By Xiaogai, China
The late-afternoon sunshine was shining into the living room through the window of the balcony, making the room look extremely bright. Xiaonuo, sitting on a sofa opposite to me, was focusing on reading the Bible. We had only just met. But when seeing that although she was young, her fellowship was very practical and enlightening, I became interested in how she believed in God. Thus, I asked her, “Xiaonuo, why did you choose to believe in God?” At my words, she reflected a little, then closed the Bible and lifted up her head, bashfully smiling to me with two dimples on her cheeks. She felt a little surprised at my question, so for a moment, she didn’t know where to start. After some silence, she began to tell her story.
“I grew up in my grandma’s home and she is a pious Christian. Under the influence of that kind of environment, I admitted to God’s existence when I was little. But because of just wanting to play, I didn’t like to read God’s words and even if I occasionally went to church with my grandma, I was for the fun of it. It was not until I experienced my unusual delivery that I formally came before God.
“On the day when my due date came, my family accompanied me to our county hospital for a prenatal examination. After it, the doctor said to me in surprise, ‘Your heart is pumping very fast and its rate is about 140 beats per minute. This shows the signs of heart failure. Generally speaking, only before dying will people have this sign. Once your heart stops beating, you’ll die at any minute. We dare not deliver your baby. You’d better go to the city hospital.’ The doctor’s words were like a bolt from the blue. I felt like I had fallen into a deep freeze. And the joy of my whole family disappeared at once. I couldn’t believe my ears, thinking, ‘I’ve been healthy since I was little. How come I suddenly have the signs of heart failure?’ I felt afraid, so much so that I felt that I was dying. At that time, my family’s words of comfort could not appease me at all. Just then I thought of what my grandma often said to me, ‘The Bible says, “Trust in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us” (Psalms 62:8). Our fate is controlled by God’s hands. If you encounter difficulties, don’t forget to rely on God.’ Thus, my empty heart calmed down little by little.
“Afterward, we went to the city hospital in a hurry. And it was pretty late when we arrived there. After the examination, the doctor shook his head and said to me, ‘You’ve gotten the signs of heart failure. You’d better go back to your local hospital.’ Hearing this, my husband was so anxious that he pleaded, ‘We were just there but they didn’t receive my wife. Could you please deliver our baby?’ However, the doctor said with disdain, ‘According to her current situation, if we do a caesarean operation for her, we don’t even know whether she will survive. If you insist on getting this surgery, once accidents happen in it, we won’t take responsibility. Moreover, there is no ward. I’m afraid that she has to stay in the passage. So, you’d better go back to your county hospital.’ Hearing all of this, my family were even more worried, so we could do nothing but return to our county through the night. On the way back, I was very scared beyond description. Therefore, I always prayed to God in my heart and asked Him to protect me.
“The next day, we returned to the County People’s Hospital. After another examination, the doctor, looking at my tests, said with an imposing expression to my family, ‘She has the signs of heart failure. So we can’t deliver her baby.’ Hearing his words, I froze, thinking to myself, ‘I’ve had this disease and have no place to give birth to my baby. Moreover I feel a dull pain in my belly. What should I do? Many women have died in childbirth. Will I die like them?’ As I thought this, I felt again death approaching. Just then, my mother saw I was very scared and so comforted me in my ear, ‘Don’t be sacred. Let’s rely on God more. Everything is in God’s hands. God says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit” (Zechariah 4:6). We should have true faith in God.’ Then, I prayed to God in my heart, entrusting the matter entirely to Him. At that time, I saw God’s wondrous deed. The doctor agreed to deliver my baby. Yet my family and I must sign the consent forms, some of which stated that whether my baby and I survived or not had nothing to do with the hospital. We had no choice but to sign them. Afterward, when seeing other women around me all had had an easy birth yet I couldn’t, I wanted to cry but shed no tears. The only thing I could do was to rely on God.
“In that instant as I was about to be wheeled into the operating room, my tears fell down my face. I thought maybe that was goodbye because once I was wheeled into that room, I wouldn’t get out alive. At the moment, I was in so much pain that it almost suffocated me. I couldn’t help turning my head to look. At the same time my mother was fixing her eyes steadfastly on me, appearing to say, ‘Trust in God! We are not scared!’
“Later, I was anesthetized and soon after I felt that it was hard to open my eyes and my consciousness began to grow a little blurry. I made out several doctors standing in the operating room. I thought: ‘Maybe they prepare to resuscitate me at any time.’ During the surgery, someone was always reminding me not to fall asleep. I got deeply fearful that once I fell asleep I would not wake up anymore. However, I could not control myself that my eyes closed. Thus, I cried out desperately to God in my heart, ‘God! Please save me and my baby. O, God! I really can’t hold on. Please help my mind clear up a bit. God! If I’m unable to survive today, please protect my baby….’ I couldn’t open my eyes, but through crying out to God, my mind began to be clear. And gradually, I didn’t feel scared, my heart became calmer, and I felt secure in my heart. Then, I never thought that my baby would be taken out soon. At that point, I shed excited tears. My first thought was that it was God’s great power that saved my baby’s life and mine. When I heard my baby crying, I felt relieved, thinking, ‘My baby was finally born safe and sound. And I’m still alive.’
“Later, not until the doctor began to stitch the incision did I fall into a deep and heavy sleep. I didn’t know how much time passed. The doctor wheeled me out of the operating room. And then I was woken up by the bright light outside. At that moment when I saw the world again, I felt as if I had gained a new life, and words could not describe my emotional frame of mind. All I could do was repeatedly thank God in my heart. Seeing my parents and other family looking at me surprisingly in front of the operating room, I couldn’t restrain my tears. I just felt that it was truly wonderful to be alive. I looked at my mother and we clearly knew in our hearts that it was God who saved me and my baby.
“After having experienced that matter, I’ve deeply tasted that in the life-and-death crisis, my family couldn’t help me; no matter how much money we had, it couldn’t save my life or my baby’s and the doctors were also powerless to do that; only God can save us. When my life and my baby’s hung in the balance, I entrusted our lives to God and then saw God’s wondrousness and almightiness. It was God who led me to go through the hardest time. Besides, I’ve personally experienced God’s authority and power and understood that God governs and controls everything. Just because of that special experience, I could truly come before God and accept Him as my Savior and my reliance. This is my greatest reward.”
When getting to this point, Xiaonuuo lowered her head and said embarrassedly, “Thinking back to the past, though I believed that there is a God, because of loving to have fun I didn’t read God’s words carefully or participate in church life properly that I wasted so much time. However, God still treated me with so much grace, took pity on me and saved me from the brink of death. Whenever I recall this, I’ll feel guilty.”
Though her fellowship didn’t have pretty sounding words and her language was not splendid, after hearing her story I could feel God’s wisdom and almightiness, and appreciate that God’s love for mankind is so real and true. I also understood that when we live only for physical pleasures, it is easy for us to ignore God’s existence; however, when we face diseases and death, we’ll find that life is so fragile, that our family, doctors and money are not able to save our lives, and that only God is the source of our life. When we encounter difficulties, as long as we truly rely on God, cry out to Him, we’ll realize that actually, He is always by our side and will be there to help us at any time. God’s love is really this concrete!
All the glory be to God!