“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be alarmed, for I am your God. I give you strength; truly I help you, truly I hold you firm with my saving right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
I wonder, in all that we do, all that we plan, and all that we manage, just how much is within our control?
When we plan for a holiday, for example, a lot of items we include in our itinerary are based on careful planning and background research. And yet, when the actual day arrives, things often do not go according to plan.
So when someone comments, “Wow, so adventurous! You have done this, and you have done that”, I ask myself how much is courage? How much is foolishness? How much trust did I have in God to take care of me?
In my mind, I know I am prepared to handle different scenarios that may present itself – whether A, B, or C. What about Scenario D that says, “Your time is up”? We know this scenario can happen anytime. It is the main reason why we purchase insurance plans. A few months back, I was reminded of this – of my own mortality. At that moment, I decided to let go and let God.
There comes a point in life where we have to realise that we must surrender everything to Him. With God as our guide, we can live our best lives, handling the good and the bad the best we can. And we should not punish ourselves for our mistakes. Instead, we should find ways to learn and grow from it. We are but human, after all. We will make mistakes. We will face struggles. But it is the strong human who gets up and continues.
We see such strength and resilience in Jeremy Lim, Evelyn Chng, Tony Kee, Peria Nayakhi Manivasagam, and Madam Jamalia Shariff. Jeremy did not let the challenges arising from his brittle bone disease get him down. And Evelyn and Tony, who are caregivers of a son with obsessive compulsive disorder, actively sought help and ways to better support their son at home. Ms Peria Nayakhi and Madam Jamalia, both of whom are mothers of three, overcame challenges and worked hard to support their family.
I read somewhere that we should smile through the pain. The act of smiling triggers the brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters like endorphins. This makes the pain more manageable and allows us to continue strong.
Every evening, as I look for the moon or the stars, I would smile and tell myself to also look at what God has given me, and continue.
- Generation Grit: He broke his bones more than a hundred times but his spirit was unbreakable (The Straits Times, 1 Oct 2019)
- ‘We even thought of ending our lives’: A family’s struggle with their child’s OCD and how they came out on top (Channel NewsAsia, 5 Oct 2019)
- Award for mother of 3 who showed resilience in hard times (The Straits Times, 6 Oct 2019)
Anita Sebastian is part of the Communications team at Caritas Singapore. She is dreaming of high mountains and deep oceans.