Mar 11, 2020 704 Susan Uthup,

My Shalom: Journey From Grief to Grace

Anchor of Hope

When we endure challenging times, God often introduces exceptional people into our lives bearing hope and peace. When I was mourning the loss of my eyesight, Chev. Benny Punnathara entered my life, bringing the light of Christ into my darkest hour. God used this godly man to reveal how much my heavenly Father loves and treasures me. Through him, I learned about the great work God is accomplishing through Shalom ministry. Ever since, this ministry has been a huge part of my spiritual journey.

Through Shalom ministry’s spiritual revival retreats, God has poured out His grace, welcoming me into a more intimate relationship with my Savior. At every Shalom event, I have become more convinced of the value of each soul. It was eye opening for me to recognize the importance of praying for the conversion of every soul—not just my own soul and the souls of my loved ones, but the salvation of every single person in this world.

Offering Up

Obtaining the salvation of a single soul is greater than any material blessing. That is why our Savior was willing to give up His life for my salvation. As I discovered the saints and their fascinating stories, I was inspired by the way they offered their sufferings for the salvation of souls. How many souls could I gain for my Lord if I cheerfully offered every little suffering in union with Jesus’ passion and death on the cross? In Saint Maria Faustina’s Dairy, Jesus tells her: “There is but one price at which souls are bought, and that is suffering united to My suffering on the cross.”

As a blind person I face many obstacles in both my personal and professional life, but when I encounter a challenging or difficult situation, rather than being frustrated or upset over that incident, I ask God for the grace to offer it up for the salvation of souls. I am not always successful in this. There are so many times I have failed to submit my sufferings for the salvation of souls, especially after the loss of my niece. Then, I remember that Jesus wept for the loss of His friend Lazarus and groaned in agony on the cross. So, I offer up my emotional state and ask Him to unite my pain to His. God knows our weak and fragile nature. He is with us in our adversity. He can take our imperfect offering and make it perfect.

Since Shalom plays a major role in spreading the good news to millions of people throughout the world, I also offer my afflictions for its success in reaching those who need it so much. I pray that those who still have the gift of sight may use it wisely to enjoy the inspiring programs, articles and retreats Shalom produces, so that they can receive the love of their savior.

Don’t Waste Your Opportunities!

Nothing in our lives happens without Our heavenly Father’s knowledge or permission. If God has allowed a hardship to occur in our lives, it can ultimately bring good if we share it with Him. We may not understand how this can be when we are in the moment, or until we reach eternity, but if we place our trust in Him, He will achieve what we cannot.

In this fallen world, we are going to encounter many difficult and painful situations. When unexpected and unpleasant things happen in our lives, we can choose how to respond. We can waste our suffering by complaining, or even blaming God, or we can offer it up in union with Christ’s suffering on the cross for the salvation of souls.

In her diary, Saint Faustina wrote: “I saw the Lord Jesus nailed upon the cross amidst great torments. A soft moan issued from His heart. After some time, He said, ‘I thirst. I thirst for the salvation of souls. Help Me, my daughter, to save souls. Join your sufferings to My passion and offer them to the heavenly Father for sinners.’” Uniting ourselves to Christ in this way is one of the best ways we can help to ease our Lord’s sorrow. Let us make best use of these precious opportunities to help more souls gain a relationship with our Lord who loves us so much.


Susan Uthup

©Susan Uthup works as a rehabilitation instructor at a rehabilitation center for the blind in Chicago, Illinois. She lost her eyesight in a car accident over fifteen years ago. Uthup shared her inspiring story in the SHALOM WORLD original series "Triumph" (www.ShalomWorld.org/triumph).

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