Dont I recognise youI” said the doctor to my husband. ” I have seen you before.” My husband just looked at him. Brendan was asked to come join me in the waiting room in the accident and emergency department of the local hospital. The doctor had just examined me. My daughter who is a doctor and my husband thought from my symptoms I must have cancer. They were anxious to hear the doctor’s opinion of my condition.
“Are you the man with the big family?” Brendan wanted to know how I was and not be questioned on another subject.
” I know now. Did you write books for India? There are two books of yours in my mother’s home in Kerala, India. There is a photo of your big family on the front.”
Brendan was perplexed.
Now to the matter of my condition. He discovered a firm mass in my bowel when he examined me. He didn’t mention cancer, but said he would refer me for further tests to the cancer unit in Belfast and request immediate attention. I got an appointment to see a specialist in two weeks time. There is usually a longer waiting time. We got favour because the doctor recognised Brendan.
We left the hospital resigned that I had some serious condition. We went home to tell our family that mummy wasn’t well. I had always been healthy. The only time I was in hospital was to have my children. I felt numb. My husband felt numb. We were weak and began to think of what the future would hold for us. I felt I was dying. I had no strength.
Brendan began to reflect on meeting the India doctor earlier in the hospital. Before the doctor told Brendan any bad news, he reminded Brendan of the books he had written for India. Brendan and I had sacrificed our time and finances to write two books for a Christian ministry, “Christ for India.” The Lord was speaking to his heart and saying “I am here with you in your day of trouble. I remember your sacrifice for the poor.”
Psalm 91 gives me a promise from God’s Word, I will be with you in trouble and deliver you out of it.
Psalm 41 says, he who has regard for the poor The Lord will raise him up from his sick bed.”
Psalm 112 says The man who fears the Lord will have no fear of bad news.
In my day of trouble and weakness God reassured us of his care. He is faithful to keep his promises. Thus began my journey through cancer. Four months later I believed I was healed of fourth stage cancer.
It was good the doctor was on duty that day. He did recognise Brendan, the man with the big family.
I started to read from Matthew’s gospel each day since the beginning of this new year. I am excited to read in the first three chapters there are five dreams given by God. The first was given to Joseph, who was engaged to Mary. When he heard Mary was pregnant he decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly.
“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.””
The angel reassured Joseph in his distress and told him what to do. Joseph obeyed the Angel. He didn’t question or doubt or be unbelieving.
Here are the other references to the dreams.
“After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”
Matthew 2:9-12 NIV
“When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.”
Matthew 2:13, 19-20, 22-23 NIV
Just in two chapters of Matthew we read about God speaking to Joseph four times to guide him as the guardian of Jesus before and after his birth and Mary his wife. This is a great encouragement of any nervous man who doesn’t know who to marry or where to live, for the safety of his family. God is good and caring. It is good to trust in God.
Three Magi came to see the young baby Jesus bearing gifts, of gold, frankincense and myrrh. What did Joseph think when the Magi fell down before Jesus to worship the new baby, Jesus. Joseph didn’t know what was happening. These gifts would have covered the expense of his travels to Egypt, his stay there until he returned.
God spoke to the Magi in a dream to warn them not to go back to Herod who wanted to kill anyone who claimed to be a king. The Magi had come to Jerusalem looking for the new born King of the Jews.
The fact that God spoke to Joseph and the Magi in dreams is an encouragement for anyone starting out on a journey of faith. God will guide along the way.
God has spoken often to my husband, myself and other members of the family to guide us in testing times. When I was suffering from cancer, my husband and family had dreams to encourage me I was going to be healed. This helped me enter into faith to receive my healing.
Action and faith is required after God speaks. Joseph went to Egypt after he was warned in a dream. The Magi obeyed God and didn’t go back to Herod.
My son had a dream the first night after I started my chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I was feeling discouraged and fearful. God sent help. In the dream he heard a voice say, “The blood is not getting to the cancer. His sister, who is a doctor said in the dream “let’s wait till the doctors tell us.””
It is right to go to the doctor to show one is healed. When Jesus healed the lepers he told them to go to the doctors to show they were healed. This dream greatly encouraged me. It was God’s will to heal me but I had to believe myself and act as if I was healed. I went through the treatment of five weeks the doctors advised.
