am grateful for God's goodness
It will be a memorial to the wearers that the same God Who worked on my behalf is not partial. What He did for me, He is faithful to do in their lives too, and what He promised He will do because of His unfailing love.
The “I am” series will serve to remind the wearer of who God says they are according to His Word. They will be a reminder to the wearer to say “I am who God says I am.” These series will use engraved messages and colours to present the truth of God’s Word and promises to the wearer.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Hands of Grace Creations will be used to support three charity efforts:
- Feet of Grace Foundation, which is positioning itself to provide opportunity to those who are compelled to sit down in a stand-up world to walk again, through the provision of prosthetic limbs.
- Funmi Adewole Foundation: The Education Trust Fund.
- Education Fund for a missionary family.
Behold, the beginning of a new thing, now it springs forth. Join me to give thanks to God.