Unity

There was devastation in my country, Northern Ireland, when Protestants and Cathoilics were at war from 1968 to 1998.

Thirty years of Troubles. Catholics were bombed out of their homes, forced to move away from Protestant neighbours. Protestants were bombed out as well to force families into Ghettos. City centres were bombed to try to disrupt everyday life. Your life was at risk if a Catholic married a Protestant. Hearts were broken over the death of loved ones, and dreams. Men and women were kidnapped and never returned to their families. Many people were forced into exile. Why did this happen? Other nations who don’t believe in Jesus were laughing at us. We were bringing shame to the name of Jesus.

This is Christian Unity week. Around the third week in January each year, Christians are encouraged to gather together to pray. This movement has been encouraged for around ninety years. I think it a great idea. I was inspired to seek for unity many years ago when I read Jesus’ word to his disciples before he went to the crucified.

“Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me.
Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭17:11-12, 17, 21-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It was one of Jesus’ last prayers for us before he died. This prayer is still valid today. When I first came upon this scripture there was war in Northern Ireland; war between Protestants and Catholics.
I was distressed that this situation was definitely the opposite of what Jesus prayed. I determined to look for unity among Christians.

I sought out other Christians in my town. I went along to every Church to meet the people and see what their services were like. I found they had many things in common. The bible was read and explained. They prayed to the same Father in heaven, “Our Father who art in heaven.” They all said that Jesus forgives our sins. They all said there is a heaven and a hell and one can be sure of getting there to heaven if one has faith in Jesus. They all celebrated the breaking of bread to remember Jesus death. Many people turned to God during the troubles and found solace at Church. Congregations were growing. But still I wondered why are there so many churches. Why were there so many different meeting places? Why was there such hatred and bitterness among people outside causing bloodshed in my country?

Here is another verse that inspired me at the time.

““I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:19-22‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I wanted God to change my life on the earth. Jesus said “Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus promises us eternal life in heaven with him and the Father if we believe and trust him. Not only that but he wants us to experience his kingdom life here on earth. There is peace, joy, unity and love in heaven. Why not on earth as well? I wanted heaven to come on earth in my life, home and community.

I wanted to pray, even if it was only one other person, all those thirty eight years ago. I read a book in the library about people in America meeting together to pray for healing and people got healed! I found a group of ladies who prayed. One was a Presbyterian, another a Church of Ireland, a Methodist, a Baptist and myself a Catholic. We met together to pray each week. I felt at home and began to pray. One lady said later, “I was the best wee evangelical prayer she had ever heard.” Yes God was in our midst, as Jesus said “I am there with them.” There may have been war outside, but we had peace in our hearts and in our meetings. Prayers were answered, especially prayers for peace in our country. We would pray that bombs would not go off. Often bombs were found by the police before they did any damage. We prayed for our families. I found these ladies loving and encouraging. I looked forward each week to seeing them.

With any step forward in one’s walk with Jesus, one’s heart gets tested. Immediately after Jesus taught his disciples to agree in prayer, Peter asked “How often have we to forgive?” It is necessary that to be in unity one has to forgive. Each of us is a sinner. If I want my own way and don’t work with the other person then there is disagreement. Our prayer is not answered.

This can be particularly relevant when a husband and wife wish to pray together. You don’t have to leave home or go to Church to pray with someone else if you are married. Statistics show that not many couples pray together. It is easier to pray with a stranger who believes in God than one’s husband. It is God’s plan that a husband and wife are in unity. He wants us to be one! How can this be? Only by God’s power. No amount of reading “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” will bring about the unity. I know. I have been tried in the furnace of affliction in order for me to agree with my husband. Perhaps you ladies out there can identify with me.

““But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.””
‭‭Mark‬ ‭10:6-9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This is the ideal but in the working out of this truth one has to give up one’s own agenda for the sake of the other. It means giving up one’s pride, ambition, and independence for the sake of the other. Am I willing to do this for the sake of the Kingdom of God and unity to come in my marriage, my family and community of believers.

