by Natanya Lye
Catholic Youth Community (Nanyang Polytechnic)
Hi, I’m Natanya Lye, from Nanyang Polytechnic’s Catholic Youth Community. God brought me to OYP through my older sister’s invitation to attend the SHINE retreat. From the moment I entered the retreat, God asked me through my facilitator, “Why have you been hiding from me?”. That was when I realised that God truly sees me. Through the retreat, God renewed my faith and love for Him. He broke through the walls I had built and the distortions I had of Him, my family and myself.
That same year, before another OYP retreat called Empower, I spiralled into a pit of selfish love, anger, pain and shame, settling into the comforts of self-pity. Yet, during this retreat, God built me upon His firm foundation. He revealed His love and overwhelming mercy to me during prayer ministry. He told me that I am seen, loved, known, fearfully and wonderfully made by Him, while gently revealing to me how my pain can also be a blessing and not the curse I saw it as. In our most shameful states and brokenness, God loves and heals us, and calls us to be His disciples.
After Empower, God called me to be the face of Christ to others, in ordinary daily situations and in my campus community. Even on days where I feel worthless, He makes me His vessel of love, inviting me to surrender my struggles to Him again and again. He calls me to love others because He first loved me. God has renewed me with His love, and continuously calls me to live as His adopted child. God saved me by first loving me and calling me to be His disciple through the simple gift of myself, like St John Paul II said, “Man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.”
I am thankful for God, and the Kingdom friendships He has placed in my life through my poly community. They are the face of Christ to me! I also thank God for His unwavering faithfulness in loving and pursuing me. I pray for OYP to continue to be God’s vessel of love to all young people, to journey together as a community in God’s Love, and to lead them back to the Church.
As we celebrate OYP’s 9th anniversary, it is only fitting that we do so in a spirit of deep gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord. He is the one that continues to write the stories of our dear young people and brings healing to their lives. Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing nine such stories as we celebrate the past nine years. We thank you Lord for your faithfulness! #OYPTurns9
See more of our 9th Anniversary thanksgivings: OYP Turns 9: Fullness of Life