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.

Your Life, Your Choice

by Valentina Alyssa Hendricks

I tried to get back up, but I couldn’t. I had worked hard to get to where I was, and in a glimpse, it all went down the drain. I lost myself. It was pitch black and I couldn’t feel myself. It was numb. My hand. I started isolating myself in my room. I would only go out to have my meal and get back in. I barely talked to my family members. Its like i fell into this deep, dark hole and no one realised. I can’t save myself and no one would come save me either. I started to find refuge in that darkness. I wondered and wondered. Why? 

Eventually, it all started to make sense. I was dead, spiritually. Within the next few months, I met some really great friends in church. They have played a significant  role in the beginning of my journey to finding myself and my purpose. They encouraged me to join praise and worship. They were basically my pillar of strength. Some of the main people that really helped me get through this were Edrea, Edmond and Sandra. They saw the best in me that others couldn’t see. They were also the ones that helped me realised that life is worth much more than this. It’s a precious gem, so cherish it.

After all the craziness we went through together, they told me about a camp, which is ACTS 29. This camp is called ACTS 29 because the book of Acts only has 28 chapters. Therefore, Acts 29 means we are the next chapter. So, I told my parents about it and it took me weeks to persuade them. I was over the moon when they said I could go. At first, I was really nervous but as time went by, I went by the flow. The wound and pain that I felt started to heal slowly. Although I can still feel the emptiness inside of me, at least I know that I’m starting to appreciate my life again. Then, the time finally came for me to go to camp. I went there with my brother. 

The first few hours were awkward as me and Edrea were alone and we barely knew anyone there. It started with registration followed by praise and worship. Praise and worship really helped us get in the mood. There were some fun games as well. Not to forget the talks and group discussions we had. One of the talks was about how to maintain a relationship between a guy and a girl. Things we should and should not do. It was a really entertaining talk because the speakers talked about the boundaries of a guy and a girl too. 

Besides, the group discussions were about the challenges that we faced in our youth ministry. Many came up with all types of challenges such as certain youths not cooperating or even transportation problems. Furthermore, when we came up with these challenges, the next thing we had to do was also discuss about ways to overcome those challenges to get a more active youth ministry. Doing these discussions helped each and every one of us to bond more with our group members. It was truly a pleasure to have met my group. They were friendly and easy-going.

In addition to this, there was an activity called the inner healing. We had to sit in pairs with random people. As this camp involved all south Johor parishes, there were a lot of people. Plus, we had limited time to interact. It started off with the main speaker explaining to us about inner healing, talking about reliving our baptism in a way because most of us were infants when baptised, and we have no memory of it.  Inner healing is a way to call out our suppressed or hurtful memories that we’ve been through. In a sense, it’s a beginning of a new chapter in our lives, spiritually.

The inner healing session is mainly about accepting God into our life, repenting our sins, repairing ourselves in a sense that we accept God into our life sincerely and understand more about God’s love no matter how many mistakes we have done in our life. God is going to be there for us and will forgive our sins when we fall back to him and no matter how many times we fall, God will be there to pick us right back up on our feet. God would never judge us because of what we did. 

It felt like a hypnosis session. The main speaker brought back memories about my past. It was as if I’m in my mind walking down my memory lane. I saw myself in third person point of view. I was sitting in the corner of my room alone, crying. I was listening to a song, Broken by Anson Seabra. I felt so empty because at that moment, I had given up on my life. I was filled with rage. All kinds of thoughts were running around in my head. I pictured myself getting out of control again, ready to do whatever it takes to not make myself feel empty anymore. I felt like it was the only way to survive.

The one thing that has been keeping me alive up to this point is hope. Now, the hope in me is gone. The small spark that I had within me, it disappeared just like that. I felt like no one is going to save me. Not anymore, not this time especially. I had the thought that the world would be better without me. And when I was on the verge of doing something I would regret, I stopped for a moment and think.  Little did I know that God was with me this whole time. He has always been showing signs that there is always something better to look forward to even after the worst experience. 

During this time, I realised I was carrying too much burden on myself and refused to allow God to help me. Inner healing opened my eyes on how God had helped me in every way he can. I felt the weight in my heart become lighter. My burdens have been taken away from me and I was overjoyed. My baggage had been removed. It was an indescribable sensation as if I broke free from an imaginary prison. The feeling I felt, it was one of a kind. I’ve never felt it before. Not only that, it also transformed me into a better version of myself than i was before. 

After feeling all of this glory, I felt like I was reborn. It’s as if I’m whole again. The pain I felt before? The numbness? It vanished. I felt like I’m not invisible anymore, especially not to my family members. I started seeing the beauty in life, in the most mundane things I’ve never noticed before. Sometimes I wish that those rough times when I thought I was alone never happened. But then again, if it didn’t, I wouldn’t be stronger and I wouldn’t have the strength to face other obstacles and hurdles in this race called life. As the saying goes, “stars can’t shine without darkness”, and I believe that the challenges I went through made me who I am today.

If I could help someone who is going through what I experienced, I wouldn’t be living in vain as it might even save one’s life. If I could help someone ease their pain or suffering, I would do it without thinking twice. I don’t expect others to give me something in return when I help them because I help them from the bottom of my heart. I just want to see them happy. If they’re happy, then I’m even more happy. Seeing that others could have another chance at life means a lot to me. It would mean a lot more to their loved ones. 

On the contrary, it goes without saying that happiness definitely comes from within. You can choose to be happy. It’s a choice, your decision to make. Whatever you choose, know that it makes you happy and proud of yourself. Know that no matter what you choose, God is always with you till the end, no matter the path. He will be there guiding you even in your hardest and darkest times. Be true to yourself and know your worth. Don’t let others underestimate you for who you are. If there’s a reset button to life, I would definitely press it. Would you?

Click on VOTE below to cast your vote.

Your Life, Your Choice Live

  • by Valentina Alyssa Hendricks
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