How I experienced God’s amazing understanding
By Jenna Tan Chua
I couldn’t help exclaiming in despair when I saw myself all yellow in the mirror. Admitted to Melaka Mahkota Medical Centre on 7 Oct. 2013 tests on my blood bilirubin count showed an abnormal count of 118. ( Normal range is 1-30). My CT scan report showed a 4 cm x 4 cm x 3.5 cm mass at the head of the pancreas. My doctor told me the bad news that it was very likely to be cancer of the pancreatic head. I broke down and cried, praying that God would give me the strength to go through this. Amazingly, the peace of God just enveloped me at that moment– a supernatural peace which I have not known before.
In the hospital
My care group members were shocked at my appearance when they came to the hospital. My church member Boxson Low asked, “Do you have the faith to believe in miracle healing?” I told him honestly, ‘No. But I will go through all the necessary medical procedures.”
Alone in my hospital room, I told God I trust in His goodness and believe He is in control. I declared, “ I want You to get the glory by passing my test with an A”. Lying awake in the wee hours of the morning, the song “Hide me now” played through my mind…. “hide me now under your wings, cover me with your mighty hand. When the oceans rise and thunder roars I will soar with you above the storm. Father you are King over the flood. I will be still, know you are God…” In the same ward was a young lady taking care of her grandmother. Was it a coincidence or by God’s mercy that she was a christian and found the mandarin version of this song for me. I was then able to share this song with my mandarin speaking friends and family members.
I was transferred to Gleneagles Hospital KL for further more intensive investigation and management. Waking up at four one morning, I was searching for songs on Youtube on my phone. A little arrow sign appeared so I just pressed it. The song “I am the Lord that healeth thee” by Don Moen came on. How comforted I was. God gave me other songs to prepare me for the storm ahead, one of them being “I shall not be moved….just like the tree that is planted by the water, I shall not be moved….”
I believe God was impressing on me “not to be moved by what you hear. Believe and trust in Me”. Soon my faith was shaken as people’s negative remarks came and hammered me to a pulp: “your mass is as big as a tennis ball…”, “my friend’s mother died of pancreatic cancer….”, “ my aunt couldn’t take the chemo after the second dose…. “
I thank God that He had prepared me to trust Him wholly. Faced with this life and death environment my thoughts ran amok…there were so many things I haven’t done ….my accounts…which school for my son… my will… Things were not well In the family we don’t communicate much…we don’t eat together much…. don’t pray together everyday…. so many faults in everyone…. I realized I have to change first before they change. I was an impatient, perfectionist wife and mother. I had no time to read the bible , pray, grow spiritually….rush, rush, rush all the time. Lord, change me…..
In my deep despair, God not only gave me songs of comfort but words of encouragement, e.g. Isaiah 40:31 “ Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
“Eagles”! It dawned on me that I was warded at Gleneagles Hospital. After finishing breakfast, my husband moved me from the bed towards the window where I could see outside. As I looked out from my 6th floor ward, a pair of eagles flew towards me and soared upward. Imagine seeing eagles at Jalan Ampang, such a busy street right in the city of KL. God’s goodness is unfathomable. He knows exactly what I needed at the time I needed it.
I had endoscopy and an ERCP where a stent was inserted. The pancreas was abnormal – out of 4 symptoms of pancreatic cancer I had 3. I was advised to be mentally prepared for Whipple surgery, a very high risk operation like a heart bypass but in the abdomen area. I had more tests to check if I had auto immune pancreatitis a very rare disease which affects the pancreas. The specimen was sent to Australia for testing. The doctor explained that my case would be treated as cancer unless proved otherwise. Hearing this devastating news, my faith again went through a roller coaster ride. But again God compassionately stepped in.
A second endoscopy was done. When I came out of the general anesthesia, in my blurriness I thought I heard praying. I asked my husband, “I wonder if the angels are praying for me.” Actually it was an elderly couple who was in my ward. The wife had hypoglycemia two weeks ago. Her sugar level dropped so drastically that the doctor told her husband that both her kidneys have failed, her brain was damaged and to prepare for the worst. Being Christians, her husband and children prayed for God’s healing. At the time I was admitted, I saw the wife was up walking and talking! Surely God showed me this miracle to strengthen my faltering faith again. We told our doctor we were praying for a miracle. He advised us not to set our hopes too high even though he acknowledged miracles do happen.
An MRI was done on 18 Nov. 2013. While waiting nervously in the doctor’s office for the result, my mind was blank, not thinking of what the news would be but only surrendering myself to His will. Then it happened!
Instead of being called in by the nurse, the doctor himself, a handsome, tall thin, man stood at the doorway and beckoned us in, exclaiming,
As I reflect back on all that has happened, from the time I was first diagnosed with a mass at the head of my pancreas, my faith was in medical science and I was prepared to go through the necessary medical treatments. I doubted that God can remove the growth. But in spite of my initial lack of faith God faithfully and mercifully continued to show me His love and understanding that He is Jehovah Rapha my Healer.
It is very unlike me to pen down anything but somehow I journaled this whole amazing journey. In one entry I wrote, “I’ll be a witness for Him after all’s over.” Immediately I saw the daily verse on my phone “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me.” Ps 50:14,15. This is what I will do with God’s help.