In 2013, I came to know the Lord through Hope Church. Although I had encountered God on numerous occasions since the age of 9, I never knew Him until I began walking with God at 20. I made the most significant decision of my life to walk away from friends, relationship and even family (who are non-Christians) to pursue a God I hardly knew.

Life did not get easier after receiving Christ, but it sure got interesting. During my early years with Christ, I pursued a 6-year relationship with a guy at church. We were crazy in love and head over heels. But just like every Korean Drama, when life was going great, the unexpected happened; his father was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Both our worlds shattered and our faith was shaken. His father passed, and just when things could not get any worse, my boyfriend walked away from God to worship idols and his father’s tomb. I was at breaking point and had to decide; to walk away from the man of my dreams or lose God, whom I traded my family and friendships for. I spent the last 2 years of our relationship being absent from church and present in his life. Only to find his mother disapproving of taking our relationship further, which lead to us separating.

My self-esteem crashed, and along with it, all my hopes and dreams. I lost my vision, identity, purpose and zeal for God. For months I suffered from severe depression, anxiety attacks resulting in drastic weight loss and was diagnosed with hyperactive thyroid due to severe stress. 2017-2019 were the hardest years I ever endured. Never had I ever felt so rejected, alone and hurt. No one reached out to me nor asked where I have been all these years absent from church. My family was also missing in this season of my life. To make matters worse, I lost my teaching job at the end of the year due to not coping because of my depression.

I knew that God was up to something, but I could not understand it nor see it at the time. Struggling to reach out for help, I attended a different church for a few months. There I found healing in community and was blessed with friends who went the extra mile to help me heal. Along the journey, I met my best friend who pointed me back to God. And through that obedience birthed a circle of Christian friends. They have continuously spurred me on to chase after my purpose and walk with Jesus. Life has never been the same since.

I have learnt that what you want is not always what you need. The journey with God is never easy, but it’s worth it. No man nor woman can take away what God has spoken over your life, it is only you who can walk out of God’s Will. There will be seasons where we feel defeated, but we have a choice to choose whether it destroys, defines or develops us. There will be detours and consequences for our actions; however, God is gracious and merciful, and He will be there with us through it all. Although life is not perfect, He has doubled my portion and blessed me with an abundance of friendships and leaders at Hope Church. On top of that, I was provided with a job at Brisbane State High School during COVID-19. Everything that happened to me, I see now was for me. I am back sharper, better, stronger with 20/20 vision and more zeal for God than ever before.

Hli Vang
School Teacher
Elevate SL South 1, Hope Church St Lucia