Tag Archive | God

First Class!

so i have just officially graduated!!!

i just got my Confirmation of Award through my email. because of how they released our results, in just 1 week my emotions were on a rollercoaster ride. last week they released our provisional grades without our honours classification. i almost cried (on the inside, cos’ i saw it whilst at work) because it looked so bad. i tried to take comfort at the fact that i had an A for my dissertation, which carried a 40% weightage for our whole course. but it still got to me. within a few days, which actually saw me rechecking my grades obsessively, they released my honours classification. it was simply put as 1. i could only breathe when my lecturer confirmed that it was indeed…

FIRST CLASS HONOURS.

my heart fluttered, and though this was what i wanted, i didn’t think it was possible. it took some time for it to sink in, as i questioned myself about how this could happen. the 9 months was extremely tumultuous, seeing that there were many crises, emergency room visits, stitches, surgeries, hospital admissions etc. i wasn’t at my best, and yet…

it can only be the grace of God. really. thank you Papa God!!!

no looking back now, Steph. fix your gaze on God and on the way forward!

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eighteen

2017 passed me by like a nightmare i couldn’t wake up from. it has been excruciatingly painful.

i can’t remember the details of much (due to amnesia), but i know that i struggled a lot with physical and psychic pain. i never stopped trying to crawl out of the depths of unending darkness, because of the obligations i had to my family and to school. but i kept falling. i was in the emergency room so often- poked and prodded, cut up and stitched up, sent into surgery, and nights spent alone in the hospital… consequently, i too submitted to ECT even more, just to quell the dysphoria which haunted me perpetually. i’m not proud of it, and i know for all of these that i go through, i am ashamed of myself and by all others. but this is the best i can do to extend my existence.

but in the midst of the pain in 2017, i witnessed the great and unfailing faithfulness of God, and His perfect love for me, His child so sinful and sorrowful.

in 2018, may i learn to be little, to trust You with a child-like faith, to submit to Your divine will, and to love You with all that You have made me to be (and so much more). 

this is the way, walk in it

in 72 hours, i presented myself twice (and no less) to the Emergency Department, afraid of bscklash, wallowing in shame and guilt. how did things become this way?

in June, and even now in July, i struggle. i can tell you that having faith itself and claiming to have head knowledge are a world of a difference. i know that in my utter brokenness, my faith is lacking. i don’t claim as much as i can, my identity as the beloved child and daughter of God. i always remember from retreats and from conversations with friends, about how Peter walked on water. i have to learn from him, in that he trained his eyes on Jesus- he had faith and he believed! because when his eyes wandered he sank!

i have to constantly keep my gaze on God, my saviour! i may not always know why i am triggered or upset, but i guess i just have to put my faith and trust in Him? and yes, i have to learn to open the door of my heart to Him!!!

“He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us.”

-Ephesians 1:5-8

p.s. Haemoglobin has dropped to 8.5g/dL, but they said it wasn’t low enough for a blood transfusion. Hand surgeons said Palmaris Longus and Flexor Carpi Radialis Sheath both sustained cuts (ie damage) but they weren’t gonna repair it. On a backslab now.

better days to come

the month of June is coming to an end, and i think i can’t wait for a much better July.

3 lacerations (and consequently 2 surgeries by hand surgeons and another minor surgery by the emergency doctor), had wound dehiscence and wound infections (MRSA and Pseudomonas), was held overnight for observation twice in the psychiatric hospital, had currents three times, had lithium upped, and then all these while having school and a paper to submit. sigh.

just saw my psychiatrist today. stopped further currents. adjusted my medications (lithium level [1g] is at 0.9). continuing therapy. and then praying for the best.

i don’t think i can relive another June again.


 “My grace is sufficient for you for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ , then, i am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when i am weak, then i am strong.