But when they wanted to operate I told them I knew I was healed of cancer and I didn’t need an operation. The doctors thought I was crazy. I remained strong in my faith and didn’t waver. The doctor did a colonoscopy. There was no sign of the tumor. I showed my self to the doctors. They saw the tumor was gone. Even after seeing the photos of my clear colon the surgeon insisted I still have an operation in case the cancer was still there. I refused. I said to the surgeon “I believe that God has healed me completely of cancer.” He was perplexed.
I was confident to speak to the top cancer surgeon because of the revelation from God in my son’s dream. If I gave into doubt or fear I would not have been healed. I showed myself to the doctors and they couldn’t find the tumor. I remain healed seven years later and I do not have to take any medicine! Thank you Lord.
Let me explain a little more how I received my healing. In Joel I read about God speaking through the prophet.
““Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”
Joel 2:12-13, 28 NIV
In Joel God warned the people to return to Him with fasting and mourning. When I had cancer it was a time of mourning and weeping for me. I had to cry out to God. I confessed my sins of rebellion, independence, self ambition, resentment, bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. God forgave my sins. After my confession of sin I was healed of cancer. Then God sent his dreams to bring my healing as Joel promised.
So at the beginning of this New Year 2017 let us return to the Lord. Let us thank him for all his goodness and mercy. He does not treat us as our sins deserve. He is pleased with a contrite heart. As David said in Psalm 51 “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence O Lord.” Only God knows what is lurking in our hearts. I didn’t know what was in my heart. God had to reveal it to me.
“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.”
1 Peter 4:1 NLT
We remember Jesus birth at this time. A time of joy, to thank God the Father for making himself know through his son Jesus, who was conceived in Mary’s womb and born in an animals’ home.
God our Father’s plan was to redeem mankind from the power of sin, death and the devil, who kept mankind separated from God and prevented them from going to heaven. The devil stole the authority over all the earth and all living creatures, from Adam. Jesus is the new Adam.
Jesus grew up in his family and lived humbly helping his parents. He would have helped with the other children, just as my older children did when they were growing up. His father was a carpenter. He did not have a high school or university education. When he was thirty years old he entered his public ministry. For three years he went about doing good, healing and delivering all who were oppressed of the devil. He was bringing down the power of the devil, who was keeping people in darkness, believing lies, living in oppression and sickness. Jesus is the truth.
He was the son of God. He could have set up a kingdom here on earth and ruled and ordered people what to do. Instead he allowed himself to be arrested and accused of curing people on the day of rest, working miracles and claiming to be the son of God. His accusers were jealous of him. They had to get rid of him before everyone started following him and upsetting the kingdoms that were ruling at that time, including Romans and Jews.
His own people the Jews wanted him crucified. “Away with him” they said. Jesus never opened his mouth when he was whipped by soldiers, a crown of thorns hammered into his head, nails pierced into his hands and feet to nail him to a cross and when a sword opened up his side. He hung on a cross till he breathed his last. He suffered and died. He became the perfect sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. There is no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood.
A leader from India told us recently how people sacrifice their children in the fire or in the river, or cut themselves in order to get their sins forgiven. Even after such pain they find no relief from their guilt. This man told some of these people, “Jesus has forgiven my sins.” I’m not guilty any more. They were surprised. “What sacrifice did you make.” “How much money did you pay.”
He said, “I believe in Jesus. He was the sacrifice for my sins. He died in my place. He shed his blood for me. This is good news. You too can know your sins forgiven by believing in Jesus.”
One woman said “Why did you not come sooner, before I gave my child to the God of the river.” She was heartbroken. She was prayed for and Jesus healed her.
“ But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who please God completely.. He is the sacrifice for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”
1 John 2:1-2 NLT
What a wonderful privilege we in the west have to hear the name of Jesus. We have good health care and good education. Freedom to work, get married, have children, and live in peace in our homes and neighbourhoods. But sadly many of us no longer know the power of the name of Jesus or the power of his shed blood or acknowledge, thank or honor him in our lives. We have forgotten what Christmas really means.
We were travelling home from Dublin airport leaving at five pm yesterday evening. The road out of Dublin was packed with cars. On coming near Belfast the roads were packed with cars. Why is this? I have travelled at the same time earlier in the year and there were no holdups or roads full of cars. Ah, people are out Christmas shopping!
