An inspirational testimony of Gods hand being on the life of one of our Church Members and her journey – Thank you Linda for Sharing
Mum was four weeks overdue with us when doctors decided to take her to the operating theatre to deliver us. I was a breach birth. It was 20 minutes before I took my 1st breath, as I came out face down, my airways were full of mucus.
I was given a 10% chance of survival, and the doctor said, if I survived I would be physically and mentally handicapped. They said I would be in hospital for at least 6 months. My Dad & his Mum went to church to pray for me.
My chances of survival gradually increased, and after only 2 weeks in the special care unit, I was allowed home! My parents had never come across anyone who was disabled before, so it must have been quite daunting to think about raising a severely disabled daughter.
I was18 months old when I first saw a paediatrician. He was very blunt, saying that medically nothing could be done to help me. A physiotherapist suggested regular exercises may improve my condition. From then until I started school, life resolved around performing a number of exercises 3 times a day, and going to the hospital for physiotherapy 3 times a week.
Despite having a very loving family, who wanted the best for me, I wasn’t always happy during my childhood. There were many tears caused by utter frustration. I longed to be able to keep up with what Ruth was doing, and I couldn’t understand, despite my best efforts, why my body wouldn’t let me do what I wanted. Fortunately, I’ve always been a very determined person, wanting to be as independent as possible, and if I couldn’t do something one way, I’d try to find an alternative way. I longed to do what those around me were doing. I even found a way of knitting, by anchoring the knitting needles down between my legs & the floor. It wasn’t easy & I was always dropping stitches! As long as I had something to occupy me, I was generally happy. As a youngster, my favourite saying when I couldn’t do what I wanted was, ‘it’s not fair’: my Mum would say, ‘Life isn’t fair: the sooner you accept that, the better it will be for all of us!’
The 1960 & 70’s were very different from today. My Mum taught Ruth & I to read, tell the time & simple maths well before we started school. After it became obvious that I’d never reach my full potential at Kingsdown, the social worker decided it would be best to send me to a boarding school which catered for children with Cerebral Palsy. Unfortunately, I had several bad experiences & I was deeply unhappy, but I didn’t think anyone would believe me, so I kept it to myself.
There were highs as well as lows in my childhood. 1973-4 was an amazing year: not only did I win a national painting competition, which took the whole family to Florida, I took 8 faltering steps completely unaided (never to be repeated), but I actually enjoyed that year at school. After 4 years of struggling to type with my little finger, the school finally realised my frustration, and issued me with my 1st head pointer: it was an instant success, improving my accuracy 100% & more than doubling my typing speed!
At 14, I changed boarding schools, where it was discovered that my hip pain was caused by the socket not having developed properly. It meant that I could no longer sit on the floor to do things, a real knock back for my independence. 2 years later I had surgery, keeping me in hospital for 2 months. It took a long time to recover. It affected my studies, & left me feeling very alone & isolated
Throughout my life, until I came to Rochford, I often questioned God’s existence. and would think to myself, if God really loves me, why is my life such a struggle. Over time I’ve come to realise that God must have saved me for a reason. It’s natural to question why bad things happen. Since becoming a Christian, I feel blessed, happy and contented with my life. I’ve often been asked ‘how can you be so happy and have such a strong faith when you have so many problems? The truth is that I see everything that I can do. Whenever I find myself unable to do something that I used to be able to do, God has always provided an alternative. Half the time I don’t even feel disabled: I just feel fortunate that I know God’s truth, and am able to proclaim that I’m a child of God!
There’s nowhere in the Bible that says life will be easy. But God does promise ‘Never to leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5; Deuteronomy 31:6). Here are just a few of many verses that tell of God’s love for us: ‘God is our refuge & strength, an ever-present help in trouble’ (Psalm 46:1-2). God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.‘ (1 Corinthian 10:13). ‘I am with you always, to the very end of the age’ (Matthew 28:20). All God wants is for us to believe, be faithful to love him & love each other. It doesn’t seem too much to ask, does it?