#OYP200for200 | Kingdom friendships (Fiona)

By Fiona Yeo, The Lord’s Vineyard 

I am Fiona, a 26-year-old working adult! As a cradle Catholic, I always knew that there is someone called Jesus Christ, but never bothered getting to know him better and developing a relationship with him. My faith was brittle, and I stopped attending Sunday Masses and catechism classes and when I was 12. From thence, I only turned to God when I needed miracles in my life to happen – to pass a test I was unprepared for, or to get something that I wanted. 

Throughout the years, I found myself drawn to conversations and debates about faith and were intrigued by how my Christ-centred friends defended their faith so courageously and eloquently. I began to wonder what gave them their conviction and became open to seeking the Truth again. This process was a long one, as I was a woman of little faith. However, the Lord sent me friends in my life that guided me to seek the truth, and to challenge me to find out more, to go for Masses again. In 2017, I decided to sign up for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Youths at the Church of St Francis Xavier, and got confirmed in 2018! 

Unlike the dramas I watched (probably too much), life is not a happy ending after the finale. As a newly confirmed Catholic, I constantly found myself tested in my faith. As a fresh graduate who just entered the workforce, I was immediately swept into the corporate world with new difficulties. Fortunately, at that point in time, I had also joined a young working adult community, The Lord’s Vineyard (TLV) at the Office for Young People, where I began to journey with other people just like me, trying to navigate their new lives and keeping their faith alive as working adults. In sharing life with my fellow community members, I continued to grow in faith as my fellow brothers and sisters challenged me when I was slipping away from the faith, encouraged me in times of spiritual dryness and affirmed me when I glorified the Lord in my words and actions. Having taken up leadership roles in TLV also helped in moulding me into a disciple that strives to choose to love each day.

Pre-confirmation, Mass was already something that I was deeply attracted to. Somehow there was always a sense of peace once I sat in the pews. The luxury of having weekday Masses, or even the option to choose whichever parish or time slots on Sundays was suddenly stripped away with the Covid situation. I found myself struggling to keep faith at home, losing interest in maintaining my prayer life. As the world outside quietened down, so did my relationship with the Lord. Thankfully, my fellow brothers and sisters kept me accountable. From zooming to watch Mass and pray together, to having community sessions online, I soon found myself praying again, not only to be accountable to my pals, but also to the Lord! I found freedom and peace from prayer again. One of the highlights would be when our community decided to come together to pray the Rosary daily in the month of October. In praying the Rosary and meditating on the mysteries, I also met and fell in love with Mama Mary! From this I also started to appreciate the Rosary much more, and it is so much more than just another set of prayers to be recited. 

As the church’s door opened once again for face-to-face Mass and activities once again, I too jumped for joy! No more screen fatigue from the insane number of hours spent online, and yay to communions with the body of Christ! However, with the worsening of Covid cases in our nation, these face-to-face activities again becomes a luxury, and I find myself once again in a similar predicament as I was a year ago. But here is the difference, I know that this time round, I have my community to turn to, and a routine that I know would help me tide through another possibly difficult season. 

To my brothers and sisters reading this, regardless of where are you at with your walk with God, I encourage you persevere in your discipleship journey! Jesus can meet you wherever you are at if you open your hearts and avail to him. God Bless!