Are they shopping for their children who are expecting Santa Clause to leave them some gifts? Are they shopping for food and drink for fear the shops might run out of provisions nearer Christmas? How can parents exhaust themselves and get into debt to buy presents for their children who think some mythical being drops them gifts down the chimney? Are the father’s involved with the shopping, or is it just the mothers? The children never thank them or appreciate the stress involved. Why do they continue the lie of Santa Clause?
Do the refugees get presents? Do the poor people of Africa or India get presents. Does Santa just come to America and Europe and bless those who already have plenty. I have asked myself this even when I was young.
Where does Jesus come in our celebration of Christmas? “Joy to the World” the Christmas cards proclaim. Brendan and I deleted Santa Clause out of our family when we had four children. We told them the truth. If we tell our children about Santa and years later realize there is no Santa, what will they think of mum and dad. “They told us lies.” We tell our children the good news that is at the heart of Christmas. God sent the gift of his Son to us. Jesus came to take away the sins of the whole world and the give the gift of eternal life. We can be with him forever in heaven. We tell them about the other gifts God has for us, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the gift of children, the gift of life itself.
Many people did not agree with us, including family, friends and teachers. The headmistress asked us to stop our children telling the other children there was no Santa. Our children did not miss out on gifts. We saved up and brought our children on summer holidays instead. I refuse to get caught up in the hype of Christmas. It does not satisfy!!!
I now live in the hope of going to heaven when I die. I want to tell others this good news and tell them what Jesus has done for them. God rescued me from an early death when he healed me of Malignant cancer. I choose to follow him. He is returning to the earth soon. I want to be prepared. I want to be of use in the years I have left. I find comfort from this scripture,
“So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin.”
1 Peter 4:1 NLT
I was invited to write about my experience giving birth to children for wwwbirthdebate.com.
B!RTH is an international theatre festival developed by the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and The Oglesby Charitable Trust to provoke debate on a global scale and question one of the key issues of our time, the vast inequality in healthcare across the world. The Royal Exchange Theatre has commissioned seven leading female playwrights from across the globe (Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Syria, UK and USA) to explore this issue through their country’s approach to childbirth.
Here is the article that has been published.
I have had 14 children
Where did you give birth or where was the birth you witnessed?
Can you describe where your/the birth was?
I have had 14 children, all of whom were born in maternity centres in Northern Ireland.
Who was present at your/the birth?
My husband and a midwife.
Can you describe the experience of giving birth or watching the birth?
I am a mother who has given birth to fourteen healthy children. I have the blessing of living in Northern Ireland, where family is valued and we have free health care. When I went into labour with all of my children I attended the local maternity unit. I was always so glad when my labour pains started. I trusted the experienced midwives to look after me. I had faith each time and knew it would not be long until I would nursed my new infant. I always enjoyed my stay in the maternity centre. I remember that the staff were kind and that I and my new baby were well cared for. It was like a holiday and rest for me every time! Oh, how I enjoyed the tea and toast the midwife rewarded me with after I gave birth. I then enjoyed a long sleep, relieved that all was well with me and baby. I stayed in hospital as long as I could.
I only asked for gas and air to help me with the labour pains near the delivery. Thankfully I did not need any epidural pain relief or need to delivery any of my babies by Caesarean Section. I did not have any stitches for thirteen of my fourteen children and my wonderful and supportive husband was at my side for every delivery. Each delivery of the new baby was a special time for us both.
My babies ranged in size from seven pounds to twelve pounds and there were no complications with any deliveries. I breast fed thirteen of my fourteen children, most for up to twelve months. I recovered well from each delivery without complications.
During my labours I did not have any monitors attached to me. The midwives just listened to the heart beat every other minute or so. I felt secure that my baby was going to be well. I believe my faith in God kept me safe in childbirth. However, I also appreciate and so thankful for the skilled doctors and midwives that took good care of me during my labours.
My daughter Mary, who is a doctor, has published three blogs on the same website. Also my daughter Hannah who is a midwife.
Bless The Lord oh my Soul and all that is within me bless his Holy Name.
Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave. He appeared to his disciples over a period of forty days. He ate with them and talked with them. How comforting it would have been for them to spend time with Jesus and hear him explain what happened.
“On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.””
