The decision to study in Brisbane, a new environment where I knew absolutely no one, was a huge step beyond my comfort zone. To date, this decision still surprises me and I know that it was God who had given me the courage to take this step.
I was always very shy and suffered from social anxiety. As I was extremely introverted and socially awkward, my confidence level was close to zero and I grew up thinking that I was deficient in every way. Believing that I did not have any valuable input to offer, I avoided social interactions and rejected every invitation to go out with friends as I did not want them to feel obliged to talk to me when there were more interesting people around. Eventually, the invitations stopped coming altogether as people gave up on me and started to think that I was antisocial. I could not see a future for myself and all I wanted to do was to hide in the comfort of my room for the rest of my life.
Immensely worried about coming over to Brisbane, I asked God for help in desperation, even though I was not a Christian back then. Yet He listened to my cry for help and not only did He answer it, He gave me so much more than I had asked for. He gave me a loving and caring family in UQ3, where everyone welcomed me despite my flaws, and through this community, He gave me the opportunity to get to know Him personally. I was so amazed to realise that He had been watching over me before I had even acknowledged His presence in my life, and from that realisation sprang a hope that prompted me to accept Christ.
Over the past few months, He revealed to me many things about myself that I never understood. As I had truly believed that my academic achievements were my only redeeming quality, I frequently overexerted myself by striving for achievements that never quite fulfilled me, causing my health to deteriorate in the process. God, knowing me better than I knew myself, explained to me that all my doubts and identity struggles had stemmed from my insecurities. He showed me how I had let the seed of insecurity in my heart branched so far out that it was clouding my judgement, giving me a warped view of myself. He helped me to realise that I am worth much more than a string of letters, for I am a unique individual of His creation. God never makes mistakes, and He made me the way that I am because He has a purpose for me.
As I learned to cast my fears and worries unto Him, He has blessed me with a peace that I had never experienced before. As I opened my heart to Him, He opened my eyes and changed my outlook on life. He taught me to no longer let my insecurities rule, because in doing so I was missing out on the beauty that He has created. Accepting Christ was my first independent decision, and words cannot express how thankful I am for the opportunity to be transformed by the amazing love of God.
Hui Jean Lim
Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical)
Uni-Generation UQ 3, St Lucia Afternoon Service