I’ve come to know a guy about four years ago. Ever since, he’s been my rock. He’s there when I laugh, when I cry, when I celebrate, or when I’m feeling a little stressed and tired of life. He’s been a pretty patient guy, even if sometimes I doubt him. Overall, it’s been a pretty fantastic relationship and I couldn’t have asked for more.
Yes, I’ve fallen in love with God.
Over four years ago, I was sitting in AP Seminar my junior year of high school (sometime after August 2009). There was a girl, Lauren, who I quickly befriended because she sat in front of me since we sat in chronological order by last name. She was also in one of my other classes. One day, we decided to hang out after school. It was a Thursday night, so she had what was called a youth group, which I had no idea what it was at the time. It sounded like it was just a group with a bunch of youths. Which it was, but so much more. Anyways, after our dinner at steak n shake, we pulled up into a church parking lot and went inside where everyone started greeting us. It didn’t even matter that I was new to the group or had never been to their youth group meetings before, they welcomed me in like family. I had no idea what I was in for.
We talked about God, got into the Bible, prayed and worshiped. It was really all new to me.
It was all new to me, because I grew up in a Buddhist home. Both my parents are Buddhists, so growing up I’ve always believed I was Buddhist. But what exactly is a Buddhist and what do they believe in? I couldn’t tell you, because even though I believed I was one because of my parents, I never learned the rituals, traditions, and beliefs of Buddhism. The only extent to my Buddhism experience was going to temples a few times while I visited Vietnam, and even then those was more like sightseeing adventures more than anything else.
At first I was really uncomfortable talking about God and faith, but it really challenged me to explore the Christian faith, my own faith, and what I believe in my heart and want to believe in.
I continued on going to youth group because I just had a great time the first time and wanted to become friends with these wonderful people I had met. Later on in the year, the youth group I went to, I found out hosted an annual winter conference(GCYC) at the church. I decided I had nothing to lose and honestly wanted something to do during winter vacation, so I signed up for GCYC.
At the beginning, I was a little apprehensive since there were many more people joining us than the regular group we had every week at youth group, but my shyness quickly died down. We had fellowship time, quiet time with God, testimonies, and getting into the Bible time daily. And also worship. I think it was something about the second to last day when we worshiped, that the words (“Lead me to the cross where Your heart poured out“) poured into my heart and I could feel God’s Embrace. That was when I knew I needed Him in my life, to be my Savior, to be my Everything. I also knew that the people around me were too wonderful for words and they played a huge part in shaping me into who I am today.
In addition to going to youth group, I also began to attend Sunday services. It was about this time I thought about my next step in my relationship with Christ. I remembered that during GCYC, someone I knew had decided to get baptized and give his life over to Christ, to grow further in his relationship with God, and I just thought how cool and admirable that was.
After praying about it for some time, I talked to my youth pastor about this and the possibility of getting baptized. This was in June, and he found out that the church was getting ready to ask anyone who wanted to get baptized to attend some meetings before the baptism ceremony in July. So I decided to take that step. I was officially baptized on July 25, 2010. (However, a few days before my baptism, I was a bit hesitant into going through with this. It was the toughest three weeks of my life when it included a death of a friend and my ex-boyfriend cheating on me after an argument. However though, two nights before my baptism, I prayed and just talked to God and told Him everything that’s been going on and how I was feeling with all this, and just literally asking Him if I’m ready to take this next step, both in my heart and mind. The following morning or so, I felt the best I could have ever felt. I knew being baptized was I needed to do.)
It really hasn’t been the perfect life since I made that choice, as some people may think that once you have God in your life, He would make your life perfect. No. But what it has been is an exciting, stressful, most rewarding journey ever since. You see, ever since then, there have been MANY obstacles in my life, but these obstacles have taught me to keep my eyes on to Him. That the obstacles I’m facing were testing my strength of faith and were really blessings in disguise, even if I thought God was playing around with me at times. Without some of the obstacles and distraught I’ve experienced, I wouldn’t be where I am today nor would I be the person I am today. Also I’ve learned that things happen. It’s not God’s responsibility to make good things happen all the time. If we lived a perfect life, what’s the point of seeking God and having Him in the center of our lives? Sometimes Satan tempts you, but as you look to the light that is God, you will see He will protect you like He protects all His children. Sometimes we look into too much of the small details of life, when we should really look at the bigger picture. I may not know what the future has in store for me, but I know that it will be all in God’s purpose for me in the end. All the sufferings and pain I’ll go through, will be nothing like the joy I have knowing God loves me so much that His Son died for me when I’m not someone worth dying for.
I’m not perfect nor will I ever be near to perfect, but if I can lead people to Christ, a Lord WHO IS perfect… Who loves me despite my sins and scars, through my testimony, why should I want to be perfect? As long as I’m locking my eyes to Christ, as long as I strive to become Christ-like, where others can see it clearly, I think I’ll be alright. I won’t be perfect, but I’ll be alright.
During GCYC – we had the ice rink cleared so I got a chance to ice skate due to the rink’s rules. How cool!
Also, if you want to read the testimony I gave the morning of my baptism, here it is:
I’ve always sort of believed in God, but not fully. Before I accepted Jesus Christ into my life, I wouldn’t say I was a bad kid, I would say that I was a kid who felt like she was just living for the sake of living. I’ve grew up always wondering, “why am I like this? Out of everyone, why did it have to be ME?”
On the night of October 24, 2009 — I had a dream. * I had a dream that I could walk. This sounds wonderful, right? Wrong. In this dream, I was completely different from the person I am right now. I’ve come to realize that who I am and the way I am is all a part of God’s plans. In December, I was led to a miraculous event called GCYC. Out of the course of these three days, I’ve witnessed so many great, life-changing things. On the last day, I knew I was ready to accept Jesus Christ into my life and as my savior.
Now when I think to myself, “Why am I like this?” I answer myself, “Why shouldn’t I be like this? I’m this way for a reason. Don’t let that talent and gift go to waste.” I couldn’t of asked God for a better life than the one I’m living right now. Full of love, adventure, and hope. Ever since I’ve accepted Christ into my life, I’ve been led to such amazing people, people who’ve inspired me to be the best I can be, people who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, and for that I can’t thank them or Him enough for that. Thank you.