Acts 1:4-5, 8 NIV
The Holy Sprit fell on the disciples with tongues of fire in the Upper Room. They received power from the Holy Spirit to go out and boldly tell others that Jesus was their Saviour sent from God. The disciples were uneducated men, yet when they received the Holy Spirit they spoke with clarity and authority without fear about Jesus.
The gospel is continuing to reach the ends of the earth. I am in Slovakia at the moment in the High Tatras. One could call it an end of the earth. I am far away from home. The Holy Spirit has given me power to be a witness for what Jesus has done in my life. I am telling men, women and children about my family and healing from Cancer.
It was by the power of the Holy Spirit that I carried and reared fourteen children and am alive to tell the tale.
When I was young I had rheumatic fever which left me with a weak heart. The doctors advised that I should only have one child. I got married and had two children. I was home looking after my family. When my two children started school I was keen to have another child. After some time passed I prayed and asked God for a child. I said I will give my life to you if you give me another child. I became pregnant and continued to have children. God gave me the strength. God must have healed my heart!
When I developed bowel cancer and it had advanced to stage four, I was very weak and giving up on life. Others prayed to God for me to be healed. As time passed I received power from the Holy Spirit to fight the sickness and overcome.
The same Holy Spirt will give me strength tonight to be a witness at the end of the earth that Jesus has arose from the dead, has forgiven sin, healed sickness, and brought deliverance. I will be destroying some works of the devil.
Bless The Lord all my Soul.
Today I awoke before sunrise. I looked out the window and saw a bright star in the East. I don’t know if it was Saturn or Venus. It was the only star visible in the awakening dawn.
I thought of the story of the three wise men from the east who followed a star to Israel. Did they travel by night and rest by day? How would they have seen the star by day? Perhaps it was too hot to travel by day. I don’t know but people have different reasons to set out on a journey.
Thirty eight years ago I set out on a journey. Many people thought I was crazy including my doctor. A friend of my husband invited our family to spend Christmas with him in England. I was excited at the opportunity to have a holiday and our family of four to be looked after. No Christmas shopping or cooking.
The only concern was I was due my third child on Christmas Day! I paid a visit to my doctor to tell him about my plans. He was surprised. He strongly advised against me travelling such a long journey being heavily pregnant. What hospital will I attend? What if I start labour on my journey? He continued to persuade me to give up the idea.
He did not convince me. I reminded him that Mary travelled on a donkey seventy miles from her home in Nazareth to Bethlehem. She was heavily pregnant. I would be travelling by car, a bit more comfortable than a donkey! The joy of having a holiday outweighed any concerns I had.
The doctor did not say anything more. He gave me a letter to give to the doctor in whatever hospital I was admitted.
Our family travelled by ferry to Liverpool and on by road to our destination. I enjoyed the journey. My excitement kept my hopes up. Our host took me to see his doctor. He received me and assured me that I could attend the local hospital whenever I went into labour. There was going to be room for me in the Inn.
Mary gave birth to her baby in a stable surrounded by animals. There was no midwife or doctor. No medical care, no pain relief, no comforts, only the breath of the animals to keep her and her baby warm. Some shepherds were told by angels to go and greet the new born baby. Some time later the three wise men from the East arrived bringing gifts for the baby Jesus.
Many women is poorer counties can identify with Mary. Medical care may be expensive or non existent! Having a baby is not a sickness. It is a normal process of bringing new life into the world.
I knew for sure the same God, whose son was born in a manger, was looking after me that Christmas in England. Our friends were very generous to our family. My baby did not arrive on the due date, Christmas Day. My husband, myself and two children had the finest of fare without a care in the world.
Three days later I started in labour. My baby was on the way! I gave birth to a healthy baby girl with no complications. I was delighted. We called her Nora. She is an answer to prayer. I already had two children, a girl and a boy. But I had a strong desire to have another child. I prayed and asked God for another child. I believed God and said “I will give my life to you if you give me another child.” I became pregnant. God was faithful to give me another child and looked after me on my travels.
I am still travelling on a journey down through the last thirty eight years. I have read in God’s word many other stories about how God led his people on journeys. These stories have helped me along my path.
In that time I have reared fourteen children and been healed of fourth stage cancer. God continues to care for me on the journey. God is faithful.
If one is in any kind of trouble he wants someone who can help. If your car breaks down you call a mechanic. If you have a burst pipe in the house you call an expert, the plumber. If the electric wires are not working you call an electrician. You don’t call a plumber to fix the electrics. If you need a house built you call a builder. If you need to sell your house you call someone who can market your house. If you need legal advice you call a lawyer.
