My mom sent me to SCAC when I was in 5th grade because of how naughty I was; she was hoping that the church would teach me good morals and how I should behave. Growing up in Church, I had always identified myself as a Christian, though I didn’t truly understand what it means to be a Christian.
Then came junior year of high school – that year was a turnaround for me. Through much pain, I started to really see God’s work in me, and His mercy & His grace, and how He allowed me to suffer to receive something much greater – a relationship with Him.
Many things happened that year. It started off with the discovery that my dad had been unfaithful to my mom and our family. When he told my mom that he had a son outside of their marriage, my mom collapsed, and she was in severe depression. Meanwhile, we lived on Beacon Hill, but our landlord wanted to sell her house, so we were forced to move out. Due to financial and other reasons we ended up moving six times in less than two years.
This all happened during my junior and senior year, my two busiest years of high school. I was taking five AP/college level classes and was active in various clubs & extracurriculars, while applying to colleges. And because of everything that were happening at home, I was unwilling to compromise anything that would potentially hurt my chances of getting into a good college. I believed firmly that a good education is the way out of poverty and that my mom will only have me to rely on in the future.
I was overwhelmed to say the least. My broken family broke me. Having to move so many times and the heavy workload in school were like the chili pepper and salt rubbed in my wounds; Although I felt so lonely, so empty and dead inside, my faith in God was the ONE thing that kept me going. I’d turned to God, constantly seeking for His presence, this great loving God that I had been hearing about for years. I started praying a lot. And somehow, I felt God’s presence and felt as if God held tight on me every time I thought I was about to sink into the deep waters.
At one point, during the summer between my junior and senior year, we couldn’t find a home and we had to stay in my uncle’s place. But my uncle’s place was very packed already, and I didn’t want to add any more trouble for my uncle or be a burden to my mom, so I packed some essentials and went homeless for almost a month without my family knowing. I moved from one friend’s place, to another, to another. Being homeless was scary. I had to constantly worry if I’d have a place to stay the next day, who was going to keep me, and how will I be able to return the favor in the future. All those worries added to my fear and desperation. Then I came across Luke 12:24: “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” I felt like my heart was resurrected. I was enlightened. I held tight to the verse and trusted that God will provide for me and that He has a plan for me, the best plan.
And He really did provide for me. I had a roof over me for every night I was homeless. And He for sure planned everything out for me. Through all the fear and pain, I learned to seek God as my refuge and my cornerstone, the One whom I can rely on for everything and at all times. He also taught me how to be resilient by trusting in Him, and how that I can be so loved by Him and the wonderful people He put in my life who helped me walk through my darkest days.
I also learned to see the good things in my life, not as a coincidence, but blessings from a God who loves me dearly. So when I got accepted into Carnegie Mellon, and when we finally found a stable home in a very ideal location, and when my mom finally ended the unhealthy relationship with my dad and walked out of depression, I was able see and embrace God’s love for me. All that had happened in the last two can’t be a coincidence, there must be a loving God out there watching and caring for me. And the more I learn about Him and the more I experience His love, the more I want to be with Him. I am finally ready to say that He is above all else King of my heart.