I came from a broken family with very distant parents. Throughout my childhood, I found it difficult to receive love and interact with people as I never really understood what love was.
At the age of seven, my parents got divorced but no one asked me how I felt. I didn’t know how to process it and had no one to help me. I thought it was a shameful topic to discuss so I simply suppressed my emotions and tried to handle it on my own.
In secondary school, I longed for love elsewhere. So I gave my heart away easily. I also treated my friends to multiple McDonalds meals and movies to gain acceptance.
This went on until a friend invited me to Impact Life Church. When I stepped foot into church, I was surprised because it was so different from what I expected.
The warmth I received made me feel like I finally found a place where I belonged.
Despite attending church and Life Group more regularly, I still found it hard to share openly about my life to my community. As time went by, I knew that there was something missing. I still struggled with the concept of ‘love’.
I couldn’t comprehend my worth in God’s eyes and didn't understand why anyone would love me the way God says He does. I believed that God had better things to do than to listen to me. This carried on for a good four years. While I was physically in church, I was still so far away from God.
Just last year, a relationship I held close to my heart failed. This led me into a very depressive and anxious state. I was extremely hurt and did the only thing I knew how:
to deal with it alone and act like everything was fine.
However, God placed people into my life to care for me.
When I needed comfort or support from friends, they appeared at just the right time. For instance, after Melissa Lim’s sermon on anxiety, an Area Member, dropped me a text to ask if she could pray for me. That was when I decided to share with others about what was affecting me.
Soon after, I received a call from a friend in Men’s Ministry small group. During that call, I told Kenneth briefly about the failed relationship.
He then told me that
"I can only be fully loved if I am fully known."
That phrase really struck a chord within me. I guess I’ve never been fully known and never gave anyone the chance to fully love and accept me the way I am. It dawned on me how VERY sick and tired I was from putting on a front. I longed for help and needed God to intervene. I also desperately needed the help of my community.
In 2019, I shared what I felt to my Life Group for the very first time. It took me a whole year to open up to them! At the end of the weekly Life Group sessions I'd feel an immense peace. I also experienced God’s comfort and reassurance through them.
During Discipleship, I saw how unforgiveness has kept me away from God’s love. I also saw that the bitterness in my heart has kept me in the past, and blinded me to what God was doing in my life. My discipler assured me it was okay to feel hurt and emotions are natural but they should be expressed in a healthy way.
I then began to really process how I felt towards my parents.
I never really realised it, but I blamed my parents for robbing me of a normal childhood and of a chance to grow up in a loving family. I thought to move on, my parents needed to take responsibility for what they did and apologise. But that was not true at all. The ball was in my court and I had the option of cancelling the debt. I no longer wanted to hold it against them and chose to forgive as I know I have been forgiven much. They did not owe me anymore.
I cried so much while processing these thoughts.
That itself was healing. Tears are not a weakness.
This stirred a greater hunger for what God has in store for me. Despite being a Christian for five years, I never asked him for the gift of tongues. During 'The Forgotten God' series, Pastor Daniel Cheo explained that the gift of tongues brings healing and it is a personal prayer language between God and I.
While hesitant at first, the desire to know God in a deeper measure gave me the courage to respond to the altar call. That very day, I received tongues into my life! Today, I speak in tongues and I feel peace each time I do. I am grateful that He pursued me all my life, even on the days when I doubted.
To be honest, the Holy Spirit is still so mind-blowing to me and I don’t know Him fully yet. But walking on this journey with Him has taught me to replace the lies I once believed with His truth.
I now know that I am deeply loved and I fight from a place of victory.
Now that I have broken free from the chains of unforgiveness and bitterness, I am so excited for what God has in store for me! Although there might be uncertainties and I am still a work in progress, I know I can walk free and victorious with the Holy Spirit as my guide and helper.