The popular saying amongst Christians “God is good” is an understatement. In fact every word that exists to ascribe greatness to our God is an understatement of how awesome He truly is.
Reece was born 11 years ago and has always been a bright and cheeky boy. He is dark and very handsome and has my eyes and dimples, he is very affectionate and a real sweetheart.
Reece can best be described as daring- he loves to take risks and extreme sports would have been his thing if he had a mother that permitted him. He is also a fashionista, loves to dress and thinks he is quite cool- which he is.
On the 27th of February on our way to school he asked; ‘Mum can I give my life to Christ?’ As it was a bit out of the blue, I replied; ‘Sure, whenever you’re ready’. My response wasn’t enthusiastic because I needed to make sure he was doing this with the right intentions- not following the crowd or doing it to please his parents. If he could come crawling and begging to Christ I felt that was preferable as it would be his desire not mine. He continued;
‘Can I do it now?
‘Now? In the car?’
‘Yes, right now’
So I pulled over and asked him why. His response satisfied me- he said he wanted Jesus to guide all of his decisions and help him in every area of his life. I led him in the sinner’s prayer, after explaining what salvation was to him.
In the weeks following that I began to have daily random attacks on my mind, mostly about death, sometimes about divorce even though I have a blessed marriage by God’s grace. I waived such thoughts away recognising it as the enemy but seeing as I didn’t believe them didn’t feel it was essential to ‘cast them down, take them captive and make them obedient to Christ’.
On Tuesday 17th of April, Reece coughed through the night until morning. I took him to the doctor and we were dismissed with the words; ‘He’ll ride it out, its viral and nothing can be given to relieve him.’
The following night I took him to A+E as he was now wheezing as well. He was treated with a nebulizer (medication and oxygen) and we were admitted. I kicked myself for not listening to the Holy spirit and taking my phone charger, which at that time that was my greatest worry. I don’t remember praying for healing for him, I’d been through this a couple of times with my youngest son and didn’t see it as a anything to worry about. I was certain that we’ll be discharged the following morning. My customers will have to wait I thought resignedly.
In the days that followed, he was treated with a cocktail of drugs and he began to get better, but on the 5th day took a turn for the worse. It is this turn for the worse that will forever remain entrenched in my memory as it was a real battle with the enemy.
I had also now began to pray fervently. We got moved from our four-person ward to a large one-person ward. There was a lot of scurrying and bustling about by the doctors and nurses. By this time my heart had become accustomed to skipping every other beat. Reece asked me why we were being moved and I rephrased the nurse’s words- ‘so the Doctors and nurses don’t disturb the other patients as they’ll be treating you through the night’. I had nagging thoughts but was very certain this great big I.V, the last-resort drug would be effective. I overheard the consultant rebuking the Jnr Doctors for not starting the treatment earlier. That worried me. Reece asked the South African nurse for the T.V to be brought in and she replied in her strong accent; “You cannot have a T.V in a critical room!”
“Critical room? That worried me some more. I brought her choice of words to her attention. She rebuffed me- “are you not a Christian? Pray!!!”
One of the Doctors came in as she had seen me praying over my son earlier- ” I see you’re a praying mum. Keep praying, God is on the throne”.
Under different circumstances those words would have warmed my spirit, a fellow Christian sister in an unlikely setting. But a doctor telling you to pray isn’t very encouraging.
