A few days ago, before I fell asleep, I told Tobias that I was looking for inspiration to write for my next post.
Tobias: “you could write something that is not spiritual.”
Me: “I can, but I can’t”
This is not the first time I received a suggestion like this. So, I decided to use this article to ask you to ask me anything, so you’ll get to know me better.
Here are already some questions I got.
Q: WHY IS YOUR WRITING ALWAYS ABOUT SPIRITUAL TOPICS?
While I was in hospital after my biopsy, I had extraordinary encountering moments with Jesus. A stranger (who is a friend of a friend of a friend of Kayan’s friend in Beijing), visited me and gave me a Bible (New Testament).
I spent those two months in hospital reading it, the word of God penetrated me like never before, and answered my searches for God.
The first words that came to me was God is good. God knew those long time issue in my heart – doubting God’s goodness, so He answered this first.
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”
James 1:17 NLT
And then, the second words that strongly touched my heart was to tell His love to others through my testimonies, to bring others to love God and to love neighbors as themselves.
“teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””
Matthew 28:20 ESV
I believe this verse is my calling. That time, I didn’t know how to do it with all the limitations I have due to my disease.
I started writing about my personal relationship with God in a diary. A couple months later, it crossed my mind, why not start sharing my diary publicly, so I set up a Facebook page DIPG Online. Then, a year later, in January 2019, I published my website, http://titien.de/
So, this is why I always write spiritual things. Because this is my diary, my personal experience with God, that I open to you.
Q: HOW DID YOUR FAITH BECOME SO IMPORTANT FOR YOU?
A: I went to church when I was living in Shenzhen, HongKong and Beijing. Honestly that didn’t have a big effect on me. What had an effect on me was Tobias’ unconditional love to me. And watching Kayan and Ashlee, how their sincere love and their prayers upheld me when I was falling apart.
One early morning at 4 am, I was in my hospital bed, I woke up and was crying because I finally truly realized how I amazingly loved by God, by Tobias, by my family and my friends, and even by strangers. I had a dream, maybe a vision because I was awake, where He called me the daughter of God and I called Him Holy Father. It hit me, that I am imperfect but perfectly loved. That morning, miracles happened. Not only my swallowing ability recovered suddenly, but also a change of my heart.
Q: DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE A WRITER?
A: Never in my mind did I think that in the inadequate, flawed and a broken vessel Titien, would be a seed to write and inspire my readers’ faith. Obviously God brought me to places I never dreamed of, where He encouraged me that there’s something I can do despite of my illness, and people who read my stories can relate to my experiences.
Q: AFTER YOU BECAME CHRISTIAN, DO YOU STILL DEAL WITH STRUGGLES?
A: Of course. I am a wounded warrior, I went through psychological illness and now physical illness. I’m familiar with physical pain, emotional pain, relational pain. So, I understand others in a way that’s not possible sometimes without me feeling the pain. I know what pain feels like, but I also know the joy when we find the answer, the truth.
God takes me through those journeys and valleys, and He shows me that He never wastes my pain when I give it to Him. He turned it to testimonies, He gave me an ability to relate to people, that I share my life story on my blog.
In my stories, you can see how I agonize with God and how God intervenes in my life, and you can relate that whatever circumstances in your life, you can choose to trust God, for He is good.
Q: SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS AND READERS DISAGREE WITH YOUR VIEW OR YOUR FAITH. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
A: I think we don’t need to see everything the same way. There are things Tobias and I disagree with each other, too. I respect also those who disagree with me.
When I disagree with some people, even when I dislike them, still I value that person, so I try to listen and understand them. God commands that I need to love them as myself. This doesn’t mean I condone things they do or things they say, but I’m gonna value that person, because they’re created in the image of God, God values them.
Q: HOW DO YOU COPE WITH CANCER AND STILL WRITING A BLOG?
A: Living with DIPG is tough, and watching my fellow warriors, mostly children, suffer and die from DIPG is heart wrenching. I believe it’s your prayers that are upholding me through this journey.
I am unfit and inadequate to write, so I asked God to teach me and to give me the right words to write my stories, for His glory. It happens always, He works and inspires me. So, please keep praying for me.
Q: IT SEEMS THAT YOU NEVER FLINCHED YOUR LOVE TO GOD! HOW HAS IT BEEN FOR YOU TO KEEP WALKING IN YOUR FAITH?
A: Walking in faith is not easy. However, I believe what’s waiting for me at the end of this journey, the eternal prize, is worth it. So, I took my life and my calling so seriously.
To be honest, my constant temptation now is to be lazy. I have to have some discipline. In the morning, I need to immerse myself in the scripture and worship. I try not to open the game app on my iPad, because if I start playing that game, it’ll take easily 6 hours of my time. I can’t afford that anymore when I’m learning God’s words and when I’m preparing to write my story. So I don’t repeat my story the same way.
