Most of us often share testimonies of great things that happen in our lives as a sign of the greatness of God. Testimonies of missionaries often speak of the great things they’ve done to show how they were willing to stretch their faith, to go beyond the natural.
I have learnt, however, through my home situation over the past few months that sometimes, it’s the very small actions we do that reveal the extent of our faith and I have learnt this through my sister.
She was healed of her brain lymphoma through a very intensive regime of high dose chemo, which has lots of side-effects, which left her bed-ridden for a long time. Her muscular strength has been greatly weakened and simple actions like using her left hand now become such a chore.
Prior to her high dose chemo, she was indeed a prayer warrior. I remembered how she would hold my mum’s hand or mine everyday and pray for almost an hour together with her – praying over her own condition, over my family. She would write Bible verses out, draw pictures to illustrate these verses. Her big faith encouraged and humbled me.
After the high dose chemo, these outward expressions of her faith ceased. Yet, what I have come to realise, through the revelation of her physiotherapist yesterday that my sis is still living that life of faith in ways that we often take for granted.
Yesterday, during my sister’s physio, the physio was teaching her how to stand on her own. Every time my sister stood up, she always reached forward, wanting to hold on to something for support. The physio then told her,
“You must have faith. You must believe that you can do it and that you do not need to hold on to anything. I am holding your legs, your maid is behind you. You won’t fall.”
Then, my sis braced herself – and she managed to stand up! – without having to hold on to anything. Though it was not for long, it was nonetheless a step of faith.
Looking at her, I thought to myself, “Wow. Every step my sister takes, even a simple act of standing up – is an act of faith.”
I really thank God for opening my eyes to see this.
On Saturday at a family BBQ, after my family members encouraged her greatly, my sis had a sudden surge of determination and she asked for the walker and wanted to walk. She walked for a longer distance, but she wanted to move herself up to two ‘steps’ into the house. Walking on flat ground is already tough enough – what more moving up to another platform. Though she had great assistance, the very fact that she wanted to do it, and believed that she could do it, was in itself a great step of faith given that prior to that, she was struggling with walking even on flat ground.
For the past few days, we have been filling up a ‘blessing box’ her friend made for her. Her friend gave her a cute heart-shaped box along with many small paper-cut hearts.
Whenever my sister feels blessed, she will write a blessing on that heart, and put it in the box. Every time we sit down together, we recount the seemingly small blessings, simple things like a gift from my girlfriend, a visit from my brother’s girlfriend, a car-ride by my father, my mum’s efforts to take care of her. We write them down, and put them in the box. God is not doing big things in her life, but these small things assure us that God is with us.
I am proud of my sister and encouraged by her, because her small steps and small actions reveal an outworking of her faith. It has been a very tough road for her, filled not just with physical pain, but emotional anguish and disappointment, but I know that what seems like a small step for us is a big step for her. I’m holding on and believing in a mighty testimony to emerge from what my sister and my family has gone through.