Gosh, isn’t it amazing how God works?! Around the 2nd week of December I really felt God saying to me – slow down, take a step back, embrace the REAL reason behind this most glorious season, make sure there is enough room in your inn, and most of all I felt him remind me – IMMANUEL – God with us. And wow, have I experienced GOD WITH US this month in so, so many ways. I feel like I could write a LOT here this evening, so I’ll try not to, no promises though 😉 I don’t want to bore you all to pieces but I do want to send you some hope, some peace, some joy, and just a little reminder that GOD IS WITH US in EVERY SITUATION.
So, where to begin….ok, so, on 14th December poor Granny got taken into hospital with a severe chest infection, Granny suffers from a bad heart and is coming 84 so all of this is not a good combination. Her temperature was very high for a week and was very hard to regulate. However, many prayers were answered and God was indeed with her and Granny made a good recovery. She got moved to a rehabilitation unit just before Christmas Day which was great and we were able to go and spend some time with her. She continued to make great progress and got home yesterday 🙂 As I look back on that time for Granny, and the strength that the family got, I know GOD WAS WITH US.
As a family of 5 we had a really lovely Christmas Eve and day. It was very peaceful and calm and relaxed and a real sense of God’s presence in our home. The hubster and I were chatting on Boxing Day about what a lovely time that we had had and how we both were very aware of GOD WITH US. I’m sure you can imagine the joy/wonder/excitement/madness/craziness of Christmas with a 3.5 year old, 2.5 year old and 1.5 year old!!!!!!!!!!
Also, last weekend our church had a special room set up for 48 hours of prayer. I went on the Friday evening and the Saturday evening and on both occasions felt God’s presence in a very special way. I just LOVE the way God makes divine appointments for us, and we aren’t even aware. I took a completely random decision to go to the prayer room on the Friday evening _ I hadn’t planned too….but when the kids were in bed, I just decided I’d go…hadn’t said to hub….came into kitchen and he said to me – “why don’t you take yourself off to the prayer room”….so, off I went. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I ended up being there with the most lovely, Godly lady from our church for 3 hours. She prayed with me about an issue that I have been having for around 8 years now, (maybe more on that another time!!!!) and I felt a real burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I came home with such peace. I also went along on the Saturday evening for a time of prayer and praise and was just so, so aware of GOD WITH US – it was very special. Little did I know that some of the songs that I would be singing on the Saturday night with such joy, would be the same songs that I would be singing on Monday with such despair and longing!
So then, on Sunday things took a bit of a turn. My little S (2.5 year old) was not well. He had had a temperature and cough since Friday lunch time, but I had thought it was just ‘the normal’ time of year cold. However on Sunday I just knew he wasn’t well…….I love how God had given us that gift….just mothers instinct. So I took him to our “Out of hours”…..she had a wee look at him and said he had croup and that his wee chest was “rattling all over” and sent us home with a steroid. But I just knew, there was something more. So, I rang for an emergency appointment at our doctors on the Monday morning – so off me and little S went. Long story short – He sent us straight to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast….with suspected pneumonia. Monday was a LOOOOONNNNG day. We got seen straight away in A&E with the help of our Drs letter and then also S’s stats being so bad, it was just the waiting around to see if nebulisers were going to be enough….waiting then for a bed on the ward…… that made it feel very long! While it was a very stressful and upsetting time, it was also a very special time – just me and him and all the cuddling time in the world. Time to tell him how special he was and how much I loved him – over and over again. Time to read stories and sing songs and have some mummy/son chats. GOD WAS WITH US. And I was very aware of GOD helping me and being right there WITH ME as the ‘issue’ I was talking about earlier was panic attacks/anxiety….normally a day like Monday would have had me in major panic/anxiety….hospital/on my own/tiny closed spaces/darkness/sickbaby/…..but I was OK. I got a strength that was not my own. And not one feeling of panic came over me! Now that is really something, as sometimes a lift is enough to set me off!
S was admitted into hospital Monday teatime with croup, ear infection, tonsillitis and an infection in his lung. He needed constant oxygen to help him breathe and was on the nebuliser every 2 hours to clear his chest. He was a very sick little man. BUT our God is a great big God and I am so thankful to friends and family for all their love, support and most of all their prayers. S made a fab recovery and got home today (Wednesday) lunchtime!!!!!!!!!!
The time that we spent in hospital was tough, really tough. But again, as a family, we were so, so aware that GOD IS WITH US. As parents, when your child is unwell, your heart gets very heavy. You pray with a desperation that you have never known before. I spent the days with him, while his Daddy was with out other 2. Then Daddy came and slept in the hospital with S while I went home and stayed with J and L. J and L missed their brother like crazy for those 2.5 days….they were praying for him to get well soon and come home to play. They talked about him constantly, wondering what he was up to, what was he doing, what was he eating, who was he playing with…..that brother/sister bond is a strong one too!
So as we welcomed 2014 we welcomed it with great joy and peace knowing that no matter what this year will bring our GOD IS WITH US, and with that knowledge we welcome it with open arms!