Allowing God to love me

Hi everyone! I’m Drew, and this is the story of God’s renewal in my life over these past 10 days of SOCL.

Before coming into SOCL, I remember finding it so difficult to be present to Jesus. On the back of helping out in NUS CSS’ FR, an internship and already taking up leadership in community, I found myself already having to give my attention to so many other things. SOCL seemed to be coming at an inconvenient time when all these activities and school started picking up. But beyond the many events and tasks, SOCL was coming at a very difficult season for me in my walk with the Lord, where clinging to the Lord had many times left me feeling weak and tired. It was during a prayer before SOCL where I was finding it difficult to be present to Jesus, and just lamented to him saying “Jesus I have no idea what you are planning to happen in these next few days, but help me hope that you will show up.”

And showing up was what Jesus did from the very start. Growing up in a family of brothers, emotions were not usually the go-to subject to talk about. In some sense, this resulted in me often being dismissive of the emotions I experienced. Instead of bringing these emotions to light, I would instead choose to hide them because it didn’t seem like there was any use for them. However, suppressing these emotions also meant that being vulnerable was something I struggled with, a struggle which also seeped into my own relationship with God.

During SOCL, God revealed to me how running away from my vulnerabilities had led to an insincere relationship with Him, one that seemed “professional” as I only tried to present the seemingly good parts of myself to God. However, these were areas that God did not desire to remain hidden, and He shone His light on them during SOCL. During one of our worship sessions, we sang “here in your presence, we are undone.” These were lyrics that spoke to my heart, helping me to realise how God was slowly tearing down the walls surrounding my heart that were invisible to me. In many ways God was showing me His desire not for me to be a law-abiding son, but His desire to draw closer to Him in greater intimacy. During a sharing with my CGL, he reminded me that beyond all of the things that have been set for me to do, I am above all God’s Beloved. God showed to me how little I was desiring for my relationship with Him and settling for an insincere relationship with Him, when He was desiring so much more.

Drew’s cell group during SOCL

During SOCL I was also struck in witnessing the truth that our God is truly alive and active. Through the many testimonies and witness of His Love, I realised how God had been moving so powerfully in my life. He allowed me to witness that even though He may not be moving in the ways that I envision Him to, that truly He has already been moving and making all things new. In prayer, I was brought to reflect on 1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.” God blessed me with the grace to remember His Divine Love and allowed me to claim the truth that it is always Him who pursues me first. Often I struggle and think God is distant and silent, asking Him “are you really there God?” But as I’m writing this testimony and staring at the Blessed Sacrament, my heart is overwhelmed with the truth that He is indeed here and how wonderfully is He already moving in my life!

As I move beyond SOCL back to school and into new pastures within community, many uncertainties still remain. I know that there will be many struggles that will continue to unfold to highlight my inadequacies and many instances that would shake my peace with God. Yet I move in confidence in Our God who is trustworthy, for even my greatest vulnerabilities are held safely in His gentle hands. This time in SOCL has been a time of returning back to ‘basics’ in unlearning and relearning what it means to bring my broken self to God. SOCL has been a time of renewal and healing in my walk of discipleship, that I need not be His perfect disciple but His faithful one. This invitation into greater intimacy will be a painful journey, but one that I look to with hope and in trust. My brothers and sisters, do not settle to receive anything less than the true Love that God desires to lavish upon you! For now the words of St John Paul II make sense: “It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise.” How will you allow God to love you today?