by Isabel Ann De Silva
Hi everyone, my name is Isabel and I am 28 years old this year. I am from the Living Ark community, one of the young working adult communities under OYP.
When the Circuit Breaker started on 7th April, I was looking forward to a relaxing time and being able to catch up on some of my favourite home activities – Netflix, browsing social media, surfing the net, and sleeping in. Those were my usual ways of relaxing at home before the Circuit Breaker and it felt good to be able to enjoy more of these activities.
However, those feelings were short-lived. Feelings of restlessness started creeping in by the second week and of course, there was that nagging voice inside that told me I needed to snap out of the routine I had created where I was spending an inordinate amount of time on my favourite home activities. So, I started dedicating more time to catching up with people, watching formation videos, reading spiritual books and articles, and exercising. Apart from that, I was also in my community’s retreat planning committee and we were having weekly zoom meetings, reflecting and planning for our retreat. It felt like I was in a good place, being able to have my time outside work dedicated to God-related activities.
However, in the process of praying and planning for our community’s retreat, we were asking the Lord what the community needed in this time of retreat, and He revealed many areas that He wanted us to share about; one of which was something I too had been avoiding this whole time – solitude with the Lord.
Moments of silence with the Lord were where He spoke deeply into the very struggles I was grappling with while being at home and at work. I could not bring myself to offer these struggles to Him for the longest time because I was particularly embarrassed by them. I did not feel like it was something I could offer to Him and preferred to carry it on my own. However, the moment I turned to Him, He spoke truth over the layers of lies. He reminded me that even if I failed to be a good daughter at home or a good HR personnel at work, or tried too hard to be a people-pleaser, I am still good in His eyes. Nothing I could do would ever make me less deserving of being loved or being His daughter. This lifted a whole lot of the burden I had been carrying.
I never expected the Lord to move so powerfully even in the confines of my own home as I would normally expect such powerful encounters to happen in a retreat or a church setting. But our Lord is not limited to the physical confines of a church building, or a retreat, but is so real and present wherever we are. Throughout this time, He has blessed me with abundant graces that I needed in order to have done what He called me to during this time. And in saying yes to Him, I had given the Lord control over these areas of my life and He showed me what He could do once I submitted my will to His.
Some of the Lord’s victories include inviting my mum to join me for online mass for the first time during circuit breaker, sharing in my family chat about the prophetic messages the Lord had revealed to me when I was praying for them, and praying for a friend (outside my community) by sending her a voice recording via telegram. What were initially actions I had been struggling with were transformed into grace-filled moments.
When the circuit breaker started, I never expected much from this time and expected the day-to-day to be mundane. Clearly, the Lord had a completely different and more exciting plan for me; a plan which only began to unravel as I sat with the Lord in solitude and responded to His gentle promptings. Will you allow the Lord to surprise you today?