The year 2018 was a difficult year for me with challenges on various fronts that caused me to be down spiritually and emotionally.

Due to budget cuts, increased patient loads and work demands, work became very stressful and I ended up working unpaid overtime almost on a daily basis. On top of that, my boss, who motivated me and supported me for nearly 14 years, resigned. Instead of waking up and enjoying going to work, I dreaded waking up to go to work each morning.

During that time, I started having diarrhoea as I was about to leave for work every morning. It caused me to be late for work, and resulted in complaints from a doctor for being late for his meetings. This happened on almost a daily basis for over 6 months. Despite my effort to leave earlier – one time I left 30 minutes earlier – or take a different route, I would still be 15 minutes late. The diarrhoea also put my plans for a ministry trip to India on hold. My iron level at the time also continued to drop despite being on double the amount of my normal supplements. It caused me to be physically tired, which in turn affected me spiritually.

On the financial front, there were many expenses from my car needing to be repaired four times within a six-month period, and the repair bills for 2 major water leaks at my property, one involving the water main and needing excavation to repair. 

All these things seemed to happen one after another. Despite my best effort to trust God and rejoice in Him, I found myself breaking down and crying one morning as I was driving to work, asking God why He had allowed all these to happen, and when it would end. At times it was a struggle to continue to come to God and trust in Him. However, God reminded me through Proverbs3:5-6“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.” He reminded me that He is a faithful God and He will not make me go through more than what I can bear, and His grace is always sufficient for me as I go through difficult circumstances.

He gave me peace to know that everything would be alright as my bowels were being investigated. Despite being diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, I now only have occasional diarrhoea. I was able to go to India in October for a ministry trip with Ps Lai Ling, where God moved in a powerful way.

Many people have left my workplace over the last 6 months. Though the workloads could still be heavy at times, and I ended up working overtime, I still love my job and the difference it is making to the patients I treat. Through my work situation and the many things that happened last year, God has helped me to understand myself better, my strengths, my weaknesses, and to know that I can take on more challenges than I think, when my priority and focus are on Him.

Ngoc Tran
EW2 Lifegroup