Riding the Waves of Life
TRL is an ecosystem of individuals seeking to live true, well and free. We are energised by stories of growth, change and transformation. This post features Joylynn who offers us the gift of a service that is needful for our mental wellness: BRB Self Care.
Do you feel like life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes you are just trying to catch your breath? For me, life has been unpredictable. My plans are ever changing and it has been tough—especially for someone who plans every single detail and milestone in her life!
As we journey through life, we start to see there are many, many things out of our control. I liken the journey of life as waves in the sea. Waves are unpredictable, spontaneous, full of ups and downs. Yet there is a way for us to be less anxious and learn not to hold our plans too tightly, as this verse from the Bible reminds us:
“A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” — Proverbs 16:9
I have a passion regarding mental wellness. Amazingly, despite not being academically qualified for the role, I became a therapist in a psychiatric hospital in Singapore. I felt I would stay on in my job for the rest of my life!
Fast forward years later, I felt a prompting to leave. I did not know what to do at that point of time, and I was afraid to pray; afraid of the answer God would give me. After all, didn’t God provide this role for me? But the sensing that I was meant to leave did not abate. It felt like a dripping tap that wouldn't stop until I responded.
The sensing also sharpened into a vision of starting a mental health tech business – that would allow people to come together and heal.
At the right time, my friend texted me, with a news article on the tragic River Valley slashing incident*. She wanted to do something about it. We started to bounce ideas off each other, and voila! BRB Self Care was founded, a space for anonymous sharing, community support and clinically validated resources for mental health.
BRB Self Care began with a simple mission between two friends: make professional mental healthcare radically available for everyone.
Still, I struggled to leave the security of my job. I had it all planned – my finances, life goals, etc. But during a time of prayer, God spoke to me as I read the account of Exodus – where the people had to leave “Egypt” (my old job) for the “promised land” (this new mental health tech start-up). In the story, God provided daily for the people. I also felt that this invitation to move forward could be missed should I refuse to respond, and life may in fact get miserable.
With all these, you would think I would immediately pack up and leave. But no. I deliberated still; fearful of starting my own business for I have no background in start-ups, fearful about my finances, fearful of failure.
Then a phone call with my mentor helped to piece everything together. Before I updated her about my struggle, she started sharing with me – surprise, surprise – the story of Exodus: how the people did not have fixed homes, they were constantly picking up their tents and moving. They only went where the glory of God went, following the pillar of cloud by day, and pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21-22).
In my Spirit, everything just clicked. I am a pilgrim in this journey of life on earth, nowhere else but the Lord is my dwelling place. I felt this sense of new fear: the fear that I will lose God’s presence were I to fail to go where He is going. This new fear dispelled all other fears I had for starting this new business.
I couldn’t have gone this far without the support of my family, friends, fiancé, and community. They held me as I cried, wrestled, provided practical help, and prayed for me. Through my tears and fears, I began to see ever so clearly why God wanted me to start BRB: a safe space for others to be empowered and healed because of the support of a loving, like-minded community.
BRB Self Care will serve as a connection point for all people seeking solace.
In a way, my journey to embark on this new venture required me to experience this solace first, from God, and from a loving community that supported this dream.
We all need a safe space and safe people to share our lives openly.
BRB allows for anonymous sharing as a starting point, and is hosted by mental health professionals who can give appropriate and helpful responses where needed.
In this way, we hope that all who come will experience BRB: Being Recharged, Reconnected and Refreshed as we have your Back!
As I thought about the branding of BRB, I felt God gave me a visualisation of waves, and I have ruminated over them since:
1. When you are tossed on the waves, remember God is your dwelling place.
Charles Spurgeon taught:
Do you know what it is, when you are tossed on the waves, to go down into the depths of Godhead, there rejoicing that not a wave of trouble ruffles your spirit, but that you are serenely at home with God your own Almighty Father?
Imagine this! Whatever adversity or ill-ease, there is a comfort available in God. This is a holy care-less-ness where we entrust our cares to God and experience that God is our dwelling place.
Dwelling in God is not a feeling, but a position, one we can learn to adopt and experience in ever deeper measure.
Where we are and what we have now, should not be seen as a permanent place where we will be for life, and that is ok. The waves may come crashing, but God is our dwelling place—no matter the circumstances, seasons, and trials. We may lose all that we have, but we can never lose God.
2. Sometimes, just be still
“… suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But Jesus was asleep. He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marvelled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” — Matthew 8:23-27
Sometimes we are called to be still, go with the flow: with the ebb and flow with the rhythms of the wave you are on. If you cannot make sense of all that is happening and changing, be still before the Lord: He calms the storms and waves. He is in control.
3. Take courage, walk through the waves
“Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.” — Matthew 14:22-33
We may not walk on water like Peter did, but in life, we all have to walk through waves that feel threatening and scary. Just like Peter, we tend to focus on the difficult circumstances, but even so, Jesus will stretch out his hand and rescue us.
I once had a vision where I was standing on the other side of a raging sea. The waves were crashing and taunting; the waters were dark. Jesus was on the other side with His hands stretched out, bidding me to come. I saw myself trying to go to Him by walking on water and keeping my eyes on Him but I was wobbling. And I heard a voice that said, “even if you fail, keep trying”.
4. Being filled and spilled
In another time of prayer, I saw myself as a bucket that was filled with sea water as I floated on the waves. The sea was choppy so I was about to be submerged. Then God tilted me so that the sea water emptied out and water poured from heaven instead.
I took it to mean two things. What will I fill my life with? When God asks us to share what I have, will I be willing? This impression reassured me that serving others will not deplete me if I am nourished and hydrated by God.
“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honourable use, some for dishonourable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonourable, he will be a vessel for honourable use, set apart as holy, useful to the Master of the house, ready for every good work.” — 2 Timothy 2:21-22
5. Being secure on the Rock when the waves crash
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” — Matthew 7:27-29
There is no way to fully escape or avoid the waves of trials and troubles. But we can be more resilient and ready if our foundation is strong. This passage reminds me that I have to be intentional about the foundations of my life, to ensure it is rock solid.
I hope these thoughts are helpful for you.
To really live, a key component is mental wellness. With the stresses of life, many of us have things we need to process and get off our chest. Come talk with us. It’s free and we welcome anyone who wants to discuss their mental wellness and health anonymously. You remain anonymous, and so do your listeners.