I Am Alive Because Of My Faith In God
In the thick of the pandemic, a healthcare worker and mother of two from New York battles COVID-19 with her family through prayer, patience, and faith.
I Am Alive Because of My Faith in God
(Faith Speaks Online Event)
“I AM ALIVE BECAUSE OF MY FAITH IN GOD”
Ainelou David: I am feeling the cold night air through the open car window as my husband drives me home from the emergency room in the early morning hours of March 25th. The sun was going to rise in another hour, but I was finally going home to get some sleep. I just finished texting our minister, letting him know I was prescribed antibiotics and allowed to recover at home since my oxygen levels returned to normal. He replied to me, God would never forsake us, and for me to get my rest. Little did we know how difficult the next few weeks of recovery would be because of COVID-19. Before this, my regular routine was driving the kids to school in the morning and then going straight to work. I’m a homecare physical therapist, which means I travel to my patient homes, and I provide rehabilitation for them there. I enjoy the flexibility of scheduling my own day, so that I’m still able to pick them up after school, and we drive home together. I love my job.
As the news of the coronavirus was spreading, my agency, here in New York City, was already taking precautionary measures as an effort to protect us and keep us healthcare workers safe in the community we were hoping and praying that despite living in one of the most populous cities of the world, we would somehow be spared. Unfortunately, that was not the case for me and my family. Both my husband and I had gotten COVID-19.
I was on a prescription regimen of antibiotics, anti-malaria pills, and cough suppressants. Together, he and I managed to create our own private pharmacy at home, as we both battled never-ending body aches, chest congestion, fatigue, loss of smell, and worse for me, insomnia, but more on that later. Our only solace was knowing that our two children were still safe, healthy, and happy, learning in their virtual classrooms. We did our best to maintain a safe zone in the house that my husband and I thoroughly cleaned everyday. We used to yell at the kids, “Don’t touch anything! Leave the faucets on! We will shut them off for you! Bring your toothbrush with you to the bedroom!”
They stayed pretty much holed up in their rooms, and the only time we spent together was during household worship services or family prayers. But even then, we made them stand all the way at the far end of the living room, with me and my husband standing on the opposite side, all four of us wearing masks. The recovery was daunting.
My kids noticed I was struggling to sing during our household worship services because I wasn’t breathing properly. I developed anxiety during my recovery, and although I no longer had a fever or a cough, I was afraid to go to sleep. The physical tension in my back and stomach would not allow me to rest. I just couldn’t get them to relax. So while I was thankful I got to come home and be healed from my symptoms, the virus hurt me and left its mark on my emotional and mental state. I got maybe only 30 minutes of sleep during an entire 24-hour period, which is madness! And this went on for days. As I was waiting to complete my 14-day self-quarantine at home, I longed to go outside and feel the sunlight on my face, but I wasn’t healthy enough yet, and the anxiety weakened me.
My husband recovered and is doing well. My recovery took longer, and I spent that time calling my dad and messaging him every night. I also tried calling my mom, but forget about it. Every time she’d get on the phone, she wouldn’t stop crying! Daddy made time for me between going to the office and officiating live stream worship services. He also established a devotional prayer for me and the whole family, which was something to look forward to in the middle of the night because of the 12-hour time difference between New York and the Philippines. Daddy is a minister of the gospel in the Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church Of Christ. His name is Brother Louie Vergara. One of the best pieces of advice he ever gave me, which I still follow today, is there’s always a second chance, and that’s what I was hoping for.
The hardest part was trying to fall asleep. I was trying so hard, and I was getting annoyed and impatient. Nothing I did was working. I would be up all night, walking past the kitchen, to the bathroom, like a zombie. My back and stomach were so tight, I couldn’t take a proper deep breath in, and I was getting scared. How was I supposed to keep my family safe if I couldn’t get a decent night’s rest? I’m praying for it, I’m asking my father to pray for it, my husband and the kids are including it in their prayers. Why wasn’t it happening the way I wanted it to be? I was already doing my best and trying so hard! My father reminded me, “Don’t rush. Wait patiently. God’s servant Job, ached from head to toe. Be like him. Pray and wait.” My body ached, my mind burned, my eyes stung. I told my dad, “I’m hurting, Daddy, but I’ll wait! I can be a champion like Job!”
