In my first semester, I was invited to life group and had always heard of Jesus and His death that paid for our sins. One Sunday I invited Jesus Christ into my heart as my Lord and Saviour even though I did not know what it really meant. I grew up in a Buddhist family, so I thought that having a relationship with God only relies on personal effort. But when I realised that becoming a Christian means being together with other believers to encourage and share life together, I was scared because of my social anxiety. I felt overwhelmed in the middle of a crowd and I was afraid of people. However, I still convinced myself to attend life group as I did not want to let my friends down, and I knew I wanted to be close to God. During this year, I tried to hide myself and kept a distance from people. I felt frustrated, especially when people at my age were talking about how Jesus had made a difference in their lives. I believed that God existed, but felt distant and isolated from Him. I sensed I was supposed to make a change, so I asked God and left Brisbane during the school break. At that time, I had more time to figure out my relationship with Him. I read a book about knowing God personally. It told me that God wants to have a close relationship with me and He places the best things on the other side of fear. I started to realise that I should open my heart to God and His people first if I want get closer to Him. When I came back to university, I decide to surrender and let God control my life. Now, my insecurities are quieter and my Heart is fuller as I know God loves me deeply and has made me just the way He wanted. Even though I still have fears, I will take steps forward and say no to fear. This August, I chose to get water baptised because I understood I need Him in my life, and I wanted to declare my commitment to Him in public. I thank the Lord for bringing me to His kingdom and giving my life with hope in Him.

Haiyan Zhou
Economics, UQ7