Four years ago today, I gave the biggest Yes of my life — far more important than any other Yes I could give today and in the future.
Mark Twain said: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” The day I gave my biggest Yes was the day I discovered the latter. The reason why I exist is to have a personal relationship with God (Isaiah 43:7).
Four years ago today, October 7, 2013, I said Yes to Jesus and received Him not only as my Saviour but also as the Lord of my life (Romans 10:9). It was not because I was good enough nor because I deserve it, but because God is merciful. I am a sinner saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Though my sins are like scarlet, He made it white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).
Before receiving Christ, I thought that life was just about athletic and academic achievements, being on top of the corporate ladder, donating to charities, traveling the world, being in a long-term relationship, giving your family something you have worked hard for, earning a lot of money, being known for something you are passionate about, and building friendships over alcohol, drugs or “good” conversations. I thought back then that if I have done all these and become all these, I can be able to face my grave saying that I have lived my life to the fullest. Life back then was just about me, myself and I.
Not until Jesus made a way for me to hear and believe the gospel.
It is still very clear to me up to this day. With hands clasped, head bowed and tears streaming down my face, I asked God to forgive me of my sins and to save me from my self-centered life and self-inflicted miseries. I did not know where to begin but right at that moment, I knew that there is no other hope aside from Jesus and no other peace apart from Him.
How was life for the past four years?
I do not have enough words to describe what God did to me since that day. There is just one thing I am sure of: I was blind but now I see (John 9:25)! Jesus did not only change my life nor transform it; He gave it. He is indeed life!
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” – 1 John 5:12
A walk with Jesus is not an overnight transformation; it is a process until fulness (in essence, Christlikeness). God did not make me a millionaire the next day nor did He take away all the consequences of my wrong decisions. What He did was to heal me and teach me according to His good, perfect and pleasing will. He made it clear to me that He came so that I may have life and have it in full (John 10:10). He comforted me by assuring me that my sins have been paid for and I can move forward from my mistakes, heartbreaks, bitterness and bondages. I am no longer defined by my past, by what I can do right or what I can do wrong; I am defined by the One who defines me (1 John 3:1; Matthew 5:14-16). [Indeed], if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- November 2013, I returned home to reconcile with my family.
- December 2013, I publicly declared my inward decision to be a follower of Jesus through baptism.
- February 2014, God blessed me with a church family. Hello, LA Kalaw!
- March 2014, I started sharing who Jesus is to my friends. I did not know how to have a daily quiet time with the Lord back then nor did I have any memorised verses. But I just knew one important thing: Jesus changed my life, and what He did at the cross for me is something I cannot contain to just myself.
- Around January 2015, my mom and younger sister started joining Sunday worship service! It was also this time that the Lord started to entrust me with girls/ladies to minister to. I had no idea how to conduct Bible studies back then, but the conviction of the Holy Spirit led me to just do it.
- June 2015, I do not remember how (since I did not know how to illustrate the gospel back then) but I remember intentionally sharing the gospel to strangers for the first time.
- August 2015, God blessed me with a discipler. Hello, ate Vivian!
- November 2015, my discipler guided me to a Bondage Breaker session. She also taught me how to spend a daily personal time with the Lord.
- December 2015, I learnt how to share the Bridge-to-Life illustration, and kind of grasped how to actually feed “lambs” and take care of “sheeps” (John 21:15-17).
- February 2016, my first cell group was formed!
- January 2017, God unveiled my eyes to what following Jesus’ way/discipleship truly is.
- June 2017, I shared the gospel publicly to strangers for the first time!
- July 2017, I embraced Jesus’ pattern of ministry. Praising God for the LDI opportunity!
In the middle of God’s countless milestones and breakthroughs in my life are stories of my failures, hardships, disappointments, weaknesses, frustrations and disobediences. But in every learning and striving situation, Christ’s blood shed on the cross assures me that nothing can separate me from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). Since it is a personal relationship, only by His grace, I can approach my Heavenly Father with confidence and freedom (Ephesians 3:12).
God had to also prune me (He still does today!) in order for me to be fruitful inwardly and outwardly (John 15:1-2). God’s pruning is certainly uncomfortable and painful (because I am downright full of defiance), but it is always purposeful thus always worth it! God’s continuous working in my life is again a proof that a personal relationship with God does not only involve loving and living, but also learning.
Since the day I gave the biggest Yes of my life, only One remains constant: God — His grace, love and mercies. Though I fail Him everyday, He remains perfectly faithful (2 Timothy 2:13).
All glory to God!