Thank God for Pain

By Kylie Chia, Communications Executive

kylie face fracture

Kylie Chia sustained four fractures after a fall and by God’s grace, is recovering well.

En route to the Nav Olympics on 29 September, I was cycling downhill when my shared bicycle hit a bump in the pavement. The inertia pitched me forward and I landed face first. Bruised and bleeding, I pulled myself out from under the bicycle and sat a while to recover from the shock. Immediately, I became upset with myself as I would not get to compete in the sports meet. I had also ruined a day of sports fellowship with the girls in the Singapore Polytechnic (SP) ministry.

Suppressing my agony, I made the rest of the way to the stadium where the Nav Olympics was held, praying for God to calm me from the trauma. Thankfully, Rachel Lu, an A&E medical officer from NUS ministry, was present. She treated and cleaned my wounds. Rachel would later follow up with me every day to see if my condition improved.

Kylie face fracture 2.jpg

Kylie getting her abrasions treated by Rachel, a medical officer and NUS Nav labourer.

By that night, my face had ballooned and I was swallowing copious amounts of blood (unbeknownst, doctors only later discovered a fracture stretching from eye to nostril, hence the bleeding). I assumed that the pain was only from the external abrasions, so I was not especially anxious. The Holy Spirit provided me with a sense of peace as I meditated on Philippians 4:6,7, 1 Peter 5:7 and Isaiah 26:3. These are verses which I turn to whenever I’m ill.

With my left eye swollen shut and on Rachel’s insistence, I went to an A&E, accompanied by ministry leader Chong Lee Yin. Throughout the series of hospital trips, I received minimal medical intervention. There was little that doctors or medication could do because it was solely within the power of God to heal me.

joon keng edit

Administrative Executive Chiew Joon Keng ministered to Kylie’s mother in Nav office.

Given two weeks of medical leave, I went back to office the next day to pick up some personal effects, only to find myself surrounded by the administrative team and ministry staff. I was accompanied by my mother, whom Administrative Executive Chiew Joon Keng took aside to speak to personally and also encourage. While I received healing prayer, Joon Keng earnestly prayed for my mother too. It was an important experience that touched her through the episode, and still does today. I’m grateful for Joon Keng’s initiative and genuine fellowship.

A subsequent CT scan revealed four fractures around the cheek. I felt no other internal pain otherwise because I had damaged a facial nerve, rendering the left cheek numb. National Director Yap Kim Meng’s booklet “Thank God for Pain” which contained excerpts from Where is God When It Hurts? by Philip Yancey helped me through the recovery phase. Given that my wounds were stinging and throbbing, the title absolutely resonated with me! God created us with so many nerves to enable us to feel, complete with pain receptors that warn us of danger. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and to be able to feel is great.

Philip Yancey - where is God when it hurts

While the scabs and bruises cleared, I asked God how I could thank Him for pain when I didn’t feel it anymore. Sounds silly right? On the contrary, my cheek was going to be tight, numb and inexpressive for a few months. Life will be dulled if I can’t feel much of the wind or sun on my face … With these thoughts, a warm sensation enveloped me, as if I was being held in God’s embrace: “Pain or numb, give thanks anyway” (see 1 Thessalonians 5:18). So, thank you God, for numbness too.

This is in line with Navigators CORE Values:
CORE 7 Love and grace expressed among us in community.