Thursday, February 8, 2007

Jesus Christ Is My Healer

Here is one chapter in my life that will always stay fresh in my mind. Sometimes I don’t want to think about it because it bring back a tremendous feeling in me but the Holy Spirit has been leading me to share it here in my blog. This experience in my life is a living proof that God is still the same yesterday, today and forever and miracles happen when we pray. I’m not telling this to glorify myself or anybody but to glorify the name of Jesus, my Healer. It was September 1995 when I felt a lump in my left breast while I was taking a bath. I got worried but I can’t go to the doctor at that time because I had no money, no job and my grandmother who had been supporting us from her pension just passed away. My sister Violy was the sole bread-winner at that time and life was not that easy. I was a college graduate but it was not easy to get a job in the Philippines. In my previous jobs, I was just a casual employee and my other jobs were just contractual. I tried my best to look for one and I applied in different offices but no luck. Then after a few months of searching the Lord had finally answered my prayer and I landed a job in a public high school in our town as a school clerk on March 1996.

After I got my first salary I went to a doctor for a check up of the lump in my breast and he said I needed to have an excision for biopsy. I was so scared to go under the knife but with lots of prayers in my church and my own prayers and my family, I finally took the courage to go under the knife. My first salary just went to the doctor. To make the story short, after the biopsy, I was diagnosed of the Big C, breast cancer. I remember, I was with my aunt in the hospital and I cried and cried. I asked God "Why me Lord? There are lots of bad people out there but why me of all people?" I said I’m still young and I’m going to die soon. To have a cancer is just like having a death sentence. My mother passed away because of breast cancer when I was 16 and I’ve witnessed how hard it was for her to suffer this disease. I prayed hard to God, at that time I was still a baby Christian but I believe that God can do miracles. I wanted an instant healing miracle like what I watched in the tv but God had another plan. I just realized later that God deals with every individual differently. I didn’t want to have another surgery because I was so scared and I remember my sister and I used to cry at night. I told her I’m going to die like our mom, she had undergone surgery 3 times but she still died. But Violy encouraged me and with lots of prayers I agreed to undergo another surgery because I wanted to live longer. It was really so hard for me financially, my mind was bothered with my illness and I was also tortured of thinking where will I get the money needed for the surgery. My sister Violy decided to get a loan so I can have the money I needed for the surgery. Also my brother Celso just got a job and he helped me too. My neighbors who are well off financially don’t even want to loan me money because they thought I won’t be able to pay it. This time I needed a lot of prayers again from my church and for one month I was the subject of their prayer meetings and also they came and prayed for me in our house. I needed the courage to go under the knife again. Everything went alright after the surgery but it took some time for the wound to heal. Then I went back to work after a few days and I just took some medications which the doctor prescribed me to kill the cancer cells.

But lo and behold, after almost 2 years I had a relapse in 1998, the cancer came back and it was inflamed. This time I went to see another doctor in Baguio General Hospital. He’s an oncologist and he was the doctor of my late mom. He still remembered my mom and he said mother and daughter. I cried at that time and he recommended to me to have a chemotherapy and radiation therapy as soon as possible. I had to remedy again the money needed for the treatment. I was so depressed this time. My salary was not even enough to cover my treatment each month and I needed to have the chemo every 28 days for 6 months. I prayed to God to take care of my financial needs. I told God that He owns the world and everything on it and I trusted Him that He will meet my needs and God has been so faithful. He provided all the money that I needed. He used other people to help me. My distant relatives here in the US learned what I’m going through had sent me money and also my college friends in Canada sent me money to help me. Just after my 1st chemo my hair fell out and it really made me cry. I was so depressed because It’s hard for me to lose my hair. Also I always throw-up until there’s no more food in my stomach and I was worst than a pregnant woman because I don’t even like the smell of certain foods. It made me throw-up too.

My youngest brother Albin accompanied me in my treatment alternately with my aunt and my BF in Baguio each month. After my 2nd chemo, the worst happened. The effects of chemo and radiation therapy is worst than the cancer itself. I can’t eat and I can’t sleep for almost a week and I felt so weak. I didn’t even want to look at myself in the mirror because I saw an ugly woman whenever I look at the mirror due to the effects of the therapy. I was so thin, so dark and no hair and my fingernails were black. I was even ashamed to go out when other people came into the house. I hid in my room. I used a hat then I bought a wig to cover my bald head. I almost died after my 2nd chemo. It felt like there was a heavy stone in my chest and I can’t lie down for even straight 5 minutes. When I sat down I got tired so I really didn’t know what to do. I can’t eat because my throat was sore due to my throw-ups. I knew my immune system at that time was so weak because of the chemo treatment. It killed the good and bad cells in my body. My room was upstairs and I can hardly go up there. I remember I even asked forgiveness from my father who was still alive at that time and all the members in my family because I thought I won’t live long. I really cried and I know they had a hard time seeing me suffer. My sister and her husband took me to the hospital to have a dextrose to make me stronger but it didn’t really helped a lot. Still I didn’t feel any better. When everybody were all sleeping at night I was wide awake sitting down on my bed and looking at the sky talking to God and pleading my case.