This was Friday, April 3. This was the same weekend of the first video link of Brother Eduardo’s worship service since the coronavirus invaded my life, and wouldn’t you believe it? That same night, I actually slept for hours! My health got progressively better after that, and I believe it’s because of the power of prayer and God’s love.
As you can see, today, I’m alive and well. I’m back to my normal routine, and I thank God for giving me that second chance. What I learned about my faith and God, through this COVID-19 experience, is that there needs to be patience paired with faith, and to wait for God to act. I also learned that God has a plan. We will experience things in this life that are too difficult to go through alone, and that’s when God will show you His mercy so that you, and all those most valuable to you, can see how exactly God is working in our lives.[On-screen text graphic]
STORIES WITH PURPOSE
Brother Johnny Martin: Dear friends, once again on behalf of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), we are so grateful that you joined us in our Faith Speaks Online Event. [On screen graphics]
Brother Johnny Martin
Minister of the Gospel
Brother Johnny: For some of you, you know, this may be the very first time that you’ve heard about the Church Of Christ. For others, perhaps you were able to attend our previous events or activities in the Church. Either way, we sincerely hope that this won’t be the last time that we get to see you. Because besides sharing with you an opportunity to meet these brethren of ours, and hear their inspiring stories, there’s something more important that we’d like to share with you.The words of God written in the Bible. Why is that so important?
Think about the world we’re living in right now, dear friends. How many people are feeling worried, troubled? How many are feeling anxious, depressed? With so much uncertainty in the world people wonder if there’s really anything to hope for.
Sure the stories we heard today were inspirational, moving, we were touched as we listened to the stories. Well why were the speakers able to stand before us and tell us their stories? Didn’t they get sad too? Didn’t they get discouraged at moments in their life? And if they did, should that surprise us? The Bible tells us this, in Psalm 42:11:
But I say to myself, “why am I sad and discouraged? I should not be sad and discouraged! I will confidently expect God to help me, and I will praise him again, my God, the one who saves me.”
[Psalm 42:11 Translation for Translators]
Brother Johnny: This servant of God said right here, “why am I sad and discouraged? I should not be sad and discouraged!” So there may be moments in our life when we feel that way. But God’s servants, they don’t allow themselves to be overcome by those feelings. Instead, what do God’s servants do? They confidently expect God to help them, and save them.
In short, they put their hope in God. They put their trust in God; in what God can do in the promises of God.
Dear friends, God keeps His promises. If God promises to His servants that He will help them, well then He helps them. And what kind of help does God give His servants who put all their trust and hope in Him? In Ephesians 3:21, 20, well let’s listen now to what this passage of the Holy Scripture shows us right here. Ephesians 3:21, 20, this is stated:
“All of us who are included in the church of Christ, we should praise him forever and ever…
[Ephesians 3:21 Traduccion en lenguaje actual (Translated to English)]
God has the power to do far more than we could ever ask for! We can’t even imagine what God can do to help us with his power!
[Ephesians 3:2- Traduccion en lenguaje actual (Translated to English)]
Brother Johnny: Dear friends, that is what the speakers today experienced. That’s what we would like you to experience, as well. And so we, again, invited you to our Bible studies in the Church Of Christ. Join us and receive God’s wonderful promises.
So as we come to the end of our program we want to thank our beloved Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, for guiding us in the holding of this event. And if you would like to learn more about the Church Of Christ visit incmedia.org.
And once again, thank you dear guests, for being with us today on our program Faith Speaks. See you next time and please stick around to see if you’ve won a shirt.