& bravery

Felt compelled to keep a record of what’s been happening as a form of closure toward the end of a season. 

It’s been about two months since the first health assessment in mid June, where a doctor ascertained that I do have a lump in my left breast, thereafter referring me to a specialist at SGH.

My world was shaken. I was filled with fear and anxiety. But the Lord taught me that His hesed, His unfailing love, never ever changes.

 

 

 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”— ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 

It was a gruelling wait (of 2 weeks) between the referral and the visit to the specialist. During this time I was confronted with the toughest questions of my faith and theology, and so many what if’s.

The worst case scenario that had come to my mind was ‘chemotherapy’. Surprisingly it wasn’t ‘death’ (according to my pastor, I am too young for this). But still, anything could happen and no one really knows. I was also challenged about the reality of God, what I really believe in and the way I live my life.

“Why do you make yourself so busy (for the cause of Christ)? When you really fall sick at the end, do you really think that Jesus will come and save you?”

Yes I do. I believe in Jesus who is my healer.

During this time, I had also experienced the sweet blessing of a spiritual community, and the sweet blessing of being vulnerable before the King and His people.

When I shared my fears openly and obeyed the Holy Spirit in reverence of God, stories and encouragements poured in from His people. I heard of testimonies of healing, testimonies of people having gone through similar experiences, and simple sharing from people who had been blessed by my vulnerability…and all these have contributed to my courage – really serving the function of “encouragement” which means to add courage.

It was really amazing that the Lord was so close to me. My family and I wondered why I had only discovered it now, and not any earlier where intervention/follow up would have been good.

I asked the Lord, and He revealed that He withheld this from me for further action earlier as He had been preparing the right people to support me through this journey. It brought me great comfort that His hand has been in this, and nothing (not even the smallest details) had been out of His sight or care.

I have been so blessed with women of God who came alongside with me, showered me with care, concern, and warred with me in prayer; friends who walked with me and checked in on me regularly; family who continued to bless me and take care of all my needs.

During this time, I had another scare.

On my way home one afternoon when I left work early for other reasons, a grain of sand had gotten into my right eye at such an angle that it remained stuck under my eyelid. I was flung into a panic. I was anxious. First my health was in question, I can’t afford to lose my sight! 

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” —Psalm‬ ‭139:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My panic made me realise that the area of health was a stronghold in my life that i had been holding on to unknowingly in this season…

It remained there till the night when we decided to heed my GP’s advice to make a trip to the A&E. We were told we had to wait for about 4 hours. 😱

Well, in my waiting I was well enough to be cheeky and record this moment with mama.


It was a miracle that my name was called rather quickly as they directed me to the eye clinic within A&E. And then a mystery followed: The Eye doctor was sure that there was nothing in my eye.

But the sensation of something being there was gone. My only conclusion is that it must have dropped out when the doctor used something to poke at my eye!

Regardless, through this ‘intermission’ at the A&E i had to learn to surrender my entire life (including my health in all aspects) and entrust my self into His hands.

After the first visit to the specialist outpatient clinic, things happened rather quickly: I had to get an ultrasound done to assess the situation, and there happened to be a slot right in the morning of the very next day.

A week after, I was scheduled to receive the result of the ultrasound scan. I went to the clinic feeling carefree, thinking that there’d be a discussion of the next step to take. Lo and behold, I had to get a biopsy done on that very same afternoon. With such little heart prep, I was quickly overwhelmed.

It didn’t help that I had Google-searched the terms in my ultrasound report and my mind went wild. I retreated quickly amongst the bushes at the hospital while listening to dear Hester run me through the procedures over the phone. Thank God for a friend who happens to be a doctor! This place offered a sort of respite as I was free to cry and breathe heavily without a care. Zhimin said, if crying helps you to connect with God and journey this well, go ahead. (She says the wisest things.)

At the hospital, events usually don’t happen as per scheduled. A 40-minute wait turned into an hour or so, which was good enough for me to calm down. I turned to Scripture for comfort while waiting, using the ScriptureTyper Bible Memory app to keep me occupied.

My heart found comfort and courage in Isaiah 61:3 ESV

To grant to those who mourn in Zion: to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified.

Again, it strengthened my heart to know that He still had me safe in His arms, that  nothing was beyond His control, that He would somehow use all these for His glory.

As I walked into the room where the biopsy procedure was to be done, I tried desperately to recall the scripture I had just memorised in the waiting room to no avail. My mind was blank. My eyes though were full of tears, impossible to keep any of them in my small eye pockets.

The very moment when the scalpel made the cut, I closed my eyes and the refrain of “You make me brave / You make me brave / No fear can hinder now the promise that You made” played on loop in my head.

Here I was with mama who had accompanied me during our walk home after the procedure. I had obviously recovered from my shock as evidenced by my 1-million watt smile.


Another week later, the sample biopsy results show that the lump is most likely benign. So we planned and scheduled the op for the next week.

In the mean time, I went for the Batam kids conference (out of obedience to the Lord) and acted for a short session by CS. I think it could have revealed the true feelings that I’ve had in me for this season… ‘Sedih’ is the Bahasa Indonesian equivalent of ‘sad’.

Before the operation, I had to fast and also shower with this cool antibacterial solution.


More waiting…


Mama, who has displayed so much resilience and strength as she journeyed with me.


Everything went well. I didn’t experience the side effect of nausea after I woke up from the general anaesthesia (GA). Praise the Lord (for I hate vomit)!

Then the nurses gave me crackers and Milo after they were sure that the GA had worn off.

Praise the Lord that the recovery has been smooth and I came home to beautiful flowers sent by my colleagues.

During this time, Tzeyu had been such an amazing support, allowing me to go for my checkups in peace every time.

On Friday, the lab results of the entire lump that was removed show that it is no cause for further concern: totally benign fibro___ and it is removed. Praise the Lord!!!

Next up would be regular follow ups every half a year.

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