Though I have been a Christian for almost 20 years of my life, it was only in 2018 (when I came to Brisbane to start my university education) that I started to take my faith seriously.
A major turning point of my faith journey was my baptism in 2019. Taking a path of more serious faith, I became more punctual with attending church and even took on roles such as planning I-week events to increase my commitment to the church and life group. However, though I was serving more, my personal relationship with God remained lacking. It influenced my own attitude and heart in serving and outreach, and it was something my mentors noticed. Though I was enthusiastic about outreach, I felt like an imposter and a hypocrite – preaching about the greatness of God and how he can do wonders in people’s lives as I have witnessed but never acting on what I preached.
However, COVID 19 suddenly hit this year and everything changed, the briefness and fragility of life was something I became increasingly aware of and I realized how precious of a commodity time is.
In this period of COVID 19 where convenience and many other luxuries are not available, I have had more time to reflect on the truly important things and be grateful to God that my life was not as drastically affected as others. The newfound understanding that God is the one constant in my life, led me to try growing my personal relationship with him through daily devotionals, prayer, and choosing to place my trust in God especially in more stressful situations (e.g working on big assignments I had previously failed).
Beyond this, however, I had a newfound understanding and realization of the importance of the great commission. A dear friend passed away suddenly and the realization that she did not know God broke me. I realized truly that if I don’t reach out to my friends and lead them back to God, who else will? Since then, I have been trying to reach out to my friends more often and trying to lead them to God. Because time is a fleeting thing. we have got to make use of the time we have here now.
Since I have started making a proper commitment to leading my friends to God, I have had occasions where nonbeliever friends thanked me for praying for them and were more open to knowing about God.
This year has been a tough one, but through this trial, I have gained more and am able to see the glory of God working through my life and how it can work in others. I am grateful for this experience that even though it was tough, God allowed me to learn from it and grow as a Christian and as an individual. I hope this testimony can be an encouragement to others, that even through the darkest times and the harshest of trials, there is always an opportunity to honour God and to grow closer to him.
Joshua 1:9, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Student of Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honors)
UniGen UQ8, Hope Church St Lucia