I grew up in an environment that had a lot of pressure from school and relationship, especially relationship with friends and family. It caused me to become an autistic person since childhood.

I used to be the only child in my family before the birth of my sister and the youngest among all my cousins, the only person that I played with is my elder cousin brother. He is a very nice brother to me, but as long as when we had differences in opinions, he will assume that I was wrong and blame me on what I have done.

I still remember when I was young, his comment about my voice was horrible at that young age which I could not bear with this kind of discouragement. Since then I dislike singing in front of people.

When I was in school, my teachers always had very high expectation on our grades. Some of you might not know this, but Chinese education system is very strict to every single student. As a student, I have to obey hundreds of school rules such as no long hair, no hair accessories, fringe must always be neat and above the eyebrows and we need to dress up with our unfashionable uniform.

During the week, we were only allowed to go home from Saturday morning till Sunday afternoon, and the rest of the days we were only allowed to stay in hostel. It was an intensive schedule with only short break time for us throughout the day. There was no entertainment, all I did in school was only eat, sleep, study and repeat. If we could not achieve high marks in our studies or break the school rules, we would be punished.

I really thank God that when I was 14, my family and I encountered God. God came into my life at the hardest period of my life. On top of the hard situation in school that I did not enjoy, I was facing hard time in my friendship which caused me to be lost at that period of my life. It was not a smooth sailing in my friendship journey, and this was the biggest reason that causes me having hard time. I was really grateful that God changed my parents’ mind and they allowed me to transfer to another school, even though my previous school was the best high school in my city. With the change, I managed to have a new beginning in my life.

When I was in the new school, the learning system was very different from the previous school. I do not need to force myself to learn something that I do not like, instead the class taught me a lot of interesting things, and God really blessed me with nice friends in school. I started to open up to God and the people around me. Due to this blessing, I managed to have true friendship in my life that I have never thought I could have. Even though I still can feel the pressure to graduate from high school, I can feel God is giving me peace and joy throughout my school life despite the tiredness and busyness. These are not only the things that I have encountered after I accepted Christ. I have learned how to love others rather than just be self-centred, and my personality started to change day by day. Every time when I go to church, I feel like I know God more than yesterday which make me feel very grateful about it.

Last but not least, I believe God does not stop the journey here, but I trust that he will be the only one who leads throughout this journey in the future.

Angelus Liang
Bachelor of Education
Uni-Generation QUT2, St Lucia Service

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