Throughout my life, I was raised in a Buddhist family and was generally not religious. The things I did and places I went to were out of familial duties and familiar habits. I was very sceptical and usually complained when I had to pray or go to temples. Honestly, I was living my life pretty aimlessly day by day with stubbornness in my heart. I didn’t have solid life goals and had really bad habits like waking up late, sleeping late and being late to appointments. I remember that the decisions I made back then were often influenced by friends or boyfriends: which university I wanted to study at, which country I wanted to study in, and which classes to take.

The choices eventually led me to the University of Queensland in Brisbane. My first two years here were all fun and games, living my life and experiencing new things away from family and my parent’s strictness. However, my life took an unexpected turn when my dad was diagnosed with nasal cancer near the end of my second year. My parents did not want me to pause my studies, so I remained abroad while he was sick in Thailand. He passed away a year later, and everything in my life took a big hit. I was failing my classes, sleeping all day, and I stopped seeing my friends.

Through His divine plan, as I was transiting over in Singapore, I was invited to go to church by my boyfriend and his family. I was not reluctant at all and went along to a couple of services. Yet every time I was there, I always felt a strong presence; like I was enveloped in a warm hug. I did not know it then, but it was the Holy Spirit working inside me. At one of the services, while everyone was doing communion, I decided to accept Jesus into my life!

Things became different with God. Slowly, my life changed for the better; I became more focused on my studies, I became more punctual and improved my bad habits. I hungered to know who God is every day. It was such a blessing to have started my journey with God and to understand His plans for me. With eyes fixed on God, I managed to graduate with a Bachelor in Psychology and began my master’s degree in Educational Studies. I knew that with my degree and masters, I could be used by Him to help spread the love and care He has for all of us on earth.

I had felt so lost in my life, but I have now found a reason to live my best years for God! I am so thankful to have this heavenly Father, always looking after me and cheering me on. I realised from my walk with God that truly everything that is good for you will come to pass in His name!

Areeya
Masters of Educational Studies
UniGen UQ6, Hope Church St Lucia

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