Jesus knew how difficult we would find it to agree. It is difficult for two sinners to live together. Paul fell out with Barnabas, who had been a big encourager to him before. They went their separate ways. Jesus has made provision for us. He died and shed his blood for me for my forgiveness of sins. He wants me to forgive my brother or sister who has done me wrong. Through his blood we can be reconciled and be in unity again, so we can pray. Outside of ourselves we have the evil one, the devil, with whom to contend. He hates when people agree to pray and especially when a couple pray. Satan is defeated when we overcome our disagreements.

I appeal to you, brothers, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, to make up the differences between you, and instead of disagreeing among yourselves, to united again in your belief and practice. It is clear there are serious differences among you.”
God has taken me on a journey to seek an answer to Jesus’ prayer for unity. This has taken me back into my own home. I seek unity with my husband so we can pray and our prayers are not hindered. God has cleared away the serious differences between us. This means being humble, forgiving and not arguing.

Jesus told us to remember his death in Communion. Before we come to Communion in remembering Jesus death on the cross we are encouraged to go to our brother and and sort out any disagreement.
“Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I am beginning to understand why there is bitterness and hatred among Christians. It is deeply rooted in their hearts. Injustices against one another in past generations had grown into devastation of lives and property in our towns. Great offences had festered for generations and grew into deep roots of malice and hatred. Can our land be healed? Can people be healed who have been deeply hurt? Is there any balm to heal the wounds of my people?

God was working. There was hope. Two “Cities of refuge”were opened. Cecil Kerr began a work of Reconciliation in Rostrever Renewal Centre. Protestants and Catholics could find a space to meet together and be accepted. Corrymeela, near Ballycastle, was opened by Ray Davey with a vision to give holidays to people who needed to get out of the war zones. Another city of refuge. Protestants and Catholics were starting on a journey of getting to know one another.

Peace talks were held with the help of other leaders from Britain, Tony Blair, and America, President Clinton. Channels of communication were opened. Political leaders from Northern Ireland, John Hume and David Trimble received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work for peace. Martin Maginess and Paisley who had been enemies, became the First Minister and Deputy Minister in Stormont. They worked together and became known as “The Chuckle Brothers.” The War ceased. The devastation stopped.

There is a Balm to heal the wounds of my people. I found him. He is Jesus. He forgives all sins of the people and their forefathers’ sins through the shedding of his blood. If we have faith that he forgives sins we can be set free. So the devastation, hurt, divorce, cancer and hatred need not continue. It starts with me forgiving another if he hurts me. If I feel wounded I ask Jesus to heal me and not let the wound fester until I want revenge. By his stripes I am healed.

When I was suffering from cancer, I had unforgiveness in my heart. I definitely wasn’t in agreement with my husband and other Christians. I had to ask Jesus to forgive me again and in return I chose to forgive others. My heart was cleansed and at the same moment my cancer disappeared. I sought reconciliation with my husband and others.

The war has ceased. But now so many of our churches, whether they are Catholic, Church of Ireland, Prespyterian, Methodist, Baptist, or new Church having falling numbers in their congregations? Why are so many people suffering from cancer. Has there been fall outs in marriages, divorces, family and church members?

I urge you as Paul says above, to make up the differences between you. Pray together again with one or two. This is how we solve our problems and our nation’s problems. When we are forgiven, healed and restored we are free to pray together and our prayers will be answered. Some people from Northern Ireland now are invited to other war torn nations to help broker peace. What God has done for us he can do for others.

There is restoration after devastation. We need not give up hope.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/devastation/

 

Paths of Peace

Brendan and I were visiting a friend today.

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In her garden is an ancient olive tree.  It has a knarled and thick trunk. There are young trees springing up around the trunk from olive seeds that took root.  The olive tree is symbol of peace.  When invaders conquered a region in ancient times they cut down the trees.  This olive tree has remained standing.

Here is the view out the front of her home.

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Her garden is a peaceful place, a little bit of heaven on earth.  As I walked through the garden and discovered the olive tree and took in the beautiful view,  I was reminded of some verses from Proverbs,

“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:13-18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Today I was walking along paths of pleasantness and peace.

Testimony Tuesday. My Experience of How Nature Restores My Mind.

I was reading and article on the internet, from the New York Times, written by Gretchen Reynolds.  It is entitled “How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain.”  I will quote some of the article,

“A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.

City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.

