by Fergus Phua (above photo, middle), 27 years old
I am a cradle catholic, and born into a family of four. When I was 12 years old, my parents got a divorce. I turned to my friends and through serving the community and Church to seek for love and affirmation. While I felt that I had a relationship with God, I was afraid of giving the Lord full control of my life. I loved God, but only at an arm’s length away. Things started to go downhill in 2018. The souring of a very close friendship and feeling like I was getting nothing right as a leader in church made me very angry. I felt like the villain and a failure. While I put up a front that everything was okay, I was beating myself up for all these things that should not have happened. I felt abandoned by God, and ran away from community. Even then, I was exhausted from running. I carried the sense that I was insignificant and a disappointment.
Having seen how my friends had a deep conviction and an intimate relationship with Jesus through the School of Witness, I desired that for myself and decided that it was time to stop running. I signed up for SOW hoping for some way back into what I felt was a lost cause of a relationship with God and I wanted to heal from the wounds that I had been hurting from.
Jesus had a plan for me since Week 1. One struggle I had coming into SOW was inviting my parents to come for the Opening Mass, as both of them were never present together at any of my milestones. However, God made the impossible happened and I finally got to take a family photo at opening mass. God’s healing work had begun, and I felt Him saying, “This is only the beginning my boy.” I desired for the Lord to open my heart to Him again, to fully surrender the next 8 weeks to Him.
In the Father’s Love session, I remembered staring at the image of the Prodigal Son and feeling unworthy. I shared with the prayer team that I felt useless and insignificant. When asked what I wanted from God, I told them I just wanted to be someone that God was proud of. As I hugged the proxy father, he told me, “Welcome home son, I’ve been waiting for you for so long, and I’m so proud of you.” At this point I burst into tears, feeling so loved and at peace. Even when I felt undeserving like the younger son, God welcomes me home because He loves me. I was finally home.
But Jesus was not done with me just yet. During a session, the Lord revealed to me a moment in my childhood that had hurt me deeply. It was my birthday and my parents had a massive fight. This resulted in the smashing of a glass door and the police were called. Everyone then turned their attention towards me telling me I should behave and not cause more trouble. I felt helpless, abandoned, and that everything was my fault. I asked Jesus why He had brought me back to this memory, and where He was in that moment of helplessness. He revealed to me that He was sitting next to me on the couch, hugging and holding me as everything unfolded. He then revealed to me how this memory had affected my self-image from a young age. He wanted me to come out of self-loathing and the need for superficial validation, affirmation and the constant need to feel important. I no longer needed to seek love and validation elsewhere, because He already loves me.
More testimonies on the Father’s love and healing:
Through SOW, the Lord has shown me His faithfulness, even when I was unfaithful. I proudly claim my son-ship in Him – that I was made for more, that I am significant and important in His eyes, and that in Him I will find my joy and peace. But the Lord tells me that He is not done with me, and that there is still so much more for me to grow in my mission to love others. I am still a work in progress, but one who is now convicted in His truths. In moments of struggle, when the lies of not being good enough or that I am unworthy get too loud, I know that I can run to Him – that His truth will resound over the lies, that His grace is sufficient for me and that He chose me.
Jesus has called me home. He reminds me of my identity in Him, and that I am precious and loved by Him. I now know my address and choose to remain home with Him.
Will you claim the Lord to lead you to the address of His kingdom?