Michelle and Aloysius were due to get married on April 18 when Covid struck. They postponed their wedding to December. But the couple never made it down the aisle as Aloysius died in a car crash on June 6. Michelle tells how God redeemed her devastation in Salt&Light's new book. All photos courtesy of Michelle Milyarti Wantasen.

“My son has turned to drugs and left the church. I have prayed for him every night since he was born. How could this happen?”

“I am tired of taking care of my mother who has dementia. Why do I feel so resentful?”

“My husband had an affair. How can I be expected to forgive him?”

“I have recurring thoughts of suicide. How do I stop myself?”

“I lost my fiancé in a car accident. Where was God?”

“People don’t need more information, what we crave is community.”

When we launched Salt&Light Family Night over Zoom during the eye of the Covid storm in July 2020 more than a year ago, the intention was to connect on a deeper, more personal level with our readers.

“People don’t need more information, what we crave is community,” said Carol Loi, Salt&Light Family Night co-host, family coach and passionate advocate for prayer warriors in every home.

She was right. Whether the discussion topic of the month was navigating the complexities of divorce, addiction, trauma, abandonment or generational divide, attendance never flagged as hundreds of Salt&Light readers streamed into the Zoom show to learn from the experts, listen to those who have walked in their shoes, be prayed over by the empathetic panel, and above all to ask the questions that weighed upon their heart.

Their honesty was heart-breaking. Each question a statement of despair. A cry of desperation. An earnest desire to do right by God and family. A search for the way home.

When scars reveal strength

Salt&Light: Inspirational Stories of Faith in Families is less a book about families or parenting than it is a book about being a steadfast disciple of Christ through every season of our life – as child, brother or sister, spouse or parent, godparent or grandparent.

It is even less a book about being the perfect parent, sibling or child. And more about real-life choices, discouragement, struggles, and the grace to hold on to hope, joy and love through Jesus Christ.

What if those who have failed or “fallen down” are the ones who understand “up”?

In his book, Falling Upward: A spirituality for the two halves of life, Franciscan priest and writer Richard Rohr offers a new understanding of one of life’s profound mysteries: How our failing can be the foundation for our ongoing spiritual growth.

He asks: What if those who have failed or “fallen down” are the ones who understand “up”?

What if our heartbreaks and disappointments are actually stepping stones to the spiritual joys in store for us? 

God is a God of new beginnings.

When, on the cross, a dying Jesus uttered some of the most poignant words in history: “It is finished”, He bore our sins and redeemed us to live as new creations by His blood.

The finished work of Christ is the beginning of new life in Him for all who were once “dead in their trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) and are now made “alive with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5).

In so doing, He allowed every situation in our lives that looks like a fullstop to turn into a comma.

There is still life, and life abundant, to be received and to be shared.

By Jesus’ sacrifice, He allowed every situation in our lives that looks like a fullstop to turn into a comma.

As you turn the pages of this book, may you find encouragement as you read about the 14-year-old homeless youth who grew up to help other rough sleepers.

The couple who had a stormy divorce but later remarried.

The celebrated General who missed his children’s growing-up years but became a doting husband and grandfather.

The television actress who almost gave up on love until God honoured her long wait with the love of her life.

A girl who wished to die when she lost her fiancé to a car crash but was nursed back to life by God’s promises.

A grieving wife who lost her husband to cancer but would bring hope to other widows with her support group.

A three-year-old daughter who lost her father to SARS but grew up to encourage others through Covid.

We may scar.

But, as the writer of one of the stories in this book said: Let’s learn to scar well.

This Christmas, bless someone with Salt&Light: Inspirational stories of Faith in Families

Last Call for Christmas: Please note that only orders made by December 16, will be delivered in time for Christmas.

Order your new Salt&Light: Inspirational Stories of Faith in Families here.

In Salt&Light: Inspirational Stories of Faith in Families, find encouragement in 34 true-life accounts that show that unvarnished reality and hope can exist side by side.

Draw inspiration so that you, too, may experience life-giving faith in every season of your life, even through times of testing.


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About the author

Juleen Shaw

Salt&Light Managing Editor Juleen hails from the newsrooms of Singapore Press Holdings and MediaCorp Publishing. She has had two encounters with baptismal pools. The first was at age four when her mother, who was holding her hand, tripped and fell into the church baptismal pool, taking Juleen with her. The second was when she actually chose to get baptised.