I wasn’t exposed to God until I was 9 years old when my dad passed away. My mother’s friend took us to a Catholic church and there I attended Sunday school. There were two problems with this church, however. One, there was no diversity. There was nothing but Vietnamese people and the father (preacher) spoke in Vietnamese, which I just happen to NOT be fluent in. I literally, had no idea what he was talking about. Two, the people at my church weren’t bad or anything, but…maybe a little ridiculous. For example, I accidentally used my left hand to touch my forehead, chest and left to right shoulder when saying “In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.” A few adults saw me do this and told my mother I was praying to the devil.
I didn’t go to this church for very long at all…
From then on, I didn’t go to church or care much for Jesus.
I believed there was a God, but I didn’t really know Him or really try to. All I really did was pray and expected to get what I asked for.
When I was first starting off in middle school at age 11, I was boy crazy. I depended on boys and also friends for happiness. At home, I lived with a single mother that I always fought with. Home wasn’t always calm when it was just the two of us. At school, there were times where I just felt neglected even with the good things happening to me in the 6th grade. I eventually began cutting myself but fortunately I was able to stop when I realized I was hurting the people I cared about that same year. However at the end of 6th grade, and into the 7th grade…I became unhappy with my life. Then it got even worse.
My mother got remarried (to a good guy, of course) and we had to move to a new cityand I had to go to a new school for the 8th grade. Of course, the fact that I had new family members made me happy for awhile and I thought that maybe family was the missing piece…but later on I was still unhappy.
I HATED the 8th grade. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alone. I never wanted to talk to anyone. I remember I would go hide in the restrooms during lunch and came out until I heard the bell ring, signaling lunch was over. I even experienced bullying for the first time. I mean I’ve dealt with cruel words for some rare times before, but this time I had nobody to help me or wipe my tears away. I didn’t have a friend. I wasn’t bullied to the point I was depressed, but to the point where I dreaded going to 5th and 6th period because of one person and also cried…
I began to question God why I had to move away from all my friends and I began to get angry at Him. The funny thing was I wasn’t even happy with my life at my old school. Either way that didn’t stop me from running away from God; I stopped believing.
I blamed God for my suffering. I remember lying on my bed at night, wondering that since there was no God, why the heck was I alive. I had no reason to live, no purpose.
Then one night, as I was flipping through the channels on the TV, I came across some gospel show talking about how everything happened for a reason, no matter how bad. The show continued to show a man of God who had no hands or legs, yet there he was spreading the word of the Lord. He was happy with his life. This made me realize how selfish I was being. How blessed I really was. I began to cry hysterically for no reason but from that moment on, I began to believe in God, except once again, I still didn’t know Him and He was barely a part of my life. I didn’t change other than the fact I appreciated my life more.
At age 15, I was going to high school and things turned around. I made new friends while learning to let go of my past. Meanwhile, my parents were expecting a new baby. One day I went to a Christian church with a good friend of mine from my old school. I walked in, not expecting anything different based on the little childhood memory of my Catholic church. But when I got there, I was amazed. I remember telling my friend I was Catholic and she said “It’s okay, we don’t care here.” I remember meeting the friendliest people with handshakes and bear hugs. The church was so diverse and they spoke ENGLISH! Yet, what really affected me was when I saw the youth ministry. It wasn’t the lights and amazing music with a band instead of a singing choir, that opened my eyes, but I remember standing next to a boy that lifted up his arms in the air with his eyes closed and just sang while swaying back and forth. The first thing that came to my mind was “What’s wrong with him?” I didn’t realize at that moment, that that boy was in love with Jesus. Even with me being a little surprised to see him in that way, something stirred of me deep down like I wanted a piece of that. I wanted to feel what he felt and understand why.
I began to think about God a little more than before I went to church with my friend, but I still needed work, even though I was unaware of that fact. I thought I loved God, but I didn’t even know the first thing about love.
At age 16 in the beginning of my sophomore year, I began to feel unhappy once again. But this time…I was determined to find happiness. I had to change something. The first thing I changed was to stop obsessing over boys. Then I began to wander my mind to Jesus. I wanted Jesus, but where would I start? To my surprise, the next day my aunt asked me if I would want to go to church with her. And that was my starting point. I went to one small Christian church and it was nice but I don’t really remember what the pastor was talking about. Either way, I felt this type of joy slowly taking over me. It stayed that way until the next Sunday where I returned to the same church I’d been with my old friend. This time I went to the main service. I fell in love with the way they worshipped, the people there, the atmosphere but most importantly I fell in love with Jesus for the first time. From that point on, not only did I find happiness, but I also founded Jesus. I asked for Jesus to come into me, for the very first time. I changed. I began to become a more beautiful person on the inside with more kindness and unselfishness. I was so happy that I felt all the pain and the past melt away. I felt incredible joy that I never felt before consume me. I was on top of the world and I didn’t want to lose the feeling.
But then came along my first obstacle after discovering my newly founded fresh love. My aunt didn’t like the last church we went to and it seemed to me that she didn’t want to go back. My heart shattered. There I was feeling so amazing, and in an instance, my heart broke. I didn’t go to any church from that day on. Yet, something happened to me. I realized how happy Jesus had made me and I wasn’t going to give up my happiness no matter what. I began to read a borrowed bible, prayed without selfishness, and developed faith in Jesus. Yet, God knew that wasn’t enough to help me. So he let ‘somebody’ come into my life that was already crazy in love with Him. This ‘somebody’ was the biggest contributor to helping me grow. I got my own beautiful bible, watched online sermons from their amazing church that was similar to my old friend’s and had my own faith in Jesus because of this person. This person was the only one that supported me and let me be my own new developing Christ-like self.
This person walked with me until God understood I was ready to walk on my own…
There were some issues at home with myself and my parents. In the middle of my walk with Jesus, I began to lie a lot to them. I didn’t know why I kept doing it when I just wanted to stop. Fortunately, I was able to and got a part of my parent’s trust back. I was disgusted with myself but because of God, I became an honest person. However, there was more trouble with my parents and me. One word: Persecution.
My parents made it loud and clear that they did NOT believe in God. They would tell me that it was okay to love God, but I shouldn’t make Him my whole life (which is an oxymoron, to be honest). Getting no support from my parents and getting into arguments was and still is sometimes, the biggest struggle. And yet amazingly, my faith just grew and I became stronger. It was God’s test, and darling I passed.
This summer of 2011 has opened my eyes. I am not the same girl I was before, but I am becoming a young woman of Christ. I’ve become more loving, more dependent on God and more about putting others before me. I’ve been learning to figure out God’s calling for me as I am nearing the end of my high school life by becoming a junior this year. God whispered to me “Children/Youth Ministry”. I’ve already revealed to my parents this and haven’t really got a reply back, but I do know that they still love me and might just actually support me (pray for me). I have made the decision to stop dating and give up on silly little boys for the rest of the two years of high school to focus on my true love, Jesus. It’s not because I’m afraid to get hurt, oh no, I’m passed that. I’m just simply tired and it’s time to focus on other important things right now like Jesus and my future. I’ve created a tumblr that is solely dedicated to reaching out to others with God’s message and what the Holy Spirit wants me to write about. I currently have 61 followers and I remember getting overexcited about 5 followers. The point of my blog was never to be the most popular, but to inspire as much people as God brings to me. I know for a fact that I have reached out to at least 61 people and that right there shows that I’ve won.
I have found my eternal happiness from an eternal God and I have fell in love with a man that has filled the missing piece of my life, and His name is Jesus Christ. I don’t need to search anymore.
Following Jesus was the best decision I have ever made.