January 30, 2007
“I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly.” —John 10:10
The title from today’s passage of “Our
Daily Bread” is Existing or Truly Living? It’s funny that
having been diagnosed for over 5 years now with my kidney disease
that it is now that I’ve come to the realization that I have been
just “existing” for some time. But I am glad to say that I feel
that I am coming full circle now and am starting to truly live.
Looking back to when I was first
diagnosed, I remember a time when my legs were so swollen that I
could not even bend them at the knee. My head was filled with so
much water that it was squishy on top of my skull. I remember that
my son was about a year and a half and I watched him play in the
living room as I could not pick him up or take him out to play…and
tears would stream down my face.
Then came the day when I was given
steroids and diuretics and all the swelling had gone down. I
remember the day clearly as my husband, son, and I went to the
beach. The sun was glistening on the water and my son was running
circles around me as he splashed the water all over his pants. I
remember the joy, the gratitude and peace that this day filled me
with. I remember committing to live a full life. But as things
came up and life got busy, I started to just exist again.
Finally, I am starting a new journey. I
commit myself to exercise, eating healthy, reading His Word,
applying it and being a very prayerful child of God. I feel that I
am truly living when I read the Bible, am moved by His words and am
able to teach my children what it means and how it applies to our
lives. Then as we take walks or spend time, I see things so
clearly. I now take the time to take in a deep breath filling my
lungs as I praise Him for surrounding our lives with so many
blessings all around. It is in these moments that I feel that I am
May we all stop existing and start to
“To live life to the fullest is
qualitatively different than merely existing. In fact, Jesus said
that part of His mission was to enable us to live life to the
fullest: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may
have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). He came so that we could
experience life to the full—not according to the standards of a
fallen world, but life as it was intended to be. It is life
according to the designs and desires of the Creator of life.”—Bill
October 12, 2006
I read the
following passage and thought- He “has humbled me” and I am glad. I
have so many times in my disease come to accept my condition, only
to find that I haven’t “really” accepted it. I have struggled
because there are some things that I have an unshakeable faith for
(through prayer) in which I believe will come to pass. My being
healed is one of them…so I always hope that it will be one day, but
if it doesn’t come I will still praise Him and glorify Him because I
have learned so much and continue to learn. What I am learning
right now, is that I don’t give the glory to Him. When I lost 20
pounds (with the attempt to come off the steroids), I thought I gave
praise to Him because my holistic doctor was a Christian. My
referral to her was through a Christian sister and I was financially
provided to see her through Christian brothers and sisters. But in
the end, the praise always went to the doctor. I have always also
tried to put a cause to the fact that I am ill-whether it be
previous sins, or what I ate or did or I even if forgot to pray for
someone or something. What I have been learning is to not place
blame or try to find a reason for anything! But to accept that
whether my health is good or bad, He is in control and He is
teaching me. I am grateful to have His love that so wants me to be
right with Him…And I never have nor do I ever plan to ask Him, “What
have you done?”…because in all circumstances and in whatever
situations, I know that He knows what is best. And I too will
praise and glorify Him.
Daniel 4:28-37 (New
The Dream Is
this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.
29 Twelve months later, as
the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon,
said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal
residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?"
31 The words were still on his lips when a voice came
from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar:
Your royal authority has been taken from you.
32 You will be driven away
from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass
like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge
that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives
them to anyone he wishes."
33 Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar
was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like
cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair
grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a
34 At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised
my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised
the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion;
his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
35 All the peoples of the earth
are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
with the powers of heaven
and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
or say to him: "What have you done?"
36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my
honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom.
My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my
throne and became even greater than before.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify
the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his
ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
August 14, 2006
A couple of days later and I again know that “Everything is going to
be alright in Christ!”
