And a Child Shall Lead Them
by Hester Hampton
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“And a Child Shall Lead Them”
I stood there in the brisk breeze of a Michigan spring morning, admiring the resilience of the brightly colored tulips as they peeked through the melting snow. Things were going well; I had a great job, a nice house, a new car and had given birth to my second child, a happy healthy baby girl. My husband and I had chosen not to have any more children and I was ready to embark on the next phase of my life, yes God had truly blessed. Little did know that just six months later I would lose it all.
Before the birth of my daughter I had become ill and the doctors suggested that I take an additional three months of maternity leave, assuming it was related to the pregnancy. However, after six months, hundreds of test, thousands of dollars and five doctors with five different diagnoses, I was getting worst. I was tired and weak all the time and it was hard for me to breathe. Sometimes for no apparent reason my voice would go away or I’d drop things. It was difficult to walk and I would trip and fall over nothing and no one could tell me why. Six months earlier I was content, a healthy twenty seven years old; with the world at my feet and now I could barely put one foot in front of the other and walk across a room?
My husband worked the night shift and would never know what to expect when he got home. One night he came home to find me sitting in a urine soaked chair where I had sat hours earlier, the children asleep in my lap and me too weak to get up. Another time he found me in the bath tub; crying, cold, humiliated and too weak to get out. I couldn’t work, drive or take care of the house. Money was tight, my husband was exhausted and the stress and frustration had taken its toll. My daughters were now 4 years old and 6 months old and I could no longer care for them. My husband and I made the painful decision to send them to my mother in Alabama where they would be well cared for and safe. We also made another decision, we had to find out what was wrong with me, no matter what. So on my sixth wedding anniversary, September 30th, I was admitted to a rehabilitation hospital for an extended stay where my true healing, my spiritual healing began.
This hospital was another world, an alien world where pain and suffering was normal and stories of terror were common place. I hate it there, but at least I was making progress and since I was in a special wing I didn’t have to deal with the horror all the time. You see my doctor was a big deal, so unlike the other patients, I and a few others, didn’t have to take meals in the cafeteria or socialize in common areas. At the time I considered it a blessing …wait lets back up a minute. To me it is apparent that in my description of this perfect life there is no mention of my spiritual perfection. To be honest, at this point I was the poster child for “having the form of godliness” I went to church every Sabbath, sang in the choir, taught Sabbath School and was living the life of a committed, born again Christian. I didn’t however, have a clue, I was selfish, arrogant and hypocritical. I was lost and didn’t know it. All of which explains why I looked at these poor souls as a nuisance and beneath me. Their cries should have been my cries and their pain mine. They had suffered so much, many of them where alone, frightened and simply needed to know that God had not forgotten them. However, my only thought was; why me Lord? Why me?
I was soon up and walking and a tentative diagnosis had been made, the nightmare was almost over. One day my therapist and I went to for a long walk. When I returned to my room I was excited about my progress. I hurried across the room to call my mother, when I collapsed to the floor unable to move and the doctors hadn’t a clue why!
The next morning I was taken to the adjacent hospital for test. I was left in this long cold hallway to wait my turn when I heard this very sad sorrowful cry. I turned to see this tiny baby in an incubator, being pushed by an orderly. I asked the attendant why the baby was crying. He told me that the baby was seriously ill and had been crying constantly for most of her short life. I looked at her small fragile body and thought of my baby. I was heart broken. The orderly began to cough and asked me to watch the baby while he got some water. Honestly, I was shocked. What if something happened with the child? What if I was called in who would watch her? But, before I could object he was gone. I rolled my wheel chair over to the baby looked into her angelic face and began to sing, “Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me for the bible tells me so.” And in a moment, a heartbeat, she stopped crying and when off to sleep. The orderly came back and was surprised, “How did you do that?” he asked. I didn’t really answer; it was one of those light bulb moments. It all made sense, if I was sick just to give that precious baby a minute’s peace in an otherwise hellish life, it was OK! From that moment on I lived to bring joy to others. When my husband brought me a dozen roses I kept one and gave the other eleven to different patients. I read the cards that had been sent to me and decorated patient’s rooms with them. My life was no longer my own, I did anything I could do to help others. And I was lead by a child!
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Thank you for sharing this piece with us. A very touching story. May God continue to use you for his glory.
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