As my 25th birthday approaches with seemingly great haste, I keep thinking that this would be a fantastic occasion for me to reflect on my life. I first thought of the things that I had done and also the thing that I have yet to do. But after a pretty deep conversation with my dad and his wife this evening, I thought that it would be more prudent to reflect on how God’s ongoing story is being written out in my life.
My life did not really start until I was 19. Let me give you a bit background. I had a fairly normal childhood until I was 14. My parents divorced then and it was a fairly amicable divorce as far these things go, but even now, I continue to realize how significant this was and how deeply it affected who I was. I became reclusive, internal and sometimes, even suicidal. I withdrew from my friends. I spent my time in the library dwelling and writing out dark thoughts. Somehow, I managed to get into university and eventually majored in English. However, my area of strength had become my area of weakeness and I struggled immensely in school, despite the fact that I worked very hard. I was so frustrated, down trodden and unsure as to what my future prospects were. At this time, I knew God or at least, I knew the existence of God in my life. But no matter how loudly God cried out to me, opened a crack light in my dark room, I refused to simply turn around to see the light that penetrated the darkness that enveloped me.
When I was in 19 and in the second semester of the school year, I somehow got pulled into looking at going to Hong Kong to teach English as a short term mission. My faith was on the rocks and was completely unsure as to how I could supposedly share the gospel when I wasn’t sure if I really believed it. Yet all the cards fell into place: financial support came through, all the documentation worked out and before I knew it, I was on a plane to Los Angeles for a few days of training before flying to HK for a month. It was here that God began His incessant bid for my life. During one of our worship sessions, I felt His sledgehammer of a fist shatter the rock walls that I had built around me; His glory banished the darkness. I became alive. I became the person He had made me to be. It was this person that would bring the glory of God to the world…this person, even though they shared the same fleshy shell, was the complete opposite to the one who refused to turn around in the dark to see the light. My dearest students from Shatin and my fantastic team, you played a huge role in God’s plan to save me. Thank you.
I came back a changed person; the people in my life could see that notable difference. With God as the driving force behind my life, I was changed. I became an optimistic person; outgoing, bouncy even. I smiled a lot, laughed a lot and was always excited to meet new people and make friends. My school work improved drastically; I enrolled in political science in addition to English. I found myself enrolling in a program to go to Washington, DC. I found myself given a scholarship for that program I would not have otherwise been able to go to without it. A semester after DC, I found myself boarding a plane to go and intern in Bruxelles, Belgium for seven months. Brussels wouldn’t have have happened if an auntie from the church felt the need to answer God’s prompting to support me and provide me with enough funds to work as an unpaid intern. A couple months after I came back to Canada, God gave me a job with the provincial government as a policy advisor. A year after, when my contract was not renewed, He gave me a permanent job in immigration policy with the most wonderful team of people I could ask for. A year later, He has given me a secondment opportunity to continue learning and developing my abilities, not for myself, but to bring glory to God in every stage and chapter of my life.
And yet, despite of all these amazing blessings, despite the fact that God saved me, I fell away from Him in different stages of my story. I fell away mainly in pursuit of nonplatonic relations with others. I was drawn away from Him and the perfect love He had for me for the imperfect love of a man. After a few months in my first job upon my return from Bruxelles, I had fallen to my lowest point in this regard. God told me, ‘no more’, so I took my ‘boy free period’ or BFP. During that time, I felt my spirit begin its renewal. I became once again involved with the people who shared my faith and helped me deepen this faith and keep me on track.
Then, I met D. I thought that he was the one that God had set out for me. However, despite the precautions taken, I jumped and had very hard landing. D walked away. I was shattered. My parents’ divorce had inadvertently instilled a fear of commitment to other people or really, to anything that could hurt me. With D, I had jumped; it was my commitment. And on my first true leap, I had failed. It broke me. But, God came through. God told me that to be with one of His sons, I had to be right with myself and be truly content as a daughter of God riding with God alone. That my companion of the future, would always place God before me as I would and that God alone was/is sufficient enough to carry me through this life. It was and continues to be truly a difficult lesson to learn and apply but absolutely life changing.
Believing in God is a change in perspective. Nothing was physically different in the mental room of my mind. What was different was where I was looking: the dark wall or the crack of light that was coming through. From the surface, I know that I look like a well adjusted and successful young woman. However, I have story and so do you. Share it. You never know what part of your story will resound with someone else and show them that they are not alone in whatever dark place they may be in. Let your story be a source of light, of God’s eternal hope shining through you like a hundred blazing suns.