Volunteers who had strolled along the quiet, tree-lined paths showed slight but meaningful improvements in their mental health, according to their scores on a questionnaire. They were not dwelling on the negative aspects of their lives as much as they had been before the walk.  They were allowed to walk at their own pace.  As might have been expected, walking along the highway had not soothed people’s minds.

Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago.”

Thank you Gretchen Reynolds for this article.  I agree with this article.

In Psalm 23 I read,

The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.

He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful waters.  (‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭1-2‬ NLT)

I lived in a town house when our children were small.  I grew up in the country and I longed to live again in the country.  I dreamed of my children putting on their Wellington boots and going out to play in nature in all kinds of weather, as I did when I was growing up.

Being in the town had more benefits for our family at that stage.  The schools, post office, shops, library, swimming pool, dentist, medical centre and friends lived nearby.  Driving my children to school, or to the shops would have added stress to our already busy lives.  I was at peace and realised living in the town was the best thing for us then.

Before we had a car Brendan and I always took our children on walks along the river or into a forest, nearby.  When our family increased we went for drives to the beach or other beauty sites a little further away.  Everyone piled into our minibus and headed out for a drive after tea or on a Saturday to enjoy nature.  We returned tired, refreshed and had a good night’s sleep.

Being in the middle of nature did lift any stress we or our children were under.  Any bad feelings or attitudes were forgotten as the children played together.  Brendan knew what would do us all good.  No need for headache tablets or Prozac for us.

Brendan and I now live in the country, beside a forest and the sea.  We have a double portion of nature.  Each time Brendan and I would take a walk for a mile along the foreshore we see something new.   One evening we saw six large storks that rose up from their feeding places as we walked along.   Their big wings flapped like skirts and they screeched, because they were unsettled from their feeding positions.  Never mind we had a wonderful display.

Another time I noticed something stir in the shallow water off the shore.  Air bubbled to the surface.  Was there a whale or dolphin out there.  No, three divers came to the surface.  It is a popular spot to explore wrecks of ships out in the bay.   A seal swam in the water along side as we walked by another time.  Every evening  there is a beautiful sky as the sun shines through the clouds at sunset.

We went for a walk along Barhill Rd, a National Trust property one Saturday evening.  Not many people know about it.  A lane took us to open ground beside a near a newly sown corn field.  We saw six hares play together in the evening sun.  The path continued down to the sea.  We walked along a bar made from stones throw up by decades of sea waves.  Across from us on an island lay many fat seals, safe from an intrusion.  We rested a while, amazed.  “How Great Thou Art”

Brendan and I are certainly enjoying nature and our minds and moods are being changed by the healing environment where we live.  Our souls are being restored.

Yes I recommend old and young getting out in nature for a walk.  You will be surprised by the show God puts on for you.   You can listen to the music of birds, leaves, wind and waves.  Your eyes will see life around you.

Nature declares the Glory of God!

Family Friday. Have You Turned Your Face to the Wall and Wept?

When one finds oneself with a threatening disease and facing death, all kinds of emotions erupt.  Why has this happened to me?  What will happen to my children?  People stay away because they feel helpless to make a change.  Clouds of fear and depression close in.  The disease advances in the body and death threatens slowly, slowly.

This happened to a King in Israel a long time ago.  Here is the story.

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. 
The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: 
Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” 
And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 
Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. 
On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. 
I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’ ” (‭2 Kings‬ ‭20‬:‭1-6‬ NIV)
So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered! (‭2 Kings‬ ‭20‬:7‬ NLT)

Imagine the king turning to the wall and weeping bitterly.  Have you ever been in distress about a situation, perhaps not only a health problem, when all you could do was lie on your bed and turn to the wall and weep?  Have you ever felt you can’t go on unless the situation changes?  One can think “Why bother doing good?”  “Why bother seeking to keep God’s laws?”  “Why bother denying myself when my friends get away with doing things they shouldn’t.  Nothing seems to happen to them?”

Psalm 13 describes how one often feels.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?  (‭Psalm‬ ‭13‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

I have turned to the wall many times and cried, particularly when I was facing death through cancer.  I was afraid.  I was sad.  All hope was gone.  But God saw me and healed me.  Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the multitudes.  Will he not have compassion on one person, that person being you or me.  

