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4 Years Later

“Thank you, Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus”. As I climbed each step back to the house, this is what I repeated, in my heart. I had just come back from my 1-hour walk. Something I could never have done 4 years ago. There were 28 steps and none of those are enough to express the gratitude for where I am in this one area of health alone. In addition to not being able to walk for long periods, 4 years ago, climbing steps was a grand mission. I was reduced to climbing at tortoise or snail speed. Any faster and I would be out of breath like I had done 50 marathons, ok may be one marathon.

Walking was out of the question because I couldn’t stand for more than 3-5minutes. I couldn’t lift anything heavy. Heavy for me was anything 1kg and above. Talking was an issue because that too would leave me out of breath. My occupational therapist told me I talk fast, so no wonder I would get out of breath. I couldn’t sleep on my back and right side because that felt like I was suffocating. All these and the other features of Long Covid meant I had to adjust my life to a new normal.

When I went for the first Covid vaccine, there was a queue to be seen despite having an appointment. I asked the lady standing behind me if she was ok to save my spot till the line got to the front, as I couldn’t stand that long. I went to the car and came back when it was time to go in. At work, my colleagues would help me with anything that involved lifting. At home, my mom came to stay with me to help me with the house and things like cooking. By having her around, I was able to conserve my energy for going to work. I had been off sick for 3 months and when I went back the first few weeks were a struggle that I would be in tears over at the end of the day, on a Monday to Wednesday.

My life before Covid prepared me for this new life and way of doing things. Off course I didn’t know this then. If there was one thing, I was very used to, was praying. That first year, I can testify how God took care of me in the awesomely phenomenal ways he always has and always will. I kept praying for healing and indeed he healed me in his own way. I am only realising this now as I write this. He kept one important part that is vital in your health. Where I was praying for total healing; for this illness and the other underlying ones, Gods timing said no to that one, but yes to healing that I never prayed for in the area of mental health. He was not being mean or a bad God by not answering my prayer of total healing. I can see that testimony unfolding in ways I could never ask or think of.

When someone has a chronic illness, with added factors such as no cure for the illness, lack of understanding of the illness and thus no robust care plan from the medical team, constant tests which show all is fine when all is but fine, it can impact one’s mental health. According to the Mental Health Foundation “research shows that people with long-term physical conditions are more than twice as likely to develop mental ill-health.”

I got sick in March 2020 and December 2020, after keeping hope for all those months that I’ll get well soon, I cried for the first time. When I was off sick, I honestly thought by May, my birthday month, I would be ok and put in a holiday request for some days. As the Excellent Book says, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” I was not able to return to work and my involuntary staycation continued even in the month of May.

The reason I cried in December was because “this thing is not going!” I was tired of this way of living. I had been an active person, very independent and I loved dancing. All were out of the question and many more which I would realise when the idea came to do it. When I am able to resume dancing without getting out of breath in, I will know the healing process is complete. Hallelujah!

My testimony is that where statistics say I was twice likely to develop mental ill-health, something that was very evident in the long covid community and pandemic community in general, Gods’ ways which are higher than ours, saw to it that my spirits had a divine hedge around. In my own analysis I have gone through these years with nothing but Gods’ strength, protection and grace. Going through the journey in God’s strength means I fully acknowledge my present reality has changed.

It means I am relying on God to help me because it is clear no human being however many PhDs and research skills they have, can help me. It means crying when I need to cry. It means going to pray when I can anticipate an activity I never gave second thought to in the past, now requires some kind of military/FBI/project management planning and execution. Airport travel was one of those. I initially travelled with my mom to help me with luggage. I also had to ask to board first with those who needed extra assistance.

When I travelled on my own, I became very free in asking for help, a testimony in itself. When there was no help, I created innovative ways of getting the luggage to be weighed during check-in and when going up and down the stairs to get to the flat. Going through the journey in Gods’ strength most importantly means reading the Excellent Book and constantly reminding myself of verses like “Is anything too hard for the Lord” to keep me not just going, but going with hope.

Hope because I am under the rock! The power of meditating on words that are sharper than a two-edged sword combined with a God who has seen my tears, experience, heard my prayers, both spoken and unspoken, both thought of and not thought of, is the reason why 4 years later I can say OFF COURSE! God is Phenomenally Good, God is Amazingly Great, God is Ultimately and Sovereignly the Best!

4 years later I have stepped into a new dimension of my life that I never dreamed off. I have stepped into the bold, risk taking me that was hidden, because apparently, for many, many years I was living in my comfort zone. Nothing Great happens there. I really believe God allowed these 4 years to happen so he can not only show me the seeds he planted in me, that I can use for the assignment he decided it is only me (inserts all birth certificate names and many nick names here) who can do, but to show me the below.

God wanted me to understand personally what the Excellent Book, Jesus, Christians mean when they say God is Love. He wanted me to know and believe that he loves me with a love I understand but will never understand. He wanted me to know in practical terms what one of my favourite verses feels like to experience it, Isaiah 41:10. He wanted me to know between him and me, It is him who has the better plans for me, in ways I can not ask, think or imagine and that is the testimony I am living right now and it is far from finished.

The recovery journey is not complete, the purpose for these 4 years has started but is far from complete and that is not a bad thing at all. Imagine me saying not being recovered is not a bad thing! How can I possibly say that? I can dare to say that because if just the last 4 years of my life alone are anything to go by, Only because of Gods’ love, Only because of Gods’ Grace, Only because of God’s mighty hand do I know, expect and believe there is so much more to come and I will not remain in this season forever. I can already see it.

I can walk longer than even before I got ill. I can lift more than I could. Travelling and all the other activities I used to dread because I didn’t know how I would do them in this new normal, I don’t dread anymore because Gods’ strength has made it possible for me to do many more things than I could. I can live by myself and take care of the house. In fact looking at me you can not tell, I have been in the fire and there is some smoke left.

My testimony is though my recovery is not complete, this is the most healthiest I’ve been lifestyle wise. I eat more healthier, walk daily and love it hence I do it daily,  I also stopped drinking. My spiritual health has also been increasing and with Gods’ grace will continue. God knows how he will use this season for my good. So, I need not be worried or be in despair, For the Lord is with me always, as he has shown me personally, till the end of time.

Related Verses

Proverbs 16:9

Proverbs 16:9

Isaiah 41:10

Matthew 28:20

Nahum 1:7

Matthew 7:11

Mark 10:18

John 3:16

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Next Post out on 06/04/2024

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