Then that memorable night happened. I was really so weak and can’t sleep for many nights already. I kneeled down beside my aunt and I cried out my heart to the Lord. I told God that if it’s His will to take my life, then take it now because I already suffered a lot and I can’t handle it no more but if it’s His will that I will live, then He will heal me. I told God that I know that all people will die but I pleaded to Him to please extend my life so I can help my family and also His ministry. I claimed His promises in the Bible, like “I am the Lord that healeth thee”, “Ask and it shall be given”, “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you will receive it and will be yours”, "I will never leave you nor forsake you", “With God nothing is impossible”. While I was praying, my aunt kneeled down too beside me and we both prayed and cried to the Lord to heal me for almost half an hour. I made a total surrender to the Lord. After that I laid down and I focused my thoughts on Jesus. I kept telling myself, Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me, then I drifted off to sleep for the first time after almost a week of not being able to sleep. When I was sleeping satan came to disturb me because I dreamed about my mom having a lot of lumps in her body and I woke up. I rebuked satan and told him to leave in Jesus’ name. I told him that greater is He who is in me (Jesus) than he who is in this world (satan). I really said it out loud. Then I went back to sleep and when I woke up in the morning I decided to go back to work. I had to fight my illness and won’t let the enemy win. From that time on I slowly regained back my strength and my healing has been slowly and surely. Until now I’m cancer free. It’s been almost 9 years since this incident happened and I thank God I’m still alive. Jesus Christ has healed me! The Lord is really amazing! He’s the greatest physician in this world and I give Him all the glory, honor, praises and thanksgiving. He had also transformed me from glory to glory and I’m not ashamed to tell the whole world that Jesus Christ is my Healer, Provider, Comforter, Savior and Lord of my life and I belong to Him. Jesus Christ is also my coming King. This trial in my life had deepen my faith in God and I developed a closer relationship with Him. This was really a test of faith and I am a living proof that Jesus Christ still heals today as long as you have faith. To anybody who is reading my testimony, it’s my prayer that you’ll be blessed and if you have any problems in your life, just go to Jesus and talk to Him through prayer. Nothing is too difficult for Him. What He has done for me, He can do it for you for He is no respecter of person. Just have faith. To God be the Glory.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

My Brother's Wedding

My sister Violy e-mailed me some of these photos taken on my brother Celso’s wedding last January 21st. These were not professionally taken since she just took these with her digicam. They hired a photographer and a video man to cover the wedding. My brother Celso is the last one in the family to get married. My youngest brother Albin got married December 2005. My husband and I both missed their weddings. How we wished we were there. My sister told me over the phone that Celso had a nice wedding, too many people and also a lot of wedding presents. According to my sister, the caterer brought out 600 plates and they were all used up and they have had to wash and also 200 paper plates were also used. They raised more than P20,000 when their friends and relatives pinned money on their clothes when they had their dance. They got as principal sponsors some prominent people in the town. My brother and his bride Vivian both work in our town hall. That’s where they met each other. My brother is a BS Arch graduate and he is very good in drawing building plans, sketching, charcoal and canvass painting. He also make wedding invitations as his sideline. In fact he was the one who made my mine and Albin’s wedding invitations. You guessed it right, he was the one who made their own wedding invitations too. He made it like a professional, I think even better. He sent me one.

We are four in the family and I’m the oldest. My sister Violy is next to me and Celso is the third and Albin is the youngest. The three of us, Violy, me and Albin had the same minister who officiated our wedding except Celso. His bride is a Catholic and Celso is not yet converted to our church that’s why I’ve been praying that he will be born again and accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and so with his wife. He’s been attending our church there but did not yet decide to join. It’s my prayer that God will convict his heart and let Jesus in and be Lord of his life. Don’t get me wrong, my brother is not a bad guy, he is a good man, but Jesus said in the Scriptures, "Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God", John 3:3. "For by grace you have been saved thru faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9. Salvation is only through Jesus Christ, not by good works or religion. It’s our relationship with Jesus Christ that matters. Here are some of the photos.