I was raised in a very typical Asian family. For them, achieving harmony is the most important thing. So when problems arose, we would not talk about them fearing it would negatively affect our relationships. Because of this, I concluded that conflicts were always bad. To keep the peace, I avoid confrontation and argument.
When I graduated from university in 2017, I prayed for God to show me His direction for a job. He responded by showing me a vision of me working with the elderly in the community. I knew God was calling me to this field, and I’ve always had a special heart of compassion for the elderly. However, I studied business at university and had no qualifications in elderly care.
When I applied to work at a Senior Activity Centre, I was rejected twice.
I almost lost hope in this dream.
But God continuously reassured me that He gave me this heart of compassion for a reason.
After 4 months, the Holy Spirit spoke to me at work regarding my dreams. He told me to send my resume to once again. While I was hesitant at first, I decided to obey the Holy Spirit and sent in my resume. That very day, I was called up for an interview, and I got the job! Our God is truly is a God of miracles!
Although this job was clearly God-given, work was not always smooth-sailing. We have an elderly lady under the care of our centre (I’ll refer to her as Mdm. A) who the team knew for quite some time. However, because of some unpleasant encounters in the past, she became hostile. She refused to open the door during monthly visits and even yelled things like "you are here to harm me!"
Last year, we discovered that she developed knee pains which made it difficult to move.. Because of this, she was not able to get her own meals. Even though I doubted Mdm. A would respond, I told her social worker I would like to help. Before going to her house, I prayed for God to soften her heart. When I knocked on her door, as usual, there was no response. Initially, I was terrified and imagined the worst scenarios, such as her chasing me away with a broom or throwing things at me. But at that moment,
the Holy Spirit reminded me that He did not give me a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind.
As I felt God’s presence with me, my fears melted away. I continued to knock on the door. Finally, she responded. But she told me to go away and I wanted to give up. But I could hear the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, “Don’t go yet, stay. Trust in Me." I then asked God for the words to say and He told me to talk to her about her physical needs. And so I did.
Miraculously, she opened the door and even invited me inside! I was shocked! She began opening up about her bad experiences as well as the fall that led to the knee problems.
After listening, she agreed to renew her membership with us. The team and I also agreed to bring her lunch on weekdays. Although I cannot solve all her problems, I can serve her in practical ways.
These acts will assure her that she is not forgotten and is cared for, just as our Heavenly Father cares and provides for us.
Some of my seniors were shocked to witness this change in Mdm. A. They saw her change from being bitter and grumpy to a more happy and grateful individual.
She socialises with the other seniors and actively participates in the daily programmes. Only God could have created this change. I'm so glad that Holy Spirit guided and taught me how to bring about this process of reconciliation. Even my colleagues acknowledge it could only be an act from God!
My fear of confrontation did not end with just my clients. Recently, my supervisor raised her voice at me because of a minor misunderstanding at work. I was deeply affected and felt so lousy about myself. However the Holy Spirit again prompted me. This time, to forgive my supervisor, and reconcile with her. Initially, I refused for I feared how she would respond.
But the Holy Spirit was persistent. He kept tugging at my heart, and I knew I had to obey. When I finally gained the courage to confront her, she replied that she didn’t realised she had raised her voice at me. She was very apologetic and thanked me for raising this issue.
If I had not obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit, the misunderstanding could have strained our relationship or evolved into bitterness.
But because I chose to obey and reconcile, He restored that relationship.
When we choose to approach people with love and humility, God can restore any relationship! Matthew 5:21-25 tells us that if we are at the altar and realise that we need to reconcile with someone, we should leave immediately and go to them. That’s how much God values reconciliation.
I'd would like to encourage everyone to listen and obey the Holy Spirit. He is our personal guide in navigating difficult relationships, even with people that are difficult to love.