If one’s body is the trouble he calls the doctor. The doctors can help by diagnosing his disease. He will give his professional advice and prescribe drugs or advise surgery if necessary. It is marvellous the advances in medical care in the 21st century in the west and we get to benefit from it.
I discovered in my research, that people who have cancer in Russia do not have the expertise we can avail of here in the United Kingdom. What can they do?
God gives experts in the Church who have different gifts to help the people. Some people have the gift of healing. So if one is sick call the experts in healing. Call those who believe in God, who know how to pray, and help spiritually to bring healing to the mind and body.
Call people who believe God answers prayer, people who believe that God heals. People who already have experienced healing. One wants to be around those who have faith and who love and help one through the days of loneliness, fear, and sickness.
For one day I had the symptoms of sickness and wretching, side effects from having treatment from chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Wretching alone made me feel weak and fearful. My body and mind could not take any more pain. I passed out. During that morning two people rang me. One lady felt The Lord prompted her to ring me and pray for me.
Knowing God alerted someone who knew how to pray comforted me. She prayed for me and she brought me peace. My niece rang me and said God told her to ring me and pray for me. He told her to remind me it was God who taught me to pray. Again I was overwhelmed with God’s love for me. He sent help. I am so thankful God preserved me from pain, burning and sickness.
Fear of death can overwhelm the cancer sufferer. It can leave one with no courage to fight. So one lies down under the sickness and loses the will to live. I had been bleeding for three years from my colon but I thought it would go away. I thought the blood could be coming from heamoroids or colitis. I believed that God can heal and have prayed for others who have been healed. At no time did I think of cancer.
I eventually came to realise my condition was not improving, but getting worse, I told my husband. I needed others to help me. We went to the hospital. The doctor examined me and referred me on to the oncology specialist. It seemed I had cancer. I was numb and was relieved that my condition was discovered. I now knew the truth. I was too weak to care. I had no fight left. I was not in control any more. I was now dependant on the help of experts, the doctors to diagnose the condition and those who believe that God heals.
The news hit my husband and children hard. They were sad but not hopeless or overwhelmed. They loved Mum and didn’t want me to die. They believed God would come to our aid in my time of despair. They gathered around me the first night and prayed for my healing. My family arose as an army to fight fear, cancer and death. The war was on.
We were in a spiritual battle. When someone comes into your house to steal your property will you stand by and let them steal it? No you will put up a fight to put the robber out or call the police for help. So it was with my family. The devil was bringing cancer and death to their mum to steal her away from them. They believed God and spoke God’s promise over my life that I shall not die and by the stripes of Jesus I am healed
Scriptures say the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 NIV)
Jesus was referring to the evil one, the Devil who comes to kill. The Devil is a spiritual being and one cannot fight him physically. But we can fight him and defeat him with Gods spiritual weapons of war. Jesus came on earth to destroy the works of the Devil. He preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God, for people to turn to God away from sin and He would forgive their sins and heal their diseases. He died on the cross and shed his Blood. If we accept his sacrifice we will be healed. By his stripes we are healed.
The weapons to defeat Satan are faith in God, speaking out the Name of Jesus, and saying the Blood of Jesus is against you Satan and walking in peace, forgiving others as Jesus has forgiven us our sins.
If I am in trouble I want to call someone who knows how to pray to God and get results. I needed prayer warriors who were not afraid of the enemy and had the right weapons and armour to win the battle. As news of my trouble spread people prayed for me.
After my family prayed for me, the bleeding stopped within a week. The battle was on and my family was winning. The healing from Cancer began.
God promises to be with us in trouble.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. (Psalm 91:14-15 NIV)
In earlier years some children left home for university and others were still at home. At holiday times those at university would return home to Ireland with their luggage. They would have to find a spare bed or share with others for the duration of the holidays. We all had to adjust to being in close proximity again.
When children leave they have more space in their new surroundings. So returning to a confined space stretched their patience and they had to sacrifice their own comfort. They usually were stressed out after exams at university and tired after all the activity student life demands. They would crash in bed and sleep late.
