I have been a believer for more than twenty years. Formerly worked in Finance, I deeply love literature and aspire to offer my words as fragrant incense upon the Lord's altar.
THE FIRST STORM: MOTHER GOT COVID
At the beginning of 2023, when the lockdown in China was lifted overnight, nursing homes were hit the hardest. I video-chatted with my 93- year-old mother, who lives alone in a nursing home in China. I expected to see her smile, but her eyes were dull, sometimes vacillating, full of anxiety, and seemed empty.
As a daughter, I was sensitive to the sudden change in her condition. So, I hung up WeChat in a hurry and left a message for the doctor in the nursing home. He replied: "Your mother, unfortunately, tested positive for coronavirus ... " I burst into tears. The visa to return to China had not yet been restored. Even if I could go back in time, how would I overcome the hurdles to rescue her?
I sent urgent prayer requests to my church friends in the WeChat group. It was clear to me that at this time, we must hold fast to God’s promises and pray for His protection and healing in adversity: “Lord, please have mercy on my mother. She lives alone in China, without children or relatives around her. She was baptized in the name of the Lord, and she is your daughter, the apple of your eye, your precious."
The next day, the doctor replied: "Your mother has a low fever but no other symptoms." The burden of my heart was relieved. Then I found a friend, a doctor on the front line of the epidemic in China, to write a traditional Chinese medicine prescription, and sent it to the doctor in the nursing home, asking him to get the medicine for my mother.
My mother's fever subsided on the third day, and her body recovered.
It wasn't until I returned to China in early April that I learned about the situation: when the epidemic swept through the nursing home, out of the 200 elderly, more than 30 died of Covid, overwhelming the medical staff. Is it my mother's genes? Is it a coincidence? I believe there are no coincidences in Christian life. God's hand has always been with her and never left her.
I thought that after this storm, a sunny day would emerge. I couldn’t imagine there was a bigger storm waiting for her.
THE SECOND STORM: MOTHER’S FRACTURE
One day in March, my sister, who was visiting my mother in China, found my mother sitting on the floor in the middle of the night — she accidentally fell and was in excruciating pain. An MRI revealed a hip fracture.
After the news came, the whole family was concerned. Legend has it that elderly often experience the "last fall" -- their fall often results in being bedridden and intubated, leading to pneumonia and then organ failure. After several twists and turns, my mother underwent a hip replacement. Due to her malnutrition, frailty, atrial fibrillation, frequent delirium, and hallucinations during the three-year epidemic, it was challenging for her to recover and hard for the nurses to take care of her.
I pray for her multiple times a day. Unfortunately, I had to postpone the trip due to lower back pain. The psychological pressure and struggles during this period caused me insomnia and prompted me to pour my heart into the Lord Jesus every moment, asking the Lord to strengthen me.
After returning to China in early April, my mother was recuperated by traditional Chinese and Western medicine and gradually improved. But doctors tried to remove her catheter several times to no avail. She had a urinary tract infection that required bladder cleansing and antibiotics dripping for weeks. The doctor bluntly stated that she would live with a urinary catheter from now on, and the urinary tract would constantly be infected.
One day I felt enormous joy after praying for my mother. I felt God would show us His power and grace in this, and the urinary catheter would be removed eventually. However, the attempt of that day still failed. I remained silent. I understood God works in His time, so I silently prayed for her.
A month later, a miracle happened. After I prayed and applied warm compresses to my mother’s stomach, the nurse removed the catheter. And quickly, my mother could urinate without a catheter.
THE THIRD STORM: MOTHER’S EARLY DEMENTIA
The mother was diagnosed with early senile dementia at the same time. She lived in extreme anxiety every day, which repeatedly agitated her, and she would ask about trivial matters in life every minute. Once I was out of her sight, she would start looking for me, and the nurse and I were often tired and disturbed.
She also became paranoid. She refused physical therapy, was unwilling to participate in crafts or other group activities, and slept all day. Since I temporarily lived in the nursing home with her, I saw paralyzed and demented elderly walking in and out. I was under enormous emotional pressure.
Due to my weakness, physical pain, and my mother’s stubbornness, I often lost my temper and felt guilty afterward. This contradictory mood made me collapse, and I often cried alone. So, I went back to the Lord over and over again, praying in tears. I thought of the torment that the Lord Jesus suffered on the cross. Though innocent, he died for the sinful world. How can my grievances compare? Besides, this is my mother!
I did not have a good testimony before everyone and fell short of God’s glory. I asked the Lord to forgive me for my impatience with my mother and grant me patience and kindness in dealing with her. I meditated on God's words with Christian music daily, and gradually, I could calm down. To not cause my mother panic, I shortened my outing and always returned to the nursing home before dark.
Soon, after a timely diagnosis by the doctor, the effectiveness of Western medicine, and several weeks of treatment and emotional relief, my mother could not only sleep peacefully every night but also calm down a lot during the day.
I reminded her that she had been baptized into the Lord and that God had healed her, so we should remember God's grace. Once, I pointed to the cross and asked her if she remembered it. Although she thought about it for a while, she answered with assurance: "This is the best!" My heart was comforted that she was sure of God's salvation.
We also experience God's amazing grace in finding our caretaker. Auntie Wu, once trained as a nurse, is devoted and caring. Unfortunately, the elder she had been caring for passed away, so she could start caring for my mother. We have heard various stories about finding and dealing with caretakers in China. These caretakers are an unregulated working group with many turnovers. God had mercy on our limited ability and energy and had prepared the best candidate without effort.
AFTER THE STORMS
At 93, my mother has not only recovered to the point where she can push a wheelchair and walk by herself but also answer calls fluently. She gained about thirteen pounds, her face was rosy, and her expression was serene.
In my mother's later years, we experienced God's miraculous protection and healing. As we have experienced in the past, His provision exceeds what we ask for and can ever imagine, and His grace is to be praised. Jesus is with us during our life journey, calms the storms, and is our ever-present help. We welcome a sunny day after the storms when we look upon Him.