Hezekiah the king of Israel was facing death.  He was distressed and wept.  He didn’t just give up.  He reminded God that he had tried to live right before him and do good.  He put his case before God.  He talked to God.  He reasoned with God.  
God heard his prayer and saw his tears.  God changed his mind and sent the prophet back right away to tell the king that he would recover.   Isn’t that good news?  Take heart today that when you cry to God and reason with him he can quickly heal you.

I have more good news.  God has made a way where there is no way. Jesus died on the cross and shed his Blood to forgive all our sins and heal all our diseases.  Even if i haven’t lived right, if I believe in Jesus and call on his name and plead the Blood of Jesus before God our Father he will forgive and heal.  Having faith in Jesus brings results.

A young lady I know had Multiple Sclerosis.  Her condition had deteriorated till she was confined to bed.  She was no longer able to look after her husband and children.  She was being treated with medication from the doctor but she remained weak.  She cried out to God from her sick bed.  Through prayer she too has been totally healed, is restored to look after her family and has two more children.   

Another young pastor’s wife had cancer and she began to bleed. She was pregnant with her fifth child.  The doctors gave her pain relief and sent her home.  She was in terrible pain.  She reasoned with God.  “I have tried to serve you as best I know how.  Please heal me.”   She was totally healed in a few days.  The cancer passed from her body with no harm to her baby!  24 February 2015 “Testimony Tuesday, Young Mother Healed of Cancer”

Testimony Tuesday. Something Broken Made Into Something Beautiful

I have taken up a hobby of making mosaics from broken pieces of glass and pottery.

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One sunny morning in Springtime I went for a walk along the foreshore.  It is a stony beach.  I noticed pieces of green glass glistening among the pebbles.  They were looking at me inviting me to pick them up.  I picked one up, then another, and another until my pocket was full.  I felt like I was panning for gold in the stones of the shoreline.   Brendan joined me is my treasure hunt and he collected a pocket full too.  We collected other species, shades of blue, white, and brown.

I inspected them all when I returned home.  I asked myself what can I do with these colourful but broken pieces of glass.  The edges weren’t sharp any more and their colours were cloudy from the years of being broken and worn with the sea storms.  They had lost their shine.  Circumstances in life bring troubles, disappointments, lose or rejection leaving one worn down with the storms of life or relegated to the ash heap.

When washed and grim removed, my pieces of glass were ready to be positioned into something beautiful.

As I looked at the different shapes of green pieces I was inspired to make a mosaic of my country, Ireland, which has thirty two counties. I would use a piece of glass for each county.  I found a piece of wood and a tube full of tile filler.  So started my hobby of making mosaics.  I tried out putting other colours of glass together.  I find I relax as I work.

On Saturday I discovered a new site along the shoreline to build up my supply of broken pieces. I added to my collection, pieces of pottery.  I was excited to see how these pieces would clean up.  Some had blue willow patterns, some had plain colours.  How would they fit in to a mosaic?

As I worked I reminded myself how glass is made.  It is made from the common material, sand.  The sand is heated to 1700 degrees. Through the fire sand changes to become glass.  Pottery is made from clay, a common material.  The clay is treated in high temperatures to turn it to pottery.

The Word of God tells us that we were created by God.

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (‭Genesis‬ ‭2‬:‭7‬ NIV)

Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭64‬:‭8‬ NIV)

Sometimes when I go through difficult times I wonder what is happening to me.  This passage from Peter explains,

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭4‬:‭12‬ NIV)

When I go though the fires of difficulty I am being transformed to be a useful vessel for The Lord, like the sand being transformed to glass or the clay to pottery.

The pieces of glass and pottery on the beach are all that remain of useful vessels.  Perhaps the blue glass was a beautiful perfume bottle or the piece of pottery, a treasured piece of willow patterned delph on a bride’s dresser.

But even after many years Our Creator God can reach down and touch all that remains of a broken vessel and make something new.  My mosaics speak to me of hope.  There is life after brokenness.  They can be displayed on a dresser again or adorn a bathroom wall and be a thing of beauty again.  God will restore lives again.

Testimony Tuesday. Call In The Experts.

