Amazing Graces – Testimonies


With God’s Grace and the Helping Hand of St Jude Thaddeus

Fear is an emotion that we all feel. As human beings, it is ingrained in us from time immemorial. And it is from treading with the heightened instincts of fight or flight with the fear centre well-activated, alongside agile responsiveness, that our ancient forefathers survived treacherous and almost uninhabitable times.

However, with life having advanced tens of thousands of years later, and with the modern technologically driven and frenetic life we live today, the sources and triggers of fear are vastly different from that of fighting physical danger for survival. Instead, we find ourselves fighting fear and the darkness of emotional and mental mammoths. 

Mental health challenges are expanding at an alarming rate. It has no prejudice – it cuts through race, culture, nationalities, gender, age. In fact, today’s youth is facing an inner enemy that relentlessly undermines their inner security, self-worth and robs them of the freedom and joy that growing up is meant to offer as part of the natural course of life.

My daughter, who is dyslexic and displays signs of undiagnosed Generalised Anxiety Syndrome (GAD) with constant high anxiety and catastrophising, struggles especially with fear of failure. This fear of outcomes and “failure” in her perspective is particularly overwhelming when she faces national exams. At 12 years of age, when she was preparing for her first major milestone examinations to enter high school, her anxiety intensified to the extent that she was either panicky or spaced-out. She then sunk into extreme trichotillomania as a coping mechanism until she was bald on half of her head. We sought counselling, worked with therapeutic coping strategies, watched over her and tried our best to uplift her. But most of all, we prayed to Our Lord Jesus Christ for help and healing for our daughter. With the grace of God, she did well for her exams but more importantly, we prayed and hoped that she gained from the experience that growth, confidence and faith is what matters rather than outcomes, fear and self-judgement.

Four years later, she faced her GCE O level examinations amidst the drastic disruptions of Covid19, upheavals in the family besieged with ill health, including cancer, a brain cyst and dengue fever and more. In the same year, I was diagnosed with PTSD and depression following an accident. Alongside my daughter’s own increasing anxiety, this was a recipe for stormy outbursts and seething standoffs, and on the other extreme, retreats into total avoidance and recreation of reality.

Totally unlike her usual over-conscientious self, she avoided studying and spent 7 months of the year repeatedly telling us she’s doing just fine when we tried to help, dismissing our concerns angrily. Then, just weeks before her exams, she stood up one night and began shouting agitatedly that she wasn’t ready for her O levels and wanted to defer it to the next year. Without giving us room to sit down to discuss it, she screamed that she had made her mind up and we didn’t need to talk as nothing we would say would make her change her mind. This was a harrowing time for all of us as a family. Not only was she of course suffering deeply, it affected dad, our other kids, especially our youngest. On some days, I felt that I was drowning under the weight of my care and concern for her, the family alongside my own health issues.

Through my own physical, emotional and psychological battles, the Holy Spirit and God’s divine Grace and love kept me, kept us afloat. I had to thresh though the darkness, depression and my own fears to create time and space to come up for pockets of air, to sit with Jesus and breathe in His love and grace. We prayed as a family and called often upon God to come and let His Holy Spirit shine within us, to fill us with Faith and to sustain us with His overflowing fountain of love and calm.

Even whilst we trusted and called out to our Lord God Himself for help, God’s chosen Saints surrounded us, and blessed us with special protection, guidance and help along the difficult path. Saint Gerard Majella, Patron Saint of mothers and children, was a constant companion and a gentle and uplifting source for me. And with hearts full of gratitude, we were protected and assisted by Saint Jude Thaddeus, powerful protector and patron saint of desperate needs and hopeless cases, who was especially on hand for us and with us throughout. Through the upheavals, days of frantic fear and merciless mayhem, we prayed to St Jude to help us and intercede for us to our loving and merciful Father God, and the sacred heart of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through his powerful help and intercessions and Mother Mary’s loving presence, my daughter shifted her attitude at the last minute, at least sufficiently for me to help tutor her in some subjects just the few weeks leading to her exams and eventually sat for the exams, in spite of her fears.

Alongside my daily prayers to God, the family’s dedication to the Angelus, my husband and I would pray the special prayer/Novena to St Jude to entreat for visible and swift help where we most needed it. And he was there – with me and for us. Through his blessings and intercessions to God, my daughter received her results and while she didn’t not get the grades she wanted for a few subjects, she did very well for her humanities with an amazing A grade for English. We praised God for His blessings and celebrated her efforts and the milestone she had achieved with prayers, and a home-cooked dinner menu of her choice. The strawberry pop dessert was the (Ice)cream on top.

God is so good to us and our hearts are brimming with gratitude.  We give thanks to and honour St Jude Thaddeus as our special Patron Saint and know that whatever the path, Christ always leads us, and His Saints walk beside us. We can be still and have full faith in His love and His Will for us. We can choose to leave the human instinct to worry aside and step into worship instead. For at the times when we are at our weakest, God is strongest, and we can draw upon the everlasting well of love that is always there for each and every one of us.

2 Corinthians 12:9 
“He said to me, My Grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness”