New Year Celebration

1 January 2008

I was asked this question on 31 December 2007: how are you going to celebrate the New Year? Actually, I don’t know. What’s worth celebrating? I was busy. I was tired. I was parched. Then God told me: give thanks for this drying-up experience. My flesh resisted. But my spirit rejoiced.

My secondary school Math teacher came back from overseas and went with me for my chemotherapy in December. She wanted to spend time with friends and family members and, in her words, ‘to eulogize’ them. I felt privileged to hear praises and receive many reassuring hugs and loving kisses from her. She has three grown up children and is still teaching. She shared with me many personal experiences in parenting, homeschooling and teaching and urged me not to be easily agitated when facing difficult situations. I’m so thankful for her empathy in what I’m going through as a mother.

We went for church camp in Batam. It gave us more opportunities to fellowship with other brothers and sisters in the family of Christ. On the day we were due to return, John was playing on the slide at the children’s pool when he knocked out one of his front tooth. As parents, we were shocked and helpless. But God sent His knight – a dentist, who happened to be one of the campers, to the rescue. After examining John, he asked for the tooth. One brother found the tooth at the bottom of the pool near the slide and another brother sprinted with it to the dentist. He dipped the tooth in milk and put it back where it should be. John was told to be careful and to use his lips to help keep that tooth in place. All these happened within half an hour. Many rallied around to pray for us and to encourage us. When we came back, we got my sister-in-law, a dentist, to check the tooth. She took an x-ray, cleaned all his teeth, and told us that recovery was good and the tooth was rather firm. She reminded John not to play roughly and said that the tooth may move back into alignment within a month or two. In fact by the fifth day, his tooth had moved by 3mm. I am amazed at how God made our bodies to have such renewal abilities. This incident forced me to put into practice what the pastor shared at camp about having an overcoming mindset – overcoming can be defined as persevering with the right attitude and making godly choices in the midst of difficulties. Hubby and I found it extremely trying to refrain from reprimanding, to speak positively and to trust God to take care of the tooth and John. I really thank God for these lessons learnt.

Mom fainted one evening and hit her head. Thankfully there were no injuries other than the bump and bruises on her head. She was fine subsequently. She is counting down to her surgery on 7 January 2008. Please pray for the Lord’s hand to be with the surgeon so that he will make wise and accurate decisions during the surgery. Pray that the Lord will prepare the hearts of my parents. I really appreciate the pastor of the Chinese congregation of my church for visiting my parents, showing his concern and praying for them. My parents came to church again with us on the last Sunday of 2007. PTL!

I brought Li-Ann for her hearing test. The test required her to be sedated and the accuracy is about 98%. When the doctor told me her hearing is normal, I couldn’t believe my ears!! I thank God for His faithfulness in taking care of Li-Ann since her conception. Li-Ann’s physiotherapist, who assessed her gross motor development after a year, said she is doing very well. I also met with an occupational therapist who, within a short hour, built excellent rapport with Li-Ann, and persisted successfully in getting Li-Ann to complete her tasks. We are also grateful that in the New Year, Li-Ann could attend occupational therapy sessions at a private school twice a month. We pray for God to provide specifically for her needs.

I met one of the doctors who did my surgery. Although he forgot my name, he remembered me because I was cheerful. He was very kind, asking how I have been and even noticed my ‘new’ hairstyle. Later on the same day, when I did my devotion and was asked to consider if others see the joy of the Lord in me, this doctor’s comments came to mind. I instantly recalled the joy God gave me after my surgery then. I thank God that this joy will never be taken away from me.

I spent the eve of the New Year at home with my hubby and children, with no elaborate dinners or thundering fireworks. The children had a wonderful time at the playground and we ate steamed cake after dinner at the food court. After the children were asleep, we talked till late in the night. I thank God for my hubby and children. I thank God they love me, accept me and stand by me.

Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, writes on 30 December ‘The sign that God is at work in us is that He corrupts confidence in the natural virtues, because they are not promises of what we are going to be, but remnants of what God created man to be.…But as we bring every bit of our bodily life into harmony with the new life which God has put in us, He will exhibit in us the virtues that were characteristic of the Lord Jesus.’ As I surrender my fatigue and lists of to-dos to Him, I experience His Peace and Joy. As I reflect on all that happened in 2007, I found the reason to celebrate – Jesus.

All my springs are in thee. – Psalm 87:7

May you find this Living Water in the New Year.


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