OUR GOD OF SURPRISES
The Christmas of 2018 was not an ordinary one for Deepak and family. Amidst all the festivities, “life” surprised them. Read about their incredible Christmas story
The Christmas of 2018 became a very special day. Myself, my wife, Linu and kids – Thomas (7) and Mary Elizabeth (3), were in for a great surprise. Our JY friends were invited for dinner and we had all preparations made for a simple and lovely Christmas.
Linu is very slim by nature and had been suffering from a jaw pain for a few months now. And since October, she started to have muscle spasm in her stomach when she handled regular household chores. But if she rested for a while, it would become normal again. Initially, we thought this was due to lack of physical exercises. Though there was no pain, when the muscle spasm shows up, her tummy would firm up for some time and after resting for a while, it would return to a normal state.
On December 25, Linu started experiencing discomfort in her stomach just after 8 at night, and in 15 minutes she had pain on the upper part of her stomach. We decided to cancel the dinner plans. Linu couldn’t move because of the pain and I got her ready in 10 minutes, and we were on our way to the hospital with our two kids. We wondered if it could be hernia or an appendicitis case, and I informed my mother to pray for Linu and in my heart, continued to praise and thank God for all things which are known to the Almighty, offering the situation to God’s ownership. Half way through, her pain increased and I felt the urge to change hospital and head to women’s specialist hospital. Leaving the car at the ambulance way, we rushed to the emergency ward. Immediately, Linu was admitted and after filling up some documents, I went to park the car.
When we looked back at the past nine months,
we were sure that the baby was in God’s complete protection
Upon returning to the emergency ward with my kids, the head nurse came out of the room and said, “Sir, your wife has delivered a baby girl.” And I asked her about whom she was talking about. Confused, she went in, came back with some papers and asked me, if I was the husband of Linu. She repeated, “Sir, then I am telling you again that your wife has delivered a baby girl.” Listening to my reply, “How can that be?” she asked me to see for myself. As I was led to the EW, I was expecting a premature baby and very likely some bad news, but to my surprise and for God’s greater glory, there on the table was a full-term baby girl! “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28).
Linu had a normal delivery at 9.15pm, baby weighing 2.63kg. If by any chance we were delayed by 15 minutes, she would have delivered in the car. She came to know that it was a delivery only when the baby cried. Baby was taken to Special Care Nursery for 24 hours’ observation as doctors could not determine the gestation period. Not explaining my shock here – but the doctors were amazed that both of us did not have a clue over the nine months that Linu was pregnant.
This nature of a delivery is often referred to as Cryptic Pregnancy or Stealth Pregnancy – where even on an Ultrasound Scan, the baby could be undetected. Linu had absolutely no symptoms of a pregnancy, other than a small tummy in the last few weeks, which firmed up only when the muscle spasms occurred. She did not have any nausea or vomiting, morning sickness or back strains, no enlargement of tummy or mammary glands and no baby kicks. And with regular menstrual cycles, we had no room for a doubt of pregnancy. She did not go through severe labour pain, like the first two normal deliveries she had.
That night, Linu was in shock and since the baby was not with us for next 24 hours, she was much troubled at heart. We were witnessing God’s greatness here, Word of God says in Isaiah 66:8-9, “Who has ever heard of such a thing? And who ever see such things? Can a country be born in a single day, or can a nation be brought forth in a single moment? Yet no sooner was Zion in labour than she delivered her children. Am I to open the womb and not deliver?” asks the Lord. “And when I bring to delivery, am I to close the womb?” asks your God. God in His infinite majesty was manifesting His glory through us.
Through all these nine months,
when we were not aware of a baby,
God was taking care of that tiny life within Linu.
During the first quarter of 2018, when my mother prayed for us, she got a message that we were to prepare for another child. And again, during our monthly cell gathering, the message was repeated. But our little Mary was just over two, and with Linu’s health issues, we were not prepared for another child soon. Through this, God was reminding us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways”, declares the Lord. “For just as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Is 55:8-9). God was teaching us that He had already decided that this child was to be born to us and He was making us aware of His plans before we even thought about it. We thank God for the fellowship we have through JY and our JY cell group, for the immense support during the period after delivery until Linu’s mother came from India.
Later, when we looked back at the past nine months, we were sure that the baby was in God’s complete protection. Linu had taken a few rough roller coaster rides in the Universal Studios, she got thrown off from a trampoline net onto the ground while jumping and playing with kids. She took part in the church feast day and put up a cake corner, baking 13 to 15 cakes overnight and selling them the following day. Besides, she had slipped and had fallen down thrice in the weeks before Christmas. But nothing happened in all these situations and God took care of both Linu and the baby. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Ps 23:4).
In 2014, we did a month-long pilgrimage in Europe, visiting shrines of saints in around 15 countries. Thereafter, we were inspired to share about Saints and Linu has been preparing and posting details on daily saints in three WhatsApp groups. It was evident that it was the intercession of all saints and angels, and the divine providence that Linu and baby remained safe all through. God was at work. Through all these nine months, when we were not aware of a baby, God was taking care of that tiny life within Linu. He was reassuring through this, that He is indeed the source of all life, reminding us in the Word of God, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jer 1:5). We have named our bundle of joy, Tess Mirelle.
This incident brought us even more joy, when we started to hear even from non-Christians that this was divine intervention, and that God was taking care of our family. In fact, we could ponder over what we all have learnt, our God is Immanuel – God with us – igniting our faith and assuring us, “I will never leave you or abandon you” (Heb 13:5).