God’s grace is full from surviving Tangshan earthquake to being healed of anxiety disorder
Author: Yi Ren Porpora; Translated by: Jiming Lindal
I am the daughter of God, and I love my Lord Jesus! Praise the Lord for giving me a second life! I love reading the Bible every day and receiving abundant grace from the word of God!
A colossal earthquake befell a ten-year-old, spared and survived.
I was born in Tangshan, a city in northern China known for the magnitude of the 7.8 earthquakes that shocked the world in 1976. This disaster destroyed the sleeping town, killing 240,00 people... I was ten years old at the time, but the tragedy of the moment is still vivid in my mind. One of my distant cousin’s entire family perished in this earthquake. To this day, I thank the Lord, all seven members of my immediate family were spared! This was miraculous at the time because nearly every family in this city had someone who died or was injured. Praise the Lord for His grace! Indeed, at that time, God had already watched over us, but I was too young to know God.
I was born in a military family. My father was a respected veteran, and my mother was a quality control clerk. My parents were strict with my sisters and me, but our home was warm and loving. Thinking back on my early years, I was lost and had too many failings. I even believed in Buddhism for a while.
Psalm 19.7 says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.”
In 2017, I stepped into a church in Sacramento for the first time. When I saw people chanting scriptures and praying to God, my heart was filled with heavenly warmth. In a flash, I was struck, and the light of God illuminated my soul! This was the place I had been seeking for many years. Since then, I have known God, and my life has changed. I started studying the Bible and praying with many sisters and learned to apply God's words in life.
In 2020, I was baptized at a church in Pasadena and became a Christian!
Care for a mother with cancer
The past two years of the pandemic have left many strained and helpless. My ailing mother in China was suffering from cancer and Alzheimer's disease. In addition to taking care of her diet and daily needs, I gave her massages. I counseled her from time to time, trying to alleviate the pain caused by her illnesses. I was so exhausted; I tossed and turned some nights and could not fall asleep. I missed my husband far away in the US. We relied on video chat every day, pouring out our hearts, supporting each other, and longing for our reunion. The illnesses brought physical and mental devastation to my mom and put enormous pressure on our entire family. I carried on my life by reading the Bible and praying every day. Psalm 55.22 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
Chinese living in the US who have elderly parents in China are most afraid of receiving news that their parents are in deteriorating health. It was tough and cumbersome during the pandemic to travel between China and the US…
In March 2021, after I returned to the US, spending only two months with my husband, I received a call from China that my mother was critically ill. I immediately booked a flight, went for various tests, then waited for clearance from the Chinese embassy. After arriving in China, I spent 14 days in a hotel quarantined and received daily testing. The city I was quarantined was Xiamen, in southern China. It would take several hours to fly from there to my northern city of Tangshan. Only those who experienced similar hardships can understand how physically and mentally exhausting it was.
Four days after I got home, my mother passed away. She had been in the intensive care unit (ICU) for almost a month. When my mother went home, she was peaceful, having her family by her side. God allowed me to see my mother during her final hours, so I did not have any regrets. Praise my Lord!
Suffer anxiety disorder
After my mother passed away, I stayed with my father for a few weeks to comfort him. Later, I returned to the US, and my husband and I were reunited! We live a quiet and happy life. I was committed to exercising every day, even during the hottest days in Los Angeles. Until one afternoon, after walking for half an hour, I felt my neck suddenly become tense, and my back was sweating profusely. I started to suspect that something had gone wrong with my heart, so I rested a little and went home. A night of a week later, I routinely tidied up my room and was ready for bed. I felt a rapid heartbeat, palpitation, shortness of breath, chest tightness... I immediately took some medicine to treat the heart and dozed off. Shortly after I fell asleep, I was startled by a nightmare. I became terribly thirsty, sweating, fearful, and experiencing a near-death feeling...
On September 20, 2021, my husband took me to the emergency room for the first time. A doctor patiently counseled and helped me and ordered an electrocardiogram, blood test, and chest X-ray. The results all came out within normal ranges. I was finally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder!
In fact, there had been some hidden symptoms before the illness was diagnosed. At times, I had panicked and worried that something terrible would happen... But I did not pay much attention then until it suddenly broke out one day! Besides jarring nerves, this illness is also manifested in the form of bodily sensations, consuming an immense amount of our physical energy. After each attack, I was fatigued and weak... I went to the emergency room three times within two months. Weak as I was, I could barely walk each time.
In my time of despair, I could only rely on our God. "For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened (Matthew 7.8)."
On a starry night, I knelt in the silent garden, looked up at the sky, and had a long conversation with God. I said, dear Abba Father, I am your daughter; if your child has sinned, please forgive my sin, and I will obey you according to the laws and disciplines in the Bible. Please forgive my offense, intentional or not... I told Him about my pain during the hardships in the past few years and the recent anxiety disorder. I begged my father and said, You are merciful and loving; please use Your almighty hand to remove the thorn of my body. It pricks my heart and causes so much pain. Please grant me a healthy body, so my dear husband and I can enjoy life. At this moment, I poured out my grief and anxiety to Him, like a wounded child to her parents... As I spoke, tears streamed down my face, soaking my blouse.
God accepted my confession and healed my body. Anxiety attacks occurred less and less frequently, from a few times a week to once a week, to once every two weeks... Recently, I have not had any episodes. God helped me to return to my everyday life, allowing me once again to enjoy the fresh air and warm sunshine He provides us every day.
During this time, God sent me an angel, Daisy Huang, a sister from my old church in Sacramento. (She gave me my first Bible a few years ago, enabling me to read God's words and get to know Him.). She enlightened, helped, encouraged, and accompanied me every day. She taught me abdominal breathing to relieve tension and anxiety and calm sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves. Sisters from Japan, Taiwan, and Mainland China Bible Study Groups also prayed for me. We come from various regions, and although we are far apart in the distance, I feel infinitely warm and touched... We sing praises to God every day and witness His deeds and greatness!
From surviving the Tangshan earthquake and knowing God afterward; to my mother's cancer and death, followed by anxiety, I have experienced God's grace every moment. In good times, we can easily count God's blessings. However, trials and tribulations are blessings in disguise because they make me more aware of and believe in God's power and make me stronger and more mature in Christ. With God, I have no fear or worry.
Pray every day, face the world with a grateful heart. I love you, Jesus. Hallelujah!