During kindergarten, I was often targeted by bullies. I fought back but was then accused by my teacher for being the bully. Even in primary school, the bullying continued. I remember an instance when I was almost stabbed by a pair of scissors during a fight with three others. It was also during this time that my family got into trouble when my dad had an affair.
Because of my dad’s affair, I could hear my mum crying in her room almost everyday. I told myself I will never forgive my father. Thankfully, the pastor of the church my family and I attended, Church of Singapore (Bukit Timah) - COSBT came down to speak to both my parents and helped them to reconcile.
Even in Secondary school, the bullying never stopped. i was made fun of because of my lazy tongue, a condition that causes me to be unable to speak clearly. They would call me names, throw my personal belongings around, and deliberately dirtied my bag. i had a lot of anger built up inside of me. i wanted to stop the bullies by hurting them. However, on that very day, I could not bring myself to do it as suddenly images of how my family would feel flash across my mind. That night, I went to my room and cried. I felt broken. I was so angry and hurt by the things people had done to me. Yet at the same time, I had no one to go to.
Things started to change when I came to Youth Impact. I was invited to Youth Impact in 2015 , I remember as I was waiting outside the church, my leader Samuel brought me to meet his lifegroup. I could sense God’s love through them as they were friendly and genuine which was something I never really experienced growing up.
I decided to stay on in Youth Impact. it was during a message about the Love of the Father by Jon Pritikin, and the Father heart of God series that started me on a journey of learning how to forgive my father. My view of God the Father had been distorted because of my unforgiveness towards my own father. On that day I chose to forgive him. I realized that forgiving him was not a one-off thing but it was a lifestyle. Over time, I realized I was able to have a proper meal with my father and we were able to hold proper conversations, such as asking about his work and him asking about my studies which had never happened in the past.
In 2018, things took a bad turn as two of my closest friends left the church. These two friends of mine were genuinely there for me and was always there to hear me out. When they left, it felt as though I was abandoned and this affected me very badly. I became fearful of opening up and sharing deeply again because they would one day leave me too.
Things started to change in late 2018. During this time, I had also decided in my mind to give lifegroup one last try. It was also during this time when my lifegroup member, Calynn, approached me and genuinely wanted to be a friend to me.
Deep down, I still had trust issues towards others. However, Calynn constantly encouraged me and was always willing to lend a ear to me. I remember how she would purposely include me into conversations with lifegroup members and this slowly helped me to overcome my fear.
Through interacting with my lifegroup instead of maintaining a distance, I realized for the first time that they really actually cared for me and it was me who was building walls between myself and them.
Looking back, God has always been watching out for me. Though I was far from God, He constantly pursued me and wanted me to come back home. I disconnected myself from my own life group and refused to open up, yet He still sends people who bothered enough to care for me that helped me to slowly break down those walls that I have been building for so many years.