Skip to main content

A Special Gift on a Special Day

I have more to write about Mikael but first I want to share something amazing that happened yesterday, the first anniversary of his death.

In the last few days, many have written to me (and Tom) letting me (us) know they are thinking of us, praying for us, giving encouragement, etc.  One of these revealed that she too has loss she is struggling with and shared a passage from the Bible that has helped her.  She added this: “God has wanted to be the "ONE" for me. … My struggle is how do I feel his arms around me. How can I curl on the sofa with him. Where is the physical presence of a warm, comforting presence.”

I immediately thought of the first time I experienced God’s arms around me.  I wrote about it in my book, Searching for Love,” and suggested she read it; but then God told me her need was more immediate so I dug out the digital manuscript to copy and paste and send her that portion.  You can find a copy of that here.

Yesterday she wrote back to me.  I could hardly believe what I was reading. It was a gift to me, a very special touch from God on the first anniversary of our son’s death.  Here is what she wrote (she has given me permission to share this):

I sat down this morning to imagine myself in the lap of God and to say over and over “He loves me”, while I felt His comforting arms around me. Well, of course; things happen to attempt to distract you, or perhaps is God testing you to see if you are totally committed. Some were that I didn't feel well so perhaps this wasn’t the best day. Then it was just another cup of coffee then perhaps I will feel more awake and motivated. Then a friend called. Eventually, it came to either I was going to do it, or I wasn’t. I then thought that 40 minutes was a really long time and maybe I would do it just for 20 minutes. For the first, you know. I might have to work my way into spending 40 minutes alone with my father. Then I became convicted that He wants all of me, not just half. Of course I knew that, but I just wasn’t completely convinced that this was what I needed to do, or that it would work. What was I thinking? Do I believe? Yes, but…
I set my timer and sat in my favourite chair, closed my eyes and started to say in my mind “He loves me.” I found it difficult and my mind would wander to vacuuming, making dinner, my woes, but I would catch myself and continue saying “He loves me.” I could not visualize a face, but I had the body and the hand, and he was dressed in white. The absent face did not matter because I was in his lap with my cheek against his chest looking at his arms around me. Perhaps five or ten minutes into this process some strange things started to happen. My hands became His hands. They gently rubbed and caressed my shoulders, and my fingers gently stroked my forehead and cheeks. Then I heard things in mind “you are wonderfully and perfectly made”, your face is beautiful”, “you are beautiful”. When my mind started to wander I heard “Shhhhh….rest”. This went on for some time.
What happened next was the most astonishing and I was not prepared for it. I have had some medical problems with my stomach, colon, and heart. Some of it quite serious. My hands moved from the gentle touching and caressing of my face and shoulders and I knew that they had become hands of healing and I was to to place both hands on my abdomen and hold them there firmly and believe I was being healed. I did this for quite a long time. I was still saying “he loves me” and I was hearing “trust and believe”. Oh, just writing that brought a tear to my eye.
Next, I felt I was to heal my heart. I’m thinking of the rapid heartbeat and all the things that have caused so much worry and stress. What happened again was most unexpected. My left hand stayed on my abdomen, firmly in place. My right hand went and covered my heart with my fingers spread as wide as they could go. It was like they covered a chasm. As deep cried out to deep, great wracking sobs came from the depth of my soul, but no tears. I couldn’t breathe as the pain and grief was enormous and overwhelming. I kept saying “he loves me” and I heard “Breath”. I knew that I was breathing in God. He was being my breath and giving me new life again. Then it seemed like the hand over my heart was getting bigger until it covered my entire chest. A giant hand over my chest and another hand tightly over my abdomen; wrapped in the arms of God. “He loves me, He loves me” I repeated over and over. Then I heard “Give it to me, let me take it”. I thought I can’t forgive myself and I heard very distinctly “You don’t have to, because I already have. Perfectly. Now let me take it from you.”
There was no conscious decision or thought of giving it over, but just comfort and trust. I felt warm and protected wrapped in the arms of God. A little less than 3 minutes remained, when the workmen arrived and started to bang on the walls, so I thought the moment was gone. I opened my eyes to turn off the timer, and as soon as I opened them, dozens of tears poured down my cheek!! It was like they had all been stored up under my eyelids!! I have never experienced such a weird and strange thing. I did turn off the alarm, but yet my father called me to rest a little longer in his arms. My eyes were closed with my hands pressed to my eyes for maybe about 5 more minutes.
Then I got up to start making my soup, and doing some tidying. I felt refreshed, renewed. Something has changed and I have been transformed. I know it isn’t finished, but something had definitely happened.
She ended by saying how God came “to rescue my shattered self.” See what I mean by a gift from God?  What better gift could he have given me than the story of how, through a little thing I wrote, he touched someone so powerfully? God is good.


Popular posts from this blog

About the Author


I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …