So That It May Go Well With You in the End

Lee Sun-deok from Gumi, South Korea

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On February 17, 2016, my son graduated from elementary school. My husband who worked two hours away from home even took a leave take time off work to participate in his graduation ceremony with me.

At the graduation ceremony, the names of the graduates were called one after another, and they were given their certification of graduation. Some were called to come up to the platform to receive awards, and my son was one of them. I was so happy that tears welled up in my eyes.

People might think that he received an academic excellence award or something like that, but what he received was an athletic award that was given to those who had talents in athletic activities. No one would know how much that award meant to my husband and me.

My son was hospitalized because of a severe flu right before he entered elementary school. He was hospitalized again for the same symptom not long after he began elementary school, and he was hospitalized once again two months later. He couldn’t attend class regularly because he kept being hospitalized. It was a tough time. It was weird how he would be so sick before going to hospital but then he would be fine after getting an IV for a day as if he hadn’t been sick at all.

When he was hospitalized for the last time, it was a similar situation. His doctor said to us, “He can go home tomorrow. But I have a seminar today, so I will ask another doctor to help you go through the discharge process.” Then the doctor told us not to worry about our son because he was fully cured.

That night, I started to pack up our stuff and went out to the hospital lobby to take a break when a nurse came to find me. She said I needed to come upstairs for a second. I thought she was calling me for the next day’s discharge process, but she introduced me to the doctor who was going to help us through the discharge process. The doctor carefully asked me to have my son get a computed tomography [CT] scan.

“While getting the discharge process ready, I had some time to take a look at the picture of your son’s chest. But there’s something abnormal.”

“What do you mean?”

“I think something is around his lung. He needs to have a CT scan to see if the problem is in the lung or somewhere else.”

I was at a loss for words because I was already packing to leave.

As the doctor suggested, I had him get a CT scan, and the medical prognosis came out about an hour later. The doctor said that there was something in his ribs that surround the lung, and that a cardiothoracic surgeon would come and check the following day.

The next morning, several doctors came into the room together. The cardiothoracic surgeon explained to me about the result of the CT scan. He said it was a rib tumor. The whole sky seemed to sink when he said that 90% of the cases of the rib tumors for children in the period of growth are malignant tumors because their bones are very active and still growing, although he would know for sure whether it would be malignant or benign after taking a biopsy.

‘What’s going on?’

It felt like they were talking about someone else, not my son. My husband rushed to the hospital. When he arrived, he grabbed my hands tightly while I wasn’t saying anything.

Taking the advice of the doctor who recommended getting a biopsy as soon as possible, we went straight to Seoul with the doctor’s note. The time we had to wait until the surgery date was set up after we submitted to the university hospital felt very long every day. I prayed to God over and over again to help me keep my faith in that time of difficulty and to let nothing happen to my son.

Then one Sabbath day, I attended worship at a Zion in Seoul because I was staying with my older sister who lived in Seoul. On the way back home after the evening service, one sister called my sister and said there was something she really wanted to give her and was asking if we could see her for a second.

We got off the bus halfway home and met her at the bus stop, where she handed us a plastic bag.

“I’m sorry it’s not much. Please cheer up.”

Inside the plastic bag, there was cucumber kimchi and seasoned bean sprouts. My sister told me that the sister was keeping her faith in a difficult circumstance. I was much moved by the sister, who thought of me first while having her own difficult times and tried to express her concern for me. Mother’s love I felt through the heavenly family member gave me strength.

Finally, the day of surgery came. I was waiting for my son’s surgery to be done outside of the surgery room, which felt like tens of years. I wanted to be the one lying on the surgery bed instead of my son, if only it were possible.

I could fathom Heavenly Mother’s heart, even just a little bit. If children are in a fire, parents can jump into the fire without hesitation because they don’t want their children to suffer. With that kind of mind, Mother took on flesh and blood just like us, Her children, to show us the way of salvation, as we were all living a hard life on this earth because of our sins.

My heart was broken at the thought of Heavenly Mother and my son, and I felt more heartbroken when I saw my son coming out of the surgery. As he was waking up from anesthesia, he suffered from severe pain, which made me burst into tears.

After a couple of days, my son recovered a little and said to me.

“Mom, when I entered the operating room, I was so scared to see knives, saws, and hammers. So I prayed to God really hard to help me not to be in pain.”

I gave him a big hug.

“Yes, God will surely listen to your prayer. I believe that.”

I decided to be mentally stronger while having a conversation with him.

He was discharged a few days later, and we waited for the result. While waiting for the result, we received a phone call from my son’s school saying that they would like to raise funds for him. I appreciated it, but I kindly refused their offer, because I didn’t want to imagine the worst situation when we hadn’t even gotten the result yet.

Probably because I was ready for any kind of result, I was pretty calm on my way to the hospital to find out the result. My son’s doctor asked me a few questions while looking at the result and the screen. When I expatiated on how we noticed his symptoms for the first time, he suddenly got up and stroked my son’s head.

“You’re a lucky boy. I mean it. Congratulations, Ma’am! His biopsy proved positive for a rib tumor, but you don’t need to worry, because it was found early, and we removed one rib during the biopsy. You should thank the doctor who found it first. He paid great attention to your son although he wasn’t his patient, and it’s not easy to detect sings of cancer at such an early stage.”

‘Thank You, Father and Mother! Thank You!’

The moment I gave thanks to God, I realized that everything that had happened until then was God’s blessing to prevent a big disaster. How he was hospitalized because of his frequent coughing, and how his doctor had to leave for an appointment before my son was discharged, and how it was easy to remove the tumor as it was on one of his ribs that were separate from one another instead of any other part of the body . . . It was all God’s will. The words of the Bible that God protects His children like the apple of His eye felt so real to me.

He missed so many days during the first semester of his first year in elementary school, but he regained his health and went back to school. He grew up to be so healthy that he even received an athletic award. Whenever I see him run energetically, I am thankful to the doctor who found his disease, not to mention that I am so grateful to God.

Just as the doctor paid close attention to my child’s disease instead of just sending him home, I will also care for the sick souls and teach them diligently how to be healed. Just as my weak child grew to be healthy, my soul will also grow more mature every day so that I can please Mother. Heavenly Father and Mother care for this child and regard me as Their everything, although I am lacking in many ways. Sometimes They humble me and put me through hardship so that it may go well with me in the end. I truly give thanks to Heavenly Father and Mother.