The sufferings, illnesses and deaths of people close to her led Ms Chew Shiuan Han on a spiritual search.
Face with the passing of her mother-in-law, her sister from illness and a godson in an accident, Ms Chew decided that she needed a new vision on life.
A friend brought her to the adoration room at the Church of St Bernadette at a time when she felt mentally exhausted and angry. It was there that she found renewed strength to cope with life’s challenges, she shared.
She then decided to embrace Catholicism as she felt “comfortable with a belief that God existed”. Furthermore, she admired Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II, she added.
However, after joining the RCIA programme at the Church of St Bernadette, Ms Chew said she encountered a “personal problem” and her options were to drop out or take the more challenging route of continuing with the journey. She chose the latter.
However, for six months, she wrestled inwardly as what she learnt about Christ and His teachings hit her “in the gut”, as she put it.
Then she fractured her shoulder and had to stay at home. “I learnt to depend on others, had time to pray and think of God,” she recalled. At the end of one month, “I decided to take the leap of faith,” she said.
She is grateful for the support of the RCIA team who reached out to her even though they were facing their own challenges. Such gestures moved her deeply, she said.
“I accept that suffering is essential in polishing and awakening our souls to seek the purity of His goodness and His love,” she said. “Without it, I don’t think I could be humble and also let go of my independence of will.”
She added that she is now “less judgemental” and understands why forgiveness is important. She has also learnt to trust in God and her baptism has given her “a strong sense of coming home”.
She said she will now put God first and through Him, to “make family ties, friendship bonds even stronger” as well to continue to be supportive of friends who are ill.
Link: New Catholics share their faith journey