When 2020 began I was amongst the lot, likening it to perfect vision. It was the first year I created a vision board inspired by the wisdom etched in (Proverbs chapter 29, verse 18a) “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Still, as many were crafting vision boards, scribbling plans on tables, papers and notepads, people were perishing, some leaving those clearly written visions behind.
How was a year that should have brought our visions into perfect alignment and allow us to see the manifestation of them, be the year that had the heaviest and darkest clouds hovering over it?
How did we get here?
The worst part is, we had not yet shaken off the weight of the murkiness that blanketed our hearts, clouded our eyes, and broke our spirits before another year swept in. We did not fully get to comprehend 2020 before we were in 2021, being forced to survive and stretching our physical and mental beings thin.
The vision was written; and according to (Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 3) “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay.” so we kept waiting on God.
I for one held on to the things I had scribbled on my vision board over 15 months prior and started making plans for my summer. I decided that I needed something or someone to believe in. Though I must be honest with myself, God has never hurt me before.
My friends and I had started off 2021 by giving a theme to each month. On the last day of May 2021, I thought about the thing I wanted most from my 2020 vision board. After manifesting (speaking it into being) for the entire month and nothing happened, I prayed one last time and I remembered saying to God, “well, I didn’t get it, but You are still a good God.”
On my lunch break, I idly scrolled through my email and there it was. The very thing I prayed so earnestly for with my friends had finally happened. What a joy! That is when I knew I could plan for an amazing summer ahead.
My best friend got married on July 8th and my friends and I had the best time. It was our first time at a blended wedding (virtual and in-person), but we made it work for us.
The interesting thing about July 8, 2021, is that as much joy as it brought me, it also brought an equitable amount of pain. I had to wrap my head around the reality that it was possible for joy and pain to coexist. I was celebrating two friends and mourning two. A young couple, whose life ended abruptly by a house fire that morning.
As I thought about my friend who had passed, a calming kind of assurance buried my pain (1 Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 13 to 18)- my friends lived in Christ, and they slept away in Him.
The Shadow of death
A week after my friend’s wedding, I accepted a date from my doctor for a minor surgery. He promised me I would be in and out in no time and could return to work in a day or two. Since the surgery was on a Tuesday, I petitioned for 3 days off and planned to return to work the following Monday.
The wise writer of (Proverbs chapter 13 verse 9) says it well “We can make our plans, but…”
Of all the plans I had made for my summer, being rushed back to the ER two days after what should have been a minor surgery was not one of it. Neither did I anticipate being crippled by excruciating pain, nor being unable help myself. For ten days, I felt as if was gradually withering, my speech became impeded, my core strength crashed, and my lungs wrestled for purpose.
After listening to my friend cry, out of helplessness and not having the strength to muster up more words, all I could ask my husband was to take me back to the hospital. Within 3 hours of reaching, I was in a room with multiple doctors trying to figure out my plight. After completing a CT scan, one doctor laid his hand on my shoulder and whispered, “who can we call? We will have to do an emergency surgery right now. If we don’t do it right now we cannot guarantee that you will survive and if we do it, we still can’t guarantee that you will survive, but we will try our very best. We just want you to know that you are very very sick.” My heart sunk.
That 1 %
I woke up in the hospital with multiple tubes in my stomach, needles in my arms, and NPO (nothing by mouth) instructions from my doctor for at least 3 days. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I was hungry for at least two weeks prior to this admission since I was unable to keep anything down. The nurse could not offer me food but, she did give me a handout as she thought I would find it useful.
The handout informed me of my diagnosis. Following the “minor surgery” I developed an infection. The overwhelming response of the body to fight an infection until it cannot fight anymore results in your body going into septic shock. At this point, your blood is already poisoned, and in some cases, your organs start failing.
Only one per cent of people who get diagnosed with septic shock survive. I’m that 1%.
Remember the story Jesus told about the shepherd, the sheep, and Him leaving the 99 to find the one lost sheep? Visit (Luke chapter 15 verses 3 to 7) to drag your memory. One of the lessons learnt from that parable is the importance of one.
You are that one. Perhaps your summer was not as exciting as mine. But it does not mean God would not leave the 99 behind to come and find you. I never thought there was anything special about me. I have asked myself, “why did God save me and not save my friend and her husband?”
I noticed one thing that has been consistent in prayers spoken over me, it is: purpose cannot die. What this means for you is if you are still here, an eventful summer or not, you still have purpose and you are that one.
I urge you then, to live like you believe this to be true. In the words of the man who had it the hardest (Job chapter 13 verse 15) “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him” As cliche as it may sound, I dare you to really trust GOD, no matter what you face today. And like I said before, if you ever wonder how special you are, just tell yourself, I am that one.
Tamieka Pennant Dussard is a poet and writer, who has served in youth ministries mentoring young people both in Canada (current home) and Jamaica. She is the Director of “Young Wives Uncensored” a social organization which seeks to provide support and accountability to young, married women. She hopes to continue to use her gifts and experiences to motivate young people and share God with the world. She also enjoys cooking and sharing flexi-vegan recipes (IG: ltdkitchen)