Growing up, I always felt that God was unfair to me. I thought that while God was generous to others when it comes to gifts and dreams, He didn’t give me anything.
Slowly, my insecurity also grew as I was often compared to my twin brother who always performed well in school and had lots of favour. I saw my brother as the more courageous, charismatic, and cooler version of myself. Due to these comparisons, I was unable to genuinely accept compliments from people.
When I first came to Impact Life Church, my discipler, Becky, would often talk to me about my identity. She would asked if my feelings of worthlessness stemmed from comparing myself to my brother. Being prideful then, I denied it repeatedly fearing that I’d be perceived as the weaker twin.
To me, the only way to distinguish myself was if only I had a specific life purpose.
So, I kept asking God to show me my purpose and give me a dream. But as time went by, it felt as if God wasn’t listening and a sense of hopelessness filled me whenever I thought about my future.
At this point, I started believing that God had no plans for me. I became frustrated and bitter that it hindered my prayer life, and I stopped growing spiritually as I was trapped in the comparison game. As I focused on what others had, I no longer recognise what God had given me. This problem persisted for many years.
Isn't it scary how comparison robs us of joy?
If we keep looking over our shoulders at other people's gifts, we cannot see the value of our own gifts!
That was exactly what happened to me.
My turning point came during a prayer conference in 2016 when the pastor was sharing about praying for the nation and others. I realised that the jealousy that I carried was very self-centered as I could never celebrate my brother achievements.
Finally, I decided to be honest and poured out my heart to God. Miraculously, God showed me the condition of my heart through a vision!
I saw a patch of land separated by a river. One side of the river was sparse, and I knew that it represented my heart. The grass and fruit on that side was parched and withered.
Yet on the other side, there was an abundant harvest of fruits, and the land was flourishing.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me saying, "Kenneth, I didn’t make you like your brother, you cannot grow watermelons the same way you grow apples."
I realised the envy I felt was a serious matter. The Holy Spirit convicted me that the way I valued my worth was all wrong because I didn’t understand that God loves me and accepts me the way I was made. Upon realisation, I was grieved about the state of my heart but wasn't sure how to change. And just when I needed direction, the Holy Spirit placed the word “Rejoice” in my heart!
I understood that He wanted me to celebrate the fact that God made both me and my brother unique and that I had no reason to be jealous of his strengths.
The Holy Spirit reminded me of verse in Psalms 139 where it says “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well’. I heard this verse so many times. But this time, I finally understood what it meant!
As I chose to praise God for all of my siblings and making us all special, I felt a burden lifted off me. For the first time in years, I felt freedom. I was proud of who my siblings were, not because of their achievements, but simply because I caught a glimpse of the way God looks at us!
After this experience, I also started asking God about the gifts I had, but this time with the purpose of serving Him, and not to prove myself. Holy Spirit then told me two words, “Look back”. When I examined all the things that I had gone through, I started seeing God’s fingerprints all over my life!
The Holy Spirit also reminded me how much I enjoyed talking to people when I served in the church library. I was also the only one who was able to connect to my younger cousins during family gatherings.
After connecting the dots, I realised God had designed me with a special compassion for youths at risk. After much prayer and consulting, I decided to reject an offer to study building management at the Singapore University of Social Sciences. Instead, I decided to do a career switch and applied for a degree in counselling in SUSS.
To do this switch, I had to do an interview with the dean of SUSS. During the interview, I could clearly see the work of the Holy Spirit through me as He gave me courage and boldness to share my faith. And I was granted a place in the counselling course!
From then till now, the Holy Spirit has been guiding me through every transition. When met with difficulties or my lack of wisdom, He always led me back to James 1:5 that says “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives all liberally and without approach, and it will be given to him.”
God placed a purpose in my heart to advocate for the well-being of the younger generation. If I keep on abiding in God, I will always see these youths the way He sees them.
The Holy Spirit taught me that when I set my relationship with God as my priority, my ministry towards others will flourish.
I now work as a primary school counselling intern, and God is still teaching me how to impact the lives of these youths everyday.
If God had shown me this dream back when I was still consumed by envy, I wouldn't have had the capacity to carry the dream because all I wanted was to prove my worth. God really knows what’s best for us, doesn’t He?
The Holy Spirit has always been working in my life to mold me into the person that He has intended for me to be. He saw my potential even when I couldn’t see it, and He has never given up on me.