He Walks With Me
by Lewis Tse
There have been many changes in my life recently. The most important has been my closer walk with God. My parents raised me in the church, but I began to drift away when I was 17. I questioned whether the Bible’s message was the truth. In short, I doubted God’s Word. I didn’t think it was important to pursue my beliefs and I believed that I could always come back to God when I was older or in trouble.
I grew up in Hong Kong and went to Los Angeles for college. During this time I had what I believed to be a successful life. I returned to Hong Kong after graduation, married, had a son, and found work at a reputable company. I bought a house, owned a
car, and provided all that my family needed. I was promoted six times in my first five years of work. I was happy but not content. I began to want more and more.
I left Hong Kong to begin a new career in Los Angeles. My wife and I decided that she and my young son would stay behind and join me in the states once I was established. They eventually joined me and stayed in California for about 11 months only to return to Hong Kong where my wife felt more at home. I decided to stay behind to start a company with a partner. Running a business was very difficult and I lost a lot of money. My partner and I broke up and ended our business.
After 18 months of struggle with the new business, I decided to return to Hong Kong. I was eager to return so I could be reunited with my wife and son and also take over the care of my aging parents.
Shortly after returning to Hong Kong, I began to notice a constant pain in my left ankle. I went to the doctor and tried various medications to treat my ankle but none of them worked. I was then referred to an orthopedic surgeon who ordered several tests to discover the source of my pain. The tests revealed that I had “Intermediate Chronosarcom”–a mild and slow bone cancer. I underwent surgery to remove the bone growth, but chemotherapy and radiotherapy were not required.
My physician, Dr. Kumta, told me it would take two to three months to recuperate from the surgery. He also told me I would regain 80% mobility and would be able to walk and hike but not run or play tennis. My wife and I were frightened by my diagnosis but we were reassured when I invited my brother’s pastor to come pray with us. It was the first time I had prayed with a pastor in many years.
A few days after my return home from the hospital, Dr. Kumta called asking me to go back to the hospital. This time he had even worse news for me. He explained that in examining the biopsy from my surgery, another form of cancer had been found. This cancer was “Chondrosarcoma,” a more aggressive form of bone cancer. This type of cancer sharply increases the chance of reoccurrence or attachments to other organs of the body. Unfortunately, this cancer does not respond to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. There was nothing my doctors could do for me except monitor me and wait. Dr. Kumta explained that if I had a reoccurrence in the left leg, they would need to amputate it.
Today I continue to live with the threat of a reoccurrence. I can’t remember how many times my family and I have cried together. I have often asked God, “Why me?” I have asked God why this happened now as I was returning to my family and starting over in life. I have wondered why God gave me 38 good years and then, in a few short months, took it all away.
I began to turn back to God after two pastors spoke to me. The first told me, “God is with you and He knows what you need. Trust your doctors for what they know and trust God for all that is unknown.” The second pastor shared Matthew 6:7 with me which says, "who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your lives?"
Their encouragement, combined with the prayers of many brought me back to walk with God. I am thankful to God for reminding me of His existence when I began losing myself to the world.
When I reflect on these past months, I see God throughout them. My father helps my family financially. My disabled mother insists on cooking and caring for me two days a week. I have come back to God and my wife has become a Christian. We now pray together with our son who is being raised in the church. My brother and his church pray for me and I am able to share God’s Word with others.
There may be danger and pain ahead of me, but I know that God is with me. I could be panicked about my situation, but my faith brings joy and peace instead of fear. Most importantly, I know that I don’t walk through this valley alone because God walks with me.
(Lewis Tse has been working in garment manufacturing and trading companies since 1990. He now lives in hong Kong with his lovely and supportive wife and their charming and smart 7-year-old boy.)