From age seven to sixteen, I attended a Christian school and was very much exposed to theology and the word of God. We sang praise and worship every morning, had sermons lectured to us on Wednesday afternoons, and were constantly ingrained with the teachings and values from the Bible. After leaving my secondary education, however, I was no longer exposed to the daily reminders of God and my Faith began to slip away. Finishing my undergrad at twenty, I then came to Brisbane to further my studies. It was a trying time as there were many changes and factors I could not control; as a person that’s used to the idea of having power and knowledge over my surroundings and future, it was a period of my life I’d never thought to prepare for.
The turning point, thankfully, came soon after. I still do not know what exactly made me think of returning to church–as I would been attending my home church in Singapore sporadically–but I felt like something was missing from my Sundays here. Not knowing where to go, I searched up the university’s website and found myself studiously looking through CCM’s Facebook page. I contacted the club and was invited to my current lifegroup’s weekly Friday dinner. Over dinner and worship and bible discussion, I felt connected to my Faith in a way I hadn’t ever. Not even when I was attending daily services over the course of my secondary education; it was overwhelming to be reintroduced to the doctrine in a way I’d never been taught. It was a different experience entirely and I felt my eyes open up to the Lord again.
One of the things that has really changed in me is the habit of praying: I remember being asked to say grace aloud for the first time. It felt awkward and unnatural for me to do so, but now it’s like second nature to me. It’s become instinctive for me to turn to prayer before eating, before starting on an assignment, when I am in a tough spot–reigniting that communication with God has really changed how I lived my life.
Since that fateful Friday, I have found a family I was not looking for in the people I have met in this church. People that I have loved and have left, despite knowing them for less than a year–less than six months–through Faith and shared hardships, I have felt closer to them than people I’ve known for years. I thank God for bringing them into my life; I thank them for relighting my candle of Faith.
Deuteronomy 4:39, “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.”
Chiew Alexis Mary
Master of Business (Marketing)
Uni-Generation QUT2, Hope Church St Lucia