Two years ago this day, we were in the hospital visiting Anna. It was the day before Christmas Eve and we were praying and hoping that the doctors will give her a clean bill of health and allow her to go home before Christmas. We were hoping against hope. But hope never fails.
Anna was admitted to KK Women and Children’s Hospital on 22nd December 2013. She was only 6 days old. We had noticed that she was having trouble breathing during the day, especially when feeding. Her chest was sinking in really deep as she looked like she was struggling to get enough air. That was reason enough for us to get her to A&E that evening. It was a painful and dreadful time of our lives that we’d be happy to keep in the recesses of our memories except for the message of hope and salvation that it brought.
Anna was born with a cleft palate and feeding was a challenge for her. When we brought her to A&E that night, the presiding doctor threw us another diagnosis – Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS). It was due to PRS that Anna was having trouble breathing well, especially when she was feeding. We’ve never heard of this before and in the days that followed, we learnt a lot about this diagnosis that brought us through a roller coaster ride of fear, uncertainty, sadness and regrets. But not hopelessness. In the midst of the darkness, there was always hope.
The doctors told us a lot of other syndromes and problems that may be related to PRS. The Internet told us even more worse stuff. Things did not look good. It came to a point that we had to tell the doctors to stop telling us all these issues and to just focus on the immediate concern at hand which was to make sure she was breathing and feeding well and to let us go home to process all this. Anna had to be tube-fed and her oxygen levels monitored day and night.
As we went through those days of having to leave her behind in the High Dependency Ward at night and seeing her again in the morning, we were brought to our knees in prayer, mostly in tears too, asking God for help, for healing and for understanding of the whole situation. Even as we went through the pits of emotions, we couldn’t deny nor ignore this light in us that glimmered. It was the light of hope.
We hope not in what we can do nor what the doctors and medical science can do to help Anna.
We hope not in our prayers being loud or long.
We hope not in having many people praying along with us although that was true and a blessing.
We hope in Who God is.
We hope in His goodness.
We hope because He is Jehovah Rapha, our Healer.
We hope because we know He is in control and He knows the end from the beginning. Even though we don’t know why we had to go through this trial, we can trust that He knows and that He has a plan for us.
We hope in His unwavering, unconditional love.
We hope because He is the Rock of our refuge.
And this light of hope, this little glimmer of hope, could not be put out.
We may not have had the greatest faith to believe in complete and supernatural healing immediately. But even in our lack of faith, we could hope. And it was this hope that shed a light for us out of the darkness.
So I say, dear friends who are going through difficult and dark times, don’t give up hope. Or if you are looking for hope, I hope you will find that Light. Especially in this Christmas season when we are seeing all these beautiful displays of lights, may it remind us that it is only when we look to the True Light, Jesus Christ, that we can find hope. Who else or what else can we hope in? Nothing else. No one else.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, I just wanted to share our story of Hope and the testimony of Anna’s life. It is a story that reminds us Hope never fails.
Anna just celebrated her 2nd birthday last week and I’ve been thinking about this message of Hope. It was since Cameron shared the message of Hope and the testimony of Anna’s life in a service in the Philippines 2 weeks ago. I’m reminded how when Anna was born, God told me in a still small voice that “Anna” means “Grace”. We had no idea how much grace we needed over the next few months. But His promise of Grace was assuring and kept us throughout the tough year.
Last year when Anna celebrated her first birthday, it was a time of Joy. We were thankful for all that God has done, for His complete healing of Anna’s condition with no remnants of any symptoms or issues that may be related to PRS (after her palate was repaired). It was a time of celebration that we had a healthy baby girl. She is God’s gift to us.
And this year, it’s this message of hope that’s been recurring in our hearts. And we know this story of hope will encourage others. Because God is God, we can hope in Him.
Here’s a beautiful hymn about Whom our hope is built on…
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
For more posts on Anna, you can click on the category Annalog.