Remember His wonderful grace and mercy
Testimony By Chiew Ling in Year 2010 – Singapore
In the name of Lord Jesus I bear testimony.
It is meant to be a testimony that should have been shared a long time ago. I procrastinated.
On 30 September 1993 which happened to be the fifteenth day of August in the lunar calendar and was also the Mid-Autumn Festival, I had an accident. That day after work, I had intended to spend the evening with my family at home celebrating the festival. Before heading home, I went to shops nearby my house to do some grocery shopping.
I had to cross a very busy road to get to the shops. As I stood on the curb preparing to cross, something hit me hard. The impact sent me flying into the air before landing on the ground. My first thought was my life would come to an end there. At the same time, I felt surreal that something bad was happening to me.
As I lay on the ground, a passerby asked me if I wanted to go home and I replied, “Yes I want to go home.” But I was pointing aimlessly not knowing which way my house was. My vision was totally blinded for I could not see anything. I tried to stand up and focus but I could not do so. As I was bleeding, someone decided to take me to the clinic.
Upon arriving at the clinic, I regained a little of my vision. From complete darkness I was able to see shades of grey. When the doctor asked to contact my family members I was not even able to recall the telephone number of my sister’s house. It was a very terrifying moment for me as my memory and sight were gone. I believed it was at that time that God revealed His power. The nurse picked up my telephone booklet from my bag and simply picked a number to call. Not only was I unable to recall the telephone number of my sister I was also not able to recall her name. Therefore the nurse made a call to any of the number that she could find.
Amazingly by the guidance of God, the nurse picked my sister’ contact out of all the names in the book! My sister was living with me then. I have more than ten brothers’ and sisters’ contacts in my phone book and it was absolutely amazing that she found the right number at the first attempt. When my sister arrived at the clinic, the doctor had yet to stitch up my wounds. My eyesight had then turned from grey to somewhat white that I could see some shadows and make out some images. The doctor told my sister that I had fractured my skull. My right foot was also injured and some of the flesh was also exposed. The doctor told her that they would have to shave my hair before they could stitch the wounds up.
Please do not shave my hair…
At that, I protested and said, “Please do not shave my hair!” Even though I was in great pain I was still very concerned about my appearance. One of my elder brothers was getting married soon and I therefore said, “No, no, you can’t cut my hair, because I need to attend the function and meet friends and relatives.” However the doctor was stern and said, “If you do not shave your head, you cannot have your stitches!” I continued to bargain with him. Finally, they shaved a small portion of my hair and did the stitches. They did not inject me with any anesthesia before stitching me up.
After the procedure, I was sent home to rest. Later that evening, my sister related to me that the doctor not only did not give me any painkillers or anesthesia, he also did not clean up my wounds. At home, I could only manage a few mouthful of food before I started throwing up. I became worried.
Since I vomited constantly from the time I arrived home at 8pm, my sister advised me to go to the hospital for a check up. My brother-in-law took me to a hospital in Johor Bahru where some X-rays were taken. The X-rays results showed no serious internal injury except for some superficial wounds. Hence I was discharged on the same night.
That night, thank to the grace of God I was able to rest till morning. However, in the morning after taking some food, I vomited again. The vomiting went on till 4 in the afternoon. My condition worsened. At this point, I was fearful and asked for my neighbour’s help to bring me to the hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, I vomited terribly and had fainting spells.
Like the night before, the doctors ordered some scans on my head again. This time the scans showed up some blood clots at the rear of the brain. I was immediately admitted for observation. I was fine till the 2nd day of hospitalization (or 3rd day of the accident) when the pain in my head intensified. Though I was given painkillers, gradually the pain became so severe that I was not conscious of the happenings around me. As my assigned doctors were tied up at the operating theatre and could not attend to me immediately, the nurses administered strong painkillers. Nevertheless my condition did not improve.
God was pressing me to…
I am usually not a “pushy” type of person even when confronted with a severe kind of situation. But on that day, I believe God was pressing me to be “pushy”. Uncharacteristically, I made a lot noise about my pain so much so that the nurses quickly made arrangements for other doctors to examine me. Finally one attended to me and ordered a thorough scan on my head. Almost at the end of the day at 11pm, he informed me that my rear brain was inflamed. He also pointed out that I was fortunate to have that discovered early in the day or there would have been dire consequences.
I was put on drip and had a restful sleep. Though my condition started to improve the next day, my sight was affected. I could only see shadows. The brain injury had cause temporary blindness and it would take some time to recover. I was discharged after spending 9 days in the hospital.
At the point of discharge, I had not regained my sight and had fainting spells. I learnt from the reviewing doctor that these were due to the initial stitching done by the doctor at the clinic. He had unknowingly stitched onto to some nerves! As a result there would be continuous headaches for a period of time. The doctor then suggested another surgery but specified clearly that there was no 100% guarantee of recovery. I had only 70% chance of getting better. Or without surgery, I would need to bear with the pain and he had no idea how long it would last. Due to financial considerations, I did not proceed with the suggested surgery.
I rested at home for an entire month. Thanks the mercy of God again, special arrangements were made for me at my work place. My employer was very understanding. He reduced my volume of work and gave me a quiet cubicle to work. What he did had a great help to my illness. I made a slow and long recovery before I start a normal life again.
There are a few things I wish to share from my experience.
Remember His Salvation is for you and your family
Firstly, we have to spread the gospel and pray unceasingly for our unbelieving family members. These prayers are our daily work. At the hospital, I thought about how my premature death would impact my unbelieving family members. Though I have two siblings (a brother and sister) who had been baptized into the True Jesus Church, they have stopped attending services and have almost lost their faith. Who would preach the gospel to them? We must feel the urgency to do God’s work of preaching while we have the breath to do so.
Remember His grace and blessings in our lives
Secondly, after losing my sight and memory (though temporal) I realized I must be filled with thanksgiving to God for my life. God grants us our well-being and we must not take His grace and blessings for granted. Pay more attention to the little treasure of God and remember His wonderful grace and mercy.
What I like to share with you is at the crucial moment when I had the major headache, I was very afraid. It is not because I was afraid of death but if I die, what will happen to my family members? Because many of my family members have not known the Lord or have not become believers. I was brought to church by my elder brother and my elder sister, but at that point in time they were also lost in their faith. And my father was very opposed to us becoming Christians. Therefore I was afraid and struggling with the idea of what if I were to die what is going to happen?
When I was praying I was equally worried, this is what I called a worrisome prayer. My prayer was that God do not let me die because I have lots of work that was not completed. And these were all things that have never crossed my mind in the past. In the past, I would think I have come to believe and I kept the word and if I have energy I can spread the gospel. There was no urgency in spreading the message of the gospel at all. But the thought that cross my mind was do I still have anymore time to save my family members? Therefore it was my wish for you that if you still have family members who were non-believers today, you have to pray for them.
And after that throughout the recovery stage, I was living with a lot of thanksgiving in my heart that I am still alive. And up to this day my heart of thanksgiving remains. To be able to see is a blessing, because I had experienced the feeling of blindness and lost of memory. We have to know that it is not to be taken for-granted that we have normal eye-sight today. Therefore my wish for you is that you will treasure the eye-sight that the Lord has given you and pay more attention to the grace of God.
What is more important for us is to remember all the wonderful grace that God has given us. Being able to speak in itself is a grace. I am not sure if anyone of you have ever lost your voice before, I often have this problem. therefore it is truly grace that I am able to speak to you today. Therefore if you have a grace to share and you still have your voice, say it. Do not wait till the time when you lose it and you won’t be able to do it.
We thank God. All glory be given to His name.