I always believed that girls should be independent. Since young, I liked to think independently, deal with problems in my way and create my own safety zone so I could protect myself. It had become the biggest challenge in my Christian life which is to put my own agenda aside, learn to trust and rely on God.

In October 2019, due to stress from work, study, placement, job interviews and family, I broke down emotionally and my physical health also got affected. I was disappointed that I could not achieve my goals and blamed myself for being so useless. The frustration was driving me crazy. In that situation, my usual coping mechanism started to function so I hid myself at home and did not want to have any contact with the world outside. It was also this time where there were dangerous thoughts and all I want was to give up.

However, God is faithful and merciful. In every situation, He is always there. During the countless night when I struggled with insomnia, His voice was always speaking to me. Whenever I questioned myself about the future, I could hear him say “Trust me! I will never leave you or forsake you so be strong and courageous”. My initial response was “Lord, I trust you but I do not trust myself and I cannot see anything bright in front”. Nothing changed until a morning when I needed to sit a test. I told myself that I should just give up the test because I would not be able to do it well and I would feel even worse when the results came out. While I was battling with myself, I heard His voice again with the same words. I clearly knew that at that point of time I had nothing to help me completing the test but strength from Him. This time, I chose to trust Him with action. I sat through the test despite sickness and passed the test by His grace. The surprising result was a turning point for me during the down time. It gave me some hope to persevere and move forward, and it was all by God.

In November 2019, I finally completed my academic journey. By God’s grace, I was able to secure a full-time job prior to graduation. It is an ending but also a starting point. I am still struggling with my emotions, battling with my desires and learning to surrender. Despite all these, I have learned the biggest lesson: God will always be with me in the journey ahead.

Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.”

Afra Yang
Master of Social Work Studies