I began praying in earnest, speaking God’s word over him. I showed him Psalm 103- Blessed be the Lord who forgives our iniquities and heals all our diseases. With that I said we needed to confess known sins and ask for forgiveness, then ask for healing according to that word. We did, he kept getting worse. Complaining of pain and discomfort in his chest and tummy and difficulty breathing. By this time he couldn’t breathe unless he was on oxygen. Even oxygen was hard to take in. One of the nurses- the South African one said; “you must fight, just because you’re ill doesn’t mean you should accept it”. It made sense to me and I agreed and said “Reece, we have to fight. He replied; “I don’t know how to fight”. I said “just say Jesus over and over”. And he tried to but was too breathless to say more than the first syllable, so I told him to simply say it in his heart. About 20 seconds later he began to say ‘Jesus’ relatively easily. He was still in discomfort and the oxygen made him feel sick. I reasoned that if I could get him to sleep, he’d be able to take in the oxygen and the treatment would work. I began to pray for sleep. I prayed so Reece could hear me, ‘father please grant him sleep’. I prayed with all the faith every fibre of my being could muster and I knew my prayer would be granted- it was that type of prayer. I don’t know about you but there’s been times I have prayed a ‘no other option’ type of prayer. The one where even before you begin to pray you know the prayer will be answered. This was how I prayed and the Lord answered, he fell asleep almost immediately. Now I couldn’t understand why the prayer for healing wasn’t being answered, it was the same faith, same person praying but this time no result. I couldn’t feel God’s presence at all and felt like he had left me to sort this one out on my own. The consultant called me out and explained they had done all they could, and he simply want responding to treatment. They were out of options and didn’t have the facilities to treat a patient ‘that sick’. I listened to him tell me they had to transfer him to another hospital and while I listened my heart melted like wax. Psalm 22:14 says my heart is like wax, melting within me. I know exactly how David felt. My heart liquefied and poured down, meeting my legs halfway- which were also melting. I had to sit down. He continued- ‘we have to transfer him and we don’t transfer children in this state, they have to be placed under general anaesthesia’. The man continued, while I searched his face for mercy, that he’ll change his mind and give him one more treatment from his bag of tricks. Then he added; ‘we’ll have to put him on a breathing machine, he can’t breathe on his own any longer, the alternative is to wait until his lungs stop working’. When he said general anaesthesia, my mind heard an induced coma that my son will never wake up from again. When he said breathing machine, it was interpreted to me as life-support machine. This was the enemy speaking to me, I saw it as the harsh reality.
I called four people to help me pray. The first told me she felt it was an attack, and all will be well, we’ll pray. The second was my aunty who encouraged me with a scripture, a promise from God that we would not cast our fruit before its time, Malachi 3:10. The 3rd was another friend, she told me she’ll call me back. All this happened at about 2am. She called back as promised and explained that she was praying earlier and the Lord told her that I would call. So when I called she had to hang up to ask God what next? And the Lord said it was an attack and we needed to pray Psalm 22., she was on her way. The 4th person I called was a friend in the United States and it went to voicemail, so I left her a message.
I went back to Reece for one last shot at prayer, I suddenly realised that God was waiting for an opportunity for a grand entrance, instant healing! Considering there were now about twice the usual number of doctors and nurses, the Lord clearly wanted to show them all His supernatural power. Nothing.
He woke up while I was praying and said; “Mum while I was calling on Jesus earlier, I saw Him sitting on that chair right there”, pointing to the green chair next to the bed. I interpreted that as one of two things. Either the Lord was with us and I just didn’t know it, or Jesus had come to take Reece to heaven. You’ve all heard of near-death experiences.
The devil spoke again- ‘what’s the big deal? Your child is saved, he’ll go to heaven. Let him go, you won’t be the first Christian to lose a child’. What’s interesting is that a dear friend’s son passed away last year, and the day after the anniversary was the day I was battling for my son’s life. My sister-in-law’s brother also passed away 2 years ago and his birthday was the 22nd, that same day. So I had these two people on my mind and the enemy launched an ‘apt’ attack.
I was told to go pack our bags in readiness for the transfer. Since I’d acquired quite a bit, I had to decide what to leave for later collection and what to take with me to the other hospital. I asked for a bin bag to put the extra stuff in. At that point I was reminded of a story my husband told me, where the family of a deceased student came to his boarding house to collect her things. As I picked up Reece’s shoes the enemy said ‘he won’t be needing them, he will not be walking out of the hospital’ his voice was authoritative and instructive, like he was the one in charge. He decided what went on in the hospital. It was chilling, it was creepy and I was scared.
