I lost all my hair to illness – but God gave it back to me overnight
Chan See Ting // November 19, 2018, 10:40 am
Photo: Chan See Ting
Update (February 25, 2021): On the afternoon of February 23, 2021, See Ting went home to be with the Lord. Our hearts hurt and rejoice all at once because she is gone – but also free from the pain and back with the One she loves.
Please keep her family in prayer through this time of grief. To leave a tribute or read Seets’ news articles and stories, visit @abetterting on Instagram or the website created by her friends to remember her life together.
In 2015, See Ting’s Facebook post that reached out to fellow sufferers of alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes partial or total hair loss, went viral overnight. We featured her story in “THIR.ST TALKS: I know an amazing woman” for International Women’s Day 2017. This was an update written on November 18, 2018, a few days after See Ting attended the Hillsong Worship and Creative Conference in Sydney, Australia.
This morning I was groggily washing up when I stopped because I noticed a huge patch of black on my head. I stopped because just the night before it wasn’t there, it was only scalp; but overnight there was this sudden growth of hair that made no sense at all.
It wasn’t even baby hair, it was properly grown hair that is black and luscious and soft to touch. I stared at it, touched it, ruffled through it, pulled at it to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, and only after a few minutes had passed before my emotions caught up with me and I started choking up because I realised what had happened: A divine healing had taken place while I was asleep.
A divine healing. Even typing this is bringing tears to my eyes because only God knows exactly how long and how badly I have yearned for this.
Only God knows those moments behind closed doors when I had wept myself to sleep, or prayed on my knees till they went weak, or railed against the heavens with clenched fists questioning if He truly is a good God like I have always believed.
But right now, in this moment, my faithful Lord, my Jehovah Rapha, has left an indelible healing mark on me that defies all logic.
I had prayed for healing for years upon years and those closest to me would know how my faith and spirit had been broken over and over again, and then refined over and over again in the process.
Yet even in my gratitude for all the good that has come out of my struggle with alopecia, I had always carried an unresolved pain because physically I was still unhealed. Right up till last month I was still wrestling with God over this; I asked what would it take for Him to heal me and still there was no direct response except an “I love you, I have not forsaken you”.
“But where is the healing that You have promised?” I cried. A five-year wait is too long for something You can do in an instant. And again there was only a reassurance that He is with me, which brought comfort but did little to resolve the disappointment. Hope deferred had sickened the heart (Proverbs 13:12).
Then exactly a week ago during a Hillsong service in Melbourne, the visiting pastor closed off the session with a prayer of healing. He told us to put our hands over our hearts, which I begrudgingly did, and he prayed that by the end of the week we will see a tangible result.
I had thought to myself then that I’ve made such prayers countless times, and frankly I doubted anything was going to be different this time. But I guess no harm giving this another shot.
And this shot, this shot in the dark, hit the ball straight out of the park because not only had my hair grown miraculously overnight right before the week ended – when I texted my mum about it, she told me that just the day before her friend had spoken to her about getting baptised as a proclamation of faith if my hair grows out.
And at that moment I broke down because the waiting all made sense now – that if this long and arduous wait for healing was, in fact, to prepare my mum’s heart to receive Him, then the waiting was worth it. Every single second of it. And God knew from the very beginning.
You see, the Christian walk is funny this way: You very rarely get what you want but you will always get what you need if you trust Him. I have lost count of the number of times I was absolutely certain that God was withholding from me what is good, only to be proven wrong time and again that He had in fact prepared a lavish feast for me – I was only too blind to see it.
I am a myopic fool of little faith that constantly falls prey to the lies of the enemy, yet He who holds me is faithful beyond measure and His word never returns void. Never. Even in my faithlessness and unfaithfulness, He holds me fast and always comes through for me in His perfect timing, even if that meant a five-year wait.
At Worship and Creative Conference last week, my favourite worship lyricist Benjamin Hastings led us in worship with his new song (possibly) titled “Ascent”. And every time I sang that song I would weep uncontrollably because Ben put words to feelings I didn’t know I had, and this morning as we sang the song again during service, I found myself on my knees proclaiming these words:
I will praise You on the mountain
I will praise You when the mountain’s in my way
You’re the summit where my feet are
So I will praise You in the valleys all the same
No less God within the shadows
No less faithful when the night leads me astray
You’re the heaven where my heart is
In the highlands and the heartache all the same
In the highlands and the heartache, You are faithful, my sweet Jesus. You are loving and patient and kind and generous and gracious and forgiving and merciful and wise and all things good; how beautiful, how wonderful, how powerful is Your Name that saves.
Take this life, Lord, it’s Yours. Have my heart, have it all.
And you my friend who are reading this, I don’t know if you believe in Jesus, but I do. I believe that God is a good, good Father who is madly in love with me (and you), and He who lacks nothing for some ridiculous reason called love would move heaven and earth to pursue my heart (and yours).
Whatever season you may be going through, especially if it is one that has wrecked your spirit, I hope you know that you are so loved and He is for you. That even in your unbelief He is there, He has always been and will always be. And if you will, come to Him, all you who are weary and burdened, and He will give you rest.
This was originally See Ting’s Facebook post, and has been republished with permission.