Amazing Grace

There is a touching scene in the movie, “Amazing Grace,” where William Wilberforce confides in his friend that he can’t sing anymore. Once he lost hope and was filled with discouragement after many failures, he “loses” his singing voice. Later, in the movie, once he finds love and his sense of purpose renewed again, he begins to sing again.

Recently, my 2-year-old daughter became very sick. She literally began to waste away. She stopped growing. Stopped gaining weight. Stopped playing.

She stopped singing.

It is one of the hardest things to watch. Your child. So small. Helpless. Ill. Sad.

And not knowing why.

We were blessed to travel back to the States so that our little angel could get specialized medical treatment. It was definitely a season of an emotional roller coaster. Our happy family was separated by an ocean. Our little one was put through needles after needles. Dealing with health insurance issues. And the list continued.

Through the support of our families, friends, loved ones, and medical staff from all over, including Zambia, Kenya, United Kingdom, and the United States – we truly never felt God leave our side.

My little girl was diagnosed with celiac disease. What a relief to know what was causing my little one to be so ill! Thankfully, the only treatment is a gluten-free diet.

While it has been a tough adjustment (mostly for me), my little grace-filled angel is thriving! She has gained weight. She is energetic and playful.

And she has her singing voice back.

We learned a lot of lessons during this time. Here are just a few I would like to share:

  1. God is with us. 

As you live for God and serve Him fully, it does not mean that challenges will not come. But, it does mean that when the challenges do come, He promises to never leave us.

I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18

2. God created our little girl “unique.” 

She was born with celiac disease, although we recently discovered it. She will always live with it. But, I promise, I will never teach her to be a victim or sorry for herself because she is “different” from everyone else. She is “unique.” She doesn’t have to be like everyone else. After all, isn’t that what Christianity is about?

She can and will live an amazing life. Nothing can hold her resilient, spirited self               down. Actually, this will help her to be even more accomplished in her life.

And on another note, won’t she learn boundaries – that not everything that is                   available she can have? I think this can be applied spiritually. That our call in life is to     be pure. Holy. Not having everything in our bodies. It’s a healthy lesson in life, both spiritually and physically.

“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1

3. God’s grace is amazing. 

There is no other way to put it. I have felt it. I have lived it. And what is even more amazing is that I see it in my little one. I see His Grace fully alive inside of her!

I expected to hide foods she can’t have. Or for her to have tears for wanting                     something she can’t eat. Instead, I have witnessed a child happy to choose a                   “special alternative for a special girl.” She even now asks me if it is “gluten free” – but       she says it in a very funny way and it sounds like “goofy free”!

What a lesson truly to learn from children. To see His Grace. Working. Living.                 Breathing inside of her. It truly renews my love for Christ and His love for me and us.

“The Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

I can’t thank enough those who supported Fr. Abraham and me through this tough time.

Please pray for us as we adjust to a gluten-free life in Africa, which has its own set of challenges.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is our victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” 1 John 5:4

Let’s Chat: Any lessons you have learned from a circumstance that has been turned into victory?

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8 thoughts on “Amazing Grace

  1. Marianne Selim fahmy says:

    Hi Dalia,

    Thank you for this blog post. God bless you and your family more everyday and God bless His mission everywhere. I’m glad your little girl is singing again.

    Love you,
    Marianne

  2. Veronica says:

    You’d been on my mind a lot…now I know why. It’s never easy to see your child not feeling well, but to go for a long period of time with seemingly no answers had to be gut wrenching. I am so glad that the root cause was identified and that she doesn’t need any invasive medical treatment. God is so very good to us.
    A time when I could tangibly feel God with me…now that I am expecting our 3rd, I reflect back on my pregnancy with our 2nd: when I was 39 weeks pregnant with our daughter, we had a an epic ice-storm here in the metro-A area. It was my son’s second birthday and he’d had cupcakes at school with his friends and teachers. As the snow began to fall pretty early and heavier than anticipated, schools and work places began to release people to go home (you know we don’t have much to de-ice roads with here in GA). During my commute home from work, all routes I attempted to take were blocked. Traffic was at a standstill everywhere. I finally found an alternate route through a neighborhood and began to make slow but steady progress home…until the car in front of me pressed their brakes on an incline. This required me to press my brakes…which resulted in the total loss of my car. I just held the steering wheel as it slid slowly on the icy road into the ditch sideways. I started to dial my husband’s number from my cell while sitting in the car, and Holy Spirit said “get out”. I hoisted myself out of the car and began walking/sliding towards the back of the car. I slipped, fell down on my knees, finally made it to the ditch. I watched as another car slid over into the same ditch and their car hit the front of mine. I walked back around to the driver’s side only to discover that my door wouldn’t open (I would have been trapped inside if I hadn’t gotten out!). All circuits were busy. There was no getting through to 911 or anyone else. I began to walk with the lady whose car hit mine and a man who’s car was stuck in a ditch too. They were going to the nearest high school. The GPS on my phone said it was 3 miles away. I couldn’t feel my toes. I told the man I wasn’t going to make it that far. We’d passed several houses and I turned around and surveyed them. Holy Spirit said “that one”. I asked the young man to walk up the driveway and knock on the door for me. The residents were home–a husband and wife and their 3 year old granddaughter were home. The wife had just gone grocery shopping the day before and had plenty of groceries (even to support my vegetarian diet). She had the same type of cell phone as me so I was able to charge my phone and keep in touch with family and friends via text message. They had a fire going and I was able to put my feet up in front of the fire while I thawed out. I spent the night with them because my husband and son couldn’t get to me due to road conditions, overturned vehicles, etc. They drove as far as they could and spent the night in a hotel lobby. The next day my husband (left our son with our friend’s wife) and his friend drove down to get me (even though the streets were still prohibited from being driven on my police) and by that afternoon we were safe and sound at home. I didn’t know that night what would have happened if I would have gone into labor, but God was with me, he provided for me in very special and personal ways, and my family was taken care of. My daughter was born almost 2 weeks later in a labor that was less than 3 hours long. She was born the night before the second ice storm. I affectionately call her my little ice princess sometimes 🙂

    -V

    • Wow! Amazing testimony, Veronica! Truly amazing how our Lord works yet we often question or don’t understand why sometimes things happen. We were reading in the book of Jeremiah last night and there is a beautiful yet sad verse (2:13): “For my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of the living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water.” I never want to be that person that has forgotten how the Lord helped my family to overcome MANY obstacles in our lives. Then, we just stop trusting – like the broken cisterns that can hold no water. I am glad you shared this story because sharing and remembering will also help you and us all how our Jesus is always with us! Thank you for sharing this personal story 🙂

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