the other day, a foreign friend asked me to share my testimony via youtube for his christian online magazine, onfire. i was all of delighted, humbled and nervous about fulfilling his request. unable to relate to contemporary christians, i have — for so long — felt disconnected from the christian community. the youth group i once belonged to had disbanded many years ago as our small church drama caused our families to scatter to new churches, and i have since been unable to find a group of christian friends i can emotionally connect to. consequently, seeking a new church on my own while being inherently shy hasn’t helped much. so without any accountability, i’ve lived my life teetering in between a Christ-centered and self-centered life.
i am human, flawed in every way imaginable, but in Christ i have a reason to strive for perfection — to be more like Him. i believe in the one true God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost whom He left to dwell within us. i believe in christian apologetics, defending the faith through logical reasoning. not everyone will understand christianese or respond to aggressive “fire and brimstone” evangelism, but everyone understands logic, and logic can open the door to a real relationship with Christ.
a few years ago, i had slowly drifted from an every-sunday-church-goer to an every-once-in-a-while-church-goer. i was living on my own, and without the daily pressures of my overbearing, baptist mother, i became lax with my spiritual life. with an insufferable night work schedule at a low-paying job, i lacked a social life and became lonely and depressed in my tiny los angeles apartment. in 2009 i made a few new years resolutions. out of all the wishy-washy resolutions i had ever made in my 20-some-odd years of living, i was committed to taking these seriously.
- go to church every sunday
and i did. and when i did, inexplicable things started happening in my life. every single sermon spoke to me, not because i was searching to be spoken to but because the Lord knew i would finally listen. with as little money as i made, i committed to giving the small sum He asks for, and suddenly opportunity for overtime and a raise came flooding my way. i ran, literally, 5 times a week, but as i started to notice the evidence of God’s grace in my life, i realized where i was running to. the more i continued to live for Him, the more my eyes were opened to the blessings that had always been there. i wanted to change my life, run to Christ and never stop. this world, however, is filled with distraction. the christian life is not without struggle; we draw near and fall away until God breaks us again. i am human, flawed in every way imaginable. but despite my shortcomings, God continues to make Himself shown regardless of how well i pay attention.
“your hair looks longer,” he said as he sat down on my chair.
“you feel taller,” i said as i hugged him goodbye.
funny how much things change (even if they really didn’t) after not having seen someone for a month.