There are times in life when your whole world shifts. When you hear people talking about meaningless things and you can't listen anymore because you have seen too many rough, tragic, and incomprehensible things in this world. I don't normally share these moments with people, because they are too hard, too sad, and too real.
However, today, I'm going to share a moment of my life. A moment that broke my heart. A moment that changed my world, forever.
How do I begin? How do I express the sadness and most traumatic moment that I've ever experienced? How do I put into words the sorrow and pain? .
I was asked by my boss to pick up a woman in labor and to take her to the local district hospital. It is pretty normal to take people from surrounding villages to the hospital. The district hospital is down a long, bumpy, dusty road, about 20 minutes away from where I live and another 10 minutes from the woman's home. When I arrived at this Mama's house her contractions seemed very close together, but her water had not yet broken. As we started to drive I got scared. What if I have to deliver the baby? I do not know how to deliver a baby. Not in a house, and definitely not in a car. So, I prayed. Every time she had a contraction I prayed some more. I prayed for protection, and I prayed that we would make it to the hospital. "Sorry, Mama. It's ok. It's ok." I said during her contractions.
As we continued to drive on this terrible road the woman's water broke. All I could think was "hold on, just a few more minutes". I thought we could make it. Water was everywhere, but I didn't care. A minute later we came to a road block--road construction blocking the way to the hospital. At that moment, I looked down at the Mama to see if the baby was coming, and all I saw were two feet. Two feet. The baby was breech. I felt my heart sink. There was nothing I could do except get her to the hospital as quickly as possible. She was sitting beside me in pain--I just needed to get to the hospital. "Please Lord, I just need to get to the hospital" I thought. But, How?? How do I get there???
There was a man along the side of the road who pointed in the direction of a road that we thought would take us to the hospital, but it wasn't the right one. The road we turned down had a small ditch that the car ended up in--the car was stuck. I called people over to help get it out and in panic I said, faster! Lift the car! I called my boss and told him to come quickly--the baby. Lord, please protect the baby. Lord, please. There was a man who turned the Mama around in the front seat, but we couldn't do anything to help. The baby was halfway out. In just a few moments, that felt like years, the car was out of the ditch. A little boy came with us to show us the way to the hospital, down a windy, bumpy, awful road. Chaos, panic, terror, so much fear...I felt completely helpless as the Mama cried.
Once at the hospital I ran to get help. The nurses came out with a foam mattress to place under the Mama and we carried her to the hospital room. Her soft cries followed me as I walked out.
I stood outside of the room shaking. My hands, my lips, my heart, all trembling with sadness, fear, guilt...helplessness. I sat down next to the woman helper who came along with the Mama. I held her hand and prayed.
A few minutes later I moved outside and sat on a bench with my head bent and my hands covering my face. The baby wouldn't live. I knew the baby wouldn't live. Why, Lord? Why? I cried.
I cried as I drove back home. I cried for the baby, I cried for the Mama, and I cried for me.
Later, I went to visit the Mama. As she lays on the bed she says, "asante". My heart breaks to hear her say, "thank you". I do not deserve to be thanked. I tried, and I failed. I wanted to help, but I could only do so much.
My world had changed. I thought, "Lord, why did you not listen?" "why did I not know how to deliver that baby?" "Father, why me?" How much my heart hurts to think about what happened. All of the "what if" questions.
It felt like God wasn't listening. But, He was listening. He knew that baby boy from the beginning, and is now cuddling him in His arms. I don't understand the "why's" but God does. He is saying, "For I know the plans I have for you" "I formed you" "I know you" and "I love you". I don't understand right now, but my trust is in The Lord. My strength is in Him.
"He answers. Where were you, little child, when the world was made? Who made you, reconciled, when the blood was paid? It was I, El Shaddai."