“I am exactly where I am meant to be”: Trudy Chua on her journey as a music therapist in hospice and palliative care.

God’s fingerprints have been very clear in leading me to where I am today.

From my early exposure to music – singing in the choir, playing the piano and guitar, serving in the music teams at retreats – to a serendipitous encounter with Sr Geraldine Tan who shared about her palliative care work when I attended a “Come and See” afternoon with the Canossian Sisters in 2014; following that, my family’s experience with my grandfather’s journey with cancer and his passing in 2015, to my subsequent decision on my university courses, and then writing two articles about palliative care in my journalism module, He has been in it all.

Truly, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9

Praise and worship at Catholic Youth Day 2016 by the Office for Young People

One Full Circle

After two years of music therapy studies in Melbourne, He led me back home full circle to serve in palliative care in 2019, and it has been a most beautiful journey.

I am constantly reminded of the beauty and sacredness of life and relationships. Psalm 139 comes to mind whenever I meet my patients, both young and old. I am blessed to acknowledge that each of them is wonderfully made. Each soul I meet has loved and been loved.

Recognising each person as a gift from God helps make my work even more meaningful. Though I may not know exactly what my patients and their loved ones feel, I do hope that they have experienced love and acceptance through our interactions.

It is indeed an honour and privilege to step into a person’s vulnerability and walk with them to the departure gates. What a blessing it is to hold their hands and share in their grief, fears, sorrows and joys. What a blessing it is to hear my patients utter “Jesus, I trust in You” as they speak about their final days.

And what a blessing it is to have the gifts God has given me to be used in service of His people, where music soothes the tender soul and a gentle presence calms the turbulent heart. Having my faith as an anchor has also given me the strength to walk with my patients and their loved ones on this journey towards the end of life.

 

Basking in the Goodness of God

“All my life You have been faithful, all my life You have been so, so good. With every breath that I am able, I will sing of the goodness of God.” – Goodness of God, Bethel Music & Jenn Johnson.

The lyrics of this song speak very closely to my heart. The road travelled thus far and ahead may not be smooth, but I know that He has been faithful and so good. God is truly beyond my comprehension, higher than my thoughts and ways. I believe that this journey is a calling, and I am exactly where I am meant to be at this point, as a music therapist serving in hospice and palliative care.

Looking back, the 19-year-old me had wanted to walk a completely different path, but today, almost a decade later, my heart is at peace with where God has called me. While I do not know where I will be another decade from now, I know that He holds my future in His mighty hands, and I trust in Him.

Wherever You call me, O Lord, may I have the fiat as our dear Mother Mary had to trust, accept, and go; May my life bring glory to Your most Holy Name.

—————————–

My prayer for the Catholic Church’s 200th anniversary

Dearest Father,

Our church has been through so much in these 200 years. Thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness through it all. Thank You for the gift of our clergy, our priests and religious who have given their lives in service. Thank You for every person who has been a witness in small and big ways.

As we continue to walk this journey with You, may our hearts be stretched to accommodate a greater love, both in giving and in receiving. May we grow in patience, empathy and compassion, especially towards those we find hardest to love. May we also cling to Jesus and turn to Him in all seasons of our lives.

Amen.

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