I was born in a traditional family, where male was more valuable than female. My mom has 2 daughters when she was pregnant with me. When I was born, there was a suggestion to swap me with my boy cousin, because they wanted a son. The expectation of me being a son has set a different tone in my growth.

My dad has high expectation on me and often compared me with other sons. With such knowledge, I desperately did my best to make my parents proud. Regardless of how much I have tried, I still could not meet his standard because of my gender. With such hurt, my relationship with my dad kept getting worse as I grew. When I finally entered my adulthood, I started to keep a distance from my dad and go against in whatever ways he tried to impose in my life.

When I became a Christian, it was not easy to believe God’s unconditional love for me. I always think I have to be obedient to earn God’s love. Through healing and prayer sessions, I have experienced healing, was able to grasp the depth of God’s love and grace for me, that is beyond our human understanding and I do not have to be perfect and He loves me as who I am.

My relationship with my dad has not improved over the years. Every visit often ended up with quarrel and hurt. I left home with guilt, condemnation and frustration. To keep the peace, I choose to keep a distance.

With an unexpected incident, I had to return home in hurry. I fasted and prayed before the trip, God clearly told me that He wanted me to reconcile with my dad. I was reluctant but it was hard to argue with God. I told God that I did not know how, but I would trust Him.

When I visited my family, my dad behaved as before. God did not change my dad, but He changed my heart. The presence of God was strong throughout my stay. Though I still remember those hurtful incidents, I do not feel bitter or angry. I manage to listen without judgement, to see him in God’s eye and to love him. I experience again the power of forgiveness in Christ that empowered in me. Those years I yield for justice and counted lost in struggling to live up to the unfair standard, but I am free from the bondage for Jesus died on the cross for me. My daughter and I also have an opportunity to pray for my dad’s health. This was not expected but is God’s grace that abides in this situation has made it happen.

Though in man that is impossible, with God that is possible. I pray this will encourage you to trust God in all your situation and knowing that God knows us better than we do.

Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Corlin Woung
Family 2D, Hope Church Willawong