This September, the #NGL Conference set out to unravel truths behind obsessive behaviours. We bring you the highlights from each session on how these women broke free from their obsessions.

Kallos: I (Doro) used to check my phone frequently whenever I posted a photo on Instagram. There was a need to know who liked and commented on my posts; it felt like a “stamp of approval” of my worth. Spending time consuming content online also left me jaded and envious. To actively change my habits, I swapped the position of my social media apps with something wholesome (news app, Bible app, etc.), set aside a fixed and limited time for social media, and set an in-app timer on my Instagram account to remind me that time spent on the app was up. We encourage you to go on a digital detox. The act of physically leaving your phone at home periodically in the day can be refreshing for your mind! We also challenge you to cultivate mind spaces to reflect in solitude or pursue healthy hobbies.

Liane Lim: I was once a delinquent student. I eventually started putting in effort in my studies and eventually, I did well enough for my poly exams to get shortlisted for law school. I was so excited when I started work. The feeling of not being academically-inclined previously but realising that I was good at my job slowly made me addicted to work and the pursuit of success.

When I became a Christian in the midst of my career, knowing that grades and success do not define me freed me from the constant pursuit of success. I had to continually seek God’s help to check my heart and refine me. Being accountable to trusted community to point out my blind spots helped too. Remember this — humility and lowliness is better than great results with much pride.

Jennifer Heng: In the past, I have been with many boyfriends and I was sexually active with them. While I was a serial dater, I was not obsessed with romance per se. I was obsessed with wanting to feel loved! So, I dated anyone who said he loved me or showed affection towards me. I believed that romance could fill that hole in my heart. Yet, at the end of the day, that need was still not met.

It was only when I came to know God that I made my greatest discovery — only God can meet my need! Breaking free came easy. It was only after knowing God, that the deep need in my heart to be loved was met.

Noelle Wee: I struggled with masturbation as a teen and could not understand how I could be pure until I learnt that it is a battlefield of the mind; I must fight! Temptation actually has no power over us; it only has the power we give it. So I started to “de-power” it.

Whenever I came across sexual material that triggered sexual thoughts, I said this OUT LOUD: “… we take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). Then, I started practicing what Philippians 4:8 said (“… whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things”) and learnt to replace my thoughts with the word of God. Repeat these positive practices until it takes root in your life, and dare to ask for help!

Josephine Lam: Since I was a little girl, I was very concerned about how I looked. I always felt that I needed to look beautiful in order for people to like me. When I got to high school, I became so obsessed that instead of a pencil case, I would have a mirror in front of me in class!

The number one “makeover” of my life was the journey God took me on to find my true identity. True beauty comes from knowing who you are in Christ and I can’t tell you how valuable this is — knowing that I don’t need to compete with others when there’s a beauty that outlasts age, diets, and our clothes. It’s a beauty that comes from within and from having a relationship with the true living God. I realised that when we get obsessed with our physical beauty, we end up not growing our godly beauty. At the end of the day, there’s a hole in our hearts that only God can truly and completely fill — not these counterfeits!

Quek Shiwei
Shi Wei loves organic teas, hearing her son sing and watching her baby girl take her first steps.

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