It was just over eighteen years ago that I first saw our granddaughter, Bethan, the eldest of our grandchildren. She was lying in ‘special care’ after a difficult birth, crying piteously with a catheter sticking out of the top of her head. We prayed for her then that her infection would soon be healed. Our prayers were answered.
Since then, we haven’t stopped praying for Bethan: for protection, for health and that she would ask Jesus to be the Lord of her life. We were delighted then, that she chose to work hard in her gap year in order to go to Cape Town on 14 February with the Christian organisation, Hillsong.
In the past she’d experienced back problems but was determined that that wasn’t going to stop her going to South Africa. Bethan went for a check-up at the end of January and was horrified to be told by a senior consultant after her x-ray had been thoroughly scrutinized, that she could no longer go abroad. The consultant talked about scans in a couple of weeks and an operation in a few months – and that it was unlikely that she would be fit enough to go to university in the autumn.
So we prayed. Many of you prayed (thank you so much) and within just a few days, Bethan was given CT and MRI scans which confirmed the findings of the 2 year old x-ray. She was also given another consultation to discern the best way forward.
As a consequence, Bethan was given permission to go South Africa on the proviso that she didn’t do anything to jeopardise her condition – no white-water rafting, surfing, walking up Table Mountain, etc (I’d have no problem with that!). She also had to promise to return to the UK at the beginning of May for an anaesthetic assessment prior to a planned operation on 17 May, cutting her time in SA by four weeks.
Her texts say that she is so overjoyed to be there! She helps with after- school care, teaches university students how to swim, is involved with horse- riding for the disabled, helps with a soup kitchen, tutors a 13 year old in the orphanage – obviously thoroughly busy!
She knows that the operation is going to be tricky and the recuperation is three months. So, we’ll be praying for her again and for all that lies ahead. Of course, I’ll be particularly asking all of you to pray in May when she goes into hospital.
We’re all very, very grateful to God that Bethan was able to travel but we know that the answer could have been very different.
None of us really understands why, sometimes, God doesn’t answer our prayers as we wish – even though we pray fervently. However, despite all the pain and suffering to our family, our friends, to ourselves, we can cling onto the fact, that God truly cares for us, is a loving Father to us, and will be alongside us in all the hard and uncertain journeys that we have to face.
With love, Anne Lovegrove