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“I wanted to live life on my own terms. Eventually, I left church.”

Learning God’s truth and living out my true identity as His beloved daughter.

*Names have been changed for anonymity

My mom’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) tore our family apart

I didn’t have a close relationship with God or with my parents. My mother suffered from severe OCD. When we failed to clean the house her way, she would scream and throw things around. She caned and or slapped me if she wasn’t in a good mood, or if she felt like I had disobeyed her. My parents quarrelled frequently, and my mother would vent her anger on me and my brother.

When I was 20, I started distancing myself from my family. I spent all my time with my friends. I wasn’t honest with my Life Group about what I was going through. I simply went to church as a formality. It was tiring and religious. Having a God is no different from not having a God, I thought. I wanted to live life on my own terms. Eventually, I left church.

I thought I was finally free to indulge in anything I wanted.

During this time, I developed feelings for a girl, and entered into a romantic relationship with her. Whenever I was overwhelmed by what happened at home, she was there to comfort me. It was as if she filled up the longing that I always had for a mother’s love and concern.

While she made me feel more loved and secure than I’ve ever felt in my life, I was never at peace. A homosexual relationship stood against what I knew was right in the Bible. I tried rationalising, “it isn’t wrong because I was born homosexual; I can’t help it!” But the nagging sense of guilt didn’t go away, it just grew stronger each day.

The Holy Spirit kept tugging at my conscience, telling me that this wasn't the life He wanted me to live.

While I turned to drinking alcohol to escape from these thoughts, it didn’t help. I was still as conflicted as before. I didn’t want to live with this pricked conscience, but I couldn’t let go of her. During this time, even when I was in sin, and so far away from God, He never gave up on me. He was constantly at work in my heart. Whenever I faced very difficult times in this relationship, I would hear God’s voice reminding me that He will never forsake me no matter how far I ran. But I always chose to ignore Him because I believed that I was a sinner who fell too far away to be saved.

I blamed God for all that had happened...

I hit the lowest point of my life in July 2019. After seven years of being in a relationship, my then-girlfriend broke up with me. My life was turned upside down! I lost my only pillar of support. I felt a sudden sense of emptiness. I couldn’t function properly. To make things worse, the very same week we broke up, my mum had to go for a major surgery. I was also going through a difficult time at work. I felt so alone, and I wondered if God was even real.

...but God kept pursuing me.

Despite how faithless I was, the Holy Spirit pursued me relentlessly. In my deepest valley, one of my close friends contacted me. She told me that God had told her to tell me that I was still His child, that He loved me, and that He was waiting for me to come back to Him. From then on, I had an assurance that God would be with me. Letting go of my past was very difficult, and I knew I couldn’t do it by myself.

So I asked God, “If You want me to come back to you, provide me with the right community. Help me to understand who You are.” Soon after that prayer, my friend Christine*, whom I haven’t seen or spoken to in seven years invited me back to Impact Life Church.

Coming back to church was scary.

I was worried about what other people would think about my past. But to my surprise, my Life Group showed me so much acceptance. Through them, I experienced God’s unconditional love.

I still felt guilty for walking away from God. I felt undeserving of His love and grace. Through sermons, discipleship and spending time with God, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that God’s grace is sufficient for me. God spoke to me through Ephesians 1:7, it says, “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins”. It’s true that I am sinful, but if Jesus died to pay the ransom for my sins, then surely God forgives me!

"God showed me a vision - He is standing in the middle of a big field of grass, His arms wide open, ready to embrace me just as I am."

In this vision, He isn’t embarrassed or disgusted by me, and He doesn’t judge me for my past. He told me time and again that I am His daughter, and He loves me more than I can ever imagine. Through these experiences, I realised that God covers all of my guilt and shame with His love. So I learnt to truly receive His forgiveness.

But guess what? At this point I was still drinking heavily with my friends. During these drinking sessions, the conversations would be filled with negativity. My friends held beliefs about relationships and sex that clearly contradicted God’s word. Spending time with them put me in a place of temptation.

Saying yes to God means that I must say no to sin.

The Holy Spirit convicted me that I needed to protect my walk with Him fiercely. The Bible says that one man cannot serve two masters. So I drew a firm line and learnt to say no to activities and friends that do not edify. When I stopped hanging out with them, I thought I would feel like I was missing out, but instead I felt more free and more satisfied than I had ever felt. I was finally living out my true identity of being pure, righteous and victorious!

Although I still face troubles in my family and at work, the difference is that I have peace in all of these situations. When doubts and negative thoughts fill my mind, I choose to submit them to God, and the Holy Spirit reminds me that God is my refuge and my strength! I now know that God is in full control, even in the chaos.

*Names have been changed for anonymity

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