But her life was thrown into turmoil again when World War II broke out and the Japanese invaded Singapore.
She tried to flee to India on a ship but the ship sank after it was bombed by the Japanese. She was rescued by a fisherman and taken to Sumatra only to be captured by the Japanese.
For three years, she was tortured and beaten, and was nearly made a comfort woman.
"My faith helped me through my darkest periods," says the Anglican.
After the war, she helped comfort women at the Social Hygiene Hospital before returning to work at St Andrew's.
In the late 1940s, she became the first nurse from Singapore to study nursing in Britain. Two years after she returned in 1952, she became the first Asian nurse to be appointed hospital matron at St Andrew's.
In 1959, she married an Australian doctor, Errol Strang. The couple moved to Australia in the late 1960s after working stints in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.
Writing and publishing Sold For Silver took several years.
"I wrote quickly but had to stop many times because it was very emotionally draining. I was always crying," she recalls.
Of all the upheavals in her life, she says being lied to by her mother was the most traumatic.
"She lied to me and told me we were going away and we would be happy. I trusted her but she took me away to be sold instead."
Madam Lim devoted her life to raising her three children after settling down in Australia. Her husband died in 2002, but she kept herself busy with Bible study classes and gardening. A fall last year has slowed her down.
Mrs Eleisha Strang, who works as a bookkeeper, says her mother-in-law - who will be attending the launch of the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame on Friday - is a remarkable woman."She's extremely resilient. If I had experienced what she did, I know I would never live to 90 without being resentful and bitter.
"She has a lot of strength, and it has allowed her to forgive the people who have wronged her."
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