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Our Vocation Stories

Sister Lily Tan

Sr Lily Tan Vocation Story

The experience you’re going to read about is my journey from doubt to certainty. Since my baptism into the Catholic Church at the age of 15 until I was 19 years old, I went through bouts of restlessness. Today on hind sight, I recognise this as God’s way of inviting me to dedicate myself totally to Him through the religious life.

When all I wanted to do was to run away from the responsibility of making a decision and that was most difficult for me at that point of time. God was like the “hound of heaven”

The power of God’s love and choice for me manifested itself again and again even though I deliberately switched off.
I made school and examinations my priority.
I enjoyed time with friends and I indulged in part-time work just to satisfy my feminine cravings of having more clothes, hand-bags and shoes…. Not being satisfied with what my parents lovingly provide for me and my other siblings.

Ironically, I felt more than discontented. Every day I would stop by
the crucifix at St Joseph’s Church and complained silently about my inner turmoil.

One day nun saw me whilst she was cleaning the parish church of St. Joseph’s Portuguese Mission. She invited me to join a group of school girls who were having a Q and A Session.
I accepted her offer and went week after week for a year.
I became less restless and more cheerful.
I begin to ask the Lord what He desires me to do with my life.

The answer only came after four years. My parents did not object to my leaving them. They considered what I wanted to do as something “special and unique, a style of life suitable for some people only!” This major support from my parents restored my confidence in God, my inner peace and a kind of joy that is unexpressable.

Today it is 45 years since God is at my side. I believe that He knows what He is doing when I don’t. He knows how to lead me to Himself even when I doubt His presence and His call.

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