If one is in any kind of trouble he wants someone who can help.  If your car breaks down you call a mechanic.  If you have a burst pipe in the house you call an expert, the plumber.  If the electric wires are not working you call an electrician.  You don’t call a plumber to fix the electrics.  If you need a house built you call a builder.  If you need to sell your house you call someone who can market your house.  If you need legal advice you call a lawyer.

If one’s body is the trouble he calls the doctor.  The doctors can help by diagnosing his disease.  He will give his professional advice and prescribe drugs or advise surgery if necessary. It is marvellous the advances in medical care in the 21st century in the west and we get to benefit from it.

I discovered in my research, that people who have cancer in Russia do not have the expertise we can avail of here in the United Kingdom. What can they do?

God gives experts in the Church who have different gifts to help the people.  Some people have the gift of healing.  So if one is sick call the experts in healing.  Call those who believe in God, who know how to pray, and help spiritually to bring healing to the mind and body.

Call people who believe God answers prayer, people who believe that God heals.  People who already have experienced healing.  One wants to be around those who have faith and who love and help one through the days of loneliness, fear, and sickness.

For one day I had the symptoms of sickness and wretching, side effects from having treatment from chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  Wretching alone made me feel weak and fearful.  My body and mind could not take any more pain.  I passed out.  During that morning two people rang me.  One lady felt The Lord prompted her to ring me and pray for me.  

Knowing God alerted someone who knew how to pray comforted me.  She prayed for me and she brought me peace.  My niece rang me and said God told her to ring me and pray for me.  He told her to remind me it was God who taught me to pray.  Again I was overwhelmed with God’s love for me.  He sent help.  I am so thankful God preserved me from pain, burning and sickness.  

Fear of death can overwhelm the cancer sufferer.  It can leave one with no courage to fight.  So one lies down under the sickness and loses the will to live.  I had been bleeding for three years from my colon but I thought it would go away.  I thought the blood could be coming from heamoroids or colitis.  I believed that God can heal and have prayed for others who have been healed.  At no time did I think of cancer.

I eventually came to realise my condition was not improving, but getting worse, I told my husband.  I needed others to help me.  We went to the hospital.  The doctor examined me and referred me on to the oncology specialist.  It seemed I had cancer.  I was numb and was relieved that my condition was discovered.  I now knew the truth.  I was too weak to care.  I had no fight left.  I was not in control any more.  I was now dependant on the help of experts, the doctors to diagnose the condition and those who believe that God heals.

The news hit my husband and children hard.  They were sad but not hopeless or overwhelmed.  They loved Mum and didn’t want me to die.  They believed God would come to our aid in my time of despair.  They gathered around me the first night and prayed for my healing.  My family arose as an army to fight fear, cancer and death.  The war was on.  

We were in a spiritual battle.  When someone comes into your house to steal your property will you stand by and let them steal it?   No you will put up a fight to put the robber out or call the police for help.  So it was with my family.  The devil was bringing cancer and death to their mum to steal her away from them.  They believed God and spoke God’s promise over my life that I shall not die and by the stripes of Jesus I am healed

Scriptures say the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (‭John‬ ‭10‬:‭10‬ NIV)

Jesus was referring to the evil one,  the Devil who comes to kill.   The Devil is a spiritual being and one cannot fight him physically.  But we can fight him and defeat him with Gods spiritual weapons of war.  Jesus came on earth to destroy the works of the Devil.  He preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God, for people to turn to God away from sin and He would forgive their sins and heal their diseases.  He died on the cross and shed his Blood.  If we accept his sacrifice we will be healed.  By his stripes we are healed.  

The weapons to defeat Satan are faith in God, speaking out the Name of Jesus, and saying the Blood of Jesus is against you Satan and walking in peace, forgiving others as Jesus has forgiven us our sins.

If I am in trouble I want to call someone who knows how to pray to God and get results.  I needed prayer warriors who were not afraid of the enemy and had the right weapons and armour to win the battle.  As news of my trouble spread people prayed for me.

After my family prayed for me, the bleeding stopped within a week.  The battle was on and my family was winning.  The healing from Cancer began.  

