I lost my mother to lung cancer at her ripe age of 43. My siblings and I were scattered to live among our relatives. I was 19 years old at that time, about to graduate from a nursing degree. I felt my world crumble down to pieces and not knowing what to do. I was practically lost and without direction. It felt like a dead end. Tempted to live a reckless life, I thought to myself, that couldn’t be how I want to live. My mother won’t be happy to see me fail. I have to fight not only for myself but for my younger sisters and brothers. I have to do something.

I decided not to work in a hospital because it can’t support us financially. So, I started working in different jobs as a call center agent and English tutor to Koreans. Shortly after I realized I needed more income because of my growing family and my two youngest brothers already in college. I worked in a home-based job for higher pay. I tried side hustles in network marketing and direct selling. It worked in the first two years.

But my health failed because of graveyard shifts, and my network marketing business failed as well. My husband and I tried to get back to our nursing profession but on a standstill.

One day we were talking about how our life looks like a cycle of a seeming wilderness of financial highs and lows. We thought if we won’t pursue a nursing career abroad, we need to be able to find a way to learn how to properly steward our income. We prayed to God and asked, what now Lord?

Then a post on Facebook from now, my mentor, flashed to my mind. It was a post about the rule of compounding interest! I sent her a message if she can teach me. We were not able to see each other right away. But when I finally had a chance, there, I sat on listening to a career orientation program, one Saturday afternoon. The rest was history.

Today, I have a promising career in the financial industry. For three years now, I have learned so many lessons on personal financial management and stewardship that I applied foremost to my family. I received awards and incentives I never achieved before. I gained mentors guiding me on the right path. I met so many people from different walks of life, shared my advocacy of uplifting the lives of families through financial stewardship. I took financial planning courses to further my skills and sharpen my saw. I learned how to drive, do my makeup, and dress for success. I had grown my character and personality by servicing my clients professionally and working as a team player. I now have a sense of direction and purpose in life.

I used to cry in mourning on her death anniversary.  Now I cry tears of victory. My mother’s passing was not in vain because her death taught me how to fight and press on. It serves as a reminder that winning life’s battles begin and end in the mind. Our greatest enemy is fear. Our biggest competitor is our selves. We are here to conquer ourselves and go beyond what we think we can do.  My failures did not define me, my strength in the Lord did.

To God be the glory!