Having received a few feedback regarding certain entries in our competition, we feel we need to clarify a few things:

  1. This competition is based on each writer’s individual experience and provided they can testify to them being genuine, we consider all testimonies valid and eligible for running. We hold to the guideline that each writer is entitled to their own opinions about their experiences, and in their expression of said opinions.
  2. Currently, this is still part of an ongoing competition. As such, the articles listed on this page are still under the prerogative of each writer and Asian Beacon will not meddle in any way with any content by any writer. If we ever publish any articles under the name of Asian Beacon, we will clearly state our stand on our statement of beliefs.
  3. This competition is judged purely on the writer’s testimonies and not on the finer points of theology. While the competition is still ongoing, in all cases, and in line with our respect for each writer’s individual testimonies, we adopt a ‘spirit rather than the letter of the law’ approach to each writer’s testimony.
  4. The Asian Beacon team will endeavour to its utmost to be fair to all participants, without any discrimination, prejudice, or favoritism to any single participant.
  5. In all cases, the Asian Beacon team will hold true to the conditions we have outlined in our Terms and Conditions for the competition. You may find these terms on https://asianbeacon.org/writing-competition/

Asian Beacon would like to reiterate here that we are all members of Bible-believing churches and we hold to the evangelical creed. We thank those of you who have raised your concerns and hope this will help answer your questions.

A Broken Man Restored by God

by Philip Lau

Introduction

I became a Christian when I was 13 and although the title states ‘a life-changing experience with Christ’ after becoming a Christian, my essay written is basically a series of events which has been combined to be a ‘life-changing experience’.

So, this is my story of how a broken man like me experience first-hand, the work of God in my life.

Suicidal and self-harm attempts

In my lower secondary school years, I told myself that I wanted to surpass my primary school academic performance. Therefore, this aspiration drove me to strive to do well in my studies. I was not good socially as I had difficulties interacting with my peers. Everyone perceived me as the “quiet but smart kid”.

However, in the year-end of 2010, I had a progressive issue of depression, which made me tend to push-away myself from my studies although I still studied but not efficiently.

It was in the year where I transitioned to Form 5 where I was embarrassed in front of my peers by a teacher for failing an elective subject. I still remember the details vividly where I remember I avoid eye-contact from my classmates who stared at me

with a full of surprise. So this teacher scolded me in front of public for not studying, but the actual truth was that I wished to dive deep into my studies , only to be held back by issues of serious depression.

I remembered I went back home and shed tears on my bed. How am I supposed to face my classmates and other peers for the upcoming months to SPM? Moreover, I was a high-achiever before therefore the impact of my fall was even greater compared if I were not a high achiever

Therefore, I told myself to always bury my nose on my reference books and interact with my peers as minimal as possible. This is because one of the reason was that I wanted to signal to them that I was trying to strive to show that I was still responsible in my studies. But a more important reason was that I was just given the responsibility to be a committee member in a major inter-school Christian event and my peers knew that. I did not want to give them the impression that I did not forgo my studies to become a Christian leader, that in my perspective that time would signify that I was irresponsible Christian for neglecting my studies, taking into account my parents and teachers’ expectations.

It was in the middle of the year that I had suicidal tendencies and self-harm

thoughts….and eventually….I cut myself with a pair of scissors on my arms. which made my arms blood-red…

I vividly remembered a few leaders counselling me. They obviously saw through my struggles and I was not managing them well. What I more vividly remembered was the moment of repentance and miraculously , the wounds disappeared very quickly.

Multiple checking issues

A few years flew by, although achieving distinction in my foundational studies, I met another steep and uphill journey in degree. I had problems checking things over and over again, from multiple checking of whether I have locked my car or not , to very unnecessary thoughts on whether I accidentally pressed something wrong on my cell phone.

This issue costed me very long durations and could go up to one whole day of unnecessary checking.

My studies consequently were severally impaired and I did not get good results in my degree years.

Road to major recovery and ‘reconstruction’

After a really long time of my above struggles, I sought help from the Lord and the counsel of wise people He has put in my life. I was blessed to be shown the fruits of recovery from my roadblocks. I soon pursued a professional accountancy qualification , with an ambition to ‘redeem’ my shortfall back in my degree life.

However it was still a rocky path as everyday I questioned my worth and that I despised my mental health issues. I was unpleasantly told that my disappointing degree results do not warrant that I can have access to employment with top firms. I could not share my real and true struggles many people and therefore I know the feeling for not being understood especially in the area of not performing that well in my degree life. I honestly felt life is not fair.

Despite the self-doubt thoughts, I worked hard and persisted through the energy and determination that God has gifted me. I have been able to study and practise questions for long hours.

Although this may seemed positive, I somehow started neglecting God and Bible Study, with the ‘excuse’ and the declaration that I can turn my life around through human strength, with the anthem ‘this is for God’. And God again showed me the

path through His rod and sceptre, rebuking me and picking me out from the dark and to the light.

Reflective Thoughts

If it were not for God, I would detest my past. But thank God for His plans are far greater than ours and I am convicted that His ways for His children are good.

Despite of having a painful and hurtful past, He planned it that way because God is God and we the creation are not to replace the infinite God with ourselves as gods.

Because of what I have been through, I would not be a major panellist for a major mental health event in a local university, with hundreds of participants.

More importantly, God’s plans are sovereign and who am I to detest my creator for His plans for me. I know that God will use me as His vessel not for selfish gains but for His will.

Of late, I told myself and promised to show people that I am joyful. I also pledged to not complain and gossip , whether I am in the right or wrong. Why do I say this is because it is what God has done and who God is that we are complete and the effects of sin into the world are reversed. Therefore, it is through living a joyful life that we live a life that is completed by Christ.

Also, I believe we must ask that the baggages and grudges that we bear in our past are to be delivered from us through Christ’s work on the Cross. In other words, let Him heal your wounds and live a life complete in God.

Final words

I would like to thank the people that God put in my life, to correct me through the Scriptures, whether if it is recently or a long time ago. I also forgive the people who have hurt me like what I have mentioned in this article- your debt is cancelled like how Christ wrote mine off

May God use my life for His glory Amen

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