That’s why your prayers for me matter. Pray not only for my health, but also for the discipline, for the new inspirations and for the right words, so you and other readers can read the truth in my story in a fresh way.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION TO SHARE YOUR LIFE STORY?
A: I don’t want anything from my readers, I just want to share my life experiences with them. Although they and I might come from different cultures, different life situation, but I believe we all understand this all-embracing themes, love and sacrifice. I’ve done worse, I’ve been forgiven, and I’ve been blessed. My testimonies of God’s grace in my life speak louder than any perceptions.
Q: IN RETROSPECT, IF YOU WERE GIVEN THE POWER TO CHOOSE EITHER A LIFE FREE OF CANCER OR TO WALK THE JOURNEY WITH CANCER AGAIN, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE?
Q: IS THERE SOMETHING SPECIFIC THAT HAS HAPPENED AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE ILLNESS THAT YOU BELIEVE HAS BEEN GOOD? MAYBE A NEW FRIEND, STRONGER MARRIAGE, NEW INSIGHT YOU GAINED?
A: I combine this two questions together because I assumed that the first question is actually far more complex than for me to answer that I choose to have a life free of cancer.
The disease, brain cancer, that kills the body is temporary, but the disease that kills the soul is eternal.
When you’ve been stuck with a terminal diagnosis, and you almost certainly die probably within 1-2 years, there’s no cure, life is out of control, where would you go? I have no other choice, but to turn to the truth.
The direct -positive- result of living with terminal cancer is becoming time conscious, and being tested.
Being time conscious, means I have no time to waste for meaningless things. I look for the answer to life, and I found the truth, the truth is Jesus Christ is real.
When I believed Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and I accepted His love, it changed my heart. Thus, it changed my attitude, my way of thinking, my way of treating others, and so on. This brings so much blessings to my life, as a woman, as a wife, as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend, as a cancer warrior.
Being tested means it proves that Tobias’s love is pure, and it proves that my faith is genuine, not a blind faith.
This illness has also taught me valuable life lessons, too. Understanding of finitude of life, a compassionate heart, an ability to connect with other human beings without prejudice.
Q: WHAT KIND OF THINGS DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE RECOVERED FROM CANCER?
A: Well, there’s no cure for this type of cancer, DIPG. My physical health becomes progressively worse over time. However, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life when I am physically well. Passionately and actively bring rainbows to the weakest, the least, the last, the lost amongst us.
For example, when we delivered the Rainbow Project to provide shoes for elementary school kids in a poor small village in Kalimantan, their faces were lit up and full of joy, they then can go to school and play football without barefoot anymore. Their beautiful faces were something I will never forget.
Q: IF YOU CAN GIVE YOUR OLD SELF (BEFORE BEING DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER) ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
A: If I could travel back in time to the past and meet my old self, I’ll say, “listen to me, I’m the future you!”
First, marry Tobias! 😄
Second, know who you are and who God is.
It’s so easy to get discouraged by the world you live in. But isn’t it great to know that there are lights that shine on you, the God who loves you and is with you, and the promise of the eternal Kingdom is for you. You’re the daughter of the Almighty.
So, with all that, the best thing you can do is to take heart, and not get weary in loving God with all your heart soul mind, and loving others as yourself.
Third, there’s joy.
Stop thinking that you don’t have this or don’t have that, or you can’t do this or can’t do that. It’s ok to fail and feeling down, but don’t let it consume you. Stand up and running towards Jesus.
When you’re thinking who Jesus is and what He’s done for you, everything else just falls away. You’ll no longer thinking about the lists that you can’t have or can’t do, but you’ll thinking about the lists you get to do, things that are excellent. To love God, to walk with Him, to be grateful, to pray for others, to share about Him, to help the poor and the needy, and so on. This brings you joy.
Last, just do right.
Don’t be like Pontius Pilate. While questioning Jesus Christ after he was brought to him by the Pharisees. Pilate asked, “What is Truth?” Then, Pilate went away without waiting for Jesus’ answer.
The truth is given to you, it’s your choice to be willing to open up your heart to what Jesus has to say, or choose to walk away and continue to govern yourself with a lie. Make the right choice.
Friends, thank you for participating in ask me anything with me. If you have any further questions, you can always post it in the comment box, or pm me. Perhaps I’ll do another round of ama.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
Philippians 4:6-8 NLT
::: UPDATE ABOUT ME
2 Years 6 Months Post Biopsy
Midline Pontine Glioblastoma/DIPG Grade IV
On Thursday, November 21, I will receive the 20th round Avastin.
My symptoms are pretty much the same.
Please go to http://titien.de/my-medical-history/ for more details.
Thanks for keeping me in your prayers 🙏
PS: Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing my posts.
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