"To survive and thrive in this world, I need to work hard, make a name for myself, and earn my own keep."
This was my worldview and belief while growing up in a broken family.
My parent's failed relationship left a deep wound in me. However, the worse pain I felt, was when I discovered my father wanted to remarry. At that moment, I felt a deep sense of abandonment.
As a result, I dedicated all my time into getting excellent grades and accolades because these were the only things within my control. Being preoccupied with success, I viewed friendships as dispensable. I'd stopped showing up at gatherings with family and friends as I was busy creating a 'perfect' version of myself.
Few years later, my life went on a downward spiral. My grades took a slip and the pressure to win at dragonboat races suddenly became too great for me to bear.
As I broke down in tears, I heard a voice said, "Go to church". At that time, I didn't recognise it was God's voice, but I decided to obey since I had nowhere else to turn to.
I hesitated in receiving Christ for many weeks but on one special evening, I put aside my fears, raised my hands and finally accepted Jesus into my life.
At that instant, I was overwhelmed with a love I've never felt before and was excited about my newfound relationship with God.
In spite of that, I still feel a great disconnection during lifegroup as I still perceived people as dispensable. Overtime, lifegroup and service became a 'to-do list' which I didn't enjoy.
But God opened my eyes to see the love He had for me and for people.
I learnt that I didn’t need to achieve things in life to feel validated. I began finding joy in spending time with my community and even serving in church!
My life began to change as I was healed from the wounds of my past.
But God was nowhere done with me yet. He started to put in my heart that He had more in store for me.
As I sought Him in the secret place, God reminded me what He told me many years ago,
“Crystal, dare to dream with Me”.
He reminded me of my passion and dreams; showing me that social, humanitarian, international issues, and our workplaces were just as spiritual and people needed God. I was awestruck that God wanted to co-labour with me to make an impact on this earth!
So, I took courage and applied through onerous interviews and written tests. Right now, my work is plugged in to international issues and forums. These are stuff that I only ever got to read about in textbooks.
I am humbled because I know it is His favour on me that I get to influence others at such a level. And it’s really not about me making a name for myself, but to impact the world for Him through my work.
Looking back, I am thankful that my worldview has been completely changed.
My purpose in life has been completely redefined. I no longer live for myself, but Christ in me.
It was in the secret place, through my community and church that God mended my broken life and turned it to become something I could never have imagined.