My thoughts have been overcome the last week with Kinley’s story. Our story. I kept a journal during that time for her, but feel compelled to write the story here to be sure that we never forget what God did for us in those telling times. I sank to depths, physically and emotionally, that I never had thought possible in my blessed, happy life. I feared devastation and often found myself there.
I also found Him. A Powerful God Who, beyond my comprehension, chooses to meet me in the ugliness and drought as easily as He is revealed in times of victory and glory. He is big enough for both. How could I ever be devoted to anyone else?
This from a post written two years ago:
During our second and third years in Uganda, our little corner of the country faced a drastic crisis. A rebel army began terrorizing the villages all through the Rwenzori Moutains.
Jeff and the young men at church spent the better part of the two years delivering food relief and medical treatment to the hardest hit villages. It was a difficult, blessed, exhausting, amazing time.
I experienced this time in a unique way. From my bed.
Just as the rebels marched within 15 miles of our quaint little town...I discovered that one of my greatest longings had been fulfilled. I was officially going to be a mommy. Jeff and I were ecstatic over the news of our first little one. Soon after the nausea and pregnancy sickness began to take firm hold of my being...another sickness attempted to steal the whole show. Malaria.
The first diagnosis came at the International Health Clinic. Just a few days earlier I had celebrated at a doctor’s office. We were pregnant. Our circumstance less than 72 hours later was more somber. I found myself at another clinic in another town and I could not even bear to sit in the waiting room. My constant vomiting and the resulting dehydration now coupled with the agonizing cycles of malaria had weakened me beyond exhaustion. Dr Clarke led me into a smaller room with a metal table I could lie on. When the cycle of chills would over take my body, I would shake so much the table would bounce up and down and move away from the wall. Jeff, who himself was suffering from malaria, would put all his weight on the table to hold it steady until the chills and shaking would subside.
Lying on that table, watching IV fluids drip slowly into my system was one my loneliest moments. No one in our family knew yet about the baby. And now we had to tell them in tandem with news of a scary sickness. Did God see us here? Would He heal me and save our baby? What would His sovereign choice be?
The days that followed are a foggy memory to me. We were staying in another missionary family’s home. I drifted in and out of fever-wearied sleep. I begged God for healing. And I begged him for electricity. The fan was our only relief from the fever. Jeff and I faced nearly a week of malaria treatment together. When my fever broke, I praised the Lord, but still felt deep concern over the well being of our tiny fetus.
When I had completed the cycle of malaria meds, Dr Clarke tested my blood and found the malaria parasite gone. He set up the sonogram equipment to double check the baby’s heartbeat.
Some very silent, agonizing minutes followed. Dr Clarke couldn’t find the baby on the monitor. He asked me to drink more water so that the baby would be easier to see. His look was compassionate and resolute. What was…was. We calmly found some drinking water, but inside my brain was in overdrive. Could this be happening to me? Of course it could.
With my heart in pure torture I drank nearly 2 liters of water. Quickly. Feeling about to burst, I crawled onto the examination bed and stared at the blank screen begging God for His mercy.
The little blip we saw flooded the room and my soul with relief. There she was (though we didn’t know she was a she) and her heart was thumping away.
I didn’t stop thanking God all the way home and into the next day.
I felt released from the worry of the previous week. But I had no idea what was still ahead for our baby and for me.
(to be continued)