THE END OF OUR ROAD IS THE BEGINNING OF GOD’S WAY
Shirley Lee — Baldwin Park, California, USA
Many people take the simple act of
living for granted. For those who are ill and lack peace in their hearts, and
for those who care for the sick, living is hardly simple. Time after time, God
has saved my life, and because I am alive today, God has given me the
opportunity to share the blessings I have received from Him.
CHILDHOOD HEALTH TROUBLES
From the third day of my birth, I
was taken to the emergency room twice a week because I was a very weak baby. I
became a regular patient at the hospital, and it was extremely difficult to
care for me as an infant.
Every time I tried to have a bowel
movement, I would fall asleep from exhaustion. When the doctor became aware of
my condition, I was about one month old. He examined me and discovered that a
valve in my heart was not closing properly. He highly recommended for me to
have heart surgery. Otherwise, the heart defect might not heal on its own until
I reached 4 years old, and everyday until that time would be a risk for
possible heart failure.
My mom decided against the
surgery, since she felt the operation was too dangerous due to my poor health.
My mom prayed day and night for God to heal my illness, and she put her complete
faith in God’s hands. Since then, I don’t have trouble going to the bathroom.
This was the first time God saved me.
Following this, I developed an
epidermal disease that affected the skin on my scalp, back, legs, and on other
parts of my body. I was examined and treated by several doctors, with little
My parents spent large sums of
money searching for a cure, but nothing worked. They even located the doctor
that treated the wife of Taiwan’s
president at the time, and he charged ten times more than the regular doctor.
I went to this renowned doctor
seven to eight times, but my condition did not improve. It was then that we
realized that the end of our road was the beginning of God’s way.
Once again, my mom decided to
depend solely on God, for she believed everything had God’s meaning and
purpose. God listened to her prayers and my skin disease was healed.
BATTLING A HIGH FEVER
In my childhood years, my family
migrated to Argentina.
And in 1990, when I was about six years old, I returned to Taiwan for a
visit over the summer break. We stayed at my paternal grandmother’s house in
the south of Taiwan.
My siblings, my youngest aunt, and I slept in the same room, while my parents
One night, I was feeling ill, so
my aunt told me to go to bed earlier. It took me a while to fall asleep.
Later that night, I felt hot and
uncomfortable. I wanted to call my sister and brother, but they seemed to be
sound asleep, so I decided not to disturb them. When it was around 5 or 6 am,
my grandma quietly crept into the room to get her tai-chi sword for her morning
The weather was chilly, so she
started to cover me with a blanket, only to realize that something was wrong
because my face was as red as an apple. She touched my forehead and
shrieked—waking everyone in the room. Then, she ran upstairs to call my
Mom and Dad ran downstairs,
carried me out of the room, and rushed me to the hospital. After the doctor
took my temperature, he said to my parents, “Had you waited another thirty
minutes, the high fever could’ve caused your daughter serious injury.”
Apparently, my fever was only
three to five degrees away from permanent brain damage. I really thank God for
His good timing and for the amazing ways He sustained me.
A WEAK BODY
Throughout my adolescence, God
would see me through one more major physical trial.
In 1997, I hit puberty and my
menstrual cycles quickly became irregular. My family and my aunt thought I
should see a doctor to make sure everything was all right.
The doctor told us that menstrual
irregularity is common to girls just starting their cycle. But after some time had passed, my condition
I kept telling myself it was ok
and convinced myself that it wasn’t necessary to see a doctor. By 1998, my body
became weaker and my face was a shade paler. I returned to see the doctor.
She examined and charted my
monthly cycle, prescribed medicine, and took ultrasounds, x-rays, and various blood
tests. But the pills made me vomit in the middle of the night, and they
prompted headaches and insomnia.
Since western medicine couldn’t
help, my uncle introduced me to an herbal doctor he knew.
The first herbal doctor shook his
head and told my mom I was very weak. He sounded as if I would die in the next
couple of months, and it only made my mom more anxious. My family didn’t know
how else to help me but to wait for a miracle to happen.
