I Am an Overcomer!
I always tend to think about worst-case scenarios because of media, tv, and social media coverage, which shows people dying daily from the virus. I saw the statistics about New York, California, and other places, but how did I get it? At that point, I decided to call my mom. Immediately my mom started crying. She said she wanted to pray with me everyday and pray to make sure that I am well. Bless my mom. My mom is a strong believer – she prays everyday, she calls everyday, she checks in just to make sure I am doing okay.
March 20 and 21 was another day I didn’t feel well. That’s when my body started to break down. I had shortness of breath, and even though I would open my mouth to take a breath, I felt like there was a shortage of air into my lungs. I just couldn’t do it. My lack of oxygen kept me pale. I had grayish- blue lips.
I decided to text my ex-wife. I told her that I was having trouble breathing independently and that I was in constant pain and struggling with persistent coughing and other things. She convinced me to go to the emergency room to get some help and some medical assistance to feel better. Funny, I took my ex-wife’s advice, someone I was married to for almost 21 years – that I ended up taking her advice. Bless her. I’m so thankful for her.
I decided to go to the E.R. This was a different hospital where, unlike the first hospital, they were ready to receive COVID-19 patients. They had triage stations set up outside, waiting for patients to arrive to be checked into a special room. There was immediate care. They were prepared with a checklist. They gave me oxygen and took my blood to measure my levels. My blood levels were deficient, which is why I was struggling to get air into my lungs. After they gave me oxygen, I could finally breathe. It seemed like it was a long time since I was able to breathe normally.
I always have in the back of my mind that
if I am breathing, God is still breathing in me.
We are together.
If God continues to have breath, then I will continue to have breath here on earth.
My heartbeat is God’s heartbeat.
That is my perspective on life, which assures me that God is with me and that I am okay.
So, at that time, I was moved to another area that was isolated, so that they could observe me. The doctors told me that I was their first Deaf COVID-19 patient! I never thought about that. I never thought about being a Deaf COVID patient – I’m just me, a human being, the same as everyone else. Of course, I am Deaf, and now that I think about it, it was probably unusual for them. So the next day, they took out the oxygen tube to make sure that I could fill up my lung capacity independently. They informed me that there was a possibility I would be released to make room for more serious COVID-19 patients. My case wasn’t a mild case or a critical case. My case was somewhere in the middle.
Finally, they released me after 24 hours. I went home. That was such a difficult time for me. I struggled with exhaustion. I didn’t have any energy at all, and there was a lot of pain.
That’s when I forgot about God. I was so focused on my health and well-being, that I forgot that
I wasn’t alone – God was there with me.
I think these things come up in life so that God can give us wake-up calls. He wants our attention and to be known. He reminds us that He is here with us, but sometimes, I struggle in my flesh. I understand that all of us struggle with things here on earth. Even though we might feel like we have a strong relationship with God, we can forget who our heavenly Father is. We can forget about our mothers too. But, often, we forget that God is with us.
God helped me remember, so I prayed and talked to God about being sick with COVID-19. Because I had time on my hands, I could sit, meditate, and do some Bible study. The people who are in my Bible study community, I couldn’t do this without them! I am thankful for those who supported me through it all. They brought me food, something to drink. They made sure I was okay. They checked in with me regularly. Especially my mom, she never stopped. She prayed over me and with me. She made sure I was doing okay and that I had great support. My ex-wife and my sons were there for me.
All of this is in the back of my mind, as I remember. It’s incredible to look back at this time. Everyone has a life story to tell, but my life story is amazing!
I feel that since all of this has happened,
my faith is stronger!
COVID-19 was my wake up call. If March 21, the day that I almost died didn’t happen (not death, but suffering) didn’t happen – that’s when I realized that life itself is significant. I believe that God allowed me to live so that I can share this story with everyone. I can share how my relationship with God has strengthened. I am very grateful to God for allowing me to share this. Before, my relationship with the Lord wasn’t deep, and I feel like I struggled with so many things. After COVID-19, I feel like I am awake for the first time. God is so good! He never gives up! He is love! My heart is filled up and running over with love – with God’s love. Now, I look at things differently. I see people who have COVID-19, who are in the hospital and are fighting for their lives. I get it! I see them!
My blood in my body does not belong to me. My body and blood belong to my heavenly Father. So, when I give my blood, my plasma, to help patients fight COVID-19 and other things, I hope through my blood, they find a way back to the Father. It’s not just about being a good Christian. I hope that the blood I give touches those who need hope. Those who receive my blood, who are believers and fighting disease, find the strength to overcome and then tell their story.
I usually have my written Bible with me. I’ve kept the same one since 1985, and I still use that same one, and I won’t ever get rid of it. Even using that same Bible for a long time, I have struggled with some English grammar and meaning. Can I really understand what Jesus meant when he said certain things? Some of it can get confusing.
With access to watch the Scriptures in sign language and then apply that to what I struggle with, helps. My first language is American Sign Language, and my second language is English.
Sign language is beautiful, and God created it!
There are biblical references where we see that Jesus knew sign language.
He knows how Deaf people need to communicate with God daily.
Jesus seriously understood that!
Imagine all the languages in the world, written and spoken. I would say that most people use body language and expressions to communicate their needs.
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