Chinese Church Voices

A Mother Grows in Faith

Chinese Church Voices is an occasional column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.

This article from Jingjie tells the story of the heartbreaking challenges that a mother faced after she left her job as a department director to care for her family full time and how God has worked to bring about spiritual growth, comforting and supporting the entire family.

Three Children, Three Challenges.

My first daughter will turn three years old in three months; my second daughter is now seven months old. I am a fulltime mother, having quit my job as a department director in Shanghai and moved to Suzhou with my husband. I struggled for a long time when I decided to quit my job. I was worried that our family’s income would decrease drastically, and that it would affect my relationship with my husband. Although none of my worries have come to pass, we have encountered unexpected challenges and blows one after another in the birth and growth of my children.

My son, Guoguo, passed away as soon as he was born.

Shortly after we arrived in Suzhou, I became pregnant. Although the pregnancy was unplanned, the whole process went very smoothly. We were happy and looking forward to the arrival of the baby. My final prenatal check-up was on December 29, 2016, which also happened to be my birthday. During the check-up, the fetal heartbeat was monitored. After the examination, the doctor said that all was well and there were no issues. The fetus was close to thirty-nine weeks, but since there was no room for me in the hospital at the time, the doctor told me to go back home and wait to be admitted sometime after the New Year.

Unexpectedly, on January 3 my baby died the same day he was born. I had had a caesarean section and there was no evidence of the umbilical cord being wrapped around his neck nor intrauterine hypoxia. He was a boy, and his skin was fine. The doctor said there was no medical explanation for his death.

My husband and I were overcome with grief and had a hard time accepting this sudden shock. I didn’t want to talk during the days I was in the hospital. Strangely, however, I felt a sense of peace in my heart. I knew clearly that my son had been taken by God and this thought sustained me. We named him Chen Guo and bought a cemetery plot for him. Later, my husband and the church leaders buried him in that cemetery.

We still mention Guoguo often, and I have seen him in my dreams. I visited the cemetery on the first anniversary of his death. That was my first time there. The year before I did not attend his burial because I felt unable to control my emotions and was afraid I might breakdown. On this day, however, I felt grounded and calm when I visited the grave.

When I came back that night, I had a dream that Guoguo was with the Lord Jesus. He was two years old and seemed very joyful. In a different scene, he sat at a round table, looking at me with a big smile. He was very beautiful and strong, with pretty eyes and eyebrows. How wonderful he was! When I woke up, I was extremely grateful and truly believed that he was with the Lord. This child has become an eternal bond between us and God.

Because of some health problems, I had to stay at home for a time and rest. In the fourth month after Guoguo left, I began to make some changes and started to read the Bible carefully. Every day I would read the Bible according to a reading plan and then do a little research. Then I would organize my thoughts and write them down for myself and would also send it to my friend groups. In this way I have read almost all the way through the whole Bible and journaled through it twice.

Yixin, our first daughter, was diagnosed with diabetes.

A year and a half later, my second child, now my eldest daughter Yixin, was born. My husband and I were very happy, as were the brothers and sisters in our church. However, Yixin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was one year and nine months old. I was shocked and couldn’t believe it because we had no family history of diabetes. However, the test report showed that it was true.

After being diagnosed, Yixin stayed in the hospital for ten days. She had to have many injections and was very thin and frail. We had to sign a critical condition notice because she might need the ICU if her ketoacidosis could not be resolved. Thankfully, this never happened.

We couldn’t help but ask God, why did this happen? Why did this happen to Yixin? She is such a little girl; she didn’t know anything yet and wouldn’t have committed any great sin. Why did this happen to her? Later, I realized that this child can touch the hearts of both my husband and me. Although I feel sorry for her, I know that God is working through her in my family.

