I Am Not Alone

By Chuah Hui Ling

Columban Lay Missionaries Sophia
Ting (left) and Chuah Hui Ling "Teresa" 

My name is Teresa, but most people here call me Ling. I was born in Malaysia and before coming to Fiji, I lived in New Zealand for eleven years.

Everything went smoothly for me for the first five months after arriving here in Fiji. I was joyful, confident, full of life and enthusiastic. I thank God every day for showering me with his goodness. I always remember the Bible verse: There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. (Ecc3:1)

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) was a life-giving program for me, and the ministries brought fulfillment to my life. However, it also brought changes in myself which confused my fellow candidates, because I needed my space and quiet time with the Lord. I explained to them that I went through a feeling of emptiness, loneliness, struggle, and doubt. I am grateful they understood and gave me the space I needed.

Community life continues to help me grow, to be more human. The act of kindness and love starts from home – despite our differences, we learn to respect and accept each other, especially in how we communicate and clarify things, even if that means confronting one another. Community life has also helped me see my own weaknesses which I may not have been aware of or been very comfortable with. I have to step out of my comfort zone to venture into a new place, new home, new culture. Indeed, community life has taught me to be patient, to be tolerant, to accept, to grow, to adapt, to be flexible, and most of all to trust God. I have learned we all are broken people, but if I am open and honest, there is always help available. And I have come to understand more deeply that we all need one another.

My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trails” (Sirach 2:1), but the beauty in the time of trials, is knowing that I am not alone, and that my faith will always strengthen me. God continues to place people on my path to journey with me.

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