Being Born Again Testimony by Anna Lin Struck by Lightning On September 18, 2004, I had dinner with my children, Alvina and Alvin, at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant. After dinner, I was back at home watching the ten o’clock news. Suddenly, I felt a surge of power like electricity go through my body; I felt like I was struck by lightning. I prayed, “Help me God!” My condition continued to get worse and worse, and a scripture came to me at this time: Is anything too hard for the Lord? ~ Genesis 18:14 I tried to scream for help, but no sound came from my mouth. I couldn’t breathe; I was suffocating. Suddenly, the horrible shocking force stopped. Praise the Lord! I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. ~ Psalm 121:1 I heard the sound of footsteps—my prayer was answered. Alvin, who was 14 years old at the time, recalled that he was shinning his shoes for his ROTC class the next day, and he heard some noises from upstairs. He went upstairs and saw that I was shaking and making strange noises. He thought I was demon possessed, so he prayed and asked Jesus to cast out the demon. I was actually choking on my own tongue. As I gasped for air, I told Alvin to call 911. I could hear him talking to the emergency dispatcher. She told him to turn on the porch light, come back and stay with me, and quickly open the front door when the ambulance arrived. Alvina, who was 19 years old, was in the shower while this was happening and didn’t know what was going on upstairs. When the paramedics arrived, my blood pressure was 230/120, so they thought I had had a stroke. Alvina and Alvin rode with me in the ambulance to California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC). I remember every single detail of this incident. I told the paramedic what happened on the way to hospital. My kids called their grandparents on both sides and asked for prayers for the three of us. After we arrived at CPMC, my husband’s parents, Lincoln and Kathleen Lin, arrived with our relatives, Pastor and Mrs. Johnny Wang. After a brief visit, they took Alvin back to their house for the evening. Alvina stayed with me until after midnight and then called a family friend to take her home. Surviving by God’s Grace The next day, my husband, Alex, who works for United Airlines as a pilot, returned from his trip to Hong Kong. We both met with Dr. Weber, the neurosurgeon. The CAT scan and MRI showed that there is a brain tumor on my right side front lobe, and we would not know if it is benign or malignant until a biopsy was performed. I was thankful that it happened to me. I believed that God chose the right one among the four of us. Alex is the breadwinner; if he had this sickness, it would prohibit him from flying. It would break my heart if either of our kids had it. I deeply believe that women are God’s special chosen group who can survive the pain of childbirth. I knew that I could survive the operation by God’s grace. The biopsy was scheduled for September 22, 2004. We e-mailed all our brothers and sisters in Christ. We were so thankful for all their prayers, from east to west, north to south. Because of the power of prayer and God’s grace, I am still alive today and able to share this testimony. The biopsy only took three and a half hours, and the result showed a malignant cancer called Oligodendroglia. It is like a Christmas tree wrapped around the nerves and blood vessels. I studied this cancer term daily, so I could tell people what cancer I had and pronounce it correctly. Dr. Weber told us that he could not operate because the cancer was too complicated and hidden deep down in my skull He sent me to an oncologist, Dr. Katherline, who suggested that I start chemotherapy. We went home and prayed on the suggestion and discussed it with our friends. A church friend who works for UCSF said there is a famous brain surgeon, Dr. Mitchel Berger, who specializes in my kind of cancer. She was able to help me to get my medical records to Dr. Berger’s office. Even though Dr. Berger was very busy, he was willing to schedule me in for a consultation. Alex and I went to meet with him within a week’s time. After Dr. Berger went through my medical documents, he informed us he could remove 95% of the cancer. The last 5% was not possible to remove because it was connected to my brain’s left side motor skill nerve. If he removed it, my left side would be paralyzed. My oldest sister, Stella, reminded me that the 5% left would be a constant reminder to have more faith in our God and to have complete trust in our Heavenly Father. Through the Valley On October 29, 2004, I had my second surgery, which lasted ten and a half hours. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ~ Psalms 23:4 After I was discharged from the hospital, Stella flew in from Minnesota to help care for me in my recovery. She stayed for two weeks, and two days after she left, my brother and sister-in-law from Toronto, Canada came to help. I am very thankful for my family’s support. Many church families provided our family with meals every night. We had more than enough, even better than our usual meals. Our neighbor, whom we had known only for a month, cooked numerous delicious meals for us. Since I could not drive after my brain surgery, church friends helped pick up and drop off Alvin to and from school every day. God’s love was felt in our family through the care of many kind people. God not only gives us life, He gifted us with caring neighbors and friends. May God bless them. My kids made a poster for me, which included these verses: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. ~ Ephesians 6:10 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6 We have kept this poster all these years, and it is posted on our refrigerator today. Every two to three months, I need to have an MRI. The 5% of cancer left in my brain reminds me of God’s grace and glory, reminds me to just trust in Him and be totally submissive to His will. He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 New Journey of Praise God gave me my musical ability, and God can take back what He gave me. Even though my left hand can’t play piano as easily or smoothly as before, and my sight reading and memory of music are weaker, He has still allowed me to use my limited ability to serve Him. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 God teaches us to be submissive and flexible to His will, so we can fulfill His best plan for us. The journey of my past, of the numerous brain surgeries, has made me realize it is such a blessing that God gave me cancer. In 1968, when I was 12 years old, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. God gave me a new life, and today, He has allowed me to experience a second chance to be born again from cancer. He let me see things from a different angle, to be more appreciative of my life, to have hope, and to learn how to hold onto Him. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow are all His. All the pain I’ve experienced cannot compare with the work of Jesus who died for us on the cross. I pray that I will continue to glorify Him with all I can because He is worthy of praise. Amen!