My story (which is a true one) happened in Hong Kong when I was 25 years old. I was very unhappy then because of stress from work. I was a new teacher in a secondary school with huge workloads.
Also, I did not have good relationship with my in-laws which affected my marriage deeply. I often thought about leaving this world so that I could get away from all the trouble, worries and sadness. However, as a Christian, I know God wants me to live for Him no matter how. But the struggles were so real that I suffered insomnia which made my health getting worse and worse every day.
I often got a cold. And I could hardly recover from sore throat by talking a lot as a teacher. Thanks to the air pollution in Hong Kong, finally, I suffered from pneumonia. I had regular temperature in the evening and midnight (but with no other symptoms). My GP (General Practitioner) could not diagnose correctly. She thought I just got a cold like what I usually do.
Two weeks later, even though my health didn’t get any better, I went to work every day because I only had high temperature after hours (in the evening and midnight). However, I gradually lost appetite with extreme tiredness that I had never experienced before. Then one night I stayed up because of coughing. In the early morning I woke my husband up to bring me to the hospital. I was diagnosed with pneumonia after having an x-ray. The doctor sent me to the ward straight away.
While my stay in the hospital, due to extreme tiredness I could hardly sit up and read bible. I could only meditate the word of God whenever I could. I had just finished an in-depth bible studies of James with a group of sisters in Christ before I was hospitalised. So I could memorise almost every verse in James which enable me to meditate without opening the bible. I knew God had prepared ahead for my illness by allowing His word to comfort and sustain me.
” 13Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
17Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. 19My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
By meditating the above scriptures day and night, I gradually realised my sin of thinking about giving up my life when I was down. I deeply regret that through my life I often said “I would rather die” when I was frustrated.
I prayed earnestly for God’s forgiveness. Death was close by, but I was so eager to live. I pleaded with God not to take my life. I had just been granted a permanent residence visa by Australian government. I would love to go there with my husband and have children in the future. I would like to testify to many about my faith and glorify God with my family…
However, taking antibiotics was the only treatment. And instead of getting any better, my condition was getting worse and worse after 10 days of hospitalisation. My husband and I knew that I might not be able to go home but die in the hospital.
Then one night, about midnight, I laid in my bed as high body temperature attacked me again. It was like burning my whole body with fire. I prayed with my eyes open (if i closed my eye I could feel more heat in my eyeballs). I kept asking God if I was really going to die soon, how heaven was like and whether I should be afraid. I kept repeating these questions in my prayer. Suddenly I saw something which froze me…
I saw someone stood beside me. He wore a robe like someone from a church choir. But the robe was bright as if some electric bulbs were hiding inside to give such bright effect (it was not too bright, so it did not hurt my eyes). I was totally stunned by this scene. I could not think or move or speak for around 10 seconds.
Then I intended to see his face by looking up, but he just disappeared without saying or doing anything. I held my blanket tightly and trembled for ages. I was not sure whether I was still alive. I was afraid that this person (or angel or anything, sorry I still don’t know exactly what it is) would come again to bring me to heaven.
But not for long, I stopped shaking and I was not afraid anymore. I was filled with Holy Spirit (I am sure). I was overwhelmed with peace, joy and excitement. I was full of energy and walked out of my bed.
I rang my husband (he was not able to talk by a sudden wakeup call in the middle of night) So I let him return to sleep. I walked around in the ward (I would love to dance but I didn’t). After a while, I returned to my bed and opened my bible. I turned to Isaiah chapter 44 and 45. It is about how God had chosen Israel. He forgave their sin and saved them.
Isaiah 44:1-3, 21-33
1 “But now listen, O Jacob, my servant,
Israel, whom I have chosen.
2 This is what the LORD saysâ€”
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
21 “Remember these things, O Jacob,
for you are my servant, O Israel.
I have made you, you are my servant;
O Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you.”
23 Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this;
shout aloud, O earth beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,
you forests and all your trees,
for the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel.
As I read the passage, I took it personal. I believed God had forgiven my sin and He would save me from the illness.
In the next morning, I shared my testimony to my husband and other visitors from my church. They were amazed but not sure what was going on.
I was right. That night I did not have any temperature. In the next morning, the doctors came and found out my temperature was normal. They were so surprised and wondered what had happened. I smiled and said nothing (today I still regret that I had not shared my testimony to them, and I don’t think I can see them again). The doctors let me be discharged from the hospital two days later. I returned home with a weak body. But my spirit was strong for the Lord was with me.
Now I am 37 years old and live in Australia with my husband and two lovely daughters (7 and 4 years old). We go to church every Sunday to worship God. I will never forget that He made me, formed me in the womb (I believe what it is said in Isaiah 44:2) and He will help me in my need (that’s my personal experience). I was chosen by Him. So, I shall return His love by sharing the gospel to the people around me wherever I am and whenever I could do so. Amen.