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A Mother’s Trial

Captain Iris Guevara and her daughter Keren.

Captain Iris Guevara and her daughter Keren.

I never thought that during my officer training, I would become pregnant at age 44 with our 3rd daughter. At the orientation for married couples enrolling to be officers, I remember telling my husband, “Oh, don’t worry. This part doesn’t concern us.”

When I got pregnant, I thought my dream of being an officer was over. I felt as if I needed guidance every hour of the day. I was fortunate to have the support of my sessionmates, my teachers, and my husband.

There were days when I felt as if I could not go on. But one day when I desperately needed just 15 minutes of patience and wisdom to study for my exams, I prayed to God to give me those 15 minutes. And He did.

Doctors had to deliver my child surgically. They said that the procedure was risky for both the baby and me, and that during the course of the C–section, I would lose a lot of blood.

I said to God, “Lord, I know that even if science cannot help my child right now, You can.” The only thing I wanted to hear was the sound of my child crying. And I did.

I named my daughter Keren, after one of Job’s daughters in the Bible. I felt that I had gone through a number of trials, as Job did, to arrive at this moment.

However, my most difficult test was coming.

Two months later while I was alone cleaning, I heard Keren crying. But as I approached her, her crying stopped suddenly, as if someone had shut her mouth. When I picked her up, I realized that her breathing had also stopped. And her body was as stiff as a board. I tried every method of breathing stimulation that I had learned in medical school, but nothing worked.

Due to her difficult birth, the doctors had warned me about the possibility of serious complications. And I had medicine that I could give her in an emergency. But it was under lock and key, and in my panic, I struggled to remember where I had put the key.
Thoughts raced through my confused mind. How could I have long believed that serving God as a nurse was the path for me?

I thought that at 44, I would be accomplishing my dream to enroll in the College for Officer Training in Cuba to be an officer with my husband in The Salvation Army. But now, my dream was turning into a horrible nightmare.

What I thought would be life’s storms turned out to be beautiful reminders of His love.”
For what seemed like 20 minutes, Keren’s expression remained fixed.

I started praying, “Please God, have mercy on my child,” and I prayed until I ran out of prayers. As I held Keren close to me, her face still frozen, I remembered how God had tested Abraham with the life of his son Isaac.

I said one last prayer. “Lord, she is a gift from You alone. If it is Your will to cure my daughter, please do so. But if Your will is to take her, please take her now and ease her suffering.”

About a minute after I had prayed, I felt Keren’s breathing slowly come back through her tiny nose. I waited for her breathing pattern to return to normal. And it did.

Today, Keren knows how God healed her at two months old. She knows that her presence on this earth is only through His divine power. Whenever she has a problem, she goes to her father and me and asks us to pray with her. She has seen the power of God in her life. It is a privilege to be a mother to her and to her two sisters. And it is a privilege for me to serve the Lord.

I have always said that I am just a pawn on God’s chessboard of life. He is the One who controls me and He moves me to where He sees fit. What I thought would be life’s storms turned out to be beautiful reminders of His love.

Even at my worst moments, I know God has a plan for me that is better than anything on earth. He hears me, He answers me, He calls me, and He has tested me.

And if God should test me again, I pray that He will strengthen me. And He will.

by Captain Iris Lilia Guevara

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