Initially, the Chinese medicine
seemed to work. My countenance improved, I wasn’t as exhausted, and my periods were
more stable. But eventually, as we became hopeful, my menstrual cycle took
another erratic turn. Once again, I lost hope and I burst into tears. I begged
my family not to take me to another doctor. They were heartbroken and didn’t
know what to do with me.
A year later, in the summer of
1999, my uncle found an exceptional herbal doctor and he encouraged me saying,
“You can depend on God, but we need to do what we can.” I agreed to see the doctor, but he said the
same thing as the first one, only a little worse. I stopped seeing doctors
altogether after that.
My health continued to fluctuate
from bad to good, and from good to worse. And my hopes took a similar beating.
RELYING ON PRAYER
Pastors always ask us to pray for
those who are sick, but I never thought of myself in that category.
During the spiritual convocation
in August 2000, when the pastor said, “Pray for those who are sick,” I decided
to pray for myself and ask God to heal me. It seems odd now, but throughout my
physical ailments, I prayed to God more about school than I did about my
I never fully appreciated that I
always had a Doctor that could heal all kinds of illness. From that day on, I
started to pray to the Lord about my condition.
During the spiritual convocation
the following year, my mom told me that she made a request to God—that if He
would heal my illness, she or I would testify for the Lord.
My condition did improve after
that, but it also took many nose dives. Has God really healed me? If He hasn’t,
I was very hesitant about testifying. So my mom comforted me saying, “Trust and
have faith in God. You will be healed. Maybe God is testing your faith. Maybe
after you testify, it will be healed.”
I decided to testify at church in
April, 2002, and I also asked brothers and sisters to pray for me. When they
heard about my condition, there were brothers and sisters who would ask my mom
about my health, and every week, my mom would come home and tell me about it.
I was deeply touched, and I was
more determined not to give up. “I’m not going to lose faith in God. I promised
God and now all that’s left is to pray until He heals me,” I thought.
One of my mom’s friends is a
doctor, and she told us how difficult it is to treat menstrual irregularity,
and she remembered that there was a lady in the Bible who had a similar
illness. So she suggested to my mom that I should depend more on our God
instead of doctors.
My mom observed that even a
non-Christian, like her friend, knew not to depend on doctors, and she felt God
had answered her prayers and spoken to her through this friend.
I understand now that when God
answers our prayers, we don’t always receive a direct answer. Sometimes, He
speaks to us through others. My mom believed God used her friend to tell her
that we needed to depend on Him for me to be cured.
Since April 2002, I truly thank
God that I’m physically healthier. It is because of God’s love and the love and
prayers of my brothers and sisters that my body continues to grow stronger.
Most importantly, God has given me
His assurance throughout these past few years, and I am certain and I believe
that our health and well-being lies completely in His hands. Though He did not
remove this burden completely for me, He leaves it there to remind me to
constantly rely on Him and to put my trust in Him.
BELIEVE, AND WE WILL BE HEALED
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us that
everything needs time. My family, relatives, and I did everything we could, but
it was God who helped me and graced me with what He thinks is sufficient for
me. Though there are difficult turns in our walk through life, we are blessed
because we walk with the Lord.
God has chosen us and saved us.
This means He will sustain us no matter how many difficulties we will go
through or face. He will hold our fragile hands and guide us until our last
days. Therefore, we should not let our troubles overcome us (Jn 14:1).
I truly thank God because this
illness let me realize how much people care about me. It made me appreciate my
family because they have walked with me through hopelessness and depression,
and they have encouraged and supported me all this time.
My experience also taught me that
group prayers are very powerful. Even though I feel down at times, I know if
God doesn’t test me, my faith won’t improve and I will not cherish His love for
For those who are encountering
illnesses and trials, I encourage you not to give up. We need to have hope and
wait patiently for God’s miracle (cf. Rom 8:24-25). We also need to put our
trust in the Lord Jesus because He has told us, “And whatever things you ask in
prayer, believing, you will receive” (Mt 21:22).
May all the glory be unto our