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Having received a few feedback regarding certain entries in our competition, we feel we need to clarify a few things:
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.
From as young as I could remember, God has always been my best friend. I could talk to Him as if he were physically beside me, and I enjoyed that closeness for a very long time, not realizing what a blessing and miracle that was until I lost it. How I long to have that child-like faith and reliance on God again.
Most children dream of growing up quickly, imagining the independence that comes with it, the endless possibilities of the world as their oyster. My dream was when I turned 16, I was going to choose arts and literature as the focus of my studies in school. I had loved composing music, creative writing and poetry for as long as I could remember. I had the privilege of growing up learning the piano, violin and took up percussion as part of the school band. My passion and self-confidence were further fueled by winning multiple awards for creative writing almost every year. Maybe I could have made a career out of these, but my parents made it abundantly clear that I would be considered a failure should I choose this route. The obedient child who has never disappointed her parents would go on to study sciences instead. Through it all, God’s plans for me never even crossed my mind. Instead I turned further inward to myself as an act of self-defense, feeling my identity and worth diminishing. What I believed were my talents and passion were deemed a waste of time. Only years later through coaching and therapy would I realize that the seeds of depression were planted then.
I thought everyone had abandoned me, even God. So, I abandoned the world as well. I stopped feeling any emotion and had a complete disregard for anything or anyone around me. From being a top student in the best class, I started failing my tests, barely attending any classes, even to the point of my parents being called to a disciplinary hearing with the principle. Why is all this happening to me? What did I do wrong? Does no one care about me? Is there anyone who understands me?
By some miracle of God, I graduated high school with good grades and even managed to enroll into an expensive but prestigious college. Of course, I tried to choose literature as my major again, but my parents would overrule me easily on that. The embarrassment and hurt of being dismissed and rejected in front of the college administrators brew more hopelessness and depression in me. At the same time as college
started, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. God told me clearly that she will be healed, she will not die. However, His still, small voice was soon lost. The hardest days and months followed, missing college to accompany her to the hospital, taking care of my younger siblings, drowning in an endless sea of darkness and loneliness trying to keep my family together. I never knew despair until my father told me he could not cope any longer and barely came home. The devil is a very capable liar. He told me it was all my fault, he made me feel guilt for not being encouraging enough, not helping enough, not attending college even though it cost so much, not using that money for my mother’s cancer treatment. Yet, I was still relying on my own strength, on my own abilities to bear the pain. Graduating college with barely acceptable results, I was then shipped-off overseas to go to university, against my wishes and my desire to be with my family as my mother was still undergoing medical treatment. I felt my responsibility towards my family brushed off, no amount of begging could change their minds. So, I started university in a country I have never been to, with no friends and no family, feeling more alone than I have ever felt before.
While heading to the airport, I fell down a flight of stairs and severely injured both my ankles. The doctor told me I would need one year to walk normally again. I missed the first week of university and orientation because I could barely crawl out of my room. The pain was so unbearable that I finally broke down crying in my residence shared kitchen one day, feeling too weak to even make myself any food. However, God will never test us beyond what we can bear. That was when a stranger walked in and without knowing anything about me, asked if she could pray over me for healing. With the last bit of faith in my heart, I said yes. The moment she laid her hands on my shoulder, it was as if a stream of cool, calm waters were flowing through my body, straight to my ankles. The immediate relief was nothing short of heavenly. This stranger continued her prayers and the waters swirled around my ankles, taking all the pain away, and I knew I was being healed. When the prayer ended, one of my ankles felt completely normal again, while the other still had the cold touch of water lingering and swirling inside it. But I could walk again From excruciating pain to normal, healed immediately instead of losing the use of my legs for a year. The stranger turned out to be my resident advisor, a senior in university and an active member of the Christian Union. She invited me to join their upcoming meeting. I was only too happy to agree. I desired once again to know more about God. My heart yearned to be so connected to God that my prayers would produce miracles as well. I craved that level of faith in my life.
The people in the Christian Union were made up of Catholics, protestants, and even Jews. I felt welcomed and accepted. Nonetheless, the loudest voice in my head was still that of the deceiver. Every time I felt happy, the devil made me feel guilty for not sharing in the sufferings of my family back home. Whenever I tried to pray, the devil says God has turned His back on me, He would not listen to my prayers because I was not worthy of His love. I abandoned him and I had no right to ask Him to be with me now. After a while, the lies became my truth. I believed it because I could not feel God beside me anymore. The memory of His voice also faded from my mind. In just a few weeks, my miracle of healing was forgotten, and I was consumed by depression once more. I found myself unable to walk into the Christian Union. I sat outside in the middle of winter, snow falling around me, but cold could not touch me. I stopped feeling anything except an endless darkness. While faintly hearing praises and singing to God drifting through the night, I only thought to myself, “What is the point? I could sing my heart out to Him, but He would never accept it.” It was then that God proved He would never leave me nor forsake me. Anther stranger was sent to sit down beside me and pray with faith. I found myself standing up and walking into the building. The moment my feet stepped through those doors, uncontrollable tears flowed from my eyes. I knelt and cried, feeling the hands of two people on me as they started to pray. It was God’s words that were flowing from their mouths. God said, “I am here. I have never left you. I know all the pain that you have suffered, and I am with you. I love you. You are My daughter, and I am so proud of you. I care about you and I understand you, because I was the one who created you. Close your ears to the lies of the devil and trust in My words. I will bring you out of this darkness. You are not alone. Your family do care about you and love you with all their hearts. We will never abandon you.”
The words I needed to hear, and the words I will always remember for the rest of my life were whispered into my ears by two complete strangers. The cloud of depression over me was banished forever, my identity and self-worth were no longer in the things that I could achieve or the things that I failed to do. My life is not a failure, because God’s plans are greater and more amazing. I also know that no matter what happens, God loves me and would never leave me. That night, God gave me a heart for those who do not yet know Him and started my journey into evangelism. The hope and joy I finally feel again was due to a restored relationship with Him. I will never forget this life-changing experience with God.