Scattered Soul to Passionate Believer: Jennifer Erika Robert and her family found their way back to God after years of trials

While growing up, I felt so close to Mother Mary and Jesus, and so protected by our Catholic faith. I attended mass regularly with my family and on my own.

My paternal grandfather, a Presbyterian follower, taught me the bible and showed me his love for Jesus. My maternal grandmother and mother taught me how to pray the rosary, and attended novena with me. My maternal family was very close to Mother Mary.

Somehow along the way I got lost. I still had my faith and kept my rosary close to me, but my prayers and mass attendance decreased a lot.

The First Major Cross

Three and a half years ago, I fell sick and was forced to go on dialysis. Dialysis did not sit well with me. My symptoms were not what kidney patients usually encountered. Despite the various blood tests and scans, the doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me.

A few months after starting dialysis, my right hand swelled and I had high fever for two weeks. I saw many doctors who classified the condition as a sprain. I was finally given a memorandum to go to a hospital where it was discovered I had soft tissue infection. The doctors did not know how it occurred since I did not have any cut or wounds on my hand at all.

The medical team drained 12cc of pus from my right hand and removed 30% of the tendons on my fourth finger. After 2 weeks in hospital, they wanted to amputate my hand. My family decided to consult another doctor as they did not want that to happen.

God sent us a kind doctor who saved my hand and provided the best possible treatment. It was painful and took more than a year to heal. Though I had difficulty bending my finger and gripping things at times, I could still write and type. Best of all, I still have my hand – all thanks to God’s grace and mercy.

My family and I started praying more as a family. I also started praying more on my own. I learnt how to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet.

 “my mum put her faith in God”

The Second Major Cross

Some time back, I developed a huge stomach which caused me severe back aches and I had difficulty walking. This caused me to fall and I had 4 mild ankle fractures within a year. I was in a wheelchair for almost a year. As a result, my legs were weak and my balance was affected.

During this period, I kept going for ultrasounds and scans to determine what was causing the stomach distension, but nothing could be found. After a year, the doctors finally found excess water in my body. They drained around 6.5 litres of water from my body and 4 months later, another 4.7 litres from my right lung.

On 12 October 2018, I collapsed during my dialysis treatment and had no pulse for a few seconds. I was resuscitated and had to be rushed to the nearest hospital. After being admitted, the doctors told my mum to prepare for the worst as I might not make it through the night.

The medical team urged my mum to opt for life support as my breathing was severely affected. My mum refused as she had put her faith in God. While running tests they found a 3cm blood clot in the top right atrium of my heart and I was put on warfarin to try dissolving the clot as an operation was too risky for me.

After two years of taking warfarin and feeling ill, I decided to stop and have faith that God will heal me.  I went for my heart scan on 9 September 2020 and met with my cardiologist on 21 September 2020. I was informed that my blood clot had gone, and my heart rate had increased from 19% to 30%.

He asked me how this was possible given the fact I had stopped medication on my own accord.

“I know that it is God who made it possible.”

Blessed By Spiritual Guidance and Prayers

During these years of adversities, my house was blessed by a priest and I started getting spiritual counselling at the Catholic Spirituality Centre (CSC). Through my spiritual guidance counsellor, I started attending ‘The Pilgrim’s Oasis’ programme at CSC.

I fell in love with the Catholic faith again, and have found clarity and peace. Through CSC, my family and I attended a Prayer Experience Retreat where we bonded as a family and grew stronger in faith.

We also attended retreats in Kerala, India as well as in Perth. I learnt a lot more about the Holy Spirit. I feel so blessed to see my mum being touched by the Holy Spirit during our Perth retreat.

Through these retreats and the prayers of my church community, I have been blessed to receive prayers and lots of love. Many people have come up to me to say that through my sufferings, they have witnessed God’s love and blessing, and they feel motivated and inspired.

There are times I want to give up, but these kind souls encouraged me and my mother who refuses to let my hand go and continues to walk with me in faith.

My family has grown stronger in faith and love, and we have found our way back to God. The Holy Family and the Holy Spirit continue to protect us and shower us with abundant blessings and love.

Many people have told me that God has a bigger plan for me, and I believe I can show the world that our God lives and I will be a testament to His healing love and ability.

Throughout my many trials, God showed me this phrase many times which I hold dear to my heart and soul – “You shall rise up from the ashes like a phoenix and be reborn again in God’s love.”

“God has a bigger plan for me”

The song ‘Amazing Grace’ certainly holds true for me – “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see…. Through many dangers, toils and snares, we have already come. ‘Twas grace hath brought  us safe thus far, and grace will lead us home. Amazing Grace.”

———-

My Prayer for the Catholic Church’s 200th anniversary

I pray that the church continues to provide refuge and solace to those who are lost as well as to those who have found renewed faith in Christ. I pray that the church continues to Inspire more Catholics to be Christ-like and be a guiding light to those who wish to learn more about Christ.

I pray that the church continues to stand united in good times and bad. That the church continues to ignite the faith in those who wish to answer God’s call but are unsure. I pray that the church continues to allow more people to be miracles to others and be a testimony to Christ’s precious healing grace and mercy. I pray that more people will be healed by Christ’s precious blood and spread more love to the world. Amen

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