"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." Jeremiah 31:3
Growing up, I was always a very angry kid. I don't know why exactly, but anger was the prevalent emotion that took great control in my life. It was certainly a choice I made that could have sparked the destructive direction for my life. Not only that, rebellion was very much my response to my parents. My parents have always been very strict as most parents are in the culture in Malaysia. Most children are very well-behaved and very obedient as my siblings are, but for some reason I always felt angry and thought life was unfair and definitely went out of the way in bringing so much stress to both my mom and dad. They disciplined me a lot more, but still it never got through.
Broken promises, broken family
It was later in life, that a missionary from the United States gave my father a Bible, when he was on the plane for a business trip. The Bible was where he found something that gave him a place to turn his life around. He was an alcoholic and a womanizer. He also was a gambler and would gamble all his money away. When he gave his life to Christ, he tried to witness to us, but I was stubborn and really got even angrier when he became so strict. He wanted me to read the Bible and lead a Christian life. I did not understand who God is and was angry because of his approach. He tried to force me to convert when I didn't want to. Then a crisis happened, as something happened to my parent’s marriage. My dad said that God gave him a dream to move out with this lady so that they could spread the gospel. To me, that made no sense and made me think how messed up God was. I was angry at God at that moment because of breaking the family apart. (I had no idea who God was at that moment in time; it was easy to think God was the one to blame because of what my father tried to make us believe). I went and bought a pack of cigarettes and smoked the whole pack and then later got into alcohol. It broke my heart to see my sister crying and my mother crying because of what had happened. I thought, who is this God to have broken this family apart, so that is why I didn't want anything to do with God or the faith because of what had happened...(I had no idea God was always near even then and seeing all of this)..
Parties, pleasure and pain
When I finally got a chance to move out and go overseas for school, it was certainly a freedom to finally be able to do my own things. Little did I know the danger I was getting into. Being so naive at that point in my life, it was easy for me to meet the wrong people and be easily influenced and that is certainly what happened. From partying late nights to stealing my parent’s money and lying to them to support that habit, it was definitely lethal choices that got me on a very destructive journey. Once I came to the States, it was an open doorway for me to get into more trouble. The first friends I made were drug dealers and users. Soon through experimentation I found myself on a path of addiction. It started with ecstasy and acid, and then meth and cocaine. Pornography was one that was prevalent too and became an addiction at that moment in my life when partying in that lifestyle. Making out with random people and hooking up with random people was something my roommates and I did at times. When all this was happening, all I felt inside was confusion, emptiness and chaos. There was a deep pain I was trying to run from too which I did not understand. I was eager to feel normal by chasing my next high in trying to feel better. (Just shows how cunning the devil is in making us think that what may seem so sweet is what can poison our souls to the point of death). The lifestyle led me to more partying and then dealing to support the habit. Without a doubt manipulation was something I got good at, in getting my way to feed the addictions. On the surface, it seems all is fun and exciting but deep down I felt sick, desperate, depressed, worthless, and lost and a failure. What a mess, how could I ever get out of this that is why all I could think about was suicide and ending all the pain and confusion by ending my life. It was a dread waking up each day because the emptiness and pain was overbearing.
I had alcohol poisoning once and almost had to be hospitalized, overdosed two times and still that wasn't enough of a wakeup call. I don't actually remember the whole thing, but a friend told me that one night when we were at a rave (techno-dance/drug party), I had ingested many kinds of drugs: 6 pills of ecstasy, 2 big lines of Ketamine cut with Cocaine and 12 hits of acid. I remembered my body started to heat up and felt so crazy. Next thing I know I was waking up in the ambulance where a police officer was taping me down on the bed. Then I passed out and woke up to the doctor stitching my chin up. There was blood all over my shirt and hand. It was not a pleasant experience and it jolted me but that wasn't enough to make me stop...
The loss of my father hit me hard
It was until the news of my father getting cancer reached me, and then how it killed him so quickly that really shook my life. This put me in a place of more confusion, anger and denial. It was the first death I had experience in a way where it affected me physically to the point where I felt numb and unable to function but could only sleep and not wake up. My roommates had to pull me out of bed to do things. That was the time when my drug use got it’s worst because what was going on inside was so crazy and it felt as though I had lost my mind. I Remember vividly this one night where I was so ready to end it all, and went outside and took a knife to my chest but at that moment I just cried out "God help me". It was just that one cry that gave me this experience where the burden inside was lifted and for the very first time, I knew God was real and He cared. (It took me losing everything for me to have been at such a desperate place to have finally responded to Him. For the first time I experience peace, His peace).
On the highway to Hell I found my exit
From then on, suicide was not an option anymore because all I could think about was wanting to know God more. For the way He has opened for me to breath finally and want to live again. Prayer was something He gave me and through prayer, it gave me a place to learn how real He was in my life and how He understood the pain I felt. It was definitely a process for me to finally come to His Word and experience healing and restoration. It wasn't an overnight conversion as my condition was still unwell and was still partaking in the party life. That is all I knew but little did I know God had something better in store for me and He gradually stripped those addictions off me, one by one. First the alcohol, and then the drugs, and then cigarettes, then partying and finally pornography which at times still haunts me because of the damage it has done to my mind. Realizing the sacrifice God has made through His only Son Jesus Christ, and accepting it and experiencing the growth and faith He has given me through my searching, it has been one that is has the most powerful life changing effect in my life. Never did I ever think I could get out of the mess that I had gotten into because of my own doing. But truly it is in Christ, that freedom finally makes sense and is more a reality. Being able to finally forgive my father and love him has been one that set me free from the anger that has been a major part of my life. Wow…and to think this is just the beginning of all that He has done. Truly it’s Christ because there is nothing I could have done to have gotten this far…
Who is this God that could have forgiven me of all the wrongs and mistakes of my life? Each day has been a blessing and also a day of thankfulness because He has given me a second chance. I am not dead but alive to tell of His goodness and mercy. Because of Christ and what He has done for the sake of us sinners, that is the only thing that has given me back more than I could ever imagined. There was nothing I did in the past when searching for solution through other means, like Buddhism or other alternative practices that could have shared this kind of solid solution that is a reality each day.
God is for real, and is so faithful.
He has already opened doors for me to finish nursing school. It is mind boggling because there is no way I could have gotten through studying with the damage I have done to my mind and memory through those years of abusing drugs. But it is evident that it is truly His grace, healing and restoration that have gotten me through. Why would He do this? All I did in my life was make mistakes, one after another and then despising Him at a moment in my life because of what had happened.
It only made sense that this God has a love that is beyond reason, a love that is unconditional and one that is abounding in goodness and mercy. Jesus and what He did for the sake of who we are, giving us this gift of life and to have a personal relationship with God, that right there is a love that I do not understand but am grateful to experience in His timing…
God is good.
P/S: I forgot to mention how those destructive choices made in the past, unquestionably left a great deal of damage and consequences that at times can be overwhelming. However because of the forgiving grace of God, the walk with Him I started to share restoration and healing that I never thought was possible.
Thank you for each of your patience as this is the overview of how my life has unfolded, and the only reason why I am alive today and am grateful and joyful is because of Jesus Christ.
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." ~ Jeremiah 31:3