August 11, 2006
I write so far and
few in between each journal entry that if you’re reading this, I
thank you for your time and interest. I received my lab results and
they were not so good. My cholesterol is at an astoundingly high
number. So again I am at a loss as to how to eat and to control my
diet. When I saw a holistic doctor awhile back, she instructed me
to eat a low carb diet, which meant a higher protein intake. The
great thing was that I lost 20 lbs! But now that my cholesterol is
at such a high, I need to immediately change what I have become so
accustomed to eating. It is often at these times that I don’t find
my quiet times or my days to be filled with peace. I want the
Lord’s comfort. I want the confusion to end…but the cycle
continues. I don’t feel strong enough. I don’t feel that I have
motivation enough to stop the endless cycle. It’s only when it’s
too late and I feel hopeless and down that I seek to find what I can
do to stop this…or for that matter that He will.
June 17, 2006
4:16-18 (New International Version)
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are
wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
17For our light and momentary troubles are
achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is
unseen is eternal.
will diminish in importance when compared to the glory that awaits
us" (Haddon W. Robinson).
I went to my
kidney doctor this past week, and the good news is that the x-rays
showed that there is nothing wrong with my jaw. The medication I was
taking to prevent osteoporosis did not cause lasting harm. Thank
You, God! I will, however, have to take a different medication for
my osteoporosis. Hopefully I won't have an adverse effect, which is
so likely with my history ;p. And I may soon have to take a
medication for high cholesterol because of the steroids.
More good news
is that my kidney doctor will keep me at my current dose, even
though I am spilling protein. The amount of protein I am spilling
is not so significant that we need to increase my dose in steroids
at this time. However, I must keep a vigilant eye and report any
symptoms and go into the lab if symptoms persist. Those symptoms
include foam in my urine and continual weight gain from water
retention. So although it was great to see my appetite decrease and
my face look a bit more “normal”, when my dose is too low I tend to
relapse and gain weight.
I try not to
care, and I desperately try to cling on to the fact that God cares
about the inside and not the outside...but it's hard! The
other good that has come in the midst of these difficult times is
that I met another Korean-American woman with the exact same kidney
disease, and it's been such a blessing to be able to share our
experiences. In addition to that, my kidneys continue to function
well. So all in all, okay. Thank you for checking up on me and
for praying! I hope you are doing well.
May 9, 2006
likened my life since my health issues to the life of Job’s. And in
the midst, I would like to say that I have responded the same as he
did in still trusting in God’s goodness. “Centuries ago, Job was
hit by one wave of bad news after another. At one point his wife
told him to curse God and die. Job’s response was profound: “Shall
we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”
Well beyond my disease, I have often
felt that I have needed healing for my whole image of myself. Many
have asked how I am doing, and I seem to always respond in relation
to my weight. It is an indication if I am relapsing and retaining
water, but I feel that my issues go beyond that. Now, the only way
I know how to respond is to say that there are good days and there
are bad days…but through it all, He is with me.
When I hear the sincere prayers of my
brothers and sisters in Christ, I can, in my heart, say that I know
that I will be healed. And I continue to taper down. It will still
take at least 13 months to completely come off if that is in His
will. But I feel that it is in those 13 months that I need to learn
the lessons that He repeatedly has to teach me. I don’t know why I
I always liken myself to the Israelites
who had such a hard time remembering God’s blessings, praising Him
and always being thankful and not returning to my old ways. “First
Corinthians 10 describes a spiritual disaster we can avoid. After
the people of Israel were delivered from slavery in Egypt, they
continued to turn away from the Lord. Recounting their recurring
self-indulgence and its disastrous results, Paul wrote: “Now these
things became our examples . . . . And they were written for our
admonition” (vv.6,11). The story of their failure has been preserved
so we can avoid the same disaster of disobedience.”
My disobedience is so tied with self and
self-image. When I lost 20 pounds, I was so quick to say that it
was hard work and discipline. When I lost weight another time in my
life, I attributed it to working out. With my health now, I know
that I need to still be disciplined, yet know that my health is in
I hope to learn more quickly. “The
Bible is filled with example and teaching
On how to avoid all the pitfalls of sin; And if we will learn from
its people and precepts,
The struggles and battles of life we can win.”
Thank You God for being so patient with me.
