May 15, 2011

Amazing Grace : Milestones with Christ

Amazing Grace (English version) sung by Gaither Vocal Band

I know I have talked about this before and hidden in bits and pieces of past blog entries here. But I wanted to share a bit more about this wonderful grace that God gives to us. And the milestones I have gone thru since birth with Christ.

From as far as I can remember, I knew for a long time, my life was created by God. He could have taken it back from my parents when I was a baby, but He chose to give it to them to keep and to nurture and to grow. To be in His likeness, in every way my parents could.

I was born with many medical problems. At the tender age of 6 months old, I went for my first surgery. To remove a diseased bone from my right rib cage. My dad told me that I spent several weeks in the hospital and my mom visited me at the hospital every day. When I was discharged, my mom hated hospitals and the smell of disinfectant. For some unknown reason, I grew up hating the smell of Dettol too.

When I was old enough to stand on my 2 feet, I started falling even just by walking. My mom would scold me if I run. In a way, that studded my growth, and I became slow in everything I do. I was never allow to run in the field or play vigorous sport of any kind. I never play tennis or basket ball or even the simple child's game of "catching". I can walk and suddenly my knees will just give way and I would fall.

As a child, my Uncle David would pick me up from school..on his back. He would carried me home. My relationship with Uncle David was extremely closed. I always see him as Big Brother than an uncle.

And then it happened when I was 4 years old. I went to the toilet at night, came out and just fell and hit the corners of the cabinet. That causes a deep cut on my forehead..just above my right eye. I bled non stop ...I was dressed in a white sleeping gown which my mom had painstakingly sewn by hand for me. I remembered my dress was in red..covered in blood. My dad rushed me to the hospital. And after that, my life changed completely.

The doctors back then said I lost alot of blood, and not enough oxygen in my brain, so my brain wasn't 'functioning' at full steam. It meant that I would become forgetful and I cannot remember short term things. Like studying for spelling or trying to remember a date or short term event.

Who would ever thought of learning Phonics back in the early 1960s? Most unheard of back then. My dad took up Phonics on his own and he taught me to read and spell using the phonics way. That requires no memory on my part and no extra brain work to do.

All my years in Primary school in Singapore, I spent hiding in my classroom. I cannot go for PE(Physical Education), no jumping of hoops, no running, no sports. I stood and watch from the window from my classroom where all my class mates run and play in the open field. I lead a quiet life you might say. I took on new hobbies..hobbies that doesn't require me to run or be in sports. I learn to draw, to colour, to paint. And I took up piano lessons too. I spent all my school holidays with my dad, with my cousin John. My dad would take me to watch Disney's animated movies or to the travelling circus(yes, Singapore used to have that too..!).

By the time I was in Secondary school, a new medical 'illness' plaque me. I had the lazy eye or squint eyes. And I had to go for surgery at age 14 years, or Secondary 2.

When I left secondary school and studied Pre U, my knee finally call it quits on me. I went for a major surgery on my left knee. That removed cartilage under the knee cap. It meant a life time of no vigorous exercise or movement on my knees. If I had a fall and I fell on my left side, I was to go for X Rays immediately to see the damage internally. That was also the reason I quit my job as MIS Manager with Batey Ads Singapore. An advertising agency in Singapore. I have over exert myself in the 3.5 years working for them. I quit to stay at home to nurse my knee. The doctor said "surgery or home therapy". Surgery is not a cure, just prolonged the expectancy of the knee. Home therapy is just slow and painful physiotherapy on my leg muscles.

When I left Batey, I couldn't even walk properly. That was how severe it got. I didn't quit to start Kitchen Capers or go into the culinary field. I did that out of boredom. After spending 25 years working non stop, suddenly I had nothing to do. And I haven't reach my retirement age yet as my girls are still young and school going age. I needed to work and have money for things.

Then in November 2007, I went for surgery for Appendicitis. 2 months later, I was in the hospital again. For hernia(from my appendicitis). Thank God for friends, my students who kept me safe and prayed for me when I was in the hospital. And the doctor who operated on me told me more unhappy news...

Due to my many health issues, he told me to stop taking a few food ingredients. Most of these are preservatives used in food preparation and all chemicals associated with baking. And I also found that I was allergic to artificial colouring used in colouring food. I would wheeze and had shortness of breath.

If you have met me in person, visiting me at my shop, you may think I looked healthy. But beneath all that, I am quite "unhealthy".

I had so many surgeries done on my body, the nerve endings on my body have been severed. I had no 'feelings' or 'sensations' of pain or heat if I am hurt until someone tells me..Should I stand next to a fire stove and the fire catches on my clothes, I won't be able to know..the nerve endings near my tummy area has been 'cut'.

Yet everyday, my life is a testimony. A living testimony that God decides when, and how and what.

My dad told me the day I accepted Christ as my personal Saviour that I am a Living Testimony for God. That whatever I do or say, testifies that God still believes that the world should go on. And that lives out there are still worth gathering in His name and tired souls and broken hearts are still worth mending.

If you noticed..maybe now you will, the next time you see me at my shop, I am actually walking on a limp. My left knee is still swollen and my right tummy area has a "pouch". As I live each day with the extras, my life with Christ remains strong and steadfast. Despite all my body offers to me, I am still in awe of Christ and all He has provided me.


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