God answered our prayers and healed me gradually over the years.
Hi, I am Eunice, a girl who is cheerful, enjoys life and always trying to be optimistic in the face of adversity. Since I was young, I was much slower than the others. Therefore, I had to put in more effort and practice in order to do things normally. It required a lot of patience and determination from my parents and sister to teach me self-help skills like writing, tying shoelaces, dressing and even eating. This is because I was born with cerebral palsy – a disorder where damage to the brain causes impairment of motor functions. The doctors were certain that I would not be able to walk, sit or talk. They said that I had to rely on a caregiver for the rest of my life. I was carried around from one place to another for the first two and a half years of my life. But when I turned two years old, based on the doctors’ recommendations, I was enrolled in a special school for physically disabled children. I had speech and physical therapy sessions at the school for one and a half years. I was taught simple sign language as a form of communication. In addition, I learned various exercises to strengthen my muscles and to coordinate my hands and legs movement.
My mother would bring my sister and me to church every Sunday. Whenever an opportunity arises, she would ask the pastors and leaders to pray for me that God would heal and make me well. She continued to persevere in prayer at home. God answered our prayers and healed me gradually over the years.
When I was three years old, my IQ test result was close to normal and I started walking and talking. My parents were greatly encouraged. They decided to enrol me in a regular kindergarten nursery class when I was four years of age. I was still struggling with my motor skills, especially when I had to use my hands to paint or glue pieces of papers. My teachers helped me but most of the time, I tried to do it on my own. I read that research shows that a person’s level of self-discipline is more predictive of success than her IQ level.
When I was in Primary 1, the school principal initially wanted to send me to another school as he was worried that the teachers would not have the required knowledge to help me. Nonetheless, my parents persuaded the principal to allow me to give it a try. However, I began to fall sick and missed lessons half of the time. I lost part of my hearing due to a high fever and as a result, I had to wear hearing aids. Although I was slower than my classmates, I did my work with little help from others as I wanted to be independent. I would ask God daily to heal me and give me the strength to study. He answered my prayers. With His help, I managed to catch up with the rest in my school work. Every year I performed well enough to be promoted.
I was exempted from physical education classes in Primary 1 and 2 because I was unable to run without falling. I could only sit in a corner to watch while my classmates were playing games. Looking at them having fun, I hoped to join them someday. So, when I was nine, I requested to join them with the help of my physiotherapist. I started out by joining my classmates in simple exercises and soon after, I was allowed to play sports such as basketball, badminton and running with the rest of them.
When I was twelve, I sat for my Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE). Despite being ill and having to miss lessons for almost half of the year, God helped me to catch up in my work. I was able to enter the ‘Normal Academic’ stream in Secondary school – a five-year route to the ‘O’ level exams instead of the express four-year route. Although I was disappointed as I had hoped to fare better for PSLE, I soon realised the benefits of the route I had taken. I learned and understood better because of the slower teaching pace and as a result, my grades improved. I sat for my ‘O’ level exams in Secondary 5 and thereafter, studied a three-year diploma course in one of the polytechnics. I have now completed my diploma.
Simply pray and ask
God is truly good and faithful. His love never fails. He makes the impossible possible. I know His work of healing is still taking place in me. No matter what may happen in our lives, God is always there to help and carry us through. It was not an easy task to raise me up. My parents were worried and doubtful, especially when I entered primary school, if I was capable of being promoted to the next grade or whether I could cope with my school workload. But those worries and doubts were turned into joy and hope when God helped us to overcome one obstacle after another, year after year.
What God has done for my family and me can also be done for everyone. All we have to do is to simply pray and ask God for help. He will give us the faith to believe and the strength to overcome obstacles. ~ Eunice Yeo ~