Stories of Thrivers

Obedience and our Mental Health

Building a Safe Space

When the world is such an unsafe place, the only way of survival is to hide and repress our pain and feelings, to pretend we are okay even when we really are not. As Christians, the topic of mental health is made more complex because of our susceptibility to form biases and assumptions; for instance, that those struggling are “living in defeat” and not walking close with God, or that they can easily recover from their struggles if they “just believe”. The change begins in us, if our churches are to become safe communities for people to show up as their authentic selves, and to experience God’s healing and unconditional love manifested through His people. It starts with becoming more mindful and compassionate, and seeking to understand the full story behind someone’s pain.


The ThriveSg team (2022)

The Cost of Obedience

Mental health issues are not necessarily negative as commonly perceived. There are times in our spiritual journey when obeying God is painful and costs us our mental health “negatively”

I had the privilege of journeying with a mother who experienced the tragic loss of an infant at birth, yet still chooses to keep trusting God and not give up hope in trying for another. There was also a woman who feels the pain of being barren, yet continues to serve God while carrying the grief of her unfulfilled desire. I also met another who suffers from religious scrupulosity (a kind of Obsessive Compulsive mental health condition), whose deep desire is obedience to God, yet she suffers the daily mental torment of wanting to make absolutely “right” decisions for God.


Pamela's group during Emotional Resilience Training

Love that Comes at a Cost

Jesus did no wrong but was crucified. He too, experienced the pain, both physical and emotional, that comes with obedience to God. Love comes at a cost, and Jesus suffered because of that love. In our journey of obedience, we can be rest assured that His presence is always with us, His promises are always His best for us, and He will send His encouragement in tangible ways. He sees our heart of obedience, and will honour it. 

Just like 22-year-old Daisy (not her real name), who was healed from the loss of her best friend through suicide and restored her relationship with God:


“Counselling was a channel for God to work in me, and draw me closer to Him, toward greater intimacy. It taught me that there is value in allowing the pain to be painful, and allowing myself to experience that pain, rather than running away from it. If I allow God to do His work, the pain will not be wasted, but rather, transformed into something beautiful.”


To find out more, volunteer or give, visit, or follow our instagram @thrivesg.tribe for resources. ThriveSg is the counselling ministry of Cru targeting youths and young adults. 

Join the upcoming Emotional Resilience Transformational Journey facilitated by ThriveSg's founder and lead counsellor, Pamela Koh, together with Lydia Tam. More information at


Pamela Koh is the Founder & Clinical Director of ThriveSg. She’s a registered counsellor & clinical supervisor with the Singapore Association of Counselling (SAC) & a certified therapist in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). Pamela specialises in working with trauma and grief-related issues that often underlies mental health issues like anxiety, depression, addiction and eating disorders. 

By 2023, She has worked with tertiary students for over 18 years, 6 years among Japanese university students in Nagoya. She is passionate about helping people heal from their past traumas, and grow emotionally so that they can reach their fullest potential to thrive significantly in life. 

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