I had other expectations. I looked forward to their company and some help to give me a break from working in the home. Instead I had more work to do, more cooking and shopping. Home was somewhere for them to get their batteries recharged. My batteries were running out.
In my dilemma I would get frustrated with the children and made demands they were not able to meet. Children would get frustrated with each other and disputes would have to be settled. All this was too much for me. I would call on my husband to talk to any child who was misbehaving and settle disputes between me and the children, or between each other.
Brendan had his work cut out. He called these times “Norming and Storming.” The children were disciplined and reconciled. Often I felt disciplined when I had to be reconciled to my own children. The father has the ability to do this for his family. He can bring unity. While living together as a big family we had to get on with each other and forgive each other. We had to go through the process each time we were together.
Despite all the Norming and Storming at the beginning, holidays always turned out to be refreshing times when we could spend time together at meals and at play. My husband and I were stretched at these times. When everyone left we needed to take a break ourselves to forget about our troubles and spend time together.
When any group of people get together to do a task, they have to take time to know one another. Each one’s skills and gifts are needed in the Christian life to help each other. I needed others to help me get healed. Someone with the gift of healing helped, another with the gift of prophecy encouraged, a deliverer, the doctors, nurses, family and friends were all needed to love me back to health. God works through people. We are his hands and feet. That is why it is important to get on with each other and forgive each other.
We make up the Body of Christ. Where brothers dwell together in unity The Lord commands a blessing.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1, 3 NIV)
While in Canada recently, a young man called David, picked us up from the airport at Dawson Creek. I remembered him from my last visit. He came to a meeting with his wife and four small children. They were like little mice playing quietly, not wanting to disrupt the meeting.
This couple reminded Brendan and I of times past when we would attend meetings with our young children. I had eight children at the time. The children joined in the singing and were well behaved when someone was speaking. We were the biggest family there.
Our host was telling us that David and his family don’t get invited out to dinner, because people think a family of four is too much to cope with. They can cope with adults but not young children! I sympathised with David. Wouldn’t the parents feel loved and accepted it someone had their family over for soup even.
Getting everyone ready for Sunday meetings became stressful for us as our family increased. We had to be up early, get dressed, be on our best behaviour, sit through services and then come home to make dinner for all of us. When we had ten children we decided to stay home on a Sunday morning. It was more relaxed for us all. Brendan taught our children in the relaxed atmosphere of home. I had plenty of time to cook dinner. For seven years we stayed home on Sundays. Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, and Angela were born in those seven years.
We remembered the love of God for children.
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11 KJV)
We knew God was carrying us in his arms.
In the earlier years when I had seven children we met up with friends for picnics. We would meet in each other’s homes for lunch. The other ladies were great cooks. Our children were around the same age, and played happily together. But as number eight child, number nine child, etc arrived the invites for dinner stopped. We were alone on Sundays together with our growing family. We lived far away from our parents or extended family, so no aunts or uncles to give a helping hand.
I will always remember the kindness of a friend, Rose Rodgers, who invited ten of us for dinner. She knew my husband was away on a trip. He was working on a mission and often I would come under attack from the enemy, the devil, when he was away. The enemy would use these tactics to wear me down. If I was not able to look after the children at home then my husband would have to stop travelling. I was determined I was not going to miss this dinner.
Came the day to go, I asked one of my daughters to help get the youngest child ready. She put the child in the bath and turned on the hot tap. She forgot to turn on the cold tap as well. I was busy seeing to the others when one of the other girls came running in shouting, “The baby’s legs are scalded.” I was calm. I knew this was an attack from the devil to stop me going out with my children for dinner.
I attended to the baby, dressed her, told my other children to get in the van and wait for me. We drove to the doctors surgery just to check that the baby was okay. I was praying all the way. I told the other children to behave while I went into the surgery. I didn’t know how long I would be. While I was waiting to be seen, one of the children came running to find me. Two of the girls were fighting in the van. I had to go out and restore calm. One was annoyed with the other for hurting the baby and was battering her with a stick. They were traumatised at the thought of permanent damage being done to their wee sister’s legs. I told them God would heal my baby’s legs. I returned to the doctor. He dressed the baby’s legs with cream and he reassured me her skin was not harmed.
Praise The Lord. I drove off with the van full of children to my friend’s house. We all filed in and apologised for being late. How I enjoyed that meal. My friend had a big heart. I will never forget this kindness from Rose Rodgers.