Louise is a 4th year psychobiology major at UCLA. She loves to bake, listen to music, and have one-on-one conversations!
I grew up attending church in Glendale, but my memory of this church is very faint. I remember learning that Jesus loves me through Bible stories and songs, but I did not know what it truly meant to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Since the drive to Glendale was too far, my grandparents decided to look for another church that was closer to home. By God’s faithfulness, my third grade teacher, invited my family to Chinese Baptist Church of Orange County, which is a 20 min drive as opposed to 1 hour plus.
Although I continually learned about God’s love at church, I did not witness this act of love at school. I recall my group of “friends” excluding me in many of their conversations or even talking in a different language about me so I wouldn’t understand what they were saying. It came to a point where I was really hurt by their words and actions and went to the Lord in prayer one night that year, realizing how much I needed Him in that current hardship and asking Him for peace in my heart. Through God’s sovereignty, my friends miraculously came up to me in the near future, apologizing to me for the way they’d treated me and asked me to join in their conversations again. This situation allowed me to rely on the Lord and cherish Psalm 50:15 where it says, “and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
It is hard to pinpoint a certain day where I committed my life to the Lord, but God provided me several stepping-stones to understand why my sinful nature needed to be given up for a life that is rich in Christ. As I became occupied with several extra curricular activities from 4th to 7th grade, I slowly but surely set God aside in my life. However, due to God’s steadfast love, he provided me leaders and Christian friends who encouraged me to attend church. It was sometime then when I truly understood that because of my sinful nature, I was separated from my Creator and Lord. However, as John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the World, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” I knew and accepted that my own ways were wicked, and that I needed Christ, a perfect Savior to wash away my sins so that I can learn to love and be reunited with the One who loved me first. My heart drastically changed as I hungered for God’s word more and more that following year.
As I come near to the end of this chapter of my life, I reflect upon how the Lord has been so faithful through the blessings and struggles He has set for me during my college journey. My high school youth pastor would always challenge us to honestly ask ourselves why we attended Friday fellowship and Sunday service. At the time, I thought that I genuinely did go for God’s glory and not because I was in a comfortable environment with many friends. However, the Lord continually challenges me to reevaluate my faith in Him (or lack of faith) and my love for this world. He slowly but surely revealed to me the pride issues I had towards academic success, career pursuits, social status, being busy, and just having it “all together”.
There has been too many times where I’ve tried to “work harder” to achieve worldly success or have cultivated a strong desire to only trust myself and no one else, but have awfully failed. The Lord slowly chiseled away my self-reliance and reminded me again and again that apart from Him I can do nothing. (John 15:5) Even though it is still difficult to rely only on the Lord’s wisdom and to trust in his guidance, I am so thankful for God’s gracious patience and love that has shaped and challenged me to solely trust in Him. I am continually learning what it means to glorify the Lord everyday and as Psalm 42:11 mentions, to put my hope in God, praise Him and give Him all the glory.