God promises to be with us in trouble.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. (‭Psalm‬ ‭91‬:‭14-15‬ NIV)

Testimony Tuesday. My Consultant Didn’t Want Me to have more Children.

When I was expecting my eleventh child I attended my consultant for a routine check up.  After blood pressure was checked, temperature taken and weight checked he wanted to talk to me.  He went on to tell me there was a risk my baby could be born with a disability because I was now forty years old.  I refused to listen to him even though he was a respected consultant.  Many women spent lots of money to go privately and get his help at the their births.  I told him I believed in God and God would look after me and my baby.   If I had  shown any fear he would have offered me an abortion.  I changed doctors.  I found a Cathoilc lady doctor who didn’t judge me for having more children.

When I delivered my son Jacob another doctor suggested to me not to have any more children.  He said, “Your body is like a car, it will break down.”  I quickly responded, “No Doctor, God will renew my strength.  I went on to have three more children.  I was in my forties.  I didn’t always listen to the doctor.

My husband said every time I went into labour it was like having a revival meeting.  I would be calling on Jesus when I had a labour pain.  Having my son Aaron was the most memorable time for Brendan.  When I started in labour with Aaron we walked to the maternity home that was near where I lived.  It was like a home from home.  The midwives looked after the mothers.  The GP doctor would be in attendance when the baby was due to be born.   I was in labour all night.  The night nurses stayed on in the morning to see my baby born.  The night nurses and the new shift of nurses were all around my bed.  The doctor was in the background waiting.  The pains were getting intense.  The nurse asked me to lift up my leg.  I said “lift up The Lord “.  Everyone was embarressed.  Aaron was born to the sound of “Praise The Lord”.  He was a bouncy baby boy weighing in at ten pounds ten ounces.  Mother and baby were all well.  Brendan went home to get a rest.

Two people who worked in the Maternity Home became pregnant after my visit there.  One lady was a carer and another was a midwife. They were telling me when I returned to have my next child.

My consultant wasn’t the only one who wasn’t happy with me having many children.  Another doctor said on his notes “This unfortunate woman is pregnant again”.  That was when I was expecting Ruth, my seventh child!  Friends and family were fearful for me.  Thay thought something would happen to me if I continued having children.   I became afraid of what others thought.  I became pregnant with my eighth child.  I was afraid to tell anyone I was pregnant again.

Well meaning friends invited me out for coffee or to the gym.  They thought it would be good for me to get out for a time away from work at home with children.  I attended exercise classes with a friend.  I had never been to the gym before.   I still didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant.  At twelve weeks I had a miscarriage.  I lost my baby.  I could see the little human being of twelve weeks.  Brendan and I were sad.  Brendan took the  small baby and put it in a box.  He asked The Lord what to do.  The Lord told him to buy a grave and bury our child and to give our baby a name.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (‭Psalm‬ ‭139‬:‭13, 16‬ NIV)

Brendan bought a burial plot in the cemetery.  He took all of us there to bury our child.  All of our family gathered around as Brendan put the box in the soil.  We prayed a prayer , cried a little and went back to the car.  Brendan put the tape recorder on in the car.  It played a song by a New Zealand couple with the words in it, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book.”  We were all comforted by these words.  Our baby lived twelve weeks but God knew every day ordained for her.   My husband had a dream some time later.  God showed him our baby was a little girl and he called her Deirdre.  She was with The Lord in heaven.  I hope this is a comfort to other mothers who have had a miscarriage  or have had an abortion.  God is taking care for the little ones.  I will see my daughter in heaven. Like David when his son with Bathsheba died he said,

He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (‭2 Samuel‬ ‭12‬:‭22-23‬ NIV)

After loosing my baby I told God I was very sorry for being fearful of what others thought of me being pregnant.  I told him I was sorry for going to the gym, which may have endangered my unborn baby. I realised that God is the author of life.  It was not within my own power to save my baby.  I had become blaze.  I was always healthy and my babies were healthy.  I determined never to be afraid of what others thought of me having children.  I was delivered from the fear of man. Doctors, friends and family can give advice,  but I want to obey God first.  He is my creator and helper.  I honor him.

David and Bathsheba had another son after their child died.  I became pregnant again and had my son Patrick.