I grew the closest to God after I felt His protection during and after one of the scariest moments of my life. I had spoken with Him before and had acknowledged His presence, but I truly found joy in all that He is after a car accident that changed my perspective. His love and purposes for me became unmistakably clear. I am doing my best to live out His plans for me while participating in various activities such as teaching fitness, playing volleyball, and hanging out with my dog.
When I was in eighth grade I joined a basketball league called CCU, at the time only looking to practice and play basketball competitively. Little did I know that this decision would change my life forever. At the time I didn’t attend church but did believe in God, and somehow during the summer I met friends from New Start Ministries who invited me to practice, fellowship and eventually church services. The love, compassion and investment they (NSM members) made in my life exemplified to me who Christ is and what He has done in their lives. Fast forward a couple years and I saw myself becoming a member at the church and being baptized as my public declaration of faith. I have never made a better decision. Coming from a traditional asian household that was very broken at times, but now being able to immerse myself in the love that is God, a love that is endless and unconditional, was something I couldn’t truly fathom but wanted desperately to be a part of. I am so glad that I didn’t hesitate in giving my life to God because truly nothing will ever compare.
As a child growing up in church, I was taught bible stories while I ate goldfish crackers in the Sunday School room. I sang songs while serving on the worship team. I wore a cross and t-shirts with christian verses, and learned the do’s and don’t’s of how to be a Christian. On paper or even from an outside perspective, I was doing everything right to seem like the “good Christian boy”, but what I have come to learn is that Christianity is more than works or persona to uphold. It’s a relationship. I decided to declare that relationship by getting baptized in 2003 after realizing how much He loves us, shown through the sacrifice of His son on the cross. Fast forward the next couple of years, a whirlwind of conferences, camps, and clubs all still geared towards having fun. It is easy to feel like you are progressing in your faith when you are surrounded by those who are like-minded and constantly in an environment that encourages the Holy Spirit. In other words, I became comfortable and lukewarm in my faith. But it wasn’t until I graduated high school and entered into my first year of college that I was about to get a taste of reality. There was no more structure. There was no one telling me what to do. There was no one stopping me from living a life I wanted to live. I made my own choices and it was at this point that if I wanted Christ in my life, I had to purposefully include Him. Actively seeking Him and His will has been a theme that I have been working through all throughout college and now into pursuing my professional career. Being steadfast in prayer and His Word have become necessary reminders of His love and constantly humbling me in my walk. As I take the next steps in my life, possibly moving away from everything I am familiar with, I hope this pushes and grows my faith even more. I want to encourage those who are pursuing their own relationship with Christ that, like all relationships, it takes intentionality, time, and effort. May you burn with a passion and desire to want to know Him more and continually seek His will, loving those He calls us to love.
1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
My sister first invited me to church when I was seven years old. At that time, I only had a basic understanding of who God was. Through reading Bible stories in Sunday school, I saw Him as God, the Father, the creator and omnipotent. He had unrelenting power and I quickly grew fearful of Him. Yet, as I grew older, my relationship with God blossomed. After perusing through a cluster of confusing years, I began to see God, the Son, who sacrificed Himself on the cross through His unceasing love for us. Then, as I entered college, a time of self-discovery, I found myself in Him. He became God, the Holy Spirit, who walks beside me in my daily life. He reminds me that I am worthy of His countless blessings. He instills in me a drive to pursue my passions and fulfill His plans for me. He supplies me strength and resilience in the many moments of self-doubt. And more importantly, He provided comfort and peace in my heart when I watched my beloved grandparents leave this world. Through prayer and reflection, He forgives me for my weaknesses and reminds me of my potential. I aspire that with each day, I can become an adequate representation of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, by spreading His word, compassion and care.
I first accepted Jesus Christ at a Winter retreat when I was 14 years of age and I guess that’s the reason why retreats hold a very special place in my heart. It was a natural progression for me as I had previously attended Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, Friday night fellowships and numerous Saturday church activities. As a person gets older, there are times when he or she wishes they could go back in time and do things differently, but my spiritual decision I will never regret. Over the years, I have come to realize that all I am and have is due to His endless love and amazing grace. I am so blessed to have a Heavenly Father who looks after me and provides my every need. Wherever my journeys take me, during times of joy or sadness, I take comfort in the knowledge that He is with me every step of the way. I hope that one day you will have the opportunity to have a special relationship with the one and only true God.