Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Testimony shared on 6 January 2013

Good morning and blessed new year to you all.

For the past few years, I have avoided thanksgiving and also church anniversary.  It was very difficult to praise and worship God after what happened to my daughter.  On 16 September last year, I sent out an email to the church members sharing what I went through after the passing of my daughter.  I started writing it in the church camp, which is on 31 August.  Now, I felt the need to release my testimony verbally, and not just in writing.  As I open up myself more to God and to my spiritual family, I realised that God will touch me and use me even more.

I’m able to stand here to share because of prayers and God’s strength.

This is a photo of my daughter – Jemimah Teoh Shang Mei.  She passed away on 24 February 2009, 56 days after her birth.   

The first year was very tough. I seemed okay for the first week. I seemed strong. A lot of people (including my colleagues) saw that strength and told me that I’m strong. Everyone except myself seemed to think that I’ll be okay. They said I should be strong for my son. I went back to work as usual one week after my maternity leave. My main struggle was in taking care of my son - Jordan. I was still grieving and my emotions were not stable. For the first three months, I cried everyday. Then, it was every few days, and later, once a week and then about once a month.

I was very bitter and angry during the first year. I couldn’t and even refused to worship. Each time I listened to worship songs, I cried. At house church and congregational meetings, all I could do was cry during worship. At home, I would often shout and scream at my son. How could a loving God allow my daughter to be taken away from me? I refused breakthroughs. Why should I have breakthroughs? Why do I need breakthroughs? I was extremely negative. Even Bible verses did not sound encouraging. The Bible says this and that, so what?  My heart was hardened and I didn’t even allow God to break it.

Throughout this time, I had support from the Church, friends and family. During the first month or so, the church prayed regularly for my faith. Selvi made desserts for me, and she would ask me to pick it from her house after work.  It was something sweet to take away the bitterness.  That year, the Chans didn't celebrate Ariel's first birthday.  Their love was overwhelming.  Every now and then friends took us out for meals. Due to all these prayers and support I have the strength to go through the shadow of the deep valley.

In the midst of all the pain, God surprised me on Jemimah’s first anniversary in 2010.  I won a grand prize worth RM5000 from a dessert restaurant.  I won the prize together with Seng Chor – We had to perform a lion dance, and we received the loudest applause from the crowd.  I think it was partly because of Jordan as he was entertaining the crowd too.  The prize included a trip to Bangkok which I went with three beautiful ladies – Chooi Kuan, Dolly and Selvi.  They have been spending precious time with me on every anniversary.  I felt that the grand prize was like a gift from my daughter.  God wanted me to have wonderful and sweet memories of her anniversary. 

In September 2010, I began to listen to worship songs again in the car. I was able to worship Him more without breaking down all the time. 

In 2011 (second anniversary), four us – Chooi Kuan, Dolly, Selvi and myself met up again. I felt more peace as we prayed at the cemetery.

That year, our house church organised the church camp. I volunteered to prepare the programme booklet because I felt that I haven’t been doing much, and preparing the booklet is something that I would like to do. I went to the camp without expectations. But I wanted God to give me surprises, and He did. I didn’t really want to receive prayers but Selvi encouraged me go forward. As usual, I broke down. Chooi Kuan prayed for me, and I received the Father’s hug from Uncle Hok Seng. Then, after the prayer, I received another Father’s hug from Uncle Chris. There’s more to come. The most surprising thing was I received a prophecy from Pastor Tony Kim. He said I would be writing children’s curriculum. It was like written all over me. I will touch the nation. I was like, “Huh? How could it be? I am having so many problems with one kid and my daughter has passed away. How can I be writing children’s stuff?” I cried again after that. Anyway, I’m waiting for the prophecy to be fulfilled, and I do enjoy writing.

At house church on Sunday, I shared what I received in the camp. After I was prayed for, Uncle Wing Cheong gave me a hug. Then, I realised, all three Elders from ANC have hugged me. It was like getting hugs from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But was it complete? It was a start of more breakthroughs.

2012 – Third anniversary. There was a sense of beauty that I couldn’t describe as we stood at her grave.

Last year, I took more steps to move forward. Pastor Tony Kim was here again, and I was looking forward to hear from God again. I was more willing to be prayed for. What Tony saw in me was strength, a lot of strength. Because of this strength, I could go through what I went through. I acknowledge that this strength is from God. His strength is in me. I was pretty broken throughout the sessions with Tony. It’s okay to be broken and I was reminded by Uncle Chris that I can use my brokenness to reach out to others and encourage others.

Another major milestone last year was at the church camp at El Sanctuary, Malacca. I received new tongues on Saturday, 1 September 2012. I didn’t specifically ask for it but God knew it was something that I need to move up to the next level. One week later, I shared with my House Church, and I received further revelation from Isaiah 50:4 (NIV) -

4 The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.

It was released by Selvi, and before the end of last year, she received and released it to me again but with an additional words – magnifying glass to see.  For me, it’s also new perspective to see things from God’s view.

