“It was at the end of JC year one. I got E, S and U for my subjects.”

– Adria Tham


I never thought I would say this, but I think failure has its beauty as well.

I always thought that failure was a very bad thing or at least that was how I was brought up to think. Even society makes you think that as long as you fail, you’re not going anywhere.

You know, since young I have been doing quite well in school. I always went to good schools, always did well for exams. I even dreamt of going to VJC because they had theatre studies, and later move on to a local university to fulfill my dreams.

But it was at the end of JC year one that I got E, S and U for my subjects. And I had to retain for a year.

It was the first time I actually failed something.

What’s worse was that after I repeated one year, I still didn’t meet the promotion criteria and had to withdraw from school.

A lot of people around me were pretty disappointed in me. They didn’t see it coming that I would ever fail in my life. My parents totally didn’t expect this and it disappointed them A LOT. They felt let down and they didn’t know how to react.

For me, it was something new and also a scary time. I was discouraged. I was worried. I was overwhelmed. I was alone in this and the struggle was huge.

I think if I wasn’t a believer, I would have been depressed; knowing that suddenly my life is crumbling down. I would start dwelling in this whole ‘sadness’ or depression. Honestly, I cannot imagine it.

I wouldn’t have been so joyful.

God sent a lot of people into my life at that point, in the form of awesome teachers and a community of friends. They were really supportive of me and they accepted me for who I am. They even helped me in whatever way they can.

I am very thankful to God for sending people into my life at that point when I really needed them. I wouldn’t have been able to get past it if it wasn’t for Him.

With God around, at least I didn’t feel worthless. He looked past my failure. He looked past my grades.

In fact, this failure became a blessing in disguise. Even though I could not do things like theatre, I am now in University at Buffalo doing communications. And I’m even graduating soon.

God really picked me up and gave me new hope. He taught me how not to be obsessed with chasing everything and getting everything in my life, but really enjoy learning and experiencing the many others things in life.

What brings the joy to me now is that I know life is meaningful and filled with purpose. I now serve in the drama and social media teams in my church, where I use the gifts and talents He has given me to impact lives out there.

I have even been on three mission trips and during every single trip, I saw how God moved in amazing ways. These moments have proved to be so fulfilling, meaningful, joyful. It never fails to touch my heart and reminds me of how real and great He is.

This is when I know that I’m living life with so much purpose and meaning.