When I first met Yen, the founder of BlessedBe, a Christian home decor and gifts company, I saw a woman who has joyfully entrusted her whole life, business, and family into the hands of the Lord. Yet, her journey with God was not a bed of roses. Hearing her life story, I was inspired by the ways in which she hasd wrestled with God and the life lessons that have led her to being in an intimate relationship with the Lord today.
In Yen’s growing-up years, she would have never imagined that she would become a follower of Christ, or someone who would set up a business dedicated to Him.
Yen was born in communist Vietnam, with little to no exposure to Christianity. Yet, she always had a gut feeling of a higher being, someone she would call out to in her times of loneliness or trouble, such as when her sister was hitting her and she longed for someone to protect her. However, years down the road, she forgot about this connection she had with the higher being. At the age of 19, her parents gathered what little money they had to send Yen to the United States to further her studies.
No longer bound to family, Yen was free to explore the ways of the world in her teens. She shares, “I was young and deemed myself as successful. I had a good education, I was earning good money, I dated around, and had fun.” She recounts hopping into her friend’s sports car at 11 pm after her part-time shift at a restaurant and partying until the wee hours of the night. She didn’t just party hard, but worked hard too. After one year of working in the States, she earned enough to buy her first car, and after three years, bought her own house. The chase for material success seemed fun and filled her with adrenalin. However, this novelty soon wore off and as day after day ended with partying, she found herself feeling empty with a gaping hole in her heart.
MY DAYS FELT VERY EMPTY. IT’S LIKE YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING, BUT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR.
All the partying and overworking not only took a toll on her emotional health, but also her physical health. She soon developed a severe stomach ulcer that landed her in hospital. Coupled with a break-up with her then-boyfriend, it felt as if her world was crashing down. “After a while, it didn’t feel like success. I was very empty on the inside. My days felt very empty. It’s like you’re looking for something, but you don’t know what you’re looking for. You just want to fulfil that lack of something.”
All the things that had brought her happiness and ecstasy felt so short-lived and fleeting. Her heart was aching for something permanent, something that had constancy. And this was when the Lord showed up through the Christian friends placed in Yen’s life.
One of these friends had been trying to invite her to church on several occasions, but Yen had been too preoccupied with her own life to care more about what they had to offer. But then she came to think that she would give visiting the church a shot.
It was a normal church meeting, but that night, God used a simple service to turn Yen’s life around. The speaker preached a timely message which spoke deeply to Yen. Making reference to the veil of the temple being torn in two upon the death of Jesus on the cross (Matt 27:51), the speaker took a knife and slashed it across a curtain. “Somehow, when she used the knife to cut through the curtain, it opened my heart. I wasn’t sure what the Lord did. But when the preacher did that, it opened up my heart and my eyes to see the love of God.”
GOD’S TIMING IS REALLY PERFECT. HE WILL MAKE EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IN HIS TIME.
At that moment, she was reminded of her childhood connection with the higher being, and everything seemed to make sense. Her longing for something everlasting was satisfied in Christ.
Even though Yen gave her life to the Lord, life was not all rosy. After she got married, Yen and her Malaysian husband were not sure which country to settle in, but she felt God leading her to move to Singapore. After wrestling with the Lord, Yen ultimately chose to obey Him and settle in Singapore despite her longing to be back in her hometown in Vietnam. Upon the birth of her first child, she quit her job to take care of the child. Initially, the loss of a stable source of income threw her young family into rocky waters. However, the Lord impressed upon her heart that He would make everything beautiful in His time (Ecc 3:11). This promise would comfort her yet again when she lost her second child, who was stillborn, just nine days before she was due. She knew that the Lord was in preparation of something beautiful for her, so she readied her heart and waited for a sign from God.
In 2020, before a visit back to Vietnam, Yen had a brief interaction with a Christian bookstore owner in Singapore who had foundout she was Vietnamese and asked if she knew of any suppliers for handicrafts to sell in his store. Yen decided to help him source for suppliers in Vietnam out of goodwill. Then one night, as she was at the dining table with her mother in Vietnam, the Lord spoke to her and told her to start a handicraft business for Him.
“I really didn’t plan for BlessedBe. I never expected myself to start a business. I was an insurance broker. I knew nothing aboutbusiness. But I had courage, because the years of waiting taught me that when the season is right, the Lord will multiply our capacity. He will grant me favour for His will.” Because Yen had been waiting patiently for the Lord for so many years, her heart was tender and obedient to His will, and she gave Him her “yes” despite the uncertainties that lay ahead of her.
“God’s timing is really perfect. He will make everything beautiful in His time. And when we wait upon Him, we will mount up with wings (Isa 40:31).”
It was precisely His perfect timing that led Yen to found BlessedBe Home Decor and Gifts Galore. BlessedBe’s products are thoughtfully designed and prayerfully crafted by a team of God-loving Vietnamese Christians. It serves as a platform to spread the gospel and love to both the crafters and the buyers. Yen’s life is a testament to the Lord’s faithfulness. Her life story teaches us what it means to obey Him and live for Him.