I was born into a Christian family, and was baptised at the age of 14. I attended church services when I was a child, but I did not enjoy it and only did so to please my parents. I was only a Christian in name and was apathetic towards my faith. I was not devoted to God as my parents were.
A lost son
When I was 15, I mixed with the wrong company of friends and my life very quickly went down the wrong path. I picked up smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs. I was introduced to black metal music. I became more rebellious towards my parents and those who loved me, and lived under the influence of unhealthy music and bad company.
I began to despise Christianity and blamed God for all the things I was not able to have as a child of God. I tore up the Bible, blasphemed God’s name and even bullied my Christian classmates. By the time I was 16, I had fallen into severe depression and had to regularly visit a psychiatrist.
My mum and aunt did not stop praying for me every day. While I was thankful and at times touched by their relentless prayers, my indifference to Christianity and God was far greater.
When I was around 25, I returned to church after suffering a breakup after a long-term relationship. But I only did so because my aunt had persuaded me and she had comforted me a great deal during the dark period of my life. I did not pursue God or love and live for Him. I was totally oblivious to the need to have a personal relationship with God.
I had a job as an insurance adviser but did badly at work. It was easy to blame God for my failures in my job. I compared myself with my colleagues, who were non-believers, and I envied them. At the advice of non-Christians, I went to the temple to seek "luck". My situation improved slightly for a while, but I soon found myself back to where I was.
At this point, I did not know what to do. I was struggling alone and was far from God. I started to look for other jobs but got rejected even for entry-level jobs. I remained unemployed for months.
A second chance
Eventually, I decided to try "The Jesus method" again. I asked my aunt to pray for me and to my amazement, I managed to land a job which was far better than I had expected. I lacked the relevant experience for the job and even did badly during the job interview, yet by God's grace I managed to secure it! In reality, I was not struggling alone as I had thought. God was with me and waiting for me to return fully to Him.
From this point, I started to take my faith seriously. Within one year, I managed to quit smoking and drinking despite being an alcoholic for seven years. Daily trusting and obeying God was my only recourse. I started to see a drastic change in my life after submitting fully to God and telling him, “Not my will but Your will be done. Whether I have everything or nothing I will continue to seek You and put my trust in You."
“Not my will but Your will be done
Whether I have everything or
nothing, I will continue to seek
You and put my trust in You”
Scriptures started to make sense to me. Proverbs 13:20 is a good reminder of the negative influences of the bad company I used to have: "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm." But the words of Romans 12:2 instructed me: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”.
I was comforted by the Scriptures, that even though I was against the Lord during my youth, God has completely forgiven me. He has a perfect plan for me.
God’s unfailing love
To those who feel they have sinned and are too ashamed to come back to God, I would like to encourage you: “Do not fall for this guilt that the devil wants to place in you.”
In fact if you decide to return to God, our Father is saying: “‘This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:24)
“This my son was dead, and is alive again;
he was lost, and is found”
There will also be times of suffering, but I know that God is with us in the suffering and will grow us through the sufferings. Indeed, the crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts. (Proverbs 17:3) And I will trust in God’s unfailing love in all situations and hope in Him even when everything around me does not seem to be going well.
Edited by Rachel Yip