Amazing Grace—Wondrous Healing
Claire OuYang—Hillsborough, New Jersey,
Four years have passed since my
baptism on April 27, 2003. Looking back, it still feels like it was just
yesterday. Before my baptism, I was like any other lost sheep, not knowing where
I really was headed and what lies at the end of this road. I am blessed, for
the Great Shepherd found me and led me back to His fold. Yet, the road we trod
wound through a dark valley of the shadow of death before He led me into warm
With each recounting of this
testimony, I feel God’s grace in greater magnitude. Nevertheless, I feel
inadequate still to fully convey the great mercy shown to me. Here, I again
tell of the wondrous deeds of God towards my family, for I have learned that no
knowledge in this world surpasses the knowledge of understanding God’s amazing
THE SALVATION GRACE OF GOD CAME UPON MY FAMILY
My husband was the first in our
family to hear of the gospel. I saw and marveled at the change in him after his
conversion. He used to be headstrong and argumentative. But, after a period of
listening to the teachings of the Bible, he was transformed into a gentle
person who was willing to give way, and in all things, he acted according to
the biblical standards. That God was able to cause such a great change moved me
and in 2003, we both decided to receive baptism.
At that time, we felt thoroughly
content with our lives. Little did we imagine what a difficult trial awaited
us, perhaps targeted at our ignorant complacency.
Our daughter turned 15 that same
year. Unbeknownst to me, my husband prayed to God for another child! His wish
was granted, and a month after our baptism, I became pregnant at the age of 43.
An amniocentesis confirmed that the baby would be a boy, which made us all very
Then, the trial came.
GOING THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH
In September, when I was in my 25th
week, a routine ultrasound revealed the presence of a tumor the size of a fist.
The doctors suggested an immediate removal by surgery. My husband and I had no
idea what was going on, and our only concern then was that the baby should not
The hospital had never had a
patient who needed a tumor removal during pregnancy, so more than ten
specialists from different disciplines were called to attend to my case. I
myself never had any major illness, so it never crossed my mind that this
surgery was a high-risk one. I thought that since I was already baptized into
the Lord, I would just entrust everything to Him.
A biopsy of the tumor cells
revealed that I was in Stage 3 of colon cancer. Being an optimist, I was
actually glad that it was not the terminal stage, and was not too worried.
However, my husband was devastated. People around us were baffled: Did they not
recently get baptized? Why would God allow a pregnant woman to be plagued with
cancer? Everyone seemed to have some doubt about our faith and spirituality.
The brother who introduced the
gospel to my family, brother Chen, stuck with us
throughout our whole ordeal. He encouraged us,
No temptation has overtaken you except such as
is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted
beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of
escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Cor
That is so true. God is indeed a
faithful and righteous God. Besides, “children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Ps 127:3). We got this child after we had
believed in the Lord—surely God would not simply end my life this way.
EXPERIENCING GOD IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING
By God’s grace, the surgery safely
removed the biggest tumor without impacting the fetus. The doctors told me that
because the cancerous cells were spreading quickly, they wanted to do a
C-section as soon as the baby was viable, in November. So the baby was
delivered pre-maturely. He was tiny but in every way, he was as healthy and
active as any full-term baby.
As the cancerous cells spread, I
began to have difficulty consuming any food. Whatever went in was thrown up
within minutes. My weight plunged from 120 lbs to 80 lbs. In December, the
results of a CAT scan showed that the cancer had spread to my liver, spleen and
other organs, and chemotherapy was the only option available.
I started on my first course of
chemotherapy in January 2004. Thank God, my first few sessions of chemotherapy
went very smoothly. I suffered nausea and hair loss, but there were no other
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by
prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to
God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your
hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6, 7)
God truly listens to our requests.
By the time I was on my second course of chemo, I no longer suffered any
accompanying discomfort, and my weight even began to increase steadily.
When the second course of chemo
ended, a PET scan was done on me. I was cancer free! Even the chemotherapist
and oncologist rejoiced with me, for they were also Christians. To all of us,
we were definitely witnessing a miracle.
GOD—THE SOURCE OF ALL GOODNESS
Bro. Chen asked me if I had
moments of feeling troubled all this time when I was in and out of the
hospital. Seriously, I would say no. For I firmly believed that God was with me
the whole time.
This sickness helped me see my
past folly. During the ordeal, I remembered the sins I committed in the past.
In prayers and tears, I would plead for God’s forgiveness. Each time, I
received great peace and comfort.
When I was in the hospital, my
husband and I would recite Psalm 23 every day, and each time, we would be
filled with tears. In the past, I always thought I was luckier than most
people. After this incident, I realized that all good things in life are granted
by God’s grace. There is simply no such thing as sheer luck. I thank God for
this precious lesson.
Step by step, God led me to His
fold. He first guided my husband to know Him. Throughout my illness, my husband
never once thought of abandoning me but took great care of me, looking into
every single possible detail. The brothers and sisters across the various
churches in the US
prayed for me while I was undergoing treatment. Clearly I have received
More than a decade ago, my husband
and I watched the movie Silkwood. Towards the
end, the female lead sang a song that touched us both very much. It was not
until our conversion that we found out that song was “Amazing Grace.” It was as
if God had prepared us to be chosen.
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind,
but now I see!