Patrick is a second year History major who wishes to pursue a career in dentistry. Outside of class, he enjoys playing mobile games and watching anime/Korean-dramas.
Although I called myself a Christian, I wasn’t much of one when I was younger. On the outside, I seemed like the good kid: I went to church every Sunday, I worked hard in school to get good grades, and I was nice to the people around me. But on the inside, I remember that these were the days when my world was consumed by two things: myself and myself relative to other people. For the former, it was a question of self-worth that was only further emphasized by how the world had defined success. As for the latter, it was most visible at home—arguing with parents over my sister. Nothing frustrated me more than having her get the upper hand. My troubles usually involved those two problems together in a series of steps. 1. Get in a conflict with my sister. 2. Get in a larger conflict with parents over the said issue. 3. Complained that my parents didn’t love me at all and mope about the reasons for my existence. This involved questions like, “God, I don’t think I’m good enough, I need to be good so that my parents like me more, so that I can enjoy the good things life has to offer.” 4. Get lost in some other reality like video games and movies 5. Repeat. And although, this entire process wasn’t obvious to anyone else except my parents since everyone thought it was a “good kid”, the cycle consumed much of my ambition until the end of middle school.
However, God propped me up and forced me to reconsider my mindset. I had gotten into a fight earlier that year (2013) with my sister and threw a basketball that broke the church restroom sign in the process. In my frustration, I ranted about my how unfair life was and how worthless I had felt to Uncle Victor. Uncle Victor took the time to remind me that it was the death of Christ that had redefined our worth as sinners. Although I had clear biblical knowledge about what that meant, it started to all make sense about how God had changed us through the Gospel. And though there were times that we fell short, 1 John 1:2“if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” knowing that Christ, and Only Christ was the source of our complete assurance of salvation, coupled with all those times that Uncle Victor had spent drilling into us that we were ultimately saved by ‘grace through faith alone’ helped cement my faith and from then on I was able to walk with the Lord.
In every sense, my walk has been painful and long. My sister would prove discouraging at times, and there were always disparities that I could envy. Further, temptations to cheat just because people I knew were doing it in a class where people weren’t doing well was another struggle. On top of it all, idolatry was a large thorn that I had to contest with day in and out. There even came times when I had let my conscience be compromised to the point where I started to ask myself what being a Christian meant and whether I was one at all. But God is steadfast and forgiving and helped me repent time and time again. And just as He was faithful then, He is faithful even now, and always will be faithful, regardless of the circumstances that life chooses to throw at me. Even now, I am continually humbled by utter lacking without Him and still awed by that Cross.
“When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”