by Mary Koh
Before coming into School of Witness (SOW), I was also entering a transition phase in my life as I was leaving my first job. For the first time in my life, I had no idea what was next and my life felt like the part of a rollercoaster where it was in free fall. In the period just before SOW, I had been really growing into my own skin and was in a new phase with my walk with the Lord. I was understanding with the most clarity in my many years of existence, who Jesus was and how without Him, life had little to no meaning. I was also growing in personal discipline in prayer, but because of past wounds from childhood as the youngest of four kids, I was often overlooked and unsure of my place at home. I was still dealing with the lie that I needed to earn love from God, and I could not help but feel that God would stop loving me if I did not continue to seek Him. So my prayers were still uttered more out of fear of being abandoned, rather than out of true love and devotion to Christ. Self-condemnation and hopelessness about the future was slowly eating me from the inside and I felt tired from trying to reach God with my own efforts. I was wrestling with the lie that God couldn’t love me if I was not good, and that He had forgotten about me, as I had learned to internalise the parts of myself that felt abandoned as a child and was projecting it onto my own relationship with Jesus.
So as I stepped into the school, I struggled to surrender this fear over to the Lord. At the same time, I had many questions about trusting Him with my hopes and dreams, wondering if they were good enough for Him or if He would painfully crush them. My fears of not being enough or doing enough to prove my love for God, also made me feel unable to be myself, and I was hiding behind fear-based piety. I couldn’t help but think I was a bad person who was unworthy of His love. There was one night where we were invited to go before the Eucharist to surrender the areas of our lives where Jesus did not have His lordship, and I knew I had to articulate my surrender of my hopes and dreams to Him, trusting His gentle hands to carry me. I also surrendered my being into His hands, trusting that I was enough for Him and fighting against every lie that said I was not enough. The simple act of proclaiming Jesus’ Lordship over my life had much power and peace came in knowing His mercy was writing the path before me.
Having given Him my fears, I was slowly more able to see myself for who He created me to be and silence the lies that tell me I have to get to heaven by my own efforts and love. There has been true freedom discovering how I am loved by Him and I have been able to love my brothers and sisters more freely as well. Whenever I’m tempted at times to take control over my life from Jesus, a gentle voice says to me in reply, “How long will you love what is futile and seek what is false?”
Therefore, I can find everything I need and who I am from Jesus because I am becoming more aware that He truly loves me, and I am worthy of being loved by Him. I can live more freely and open-handedly, knowing my God provides me with everything I need. He has renewed my being and been so kind to give me a greater, and more unshakable confidence in Him. It is my only desire to carry this fire I have within me to others who have no knowledge of this yet. I feel privileged to really believe it when He tells me that He is the lamp unto my feet, and I don’t have to fear the path before me.
And so today, I’d like to invite you to a greater surrender of your life to Christ, and to recommit one area of your life to Jesus today that perhaps you have kept away from Him! I pray that you come to trust more in His plans for you than your own plans for yourself. He loves you with a perfect love and is always waiting for you!