In fact, before Yixin was diagnosed, I kept wishing that my husband could pursue and love God more and devote more time and energy to faith. So, I prayed and asked God to work and change him. I decided that no matter what happens, I will experience it with him together. Because of Yixin’s illness, my husband has indeed changed a lot. This was a timely wake-up call for our family. God reminded us through our daughter’s illness of when we were gradually drawn by various worldly temptations. However, I couldn’t realize this until now. My husband started to be committed to the church, to read the Bible, and to devote more time to serving. We talk more about faith now. All these changes came about because of my two children, Guoguo and Yixin.

It’s been a year since Yixin was diagnosed. Generally speaking, children with type 1 diabetes have a weak immune system. But thankfully, aside from the occasional runny nose or cough which was easily treated at home, Yixin did not get sick the whole year. She is a lively and smart girl now. Furthermore, God has used Yixin to bring my husband and I closer together.

I was four months pregnant with my second daughter, Yamin, when Yixin was diagnosed with diabetes. When I first became pregnant with Yamin, the doctor said that if I decided to have this baby, it would be very dangerous for both the baby and for me. I struggled a lot at the time, and even decided to give up the child. However, the brothers and sisters in my church prayed fervently for us and encouraged us so we would not make the wrong decision.

Later, my husband and I knelt and prayed together, but we still found this hard to accept. The doctor told us that because of the short interval between my second and third pregnancies, there would be great risk if I insisted on keeping the child, such as uterus rupture or heavy blood loss. On the night we were about to give up this baby, I had a dream. In the dream, God told me, “Come this way, come this way.” The voice was not loud, but extremely clear. Then I felt hot all over and woke up suddenly.  

I started to cry. I knew clearly that God was telling us not to go the wrong way and do the wrong thing. The next morning, I told my husband about my dream, and he said, “Well, there is nothing else to say, we need to have this baby!” After that, we went to regular prenatal appointments until Yamin was born.

Though Yamin was born a few days prematurely, she was about 6.6 pounds and was average or above average in every measurement. She is now plump and strong and she laughs and grabs things. Yamin is a lovable girl.

It is a blessing, not a sacrifice.

Yamin’s birth was God’s reminder for us to look to him, to have faith in him. There were many small problems for Yamin when she was born, but our hearts became stronger as we were willing to hand all these over to God.

When we first brought Yamin home, Yixin had trouble accepting her. My husband and I were very distressed and read a lot of books and watched some videos about families with two children. Even now we sometimes feel overwhelmed raising two children, especially because Yixin requires special care and we need to keep an eye on her blood sugar level at all times. When her blood sugar is high, we need to give her injections; when her blood sugar is low, we need to bring it back up. If Yamin cries, I really want to go over and give her a hug, but I must help Yixin, and I feel very guilty. Later, we decided to hire a nanny to help care for Yamin.

It is important to spend one-on-one time with our children. I read books, draw pictures, and play with Yixin when Yamin is sleeping. This way she can fully feel my love. As a child, when she receives enough love, she will be willing to accept her sister.

At age two, Yixin could already quietly attend the entire church service with adults. Before going to church, I would tell her that she needs to be quiet and speak softly. She is very obedient. Only when children are fully respected, and content can they joyfully accept parental teachings.

We also discipline our children when they make mistakes. My husband and I have an understanding, that when one of us disciplines the children, the other one won’t intervene, but will support them. We also told our children that we correct them out of love so that they won’t make mistakes or get hurt.

Now when I look back, I find that we’ve learned a lot about God from the birth of our three children. The birth of Guoguo made me turn completely back to God and connect more deeply with God. Yixin’s diabetes is God’s reminder for us to rely on him. The birth of Yamin encouraged us to have full confidence in God and trust him under any uncontrollable circumstances.

My husband and I have less time alone now. We only chat and talk, or sometimes watch a movie after the kids are sleeping. Although we don’t have much time to go out for fun, I feel very happy to see the children growing up peacefully and joyfully, which is a blessing rather than a sacrifice.

Original article: 三个孩子,三种试炼,  境界
Translated, edited, and reposted with permission.

Image credit: Rui Xu on Unsplash.
ChinaSource Team

ChinaSource Team

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