My name is Francisca Wairimu. I’m a born-again Christian. I love Jesus. I’m an ordained pastor. I’m very passionate about winning souls. In Africa, women suffer very much and go through a lot of pain in life. I don’t know where to start…
I lost a child, a baby girl. Her name was Faith. I loved her so much. She was my fourth child and I give birth to her by faith because when I was pregnant with her, I carried that pregnancy for 10 months. I think it was 10 and a half months. That could have killed me.
She could have died before she was born but glory to God because I gave birth to her. After a few months, she began having problems with her eyes. I took her to the hospital, but they said it wasn’t anything to worry about and gave her eyedrops.
I gave birth to another baby, a boy. He came one year after Faith. They were like twins. Even the other baby got the same problem, so I would take them to Kenyatta Hospital [in Nairobi]. After four years, I saw that the sickness progressed, and Faith’s eyes started turning red and the cornea was surrounded by something white. I decided to take her back to Kenyatta hospital where they did some tests, and they also did an X-ray.
They said there was something in her eye which was growing very fast. That was in August 1999. I was told that she must be admitted to the hospital. They didn’t quite know what was wrong but they knew whatever it was required her to be admitted.
They did a biopsy but the results were lost. We had to wait another whole month. All this time, my child is in the hospital and I was coming in every morning to see her and staying till evening then I’d go home. Now, both eyes were affected and began to protrude.
Faith became worse. The hospital called me and told me that I needed to stay in the hospital. I could no longer go back and forth. She now needed consistent support. So I went to the hospital and stayed with my baby.
My husband stayed with the two older children, one of my sisters took my third born daughter and another sister took in my youngest child.
Then the diagnosis came. It was leukemia. I had never heard that word before. I asked the doctor if she could be cured.
“Mama Faith,” he said. “We treat, but it is God who heals.”
I was very stressed. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t do anything. I had other children; I also had a child who was younger than Faith so it was very traumatizing, but God gave me strength. One thing I appreciate is that I knew God. I drew my strength from Him.
I remember one day my then pastor told me that cancer could not be healed. I was expecting people to encourage me. I didn’t have a lot of information about cancer back then. I thought it was something treatable. I thought maybe my child would be well. I just needed somebody who could encourage me and tell me that this too will pass and she will be well. I did not get that at that time.
Faith’s chemo treatment began.
Within the first two weeks, her eyes improved. She started playing with other children in the ward. I was hopeful, believing that my child would not die.
It was so hard to see Faith in pain. Sometimes they [extracted] bone marrow and it was very painful for her. Faith would cry out and ask me why I am letting them hurt her. They would also look for the veins for her IV so that they could give her blood, but her veins are nowhere to be found except on her head. So it was very traumatizing and very painful.
She really suffered and I also suffered too because now it was like I was the one who was sick. I was in the hospital throughout.
Faith continued treatment for a whole year. She was in hospital the whole time. She only left twice to be home for Christmas and Easter.
The chemo stopped working, the doctor said. I was very discouraged but I encouraged myself saying that this is the report of the doctor, but the report of God says that all things are possible if you believe, so I believed.
She began bleeding inside. I would see it when I took her to the washroom. She was in a lot of pain. Then Faith went on oxygen. She could not breathe properly. She survived a few more days. Then she passed away.
It was very hard for me. I could not even pray because I wondered if God was real. I had taken Faith from the hospital to a crusade and she was prayed for, I had been praying and taking people to the hospital to pray for her. I was holding on to hope, I had faith that she would be healed, now she was gone. I couldn’t cry.
I was all alone in the hospital. One of the nurses walked me to the bus. They could tell I needed someone to take me because I was distraught. I took the bus home. I remember a lady I went to the same church with saw me and tried to stop me to ask me what the problem was, but I did not talk to her. I just wanted to go in the house and cry.
The worst part of grief for me was after Faith’s burial. Before the burial, people are around and comforting you, but after, everyone goes away and you are left alone. That is when you now cry out, you feel like you want to die, you start isolating from people, you don’t want to talk to people, you don’t want to go to church…
It happened to me, and I felt no one cared that I had lost a child. But I remember one day I went to the fellowship and told them that now the child you helped me to pray for has passed on. A man of God encouraged me. He told me God will use me. I started to go to deliverance classes at the church, they started praying for me and I began to regain my strength. I was able to start praying again and I asked God to help me accept what had happened. I asked Him to heal me. That is when I started my journey of healing.
It was not easy to overcome that. Sometimes people would come and try to encourage me saying this too will pass and I should move on. I could not believe they were telling me to forget and move on. Forget my baby?
My encouragement to any woman grieving
I would say to someone who is going through grief that all things are possible with God. At the time it is very hard to hear that God is good, that God loves you. I was hurting too, so I know what it feels like. But accept that situation you’re going through and allow God to start the process of healing you because when you hold on to that pain, that is when now you open the door for the devil to come and start tormenting you. The mind is the battlefield of the enemy. Hold onto God.
The Word of God – 2 Samuel 12:20 – has been an encouragement to me. And I’ve been asking myself, ‘What can one do when God does not answer your way? Do you lose your praise when it seems like God is not there? What do you do when God does not answer how you expect Him to answer?’
Maybe, like me…I expected that God would answer my prayer by healing my baby girl. But God did not answer that way. He answered by taking her home. So I just want to encourage somebody who is passing through tough pain; someone who has a heart that has been heartbroken. Somebody who sees as if she has come to the end of it, like there is no hope. There’s no one to hold her hand, or to lift her up or to encourage her in that lonely moment.
In that despair, in that cave of despair and loneliness, God is still there. Because when David in 2 Samuel 12:19,20 when his child died, David did not lose his praise. He did not lose his worship. He just rose up and cleaned himself and worshiped God. And he ate and drank.
So in that painful moment, may God strengthen you to rise above your situation, to raise above the pain. Even Cyrus and Paul, when they were in jail, they did not lose their praise or their worship. When Elijah was in a cave, he did not see God but God was still there. So even in that moment, when you just knew God, as Jehovah and you don’t see beyond that. You don’t see him in your, in your pain in your in that moment of despair. I want to encourage you, that God is still there.
When you knew him just as Jehovah he is going to enter into your pain, into your situation and become the voice in that situation. Be encouraged, and encourage yourself like David encouraged himself. He did not lose his worship. He did not lose God. He did not lose his praise. That is my part in short, that you knew him as Jehovah until he enters into your pain into your painful situation and becomes the voice in that situation. God will become the voice in your situation, in your pain, in your heartbroken moment, when there is no one. He is there. God bless you and keep you. Amen.