Being the youngest in the family, I always felt that I had to submit to my parents. I was afraid to communicate with them because whenever I voiced out my opinions, tension would arise, and we would argue. So, I remained in silence.

2019 was, indeed a challenging year for me. I had to head back to my home country for a few times due to some family matters. Thus I faced many challenges with finding a full-time job in Brisbane. My parents told me to find a full-time job that is relevant to my study by June 2019. Otherwise, I had to be back to Malaysia permanently. There were a lot of family commitments since the end of last year, so I could only start to look for a job in March 2019.

Throughout the 3 months, I became anxious. I dared not talk to my parents or any of my family member except my eldest sister because nobody understood how I felt. They would always force me to come home and work with them. I told them that my plan is to stay in Brisbane for 1 year to look for a job. The struggle came whenever my parents called me, and I distanced myself away from them because I know they are going to speak to me negatively. Their words will affect my emotions and thinking. My parents gave up on me, instead asked my sister’s boyfriend to convince me. He would be the middle person, fixing my issues and helping me talk to my parents about my thoughts. At the end of May 2019, my sister’s boyfriend contacted me as I did not want to speak to my parents or family members. I suppressed all my feelings because I felt that they would not listen to me. I started to visualise what they might say and do to me, I became to think that my family were against me.

As a result, I confided all my concerns and thoughts to my close Christian friends and my mentor. I felt so upset and cranky from the middle till late this year. However, I am beyond grateful that I have the support from the church and my life group’s friends to walk the journey with me. More importantly, catching up with my mentor alone has been so precious to me. She has taught me so many practical steps to approach and how to communicate with my family members. She is not tired of listening to my struggles, she always there to cheer me up, messages me or meets up to see how I am doing. She also encourages me and always points me back to Christ. She is so genuine, and I cannot emphasise enough how important meeting my mentor is. The community and fellowship is a key ingredient as Christ followers. It helps us to encourage one another, point us back to the word of God and spur us to continue to glorify God.
Thank God for placing my mentor, life-group friends, my close Christian friends and my eldest sister around me. They have indeed been my pillar of support and have helped me to be bold and courageous to speak to my family members. My relationship with my family has improved a lot.

Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Paige Tam
Bachelor of HR
Elevate S4, Hope Church St Lucia