August 4, 2006

What Now From Here??

Read Mrs Chng's sharing on how God has led her thus far, I could identify with her and was encouraged that our Almighty God has also led me and brought me here.

When I was a little girl, mum decided to let me attend Sunday School with my auntie so that I could be exposed to English-speaking people (I speak Mandarin at home). I was happy attending Sunday School because I never liked visiting Chinese temples because of the incense smoke, heat, etc... I'd prefer knowing a God in air-conditioned room. I know this was very shallow and silly of me, but I had the chance to know the gospel because of that. As a child, I probably just had a simple faith. When I was 12 and had to go through PSLE, I prayed that I will have 4 As (I was happy with A grade instead of A* grade). My prayer was answered and I was so delighted. So generally, God then to me was someone whom I hardly knew much, except that He is my Saviour and I would bring my prayer requests to Him.

When I was 15, some Youth for Christ people came to my school to share the gospel. Through an evangelistic rally, I said the sinner's prayer again after trully understanding that we all need God and to repent of my sins to bridge my relationship with God. Fortunately, I had some friends who came together to study the Bible together. That was the only source of 'food' I had since I had stopped going Sunday School then (it moved away) and my parents did not allow me to attend church. At my prelim exams, I scored a 14 (which was not exactly very good. 6 being the best and 20 was the other end of the scale). With that score, I could barely enter the Junior College of my choice. I had to appeal into the college. I tried to appeal through choir but they decided that I cannot sing so I failed my audition. Somehow, the principal granted my appeal into the college. After 3 months, my GCE O Levels exam results came out and I was shocked that I had a score of 16 (worse than my prelims). I had to appeal to remain in the college. This time, I didn't know the reasons that I could appeal with. By God's grace, my form teacher then quite like me. And so she put in a good word to the principal for me to allow me to stay on.

In the college, I soon joined the Students' Council (leadership body of the school). I probably had played around too much and didn't focus on my studies. To begin with, I wasn't very bright. At the end of the first year, I learnt that 5 students in the Council had to leave the Council because of their first year results and they had to be retained for another year. But I also heard that there was 1 out of the 5 who might have some hope to be 'saved'. Little did I expect that it turned out to be me. My Economics teacher gave me 2 more points so that I could meet the passing mark. My highest grade in college then was (ashamedly) an E (A-E are passing grades. F is a fail). I tried to study hard but still playing at the same time... and at my final GCE A Levels exam, I scored D for all my 3 subjects. At that time, I didn't mind if I stopped studying because I think life just carry on and I can find a job. I was happy with just that.

It seemed like I could possibly enter Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) to study a Bachelor of Science in Management. I applied for it, since I didn't hear from my application to National University of Singapore. Both the replies got to me at about the same time - I was accepted both sides. Although I had the choice, I was perplexed. I'd rather the decision was made for me. I remembered asking God why He had to give me a choice. At the end, I chose to go NUS since that was more of a 'normal' route that most would take. However at Science faculty, I could not major in anything I liked. I ended up taking Biochemistry (which any medicine student will tell you that it was the most boring and hated medical subjects). Without taking Biology in college, Biochemistry was an extremely tough course for me. In my 1st and 2nd year, I also served in the Christian Fellowship in varsity. But in that same 2 years (4 semesters), I had failed 6 modules out of 16 modules! It was a difficult time to accept 1-2 failures every semester. Come the 3rd year, after a long and emotionally-draining election in the CF for leadership position, I actually got elected into the Executive Committee. It was draining me because I had thought to serve as a secretary or treasurer but I was not elected. Then came many friends encouraging me to go for the Evangelism Coordinator role. I agreed since there was no other people standing for the position. To my surprise, there came 2 other guys who stood for election. I told God that I give up and not wanting to run for elections anymore. The 2 men were so much more eligible to be Evangelism Coordinator. Compared with them, I was so so inadequate! I do not know the reason how and why I was the one elected.

The next challenge came my studies - how to manage it with my involvement in CF? It became the biggest struggle for me. To make it worse, I had to repeat 2 modules in my 3rd year 1st semester. During exam time, I came down with flu. It was really difficult to prepare for exams with a failing body. At one exam for my repeat module, I actually fell asleep whilst writing. I could not stay awake because I was sick. I was so angry with myself for being sick and asked God why I had to be sick. I left the exam hall crying, cannot imagine if I had to take that module a 3rd time... At another paper, I fell asleep also, only to wake up and realise I wrote rubbish for my essay whilst in the semi-conscious state. When my results came back, I scored a C grades for all my modules!! Up till that time, my best grade was only a D (A-D and F for fail) for any Biochemistry modules I did. (I always score A and B for my minor in computer programming) It was a miracle for me and I do not know how I did it. I knew that it was God and not me. How could I be more involved in ministries, was terribly sick and still did better in my exams than usual??? I was baffled at the results and it had caused me to completely surrender to God for my life. No matter what I do or how I do, God is still sovereign and He is in control of all things.

I don't think the lesson learnt was that when I serve God more, I will get more in return. But that I have to trust God, even when things seemed to be going wrong. Eventually I had to spend one more year to complete my degree so that I could pass all my essential modules. I had to catch up with my earlier failures. I did not feel ashamed of staying back for one year although it was very tempting to. That one year had given me an opportunity to go for a Missions training programme when I went Macau. That extra year also granted me a chance to work part-time, by which that experience had put me in a better position for this current job that I am doing.

As I had shared all these with my DG mate 2 weeks ago, I had encouraged myself in the process of sharing because I had been reminded of God's hands in my life. If I hadn't been serving as a leader in my 3rd year, I would not have thought of changing to a church which had good teaching of God's word. I would not have been so blessed by God's people in the time I served in church. Everything in my life seemed to have been mapped out. With every decision (good and bad) I made, things had never been out of control because the Lord my God is in control and He knows best.

Yet it remained a challenge for me to continue to trust God in my life. It is so easy for me now to look back and say "Hey God has brought me thus far!" But when you are in the situation of uncertainty and wonder what's next, it is difficult. So there comes God's Word and His people that reminded me to press on. It doesn't quite matter what becomes of me, as long as in whatever circumstance that God has put me in, I remain faithful to Him, trusting Him and depending on Him to live a godly life until I see Him face to face. Lord, may your grace be sufficient for me and help me to trust You completely.

3 other thoughts:

Yuhui said...

Wow, your testimony is really inspiring (but then, aren't all testimonies inspiring?). This is really a case of God blessing you and guiding you through the wilderness of life.

sarahsiah said...

Hey it's cool and encouraging to know that I'm not alone! Thanks for sharing! Let's trust in our faithful Lord even in the uncertain years ahead ya? The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases...they're new every morning, new every morning,GReat is His faithfulness! Amen!

Vedmak said...

Mm…I like your photos of the cakes! I want to taste them:[ or to have the recipe…And Sydney! I love it…but where did you stop there? I was there on the trip last summer and I stopped at Sheraton hotel …It was good but I wish I knew more about the hotels in Sydney…

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