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When the first discovery of suspected cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan City, China in December 2019, the world was never expected to suffer and to endure such a difficult pandemic of Covid-19. Hundreds of millions of people have been infected with the deadly virus and millions of victims have succumbed to such an infectious disease.
The pandemic has caused a chaotic situation on earth, everything suddenly changed to what it called a new norm / the new way of life. The world economy, homes, lifestyles, social life, education, tourism, and even religious routines all have altered and at the same time experiencing tremendous challenges striving to survive during this period of uncertainty.
Among challenges that are happening now are; the world is mourning and grieving when many families have lost someone they loved dearly. It is a heartbroken situation to witness when young children are searching and asking the whereabouts of their parents who have passed on and not be able to come back to give them a loving hug. A spouse who suddenly lost their only hope and support when their partner leave them behind without warning. Healthcare workers who have been unceasingly contributed their life and efforts to fight the disease to provide the best medical service to their ill patients, and the downturn of the world economy due to economic lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus.
In this article, I will tunnel down the topic of the general challenges to a more personal aspect of an individual. I would like to tell a true story to better explain what are the common challenges faced in one’s life, introducing Miss Sarah my childhood friend, who is also my next-door neighbor as the main character.
Miss Sarah, I would prefer to call her Sarah, had her humble start in her early life, she comes from a low-income family, her father works as a bus driver with a transportation company, her mother was a full-time housewife taking care of 6 children, and the whole household matters while his father was away working to earn money to support the family. Since young, as the eldest child in the family, Sarah was forced to shoulder the family’s burdens by helping out to mend the house chores and also need to deliver homemade cake to their regular customer at the nearby market every morning.
Apart from waking up early in the morning to do house chores, she also needs to help her young siblings to get ready for school, and only after that, she will tend to her beloved ailing bedridden grandmother. After spending most of her morning time inside the house, she got herself ready to ride a bus to the nearby school to attend class. In the late evening, after returning from school, she again will diligently rend a hand to help her mother to prepare dinner for the family and helping out for preparation for customer’s order the next day. Later only around midnight, she has some time for herself to do her homework and do some study revision.
Sarah was always dreamed to become a doctor, I once asked her why she choose the medical pathway as her future career. She replied she wanted to help more people because witnessing how her grandmother suffered from her sickness breaks her heart. I still remembered that year when I saw her crying at her house balcony, later only I come to know that she had lost her beloved grandmother and at the same time she has received the news that she did not manage to get the offer to study medicine despite her excellent result. However, she still managed to gain entry to a local university to study in the course of telecommunication. She graduated and later works at one of the popular telco companies in the city.
Even though we both had our careers to tend, we continued our friendship through phone calls and some time hanging out together occasionally for a high tea. At times, she will complain to me about the working challenges that she faces in her office; about office bullies, being falsely accused, and slander by toxic co-workers. She has to go through a lot of hardship from the unfair treatment of her superior due to one-sided judgment. Apart from facing life challenges from her workplace, she is also having to put aside the issue of the romantic relationship due to commitments & responsibilities to the family, as she has to care for her old and ailing parents.
Currently, Sarah is the chief executive of a leading telecommunication company and was awarded the best leader of the year 2019. There is five hundred staff working under her administration, despite her success she had triumphed from all the life challenges that in her life until she reaches her present status.
Seeing where she is now in the cooperate hierarchy, I have once asked her how she overcame the various life challenges, obstacles, hardships, sweats, tears, and broken-hearted situations that have put a “foot” in her life so far? After taking a sip from her favorite cappuccino, she lift her head, and then she offered me the usual sweet smile of hers, saying God is god all the time. Adding to her statement, she said she believed there always be an opportunity for her to learn and to grow behind each hurdle that occurs in her life, and bravely she quoted encouraging words taken from Joshua J Marine “challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful”.
She later gave an elaboration on the secrets that have ushered her out from all her difficult situations and before parting to our way that blissful evening, looking at the Mercedez that fetching her to her next destinations. I felt proud of her achievements and at the same time thanking God for her faith in Him and His bountiful blessing that has carried her through.
Life is like a road journey,
Sometimes we travel on a smooth concrete road,
Sometimes we have to be more cautious when the road having winding and sharp turns,
Sometimes we need to make a U-turn when we missed the expected junction,
Sometimes our body hurts when we pass through the rough and bumpy path, but
We know difficult roads often leads us to a beautiful destination,
So, take heart and be courageous anyway,
Put your trust solely in Him and be confident that you will never be lost your way there.