God has been leading people (friends, students, ex-students, colleagues) for me to minister and encourage, and He is equipping me with His Words too. I’ve read that the primary role of the servant (spoken in Isaiah) is to pay special attention to the "weary," those who are in desperate need of a word of encouragement and support, those perhaps on the margins of society who are neglected and are in danger of being forgotten. This role of listener and right speaker is given by God to the servant "morning by morning" (i.e. again and again).

That’s my calling for this season of time. I’m learning to fulfil this calling day by day. I need to walk in obedience to God as advised by Elder Hok Seng, “Don't let your ministering or warring angels hang around waiting too long doing nothing, LIVE the normal risk-taking Christian life and you will set aflame the angels to do the bidding for the Lord.”

What I received recently for myself is “No Turning Back’.  It was not an easy journey to where I am now, and I don’t want to lose what I’ve gained.  I will continue to move forward and look up to God.

In closing, I want to say that I’ve learned that every grief is different.  There must be no expectation on the person who’s grieving.  Do allow God to work in their person.  Give them space and time, but please don’t forget them.  Love them unconditionally because God is doing something wonderful in them. 

I want to thank my Beit Parach family for walking with me.  Thank you for your love and patience.  At times, my behaviour and mood were really unacceptable, and I apologise for that.  I thank the intercessors - Elishas and Elijahs for welcoming me back to the family.  It’s an honour to serve and be served.

I want to honour, praise and glorify God for all that He has done.  He is worthy of our praise and worship. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

3rd Anniversary - Beauty and Peace

The photo above was taken on the 3rd anniversary of her home calling - 24 February 2012.

This year, there was a different feeling.  There was a sense of beauty and peace as I stood and looked at the tombstone.  I couldn't describe the beauty that I felt.  There was peace too.  She was indeed a beautiful daughter.

Few days ago, a friend told me that Jemimah is watching over us and praying for her family.  One day, I'll see her again in Heaven.  Right now, her Papa in Heaven is taking care of her.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2nd Anniversary...

"Release ALL to Jesus and He will turn your sorrows into joy."
Amen and chin up!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

2nd day of the week
24th day of the second month

In Cantonese, the number 24 is not a good number - it sounds like the phrase "easy to die". Indeed, this is a date that is not easily forgotten. Moreover, the sad incident happened on the second month of the year - the number 2 sounds like the word "easy" in Cantonese. Combining the two phrases, we get something like "very easy to die." It's an awfully sad day!

Well, I'm not being superstitious, and I'm not even a Cantonese. What I'm trying to share is that the date is very significant to what has happened one year ago.

It was not an easy journey - we made it but not without anger, grief, bitterness, fear, uncertainties.

Quoting from a friend - "It is a heartbreak that will stay with you to some extent forever, and my own heart breaks for you."

Family, relatives and friends (including colleagues and students), thank you for standing alongside me. The journey has not ended.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chinese New Year 2010 in KK

Saturday, 13 Feb 2010
2:30 pm - Arrived at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA)
- Fetched by Papa and Felix

Had fried mee hoon cooked by Felix
Enjoyed Mama's 'tong yuen' (glutinous rice ball)
Rested at home

8:30 pm - Reunion Dinner at New Wong Kok Restaurant
Family - Pa, Ma, Me, Seng Chor, Eva, Felix, Alex and Jordan
Relatives - Aunty Mary, Uncle Jan Fah and cousin Flora (aka Kaubo)

Sunday, 14 Feb 2010
1st Day of Chinese New Year
Breakfast at home

Seng Chor drove to town for a short sight-seeing.
- Passed by Suria Sabah and One Borneo shopping complex.

Lunch and Dinner - cooked by Mama.

After dinner, took family photo.

Monday, 15 Feb 2010
Breakfast at home

Felix fried mee hoon for lunch.

Dinner at the Chungs - Uncle David, Aunty Doris, Michele and Elaine.
- All home cooked dishes. Mama cooked meat balls in pickled sauce.

Tuesday, 16 Feb 2010
Breakfast at home

Mama cooked lunch and dinner.

Sent Felix to KKIA.

Then, to Wawasan Plaza and Asia City to buy handicrafts.

Wednesday, 17 Feb 2010
Breakfast at home

Visited Seng Chor's aunty (Sa Ko), cousin Susan and family at Kingfisher III

5 pm - To Tanjung Aru Beach - Seng Chor, Jordan and I.
First time for Jordan to walk and 'play' on the beach - kicking sand and sand castle.

Dinner at home - Steamed Fish

Thursday, 18 Feb 2010
8:30 pm - To Dentist Yong
Me - filling
Seng Chor - scaling

Take-away dim sum from Foo Phin.

Take-away Mee Hoon soup for lunch.

Dinner with Jenny at Upperstar, Damai.
- Bumped onto cousin Susan and family with Sa Ko
- Raymond (Susan's hubby) paid for dinner.

Dessert at Qing Bou Leong - Pumpkin sago drink and Qing Bou Leong.

Friday, 19 Feb 2010
Breakfast at home.

