This past December, I came face to face with my greatest fear – the unknown – and God met me there.
On December 21, my husband, Serge, who had tested positive for Covid-19 just two days prior, was suddenly overnight, no longer able to breathe room air on his own and even an oxygen concentrator machine was not enough to maintain his oxygen saturation levels at an acceptable level. As a result, he was weak, unable to walk or even talk and very confused.
The pastor in him saw it as a spiritual attack on his body and asked me to call for intensified prayer for his return to health. The doctor in him refused to go to hospital as he had already begun a treatment protocol and was determined to continue to fight the infection at home.
Although it was only 3.30am, my mind and body leapt into action immediately. In truth, I had already prepared for such a moment. Not because I wanted to but because that is how I respond to situations I cannot control. Like many people, I have a need for certainty, and when the future is unknown and there are no guarantees, I prepare myself for what may lie ahead by gathering information and considering various scenarios. Not with pen and paper but in my head. Sometimes I’m aware of it but mostly it happens on a subconscious level.
In no time at all, family members had arrived to provide much needed assistance and support, followed by the ambulance, and then I found myself saying a socially-distanced goodbye to my husband not knowing when or if I would see him again.
It felt like I was having a bad dream. But unlike a dream, I couldn’t just wake up and return to a familiar, comforting reality. This was our reality now. Just the three of us quarantined at home, watching for symptoms in our own bodies while waiting for news from the hospital. On Christmas Eve, we were told that my husband was being moved to the intensive care unit. At that moment, I thought that meant he would be placed on a ventilator immediately. We both did. But Covid-19 treatment protocols have evolved to such an extent that this is no longer a given. A possibility, yes but no longer automatic.
In the week that followed, I experienced what can only be described as a “dark night of the soul”, brought on by a severe lack of sleep and my fear of the unknown and what the future might hold. In the end, fear gave way to love and my need for control surrendered to trust. I could not go through this on my own. I needed God to show up in a way that I hadn’t needed Him to before. And of course, He met me right there.
On New Year’s Eve, my husband was moved from ICU back to high care, where he remained another five days before being discharged from hospital. He continues to make a good recovery and is slowly but surely returning to a full and active life.
To say that we are changed as a result of this experience does not begin to describe how we feel. My husband’s health was miraculously restored and we are forever grateful to our Father in Heaven and the many people around the world who prayed for us, as well as to those who supported us in countless other ways.
I am certain that I will continue to reflect on what God has done in my own life through this experience for some time to come but here are some initial thoughts:
- We are never alone no matter how alone we feel — God is always with us.
- There will be times in our lives when we are not in control and that is when we will need to trust in God and in His everlasting love for us.
- Prayer is a powerful tool in the hands of a believer — it is how we exercise our God given authority in the earth. It is how we bring Heaven to earth.
- People want to support us in times of need but they do not necessarily know how to help or what we need, so it is up to us to let them know.
- When we accept help, it is as much of a gift for the one who offers it as it is for us who receive it, since it is a way for people to demonstrate their love and care for us and also to feel useful in an otherwise confusing time.