In the meantime, my body adjusts to the
changes in medication. I am sorry to my husband and family who have
had to endure maybe only one good week out of the month. The other
2 weeks being attributed to PMS :p. My husband is awesome! Shouts
go out to the one who has been there through thick and thin
literally and who has been by my side as he promised- through
sickness and in health. How blessed I am to have a man like him!
So for his sake…
Please pray that God would be my balance
whether the chemicals are affecting me or not, that I would be aware
that it affects me.
Thank you all for your prayers and
support. Like I shared with many of you, it will take at least 13
more months until I am completely off, if that is as the Lord
“Loving Father, help me not to judge
Your love for me
on the basis of whether today brings good news
or bad. Help me remember that You desire to use
my circumstances to make me more like Jesus. Amen.”
Quotes taken from Our Daily Bread.
April 10, 2006
“As I look back on
this road I traveled, I see so many ways He’s carried me through.
And there’s one thing that I know in my life, my Redeemer is
faithful and true.”
I was listening to
Stephen Curtis Chapman on our drive to San Francisco. I first heard
these songs when I was in college. And looking back, He has carried
me through so much! As I was about to take my medication the
following morning, He carried me through again. I have a daily
pill box for each day of the week, and I refill it each week. Then
each morning I pop all my medications into my mouth. But for some
reason that morning, I decided to count what was in my hand.
For two different days I had too much Prednisone (the steroid) I’m
trying to taper off of. It is a very long process to taper down and
taking the wrong dose could have thrown my body off, for I have not
been on that dose for over 3 months! All I know is that God is
good and His eyes are always upon us. This song below is also from
Stephen Curtis Chapman. Thank You God for always taking care of us!
“His eyes are
always upon you, His eyes never close in sleep
And no matter where you go, you will always be in His eyes
No matter where you go, you will always be in His eyes.”
March 29, 2006
I saw my kidney
doctor yesterday, on March 28th. He said that I did spill some
protein in my 24 hour urinalysis, so he suggested that we stay at 15
mg, since I usually relapse under 15mg. I told him that we were
still praying and that I would like to taper down. He said that it
wasn’t so significant (my protein spill) so we could either do 15 mg
every other day or drop down to 12.5 mg. I relapsed on every other
day and was afraid to drop down so significantly to 12.5, so I asked
if we could see how things go at 14mg for a month and then 13mg and
so on until our next appointment. He said that it would be
okay. He told me to continue to check for signs of relapse and
contact him if I am…and to ask everyone to keep praying! I feel
very uncertain right now. Whenever I am this low in dose I have
relapsed, so I’m fearful of history repeating. I keep thinking so
many sincere prayers are being said, so don’t be afraid of what the
outcome might be, but keep on going knowing that no matter what, He
sustains my life.
My kids were
with me at my appointment and my doctor asked them, “Are you kids
praying for your mommy?” And I told him what Amanda prayed on
Sunday morning before we left for church, “Dear God, Please let us
have a good day. Let there be no traffic. And please take away
mommy’s kidneys.” The doctor replied, “God knows what she meant.”
March 15, 2006
I am sorry for not
writing an update sooner. I have felt that I don’t have the
excitement as I once did when I started this journey. I so strongly
believed that I was already healed that in my heart and mind I felt
that I was just on my way. It was just a matter of time that I
would be completely tapered off. I didn’t feel that I had any
new insights to share and so I’ve pretty much just kept quiet.
However when I am feeling most discouraged, I don’t believe that it
is a time to be quiet. I continue to need your prayers, love, and
support. I have my 24 hour urinalysis beginning this morning.
I have to collect every single urine for the next 24 hours. The
sad/odd thing is that for the first time in a long time, I’m
starting to see more foam in my urine which is an indication that I
am spilling protein. The sad/odd thing about it is that up until
now, it has been so clear for the majority of the time. And my
results will determine what my doctor does at this point. He will
either increase my dose or he will keep me here and not decrease as
was hoped. The time is crucial. I need the impossible to
happen right now, which is that even though I am spilling protein
that it would not show up in the lab results. I know He can do it,
but is it in His will…or is this just not the time?
