Family, Health, School

At age 3, she fell and lost her hearing – but later found healing for the “wounds of her soul”

By Tan Huey Ying , 14 November 2023

“It wasn’t my fault that you fell. It’s your balance that was no good.”

Wearing her brand new hearing aid, 12-year-old Edelyne Lau, heard her father say these words.

She had just been diagnosed with moderate hearing loss. There was no cure for it, and her hearing would deteriorate as she got older.

Answers to questions

The diagnosis answered some questions the quiet pre-teen had never thought to ask.

Why is it so hard to understand what people around me are saying?

She hated her hearing disability and the rejection that came with it.

Why does my teacher sound so far away even though she is so near?

Why do my classmates have weird looks on their faces whenever I speak?

When an audiologist said the damage had been caused by brain trauma, Edelyne’s father revealed something that she had not known before: She had fallen down a flight of stairs when she was three. She hit her head and later developed a high fever.

Instead of taking her to the doctor, her father waited for the fever to subside over the next few days.

It wasn’t necessary to spend money on a medical check-up, he told her.

Edelyne Lau

Edelyne (standing, second from right) with her kindergarten classmates.

Young Edelyne didn’t know how to react. She suddenly felt embarrassed and ashamed.

She resented her parents. They had not realised she had a hearing impairment until a school nurse raised her concerns with them.

During her PSLE year, she refused to speak to anyone. Instead, she wrote notes to communicate with teachers and classmates.

Already ridiculed because of the way she spoke, Edelyne clammed up after being diagnosed.

During her entire PSLE year, she refused to speak to anyone.

Instead, she wrote notes to communicate with her teachers and classmates. It did not help her social life.

“I think that was where my inferiority complex developed,” she said. 

A rocky start

Edelyne didn’t have a happy childhood.

Her father had anger management issues. 

Edelyne Lau

Edelyne (centre) with her younger brother (right) and cousin.

Triggered by the smallest annoyances, he punished Edelyne and her younger brother with canes and whatever objects were lying around. Edelyne remembers a particularly frightening episode when a chopper was brandished.

Her mother, on the other hand, battled depression. She once told Edelyne: “If you don’t see me in the house, that means I’m at the void deck.”

Even in primary school, Edelyne understood it meant that her mother was suicidal. 

“I was insecure, easily offended, yet I sought love and acceptance.”

In her teenage years, issues of identity and self-worth surfaced: Why am I like this? Why does my life seem so full of suffering? What did I do to deserve a father who didn’t love me?

“I hated my life,” Edelyne, now 48, recalled.

“I was an emotional wreck – insecure, easily offended, unable to express myself.

“Yet I wanted to prove myself to others and I sought their love and acceptance.”

Edelyne lived for the weekend when she would party and drink away her sorrows.

Edelyne Lau

Edelyne graduated from polytechnic with a diploma in graphic design. Her dad financed her studies, and she paid him back when she got her first job.

Material goods offered a comfort that was temporary.

“I tried to camouflage my insecurity through my appearance and drew satisfaction from the interest I got from guys,” she admitted.

Love trumps hate

Edelyne was in polytechnic when a classmate told her: “God loves you.”

The words made no sense to her.

She hated her hearing disability and the rejection that came with it.

She hated her parents and their lack of love for her.

She even hated life and the notion of a God who allowed the suffering that came with it.

She rejected her friend’s repeated invitations to attend church. But her friend persisted.

Edelyne was annoyed and decided to end the matter by going.

“I shall go with you and I’ll challenge your God,” she thought to herself.

“I heard God tell me clearly: I love you.” 

“But God did something supernatural that day,” Edelyne said.

As she approached Faith Community Baptist Church in Marine Parade, Edelyne heard the strains of a song coming from it.

“I love You, I love You, I love You,” came the chorus of the song “Dwelling Place” by Hillsong Worship. The song was written for worshippers to tell God how they love Him with all their heart.

The lyrics rang loud and clear above the distant echoey buzz from her hearing aid.

For Edelyne, on that specific day, it meant much more.

“I heard God tell me clearly: I love you,” said Edelyne.

“I was so touched by this affirmation. I felt loved by Someone, finally and for the first time.”

Standing at the entrance outside the hall, she broke down and cried. 

“I had so much hate for my father, and it suddenly disappeared.”

After the service, Edelyne went to the front of the church and invited Jesus into her life.

She went through counselling and deliverance at a church and after a year, found the ability to forgive her father.

She decided she would try to “serve my dad with love and honour him” even though he had not changed. For example, she would buy him meals or his favourite food, and help around the home when he needed something.

“I had so much hate for him, and it suddenly disappeared,” she said.

“That was supernatural.” 

“I think your God is real”

As a young Christian, Edelyne spent hours reading the Bible. She devoured the message of God’s love for her. It filled the lack that she had grown up with. 

But there was still the reality of her hearing, which continues to decline over the years.

If God could heal, then why hadn’t He healed her?

“I think your God is real,” her father said unexpectedly. “My daughter is very different now; she has changed.”

She prayed and challenged God.

Conflicted and unsure of how to come to terms with God’s silence, Edelyne continued to seek solace in the clubbing and drinking.

“I still faced a lot of rejection and struggled to accept myself and the way I speak,” she said.

But as she grew in the faith, Edelyne also realised that it was her perspective that needed a re-orientation.

I had to tell myself to keep going back to the Bible to bank on the promises of God. 

“Because God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” she said.

“That was when my life started to change. Then I almost literally, lived on God’s love.”

Several years after becoming a Christian, Edelyne’s grandfather passed away. At his funeral, Edelyne’s dad approached her cell group leader.

“Unexpectedly, he said, ‘I think your God is real’. My daughter is very different now; she has changed.” 

Edelyne Lau

Edelyne (front row, second from right) with her cell group from church.

Even though he was not a Christian, her father’s behaviour towards Edelyne and her brother softened. He did not explode in rage, and was more in control of his emotions.

Home life became peaceful and harmonious.

Healing the wounds of her soul

Today, Edelyne’s hearing continues to worsen with age. 

Without bitterness, she says that she will eventually lose her hearing entirely – possibly even before she turns 60. 

God has healed her “wounds of the soul”, says Edelyne. 

“I may not hear very well physically. But spiritually, I can hear God audibly.”

“Those who know me can see how God has changed my life,” she said.

“God has not shortchanged me.

“I may not hear very well physically. But spiritually, I can hear God audibly.”

It comes as a small, still voice. 

It includes insights that could have only come from God, which she relays to encourage those she prays for at church – to show that God knows and loves them.

“And perhaps that serves God’s higher purpose for me.”

This is an excerpt of an article that first appeared in Salt&Light.

If you would like to know more about Jesus, click here to find a church near you.


In and out of jail till he was 60, this father and his daughter battled cancer together

I experienced a supernatural comfort that helped me to love the father who abandoned me … twice

Related articles
Tell Me More
Feeling lost in life?
This is default text for notification bar