2 Corinthians 12-9,10

 

 

turning inward

you look outside of yourself, hoping that somewhere out there, someone can complete you or satisfy you. you look towards others for love, for acceptance, for understanding. and perhaps you did find someone, or some people, who do love you, accept you and understand you. and for awhile you feel like you’re home, glad that you can finally let your guard down. but time passes, and it hits you like a truck. there are conditions attached. haven’t you heard that there are always “buts”? you learn that there are things you do, things that are actually just parts of who you are, that make them love you less, accept you less, and misunderstand you. how do you make that right then, you ask yourself? how do you make them love you whole again? you will always have to be more. better and more. it will never suffice. and you will chase after that till the day you die, if love and acceptance and understanding is what you want to carry you through.

the human condition is terrible, truth be told. we are made like that. but it is also the human condition that makes us soft, and vulnerable. that gives us the capacity to love. give and take, no? expectations and its disappointments will kill you if you let it.

above all, trust in no one but in God alone.


the last 2 months have been spent in much anguish. i made a difficult decision of taking a step back from the desire of human connection. at that time it was very painful for me as i felt that many conversations i had were not genuine, whether it’s because i wasn’t intentional, or vice versa. for someone who thrives on human connection, i basically deprived myself of my social sustenance. the last 2 months (which also fell during the period of Lent) was also a period of spiritual desolation for me, and i really wondered why i was deliberately putting myself through so much pain.

changes in medication, lots of therapy, 30+ stitches, plenty of tears, and many prayers later, and on Good Shepherd Sunday, i know now.

turn not to people for your sustenance, but to God. He is unfailing!!! 🙂

“The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing i shall want.” 

Psalm 23:1

dei gratia


by the grace of God (latin)

God doesn’t necessarily gives us what we want. He gives us what we need.

in the same vein, thinking for years that i needed answers to heal? i couldn’t be more wrong. i always wondered why i couldn’t find the healing that eluded me. i believed that if i had answers, i could heal. but to be completely honest, i already have the answers. but answers don’t magically make everything go away.

going to the retreat in early January, not knowing much of what i wanted out of the retreat except that i wanted healing (by default that is always what i want out of a retreat), i left feeling rather unchanged. i didn’t “feel” like i was healed. but then again, what does it feel like to be healed? i felt underwhelmed. but as days go by, it became more evident that God’s grace was working in me. i was more joyful, less melancholic. i was able to cooperate with His grace. i am even more than 2 months cut-free! ah, such grace! also, God’s grace working inside of me though intangible, was even witnessed by my community!

this grace He gives was what i needed. it was a long time coming, but we live in God’s time!

10 years

seeing my anaesthetist today brought back  many memories. the waiting, the feeble attempts to get my point across to the doctors, the plucking up of courage to ask for something, the decision to say yes to another medication, the sigh that comes with resignation…

it’s been 10 years since i begrudgingly said yes to my first diagnosis of RA and the treatment that ensues. the fuss over waiting times, doing blood tests and unpredictable results, imagings, complications, ever-changing prescriptions, side effects, new symptoms, rehabilitation, and the costs of everything. most of all, it is the constant struggle to carry on. but God gives me the grace to trudge on, to embrace the pain as it continues to keep me rooted to the truth in the cross. and most of all i am reminded to be gentle with myself. nothing comes out of being hard on myself, except bitterness and frustration. in the midst of these all, i am called to say yes always; to bear this cross with love and gentleness!


i was restarted on topiramate again to help with the constant tension headaches. bummed that my pill burden cannot be lessened despite my efforts in the last few years. i asked for trigger point injections in my back because it’s been killing me for many weeks now. so he gave me 2 bupivacaine shots. i was asked to try accupuncture and of course physiotherapy. couldn’t escape the question about exercise.


i can’t seem to escape the pill burden that’s haunting me for the past decade. i’ve tried deprescribing over the last few years, and while i’ve succeeded sometimes (especially with DMARDs), it somehow gets undone insidiously:

  1. Paracetamol+orphenadrine
  2. Etoricoxib
  3. Tramadol
  4. Metoclopramide
  5. Ergotamine+caffeine
  6. Topiramate
  7. Escitalopram
  8. Lithium
  9. Clonazepam
  10. Quetiapine

it still stands at 10 now, the number of prescribed drugs. and it drives me mad. but it’s ok; i’ve had worse. once again i am called to say yes to this struggle that comes with the cross i’ve said yes to carrying.


all these years struggling with pain has hardened my heart and made me bitter. i guess it’s time to reexamine how i will be coping with something that is inevitably a permanence in my life!