February 26, 2006
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today…” (
I just wanted to
give you a new update on my health. I have now been on 15 mg of
Prednisone for almost a week now. It has been over a year since I
was at this dose. And I am so excited to praise our Lord and share
that my urine has been completely clear of any protein. I
recently shared with some sisters that normal kidney filters are
like regular sized straws. But for some reason my immune system
attacks the straws (filters) and turns them into “boba-sized”
straws. When my filters become inflamed like boba straws, they
allow the boba (protein) to pass and then there is foam in my
urine. This passing of protein causes me to retain water, because
my kidney filters aren’t doing their job. The Prednisone helps to
suppress my immune system and therefore makes my filters return to
Through your bold prayers, through your faith and through your love,
I know God is healing me. Every time I go to the bathroom and check
to see if there is any foam, it is completely clear and I sing,
“Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me Bless His Holy
name!” It is He who sustains every breath of life and I am
doing well, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The
journey is exciting and I am so thankful to receive the blessings of
As I spoke at my very first speaking engagement for the college
women of Asian American Christian Fellowship of UC Riverside, I
shared about my health struggles and when I was done they surrounded
me in prayer. They were encouraged by all your prayers for me.
They were in awe of how God has always protected me and healed me
from all my other diseases and they boldly prayed for my healing
that evening. And God truly received the glory. It was a
beautiful, amazing thing!
I then ran into an old friend of Tim’s who shared that her brother
had the exact same thing when he was 8 years old. He is now 29. It
was so exciting to meet someone who knew exactly what I was going
through. She then shared that when his kidneys were about to fail,
her family surrounded her brother in prayer and said, “Lord, we are
going to go off the medicine cold turkey. We trust You for his
healing.” This allowed their family to dedicate their lives to the
Lord. Her brother was healed and is now a doctor. God is truly
amazing! I will see my kidney doctor in the month of March,
and I will also have several tests done at that time. I am looking
forward to the results, and I am looking forward to sharing it with
February 12, 2006
There is such a
sense of excitement when you finally get to a point in your walk
that you begin to spend time with the Lord and you look forward to
what He is going to reveal to you through His Word. And you enjoy
spending that time with Him. Well that’s how it’s been for me
finally, after all these years. It has been to my amazement,
that every time I struggle with something or look for knowledge… it
is always there. When I was frustrated with how the children were
disobeying, I prayed and said, “Please Lord, give me wisdom. Help
me know how to raise them. And as I opened up my quiet time the
Bible passage was:
Psalm 32:8-11 (New International Version)
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
or they will not come to you.
Many are the woes of the wicked,
but the LORD's unfailing love
surrounds the man who trusts in him.
Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;
sing, all you who are upright in heart!
And when I was
uncertain if I should confront someone about something, I read this
in my quiet time:
I know that I am far from perfect, Lord,
But if you tell me I should recognize
And tactfully address some wrong in others,
I will, with all the love that in me lies. —Hess
And as many of
you know, one of the biggest struggles in having this disease for me
is being on steroids and not having “my body.” I’ve always had a
misperception of my body. And I feel like this is one of the
biggest things that I have to overcome. And it’s usually when
I feel at my worst and I can’t find anything to wear and I dig up
something that is old and not “in fashion,” that Amanda will tell
me, “Mom…you look beautiful!” And the other night, I said to
Andrew, “You’d better go to sleep honey. You look tired and your
eyes are all watery.” And he said, “I have to tell you a secret.
Mom, my eyes are watery because you are so pretty.” And with
these words that so touch my heart, I instantly realize that life is
temporal and that my earthly desires really don’t matter in the long
run. But, then I wake up to a new day and it seems to start all
over again. I hit the reality that things don’t fit correctly and
that I repeatedly wear the same things over and over again. And
then my dear husband, so patiently has to hear it over and over
again. And I feel like I just need to get over it. I need the Lord
to not take away my struggles, but to give me strength to overcome
them. Then as I woke up in the morning, I did my quiet time
and the title was: Inner Beauty and here was a part of what I read:
We are tabernacles too, made of skin, made to contain God's Spirit.
