Friday, September 17, 2010

Hug Them and Make Sure They Know You Care

I have learned NOT to check e-mails and surf the web too often because they could be distraction! It is much better to intentionally use technology as tools and set my time limits. However, I appreciate the internet in time of needs.

I’m speaking at a woman’s retreat this coming weekend so I was busy preparing my message all day yesterday. Just before going to bed, I read e-mails and saw an urgent prayer request from one of my prayer groups: “So and so just called. Her mother is in ER now and … not breathing. She is crying … just ask us to pray for her.”

I prayed, then something arrived from the sister herself, “Thanks for your prayer. Here is updated info of my mother ... ICU … I will trust in Lord totally … Peace be with us!”

I gave thanks to God and sent a short note. Another sister wrote, “May I go to the hospital to see you and your mom tomorrow” and to the rest of us, “Dear Sisters, Can any one of you come with me tomorrow to the hospital to see her and her mom? … In the mean time, let all of our prayers to be with her and we pray that her mom is in God’s perfect protection.”

I felt disappointed that I could not go, but comforted that our community is helping each other. All I could do is pray!

I haven’t written you since June because I have been traveling with my husband this summer to quite a few places for discipleship training conferences and a Chinese writing camp. I will tell you more when I have time but right now I want to share a news that caught my eyes last night before I turned off my laptop.

The headline is “Grieving widow thanks gamers for their support” and I saw a photo of a very happy looking young couple. I clicked on the story … “the wife of a video game designer killed in a horrific car accident is saying "thank you" to all the gamers who have supported her and her unborn child during the darkest days of her life.”

“Erin Wood was married to Brian Wood, the 33-year-old lead designer of the forthcoming game … On Sept. 3, Brian was driving his wife — pregnant with their first child — when an oncoming Chevy Blazer weaved wildly and then crashed into them.”

I could not stop crying when I watched an interview of the 31-year-old widow Erin Wood. What touched me the most is what she said at the end,

“If he hadn’t turned the wheel, … head-on crash … both of us and our baby would be killed. He saved us … How selfless he was. Excited for the baby, incredibly loving towards me, always putting me first. He’s an amazing guy. It breaks my heart and fill me with gratefulness … He is remembered as someone willing to … Can’t say I am coping well … Just draw strength from knowing that he made that choice, I can’t waste that gift. He wouldn’t want me to … I’ll eat, sleep, take my vitamins, do my job as a mom … focus on the joy of our baby … ”

“It is a reminder to everyone just hug your family and love them and make sure they know you care about them because I really would give anything to see Brian and hug him one more time and so remind everyone to do that.”

James was already asleep so I sat there and processed my feelings and thoughts. I prayed for them and couples I have helped, and people who refused my help. I thought about Tiger Wood and his wife. How sad it is that people do not treasure what they already have!

I prayed and went to bed, lying there quietly reciting and singing in my head Psalm 23, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want …” and I fell asleep.

Early this morning when we woke up, I told James what happened last night. We were able to share our feelings and thoughts for 10-15 minutes. He gave me a big hug and I hugged him.

How precious it is to be loved, cared about, and hugged? Have you hugged the people you love lately? Do they really know you care about them?

When I heard the story about sacrifice, I thought about Romans 5:1-8.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

At 7:32 a.m., another sister wrote that she already visited our friend and prayed with her, and she would pick up our other friend and go to the hospital …

I am so grateful that we are surrounded by praying friends. Even when I am traveling and sometimes could not read e-mails for days, I know there are people out there praying for us. Knowing there is a God who loves and cares has given me daily comfort and hope to go on.

Another part of Erin’s story is about community. Brian was a lead designer on games, and the gamer community poured out their love, support , and set up a trust fund for the young widow and their unborn child, you may read the story (in English) at

I can’t tell you enough how grateful I am for God, my family and friends. Thank YOU for reading my newsletter and giving me feedback and encouragement. Each of you is unique and special. I wish you know God loves you, not just in your head but deep in your heart.

Life is beautiful and we all have limited time on earth, let’s accept and appreciate each other daily! Send me your prayer requests -- I will pray for you immediately when I read your request, even though I might not have time to write you back!

You may read my experience with some of my prayer partners and support group (in Chinese) at

Don’t forget to hug someone and let them know how much you love and care about them TODAY!

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Winnis Chiang, MA, MFT, Founder and Director of Parenting ABC, is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and English, she specializes in helping couples and parents of American Born Chinese. To find out more about her programs and services, visit or call 925-806-8600.