I was browsing through the Seize the Word WordPress.com site that I also contribute to, and I read an interesting post about the key verse for the week (and the semester at that), and it’s led to me again meditating on God’s wonderful goodness — Praise God — for everyone and myself. The post was generally about how God has been good in the author’s life and how the doctors had said that he was supposed to die a mere 3 hours after birth.
That really struck a chord with me as I myself was birthed and lived my early years with such close calls myself, 3 times, in fact. It’s for that very reason that my Chinese name means “[God’s] Amazing Grace” and my (English) middle name means “God’s Protection.”
So I thought I’d share a little more specifically about what exactly I mean by this.
I am the firstborn son of my family. I have 2 siblings that are younger than me, a sister and a brother in order of descending age. I am the firstborn of the firstborn son of the previous generation, my father. My grandfather on my father’s side had died shortly after my parents were married, and so the family was “lacking a male” in the family, and so a male firstborn was desired. At the time, my parents were poor university students, my mom taking odd jobs to make ends meet while my dad studied for his Ph.D.
It was in this context that my mom became pregnant with me. In the first few months, the doctor informed my mom that she appeared to have twins but that one had died and that the other had stopped responding. With this in mind, he gave my mom some drugs to get rid of the bodies. My mom forgot the dosages and didn’t take them for a day. The next day the doctor called back to inform frantically that I was indeed alive, there had been some sort of mistake with the testing or something. If my mom had indeed taken the drugs, I would have most assuredly died or at best come out severely malformed. That was my first brush with death.
My second brush with death started with the circumstances of my birth. I was born with fluid in ears, making me effectively deaf for the first few years of my life. In addition, I also developed a severe ear infection that, if not stopped soon, would have gone to my brain and either 1) killed me 2) made me mentally retarded. I can actually remember as a child, being in a room and facing a window and getting prayed for by the church pastor. I don’t remember much else from that experience but what I can say for sure is that I’m far from deaf and I’m not stupid (I think… haha… I kid).
My third brush with death came in my early childhood. I don’t really know when it happened except that it was in my early years. So, as a child, I loved running. I never walked, I always ran everywhere. so one time at home, I ran into the corner of a wall. I incurred a rather severe injury, striking my head on the corner of the wall, right between the eyebrows, very close to where Goliath was struck. I still have the scar. I’m lucky that’s all I kept from that incident, the Doctors said that I was supposed to die from that as well or again be mentally retarded.
So for me, I guess God allowed this to happen to me as a constant reminder (that I guess I will/would need time and time again) of 1) my life not being mine* 2) God’s Amazing Grace.
“Chen Wei En” ([God’s] Amazing Grace)
*This is according to the Christian sense. That is not to say that other Christians do not belong to God, what I’m saying is that for myself, this serves to remind me even more of this important truth