I grew up in a Christian household so I have been blessed to grow up at church and learn about Jesus since I was young. I learnt in Sunday School that Jesus died on the cross and rose again for my sins, but I didn’t truly understand what that meant. Before I fully understood what Jesus had done for me, my primary goal in life was to be as successful and ‘good’ as possible so that my parents and other people will love and value me. I tried to accomplish this by being the most attentive and well behaved kid at school. I worked hard to do well academically as well as in other things such as music and sports. This made me feel happy and valued for a while but the joy from my successes never lasted. 

Success, achievement and the praise of others could not and will never satisfy what I was truly longing for. This became especially apparent to me after my dad left our family. I continued trying to find my value and worth in my achievements, but all they did was become a heavy burden for me. I did very well in the Selective School’s test and even made it into James Ruse Agricultural High School, which made me feel valuable and accomplished for a little while. However, soon after I felt the immense pressure and burden to continue to achieve, to get the top marks and to prepare well for the HSC so I could get into medicine. I believed that if I did not continue achieving I would not be worthy of love and respect. I felt depressed, lonely and in despair. I felt that no one loved me, cared for me or knew what I was going through. It was during these dark times, that I started to pay more attention to what I had learnt in church and was able to truly reflect on who Jesus was and what the Gospel meant to me. I didn’t become a Christian overnight, but when I was in highschool I gradually began to understand the depth of Jesus’ love for me. 

I continued trying to find my value and worth in my achievements, but all they did was become a heavy burden for me

I realised the extent of my rebellion against God and was convicted of my sin. I realised that I didn’t deserve God’s love, but demonstrated his grace and chose me unconditionally when Christ died on the cross. He gave me hope when he offered me eternity with him and invited me to cast all my burdens and loneliness to him. I realised that all my longings and desires for security, satisfaction and love can only be fulfilled by Christ, whom I was made by and for. I decided to put my trust in him and cast all my burdens and sorrow to him. I learnt to depend on his strength and grace instead of my own abilities to live for Him. I was also able to truly love others, with the assurance that I’m already loved dearly by God. 

I am currently in university studying medicine and serving at church as an ACG leader. Getting into medicine definitely felt like an accomplishment, however the temporary satisfaction could not compare to the lasting joy and security I have found in Christ – knowing that I am saved through faith in what Christ has done on the cross and that I have new life in Him. Serving God has become a joy and privilege instead of being a burden that proves my worth. My life is still full of challenges and difficulties that can feel overwhelming, however I no longer need to shoulder all the burden to prove my worth by my achievements. I can live each day by God’s grace, depending on His strength to live for Him and glorify Him because God has saved me and given me His Spirit which sanctifies me each day and renews me day by day

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