Sunday, April 20, 2014

Always With A Smile

Always With A Smile: A Testimony of God's Faithfulness.

"Toujours avec sourire" the nurse exclaimed as I was wheeled back into the ward.

"She has every reason to be. It is amazing how much improvement she has made," replied the physiotherapist pushing me on the wheelchair.

When my specialist proposed a six-minute march test as part of the intensive checkup, one year post lung surgery, several members of the medical team thought that was asking for too much. The lead physiotherapist said, "let her try, she can stop if she can't do it."

Try I did, and I completed 300 meters in the required 6 minutes using one cane, while maintaining oxygen saturation at 99% and a stable heart rate.

"Incroyable! C'est genial," exclaimed the Physiotherapist who conducted the test. “It is incredible,” she kept repeating in French.

It was the fourth and last day of my stay in the hospital. It was exactly one year since I have the life-threatening surgery with the ensuing complications, which resulted in another surgery, this time life-changing. I had to do a battery of tests, examinations and consultations in the course of the four days. they pratically left no cell or system unchecked. It was overwhelming and left me no time for rest.

The good news was that all of them came back with positive results confirming what God had already perfected. Only one indicated a need for improvement in my Calcium and Vitamin D status. The doctor gave me an earful of lecture about the importance of adequate calcium to prevent osteoporosis. "Noted," I responded, my face radiating with a wide smile. She probably was wondering what was funny. “I mean, this is serious business” was written all over her face. What she did not know was that she was giving a Nutrition lecture to a Nutrition Specialist. But more importantly, I was overflowing with exhilarating joy, because this was the only issue that needed attention, it had been one good report after the other.

Why won't I be full of thanks and smile, with all God has done for me and all He delivered me from? I will be an ingrate if I am any less joyful. I know where we were at this time last April but better to say, I know what they later told me was happening at this time. I was not conscious of anything until a month later.

“He that is capable of deep and reflective reasoning will be full of thanks.”

One of the nurses said she was covered with goose pimples watching what I am able to do now and how I have regained my autonomy, and as she heard me giving praise and thanks to God for all He has done in my life. 

But wasn't that what the Bible says:

Matthew 9:8 - following the healing of the paralytic.
"And he got up and went home. But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men."

Matthew 15:31
"The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel."

Indeed, the doings of God in our lives will cause men to be awestruck, astonished, and amazed such that they will give praise and glory to God on our behalf.

This was not the first time I was going to hear that expression, "Always with a smile or She is always smiling." Through the thick of the storm last year and indeed, throughout my 10-year sojourn on 8CL, the 8th floor ward of HUG (Hopital Universaire de Geneve), this has been the constant remark from the nurses and medical staff that took care of me. It was a constant source of amazement to many of them: "how does anyone in her situation keep smiling?"

I lost count of the number of times I heard them saying to my hearing, “she is always smiling.”  I lost count of the number of times, medical personnel exclaimed with amazement at the remarkable progress I had made and my composure through it all.

Truly, it is by the grace of God that we can keep smiling through the storm. It is because we know that the one Who holds us in the palm of His hands is the same One Who can bid the storm, "peace, be still."

It is also a conscious decision to remind oneself that it is by the mighty hands of God we are kept, day by day, come what may. It comes from that assurance of faith that God will never abandon or forsake or fail us. Yes, we can keep smiling through the storm when God is the hope that we cling to.

We also know that before Jesus was glorified, He was crucified. He suffered the shame of the cross. His glory came out of His sacrificial death. Yet He did not complain. Like a rose, trampled in the ground, He took the fall. He thought of me above all.

And because He rose up again and He lives, I can face tomorrow, all my fears are gone. Life is worthy living and enjoying because Jesus lives. Certainly, with such a glorious hope as this, we can smile come what may and in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves because God’s plans for us remains unchanged.

May the hope that comes with the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ fill your hearts and home with much joy this Easter. May this hope bring you the assurance that the promises of God concerning you shall be fulfilled. 

Happy Easter.


  1. You inspire me! I brag on God for your testimony. Moi aussi, je vais faire l'effort de toujours avoir un sourire. No matter what.

    1. C'est une bonne decision, Salt. Moi, j'ai decide depuis long temp que je ne jamais renouncer l'espoir. I had to decide a long time ago never to give up on hope. That's what keeps me smiling through each storm. Blessings to you.

  2. This is my first visit to your blog, Irene. We only just met.

    I am inspired by this post. Smiling through 10 years in hospital?! I wasn't sure I read you right. J have since confirmed that I read you right. I am subscribing right away...

    1. Dear Modupe, thank you for your visit to the blog. I pray that you will be richly blessed and inspired with hope each time you come.
      It was not a continuos stay for 10 years.
      I had regular and frequent hospitalization on 8CL since 2003. Sometimes, 3 to 4 times a year for a duration of 2-3 weeks each time. In 2013, I had a total stay of almost 5 months in the hospital. I thank God for His mighty hands that kept me for the 20 years that I had suffered from the chronic respiratory disease. He kept my heart in perfect peace through the fierce storm.

      You are blessed beyond measures.

  3. Glory be to God Our Father who said when you go through the storm I will be with you and through the fire, it shall not burn you. He is true to His word, and He will not allow it to return unto Him unfulfilled. His word is Rhema in your body! Hallelujah

    1. My dear Sis, I can never thank God enough for His faithfulness, power and love. All I can say is "Take all the glory, all the glory, O Lord." He truly watches over His word to fulfill it in our lives. Blessings to you and yours.

  4. Wow!!! thank you ma'am, this was such an encouragement and your spirit is absolutely infectious. I bless God for you and praise Him for your testimony. Wow! Almost jumping out of my chair as I imagine and how your improvement stunned your care givers. How amazing this God is! I am inspired by how your smiles just showed the peace that passes all human understanding. I am incredibly excited about the God that lives in you, is for you and is with you. Stay radiant and may God keep you always shining as light. His word for you stands!!!

    1. I do appreciate your visit and exciting comments. Just trying to imagine you jumping in your chair :-). Truly, just as He promised, God is able to garrison our hearts with peace that passes all human understanding through our trials and affliction. Blessings to you.

  5. Hi Blessed lady,

    I've been recalcitrant visiting. Hope you are fine in God's vineyard. Reading your post reminded me of a dear friend of mine here, a high court judge. We were dorm mates in secondary school and in the uni, we shared a room for one term.

    Doris, that is her name, had her right leg amputated about 4 years ago due to diabetes. Before then she had the big toe on that leg taken off. Gangrene set in and she had to be hospitalized again to scrape part of the foot off. Then the amputation a year later.

    Throughout he ordeal, what was remarkable about her was her smile, her cheerfulness and highly up beat personality. When we visited her with tears she met us with laughter, jokes, humour and gratitude, even in her pain.

    And she remains so today. She drives automatic car, attends church and every function she wants to and works hard at her court. Infact, she was then a circuit court judge and got promoted to high court judge two years after her ordeal.

    She is an inspiration to me, just as you Irene, are. God bless you dear sister.

    1. Dear Celestine, great to have you back here. I bless God for His abundant grace He ever so richly pour out on us. I thank God for the opportunity to be busy for Him.

      Tell your friend, Doris, she is a woman after my heart. It appears we have a few things in common. The assurance of His love and abiding presence gives us the reason to smile through the storm.

      Need to come over to yours for a catch up visit soon. Blessings of God to you and yours. Warm thoughts.


Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts and comments. I appreciate you. God bless you.