Some people here may have already heard bits and pieces of how I came to truly know Christ; whether that might have been through sharing in reflections or my answers to the very commonly asked questions; “How did you come to GracePoint?” or “How did you become a Christian?”. If I look back, though I did go to a Christian school for 2 years and continued to attend scripture classes as a child, I never truly understood what the Old Testament stories (such as Noah’s Ark or Adam and Eve) meant and what it revealed about God and ourselves. In a way, it never made sense to me as they remained irrelevant stories. I also only really attended Bible classes because mum wanted me to and I didn’t want to let her down. There were always questions in my head that remained unanswered such as “If God loved us, why are people around me still sick? Why are mum and dad fighting? Why are we still suffering? Why are we still sad?”.
It wasn’t actually until the start of 2020 when I was halfway through Year 12 and COVID-19 had begun impacting my life that these questions started to come into my mind again. At that point, I placed academics first since I wanted to make the most of my opportunities of education here. I had seen the sacrifices that my parents made in order that I could be given a chance to study at university, which my parents themselves were unable to go to. I’d feel guilty not studying on my weekends because it felt as if I wouldn’t be using my time wisely and not trying the best that I could. But at some point, panic and stress grew as I kept reflecting on what I wanted to do with my life – what would happen if I ended up graduating with a degree that I didn’t enjoy working in?
I started to create these numerous backup plans to tackle uncertainties or things that might not go the way I want. The overthinking tendencies led to me going through a quarter-life crisis but 10 years earlier than most other people. Naturally, fear and anxiety manifested themselves in me and I was lost. What and how do I really want to live my life? There was a desperate need and deep pressure to enrol in a course that could land me a stable job, so that it could lead me to a successful future, so that my parents could finally rest and retire, so that we can all be one happy family. This was what a meaningful life looked like to me then.
With God’s perfect timing, I was introduced to GracePoint and reintroduced to God once more through someone you might know, Valerie Chen from Burwood campus. The first sermon I ever listened to from GracePoint was actually the Easter series. I remember sitting in lockdown listening to the preacher speak about God’s immense love and mercy for us, which led to Christ being sacrificed on the cross so that we can have eternal life with Him. If Jesus really died for me, my future is and will continue to be bright…
The comfort, love, and hope from God and hearing Isaiah 41:10 being mentioned; “Fear not For I am with you, be not dismayed from I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” was enough for me to break down into tears as I felt such a heavy burden and baggage being lifted off my shoulders. I didn’t need to write my own story or secure my own future anymore. It was secure in Jesus!
From that point onwards, many of the questions I had were slowly answered as He revealed His grace, love and faithfulness to me through sermons and His Word. His power and sovereignty were further emphasised to me when all the plans I created were not fulfilled or achieved. I was originally planning to do a Bachelor in Nursing and then Midwifery but decided to do OT instead! This isn’t the Old Testament but Occupational Therapy! This decision was made on the very last day that our university applications were due. Even looking back at it now, I am still mind blown with the perfection of God, His sovereignty, and how He actually knows me better than I know myself. He knows what’s best and as a result, I began to trust and depend on Him more and more.
Though there were periods where I still questioned Him and turned away from Him, especially that year. Yet, He remained faithful, unchangingly gracious, and forgiving. He really is a God that never forsakes and that powerful imagery of Christ being “the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep” as He protects and guides us still remains strong in my mind even till now. God has led me to be where I am right now and for He is the good Shepherd, I entrust Him with the present but also the future. At times, my direction for life may seem hazy and unclear but with a future secured in Christ, I depend on Him even more!
I am extremely thankful and grateful to be able to live my life dedicated to Him and experience the unbounded love, faithfulness, and comfort that He continues to shower me with. With the community united under Christ’s name, it has been and will always be encouraging to walk with you all. I can see how there really is no God like our God as I witness how He is working in each and every one of your lives and how He continually grows us to be more like Him. I hope that through my story, you can truly see how great our God really is and that He is more than enough!
Before I finish off, it’s always in the GracePoint sermon culture to give points to ponder, isn’t it? Well then, let me ask for you to reflect; What does it mean to be a Christian? Do you also feel the need to be the main character and the writer of your own story? But then also, ask yourself this; if you knew and trusted that your life and your future has been invested into and secured by such a loving God, what would your life look like?