Hello lovely readers! I am so excited to bring you another guest post by another amazing writer. Her name is Nicole Gyimah also known as Cole and Coco. She is a soccer mom, adoring peppermint everything, fruit smoothies, connecting, and creating. She has worked in Publishing for 24 years, and also taught at Seton Hall University College of Communication and the Arts. She loves living passionately with purpose in Maryland with her husband and children. Please enjoy this post by Nicole.
Sitting at our six-month pulmonologist appointment, I said to myself, “we’ve come a long way.” Isaiah is truly thriving. He loves reading Dog Man and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, adores mini-golf, romping with others, and does well in school. He is athletic, playing the wing position for his soccer team. Thanks to his big sister, Dylan, he enjoys watching anime. As his 10th birthday, May 28th, approaches, he enthusiastically lives as an animated videogame player. He talks to himself, yet is a friend making gift from God. Observing him interact with the doctor, doing his breathing tests, answering questions, explaining what he physically feels is a dream come true. For earlier in his life-at 16 months old to be exact, we were afraid we would lose him.
Nine Years Ago:
Sunday, September 16, 2012, he spent the bright, beautiful afternoon playing vigorously in the backyard with his sisters. That evening we ate dinner, did bath and bedtime, and then it happened. I heard him coughing, crying, and as I checked on him, I knew something wasn’t right. I screamed to my husband that we needed to get him to the emergency room. Once there, they immediately transferred him to the pediatric ICU.
A sincere, kind, intelligent doctor-the head of PICU-advised he was suffering from a severe asthma attack and that if we hadn’t gotten him there when we did, he might not have made it. He had to be intubated. We were not expecting this or the 10-day hospital admission accompanying it. I crumbled. We were devastated. To me, we had failed him. There were no warning signs or instructions for how to be in that moment, and there were none in our circle who had experienced a chronic condition on this scale with their children—lacking understanding. No direction. Terrified. Why us, why our baby? Why Asthma?
Isn’t this how life’s challenges impact us? We ask difficult questions. Why me, why my family? Does God care? Does the Lord understand how I feel? The Bible teaches yes, He cares (1Peter 5:6-7) and recognizes how we feel more than anyone (Hebrews 4:15); however, my query continued. I wondered now what do we do? And then one day in the hospital trying to make sense of it all, thinking and praying on next steps, the Holy Spirit asked me a question, Why not us? Would I choose another child or family to endure the pain? No way! As Christians, we are empowered to choose a better perspective, response and outlook so we can experience grace through the suffering. “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf” (1 Peter 4:16, KJV). At that second, I knew I wanted to help anyone undergoing the lonely, frightening frustration of a story like ours. It was time to look for the good that will come out of the bad (Romans 8:28).
Hope, Intent, Action:
I knew each incident had not been in vain. The pain had intention. Being vulnerable, uncertainty, not knowing how it will work out is difficult. It’s also a part of the faith walk. Instead of focusing on the trouble, I wanted to go after the purpose.
“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)
After this initial incident and by Isaiah’s fourth or fifth asthma-related hospital stay, I had the revelation that we (his family) had asthma; asthma didn’t have us. It was time to go to work, not just for our benefit but for humanity. God led us to families like us who were managing asthma. Initially, I was creating flyers for Children’s National Hospital, Washington D.C., and for their community events focused on raising consciousness for Asthma awareness month (which happens to be May). And during an emergency room visit, we discovered IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic, “an award-winning pediatric asthma program in Washington, D.C., directed by Dr. Steven Teach.” Through IMPACT DC, we were taught best practices for managing asthma, and they helped us recognize Isaiah’s triggers. We were able to collaborate on asthma advocacy efforts, share our story, championing for ourselves and others. In addition to partnering with Children’s Hospital/IMPACT DC, other volunteer opportunities opened. Since then, I’ve worked with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and currently partner with the BUILD HEALTH Challenge as the Parent Team Lead for the Healthy Together Medical-Legal Partnership for improving asthma in D.C. and to improve health in D.C. by enhancing community resilience.
Asthma remains a part of our story. Choosing faith over fear does too. What do your faith over fear moments look like? Psalm 27:1 asks, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” This is an absolute comfort! God has promised to protect, never leave nor forsake us. How can I not choose faith over fear? I’m so thankful for our journey. Although it’s been challenging, the adversity has presented growth, development, and opportunity. I’ve reconciled it’s ok to not be ok. But we can’t stay there. Don’t hold back. Face the circumstances. Be Bold. Afraid? Good. You’re headed in the right direction.
Wow! What a moving story! Thank you so much Nicole for sharing with us your faith over fear story. We all are dealing with something that sometimes makes us fearful but we need to remember that our God is bigger than anything and everything. I hope you would like to collaborate again in the future.
If you would like to connect with Nicole I will include her social media handles and if you would like to guest post on my blog you can reach out to me by email or my “contact” page. Let’s work together!
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FB @Nicole (Evans) Gyimah
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