My family was the most important thing in the world to me. My parents were from Nepal, but my brother and I were raised in Singapore. Mum and Dad were great influences in my life; my mother taught me to be full of gentleness and kindness, and my father exemplified grit and perseverance.
My brother was my best friend from birth, and we spent much of our childhood wreaking havoc in the house and sharing uncontrollable laughter. Although I was not raised in a Christian household, I had the privilege of growing up in a home where everyone was handled with love and care, and every situation tackled with grace and patience.
In December 2014, my parents and my brother flew back to Nepal, but in order to complete my studies in Singapore I was faced with no choice but to be away from them. It would be the first time I would be without my family, and little did I know it would not be the last.
The next few months flew by, facilitated by regular Skype calls filled with stories of new adventures and funny stories, and many panicky phone calls on how to cook fried rice or do my laundry.
Then came a turning point in my life like no other: April 25, 2015.
Nothing felt different on the day it all happened. It was drawing nearer to my mid-year examinations, which meant that my mind was on one thing only: Studying to ace my exams. Here in Singapore, sitting at a little cafe with my nose buried in my books, everything seemed fine – but 3000 kilometres away, the ground beneath my family’s feet caved in.
The earthquake came in several waves, each minute taking my family further and further away from me. It all happened so quickly; in minutes, I had lost everything I loved in the world.
Even today, it still feels surreal. One moment, I was “Daddy’s little girl”, and the next, I was an orphan. None of it made sense. It all felt unjustified. Being a 15 year old with big dreams and intense willpower, I dealt with the loss of my loved ones the only way I knew how, by throwing myself into school, CCA and relationships.
I tried to reclaim meaning and identity by building a put-together life. On the outside, I was strong, bubbly and positive despite my personal tragedy. But in the quiet spaces of my days, I would find myself wondering if there was purpose to anything I was engaged in and why I – out of all people – had to be the one with this life.
It was in this place of loneliness and brokenness that God found me.
I first encountered God during a worship session I was invited to, despite being full of scepticism and resentment towards the faith. But I still remember hearing the words, “Who makes the orphan a son and daughter?” and feeling peace and joy run through me, all the way from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.
Who is this God, who could love me so deeply? Who is this God, who tells me I belong in His family even when I’ve lost my own?
From that day onwards, life has never been the same. I ran towards God, pursued Him with all of my heart and fell in love with Jesus. The greatest love, to me, is this love that met me at my lowest. It is a love that lives on, even when life is lost.
This is a submission from a participant of our Greater Love Giveaway.