I was then taken to the theatre to see my son where he lay motionless. More like lifeless. He looked like he was actually dead. I looked at his midriff for signs of life, especially since his eyes were taped shut. The sight that greeted me correlated with the enemy’s words and very timely too. ” That’s not Reece, Reece is gone. That’s just his body powered by a machine”. The mechanical and unnatural rhythm of the respirator made those words ring true in my ears.
Thankfully my friend arrived and we began to pray. We started out with Psalm 22 which was David crying out to God that the Lord had left him. The same way I cried out. He spoke of his fear and said his heart had melted like wax. Sounded shockingly familiar! That gave me some hope that God hadn’t abandoned me. I was already praying Psalm 22 and I didn’t know it- lesson, know the word of God! Meditate on it day and night, do not let His word depart from your lips.
We prayed some more scriptures and then I began to remind God of His promise to me. Isaiah 65- no longer will an infant die when a few days old, adults will not die before they have lived a full life. No longer will people be considered old at 100, only the cursed will die that young.
My children will be mighty in the land.
I asked the Lord:
When you created Reece you gave him a destiny, and you have said my expectation will not be cut off- so what’s this Lord?
Then I remembered that the Holy Spirit is our helper and intercessor, thank you Jesus, and I asked Him for help. I said Lord help me pray the prayer that would save my son’s life. I don’t know how to pray that prayer and as my helper I beg you to help me pray it.
As soon as I said that I saw a tiny keyhole with light not quite streaming through, but light on the other side of the door. And I heard the Lord in a far more authoritative voice say ‘YOU ARE NOT A CHILD OF DARKNESS, YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE KINGDOM OF LIGHT!!!’ As soon as I heard and received those words, the scales fell from my eyes. I suddenly realised I had been deceived by the enemy all along, and I had fallen for it all. I rebuked the devil and said, ‘Satan, I’ll deal with you!’ With that I began to pray differently, in earnest and with authority, no longer in fear of the enemy. I Confessed God’s word and cried out to Him. The Holy Spirit then told me to remove the image of a bedridden, comatose Reece and replace it with one where he was wearing his purple T-Shirt (his favourite, don’t ask), walking out of the hospital with a spring in his steps. He said that’s the picture, the vision you should pray with. I obeyed. Friend, at this time I learned the lesson of having a vision. I needed to change my vision and pray with a new vision in mind. This applies to every area of our lives when praying for change. We pray with the picture of the future we want in mind- a new job, a home, marriage, good health- not where you are at, in your mind. The Bible says ‘my people perish for lack of a vision’.
I felt Reece’s life was no longer in the hands of the enemy but in the hands of God so I began to bargain with the Lord. Here are some of the words I said to God:
Lord, I know all things work out for our good.I know you can turn everything around for your glory- father, but not my son’s death.
Lord please glorify yourself in my life, using my life, but spare Reece’s earthly life.
I know heaven is wonderful, but you have an assignment here for us and we must fulfil it.
You will not cause me sorrow, bring me joy instead.
Jesus you came to heal the sick and set the captives free, this is what you do! Heal Reece Lord.
We sang- I am the God that healeth Reece…
We placed Reece’s name in every scripture and every song.
Several numbers on the monitors were bleeping and flashing and one particular one caught my eye- it had the number 22 flashing. I asked what that was for at my friend’s suggestion so we could be more specific in our prayer. We were told that it was the pressure of the respirator forcing air through his airways, they were very tight. I asked what it was meant to be and they replied 8 or 9 in a normal person. So we began praying for his airways to open up and the pressure to drop. The retrieval team finally arrived, a highly trained medical team that specialize in transferring sick patients from one hospital to the next. It took them nearly 2 hours to transfer him from the theatre table to their trolley, which was next to the table, they had to unplug every electrode, tube and monitor- there were several. Each time one of them asked the other a question, for example ‘should we use the red one or the blue one?’ My friend’s prayer changed- ‘Lord, you tell them which one to use. Don’t let them make that decision themselves. Guide them’. I learned about the power of specific prayer. Jesus said you have not because you ask not, and when you do ask, you ask amiss.
Once inside the ambulance” the Holy Spirit spoke to me; “Ignorance is not bliss, ask them questions. What will be done, what the next step would be.” I asked every question I could think of, what treatment would be given since he didn’t respond at the previous hospital. The head of the team may have been an angel from Heaven. He answered every question, he explained the plan, and spoke of Reece as though he would be fine in the end. This was in contrast to the doctors at the previous hospital who were all ‘wishing us well’ and ‘hoping everything worked out’. They were far from confident. The head medic on the other hand gave me a teddy for Reece, to give to him when he woke up.
Sunday morning 6am saw us speeding through the empty streets of London, going through red lights even though we seemed to be the only ones on the streets. The siren was on. I resolved never to say a negative word about speeding ambulances and blaring sirens, ever again in my life. I also finally understood why people bequeted their wealth to institutions like St John’s Ambulance Service as opposed to individuals.
When we arrived, I had an unexplainable sense of peace. I just knew all was well. The environment was very unoppresive, even though it was the Intensive Care Unit. There was something different and I felt God’s presence again. I spoke to Him, He spoke back to me.
The first few hours was spent monitoring him and letting him rest. Then they began some physio on his lungs to get the mucus out. We were blessed to have been surrounded by loving friends and family at this time, near and far. Phonecalls and texts were coming in from everywhere and prayers were being said in churches on our behalf. It felt great to be in God’s kingdom, because even those who don’t know me were crying out to God for healing and rebuking the adversary.
At about midnight he woke up, it was a dream come true for us! To think that I had looked at the possibility of this never happening. He couldn’t speak so motioned for a pen and paper- the first question was ‘when will all these tubes be removed from my mouth?’
I slept for the first time in days- when I woke up I did so with this scripture on my mind… this my son who was dead is alive again. From the story of the prodigal son. I was (and still am) filled with joy. I explained to my sister-friend that it was like I had just given birth. You know that feeling of newness and new life that comes when a child is born into the world. I haven’t stopped smiling since.
From that moment, pretty much every time he was examined by the doctors he had one tube or the other removed. ‘Oh, you don’t need this any more’ or, ‘now we’re okay with that and we don’t need to monitor it any longer.’ By mid afternoon he was sitting up in bed and asking for food. The nurse and I had to go to another ward to get him food as no one eats in intensive care. By late afternoon he walked around the ward and by evening he was discharged from intensive care. Tuesday afternoon and he was back home. I heard that my church had prayed for him to be discharged from intensive care on Monday.
Reece later told us he had two dreams of heaven. There were gates and cherubs climbing and hovering above the gates. In the first dream it was in the distance, in the second dream he was very close. I will not stop testifying and giving thanks to God for His favor and love for me. I believed God heard the cry of a mother, and her family and friends.
I went through a rough trial years ago which I have mentioned in previous posts and it was in that time I learned to pray the word. I also came to know God intimately- I am still growing closer to Him. Today I thank God for that trial, because I would not have been able to pray for my son the way I did if I didn’t have that preamble. I have learned through this experience that nothing else matters more than having Jesus as your Lord and developing an intimate relationship with Him. That way you are able to hold a conversation and bargain with the way Abraham bargained for Lot’s life. I also learned that as Christians our lives are meant to be marked by signs and wonders, we are different. We are not of this world even though we live in it.
I want to add a side note in case a sceptical thought has crossed your mind that he wasn’t in any grave danger, he was in the care of well-trained doctors. Even if those are your thoughts, you must believe that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and rulers of darkness in high places. I am not overly charismatic- if there is such a thing. I don’t see demons wherever I go and I have never heard the voice of angels singing. This was all new to me and I did the only thing I could do, cry out to God. Psalms 34:15 says the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry. I knew God’s ears were open and I kept repeating like a woman in a trance- “You can hear me, I know you can hear me Lord. Your word says your ears are open to my cry”. If you can’t hear me then your word is not true”. I believe we have to be real with God, it’s not like he doesn’t know what you’re thinking anyway.
I pray this testimony has and will encourage you greatly, and cause you to crave intimacy and draw nearer to our almighty father.
Thank you for reading, please share that others might be blessed.