Take-away Mee Hoon soup for lunch.

2:00 pm - Get-together with Phine-phine
Had cakes and coffee at Secret Recipe, Suria Sabah.
Good time of catching up.

Family dinner at Supertanker.

Dessert at Qing Bou Leong - Seng Chor, Jordan, Eva, Alex and I.
- Had Mango and Honey Dew Sago

Saturday, 20 February 2010
Breakfast at home.

Mama cooked lunch.

4:30 pm - Flight back to PJ
- upgraded to Business Class because Economy Class was full.
- Seats more comfortable, and more food.
- More space for Cheeky Boy to run!

8:30 pm - Arrived home

9:00 pm - To Patrick's house for CNY dinner.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's lights out 'til morning


by Rachel Goodchild

BEFORE we become parents, we just know that those sleepless nights other parents have would not happen to us. Oh no, our children would know who is boss right from the word go.

When they are put to bed, they would go to sleep and around a decent time in the morning, they would wake up and say: "Thank you for putting me to bed. I am so well rested now. May I have some breakfast?"

And then, of course, the dream is shattered by actually having children.

If you're struggling to win the war on bedtimes, there are some solutions at hand. However, it is going to take a concerted effort to fix it.

If you are a two-parent family, or live in an extended family situation, your biggest problem often isn't the children, but the other adults in the house undermining your rules and authority.

The very first thing you need to do is work out with all the adults what the rules are. If everyone is providing an united front, then half the battle is already won.

Bedtimes battles are generally far more about control than anything else. If a child sees you and the other adults are not agreeing, they'll use that to dodge the bedtime bullet.

Once you have the adults on your side, you can create an environment that's going to get your children sleeping like, well, babies.

All through this process, it is very important to remember that you're the grown-up here. Stay calm and loving, keep positive and follow through with the new rules.

* Sticking to bedtime
Things happen from time to time that can throw this out the window but children thrive on routine. With younger children, especially, you have to make the rule and stick to it.

You can give your child the power to choose his/her own bedtime, making the second option only 15 minutes or so later than the first.

If you have older children, you may decide to let them stay up longer on weekends as a treat.

Teenagers would not like having lights out early, but you can tell them they are expected to be in their own rooms by a certain time.

* Make it consistent
Develop a bedtime routine that leads up to going to bed every night and stick to it. It helps everyone to wind down and get ready and gives you a routine that becomes familiar with time.

* Time's up
Give them a warning around an hour or so before bedtime, so they have plenty of time to start winding down. If they have chores to do before bed or homework, they may need a bit more notice. This isn't about creating tension but about making things easier for everyone.

* Staying in bed
Sometimes your children are just not going to be tired. It can be referred to as adult time, but even so, children need to remain in bed during this period.

Older children may want to read, younger children may want to play. Everything is okay, as long as they are in bed, playing or reading quietly. It's their wind-down time.

* Set down the rules
If they are coming out for drinks, give them a bottle water to take into their bedroom. If they are popping to the toilet, then say it is permissible only if they do not talk to anybody.

Keep all post bedtime interactions to a bare minimum when they are up.

* Plan your evening
If you set it up, this could be the beginning of some lovely quiet time for you too. Take back your evenings, and enjoy both the benefits of a well-rested child, and a well-rested you.

the art of parenting
Tuesday March 24 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Baby’s First Book of Psalms

Sleep in Peace
Psalm 4:8

I will lie down and
sleep in peace,
for you alone, O Lord,
make me dwell in safety.

The Lord is My Shepherd
Psalm 23:1, 6

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.
Surely goodness and love
will follow me all the days
of my life.

Show Me Your Ways
Psalm 25:4-5

Show me your ways,
O Lord,
Teach me your paths;
Guide me in your truth
and teach me, for you
are God my Savior

God’s Song
Psalm 42:8

By day the Lord directs
His love, at night his song
is with me – a prayer
to the God of my life.

In God’s Hands
Psalm 73:23-24

Yet I am always with you;
You hold me by my right
Hand. You guide me with
Your counsel, and afterward
You will take me into glory.

Sing a Joyful Song
Psalm 81:1-2

Sing for joy to God
Our strength;
Shout aloud to the God
of Jacob!
Begin the music,
strike the tambourine,
play the melodious harp
and lyre.

God, Our Creator
Psalm 90:1-2

Lord, you have been our
dwelling place throughout
all generations. Before the
mountains were born or you
bought forth the earth and
the world, from everlasting
to everlasting you are God.

God’s Love Endures
Psalm 106:1

Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord,
for He is good;
His love endures forever.

The Lord’s Day
Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord
has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad
in it.

Hiding Your Word
Psalm 119:11-12

I have hidden your word
in my heart that I might not
sin against you. Praise be
to you, o Lord; teach me
Your decrees.

He Watches Over You
Psalm 121:5-6

The Lord watches over you –
The Lord is your shade at
your right hand; the sun
will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
(LullaBible Series)
Written by Stephen Elkins
Illustrated by Ellie Colton