Most of us are very plain, not like the made-up actors we see in the
movies or the air-brushed models we view in the ads. But God is even
now—at this moment—in the process of making us radiantly beautiful
within. We may be very plain and ordinary on the outside—but
as we allow God's Spirit to work within us, the beauty of God's
indwelling presence will shine from our faces. So, is the
world seeing Jesus in you? —David Roper
Let the beauty of
Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity;
O Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. —Osborn
how He loves to teach us and comfort us…if we would only meet with
Him. So, if you haven’t already done so, go spend some time with
our wonderful Lord.
February 10, 2006
I have been asked by a friend to speak
at a college women’s overnight retreat. If you know me as my friend
does, she was expecting me to say, "No way!" But she decided that
she would ask me anyway. And as she was asking, in my mind I was
thinking, "What in the world? I don’t do public speaking." Yet my
heart was totally calm. She told me to pray about it, and as I did,
all I could think was the only thing holding me back is fear of
speaking, but if the Lord is calling me to serve, how can I refuse?
So as I began preparing, I went over
some books, quotes, and Bible verses that have been instrumental in
making me who I am today. And as I reviewed a book called “Becoming
a Women of Prayer,” a book I went through over 10 years ago, I found
“Jesus exhorted His disciples to
believe that they have already received whatever they request in
prayer. Faith accepts it as good as done even though the actual
answer is still future. Jesus made this promise on the recognized
premise that petitions must be in harmony with God’s will. This
enables faith to receive the answers God gives. God is always ready
to respond to obedient believer’s prayers and they can petition Him
knowing that no situation or difficulty is impossible for Him.”
(John D. Grassmic)
I am joyful in a way that I have never
been before. I am excited for His glory to be revealed.
February 7, 2006
At the suggestion
of a dear friend of mine, I have started journaling some things that
I have been going through. This will not only help me to log what’s
going on with my health, but it will also help me to see how the
Lord is working in my life and see what He is teaching me. It will
also allow me to share of His glorious works. I have now been on
17.5 mg of my medication for, well, by tomorrow 3 weeks. In this
time, I have been fighting off a dry cough. When my body is not
100%, it throws my immune system off and I can spill protein. So
until I am over with my cold, it is hard to say at this moment what
is exactly going on inside my body. I have been able to
tell through my urine how my kidneys are working, and if my body
starts to retain too much water in my scalp, hands or ankles, I call
my doctor and then we run some tests. I noticed today
that I was clear of any protein. Praise the Lord! But then my
throat started to hurt again, so I might start spilling again. But
I don’t doubt that He is still protecting me, and so there’s a sense
that I “feel” like I am already healed, despite what I see. I can’t
really explain it. Sometimes I don’t
know if my hope is so strong that what I believe is what I believe.
But then I am confirmed through His Word, through my brothers and
sisters in Christ, and through prayer and faith. The day after
I sent out the email asking you to join me in prayer, I read this
Psalm 118:15-24 (New International Version)
Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
"The LORD's right hand has done mighty things!
The LORD's right hand is lifted high;
the LORD's right hand has done mighty things!"
I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
The LORD has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
When I read this, I
was so at peace. I am glad to read His confirmation to me over and
over again. Whatever the outcome, I know that this is all to His
glory. I am very excited
for what He going to do. I share with new parents that I meet at
Andrew’s school. I share with whomever I can. I once didn’t know
how to share the love of Christ, except by example, but I do believe
He is giving me a platform to share of what only He can do and who
He is. And a brother of
mine shared that he has never prayed so boldly for one’s healing.
What an encouragement and what glory this brings to our Father. And
as others have shared with me their prayer requests, I have not
ceased to pray for them as well. It is awesome drawing closer to
Him, having others draw close to Him, and drawing close to one
another. This is the day the
Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!