Circles in the Ceiling

For a long while now, I have been that girl that goes in and out of hospital. Since first year of uni, I have had so many visits to clinics, hospitals and gone through scans and tests and met numerous doctors. I’m grateful for all the help I have received, and that I am fortunate enough to have received such treatment. I also got to be visited by my loving family and friends, who I am wholeheartedly thankful for (I receive some juice flavours I’d never even heard of lol). I won’t get down into too much detail of what my body actually goes through, because I’m not trying to make this a pity post. But during my stays in various wards, I have observed a few things:

  • Do not get sick on weekends (pharmacies, administrators are usually closed. Few personnel on duty.)
  • Do not get sick at night (how dare you disturb the nurses while they are sleeping on their shift??)
  • Do not get sick when they are about to leave work for home. They get very annoyed.

Of course you don’t choose what time you will get ill. If you did, you would choose the ideal time, like on a Tuesday (so you’re not a victim of someone’s Monday mood), maybe before the morning round… something like that. But it still doesn’t stop the nurses from complaining and making you feel horrible for arriving at the hospital at ‘the wrong time’. I’m sure I mentioned these are private institutions. I can’t imagine how worse it is on the public side.

ANYWAY. The point of this post is a whole other story. Kwinaku ndangogwelako. Just letting you on the state of Malawi’s health care. You know how you get those “be thankful you woke up this morning because someone else didn’t” messages, and well, you think of that for a second and forget about it. That message hits home for me. I truly am grateful for life. And I want you to be grateful too; but I don’t want you to wait till you’re under drips, being fed, washed and carried to remember to be grateful.

I will give you an example. Once, I was at Zomba Central Hospital for about a week. Thanks to the university insurance scheme, I was at the paying ward. Every bed was surrounded by blue curtains (I never forget those blue curtains cause they separated me from the rest of the world). Usually, when people came to visit, I tried to look cheerful so no one would worry. It was in few cases when visitors witnessed the pain I was really going through. But when they left, it was gloomy. Mum would try her best to cheer me up, but sometimes I just wanted to be alone and she would know I just wanted some quiet. Sometimes I would get on social media, and I just ended up feeling worse when I see people enjoying the sunshine, or feeling like everyone is doing way better than me and I’m stuck in a hospital with terrible toilets.

I remember very well that my bed was near a window, and the neighbouring ward was the Male Surgical(?) Ward. This was a very hard time for me. I would hear people cry a lot, sometimes in the middle of the night, and we would know another soul was gone. It was hard and I would difficulties sleeping. Some of the people that were in the same ward as me are not alive today. It made me feel so heavy.

The question that usually lingered in my mind was, “why are you alive, Fai?” and I knew fully well I was not deserving of life. But I’m kind of glad I went through that. It shook me to reality. It made me question my existence. My purpose. Why am I here? Why did God let me live? instead of, “why me???” It made me repair my relationship with Christ and leave behind the little unnecessary things that weighed me down. I tried to do more things for his Kingdom but to be honest, I still feel like there’s a lot I haven’t done.

So for you, I don’t think you need to be sick, laying in hospital to start thinking about purpose, your legacy and et cetera. Think about that now, when you have your health. When you still have the energy. Why do you think you are here today? What kind of story will people tell about you? What impact have you made? Is what you’re preoccupying yourself with really worth it? What will happen to you when this life is over? What will you tell the Giver of Life?

Circles in the ceiling. This is something I saw for the first time this morning. Yesterday, I fell ill while in the field. My work mates had to carry me to the emergency side of Kamuzu Central Hospital where I went through some tests, and I had to wait for hours for a doctor who only ended up telling me to buy painkillers (what being in Malawi is like at the moment, ladies and gentlemen). When I came back to my room, I looked up and thought about my life again. What have I actually done since the last time I told myself I would live to fulfil my purpose and do more for His Kingdom? I noticed those circles which I had never really paid attention to before. Not that the circles are of importance, but it made me wonder why I have to go through illness to pay attention to some things – to remember how short and fragile life is. After that, I listened to a song that talked about satisfaction. Who am I living for? How satisfied is my Master with how I am living the life he gave me?

-“If God was done with you, you wouldn’t have woken up today. Fulfill your purpose.”

Posted in Favourite, Lessons and tagged .


  1. Hey Faith, this is very true. May God help us to really yield to His will and purpose in our lives. You are an inspiration to many through your blogs. God is not finished with you yet! Continue serving Him with everything you have.

  2. This is absolutely amazing fai. I just loved reading this. Made me really think about my life as a Christian but also my duty as a health personnel. As a young doctor in training I really have to do something about this for my country. I believe God saw something in me. When I hear issues like these, and wen I see them in the hospitals they just break my heart.

    • I believe that is your purpose and I’m glad you are committed to it. I pray you treat your patients well and you are a breath of fresh air to many. God bless you on your journey- as a doctor and a Christian.

  3. This post just made me reflect on my life and my purpose. I have always maintained, you are an incredibly talented writer. I will certainly pay attention to the circles on the ceiling.

  4. This is so touching but helpful. Thanks for sharing, dear Faith. Have been following your blog and every time you write something, it helps me reflect my life even more. Continue doing the great job you are doing.

    • Thank you so much, Martha. I’m so lucky I have people like you who read what I have to write. You keep me going, you have no idea! You’re too kind, God bless you!

  5. Faith, i do not know your age but mine is 57 & your experiences are those at any age if God blessed them with a good mind as yours.
    I am now stuck without walking. I do not ask why nor do I wish to beg God to heal me. I asked Him many times and wait for His timing.
    I embrace the little saying, Bloom Where YOU ARE Planted.
    I have no hint from The Master.
    I have no clue of His design for me.
    I do know it is my responsability to live my life as best as I can because God gave me this life to live.
    I live in an apartment building where seniors live but handicap are welcome too. In 3 yr there have been 8 pass on and i get to feeling odd when I see so many around me pass. They die of old age but still when you get attached to some & then they are gone…….
    Keep weighting Faith. Your flowing style is delightful.

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