Throughout my whole life I have always strived to find my worth in the things of this world, mainly in my academics, sports & leadership achievements and in relationships with the people around me. In 2016, I hit rock bottom when what I thought was my whole world, collapsed. I didn’t do well for my A levels, I underwent surgery for my knee (I couldn’t play sports competitively ever again) and what seemed to be a perfect relationship ended quite abruptly. These were among the few major things that happened around the same period of time and it felt like everything that was dear to me was taken away from me. I couldn’t help but feel that I was abandoned by those I loved and even by God; I felt unworthy of love.
For close to two and a half years, the wounds in my heart festered within me and they became deeper. I was so afraid of getting close to people in fear that I’ll be vulnerable and weak; that I can get hurt again. So I built many walls around me and I didn’t let anyone in. My heart became a heart of stone and I became so numb to feelings & emotions. I saw this as my ‘strength’, thinking that I was well ‘protected’
Even when I ‘protected’ myself, I still had this emptiness inside of me. Little did I know that by closing up to everyone around me, I closed up to God too. Therefore, I couldn’t feel Him in my life; I was so blind to His presence and numb to His love. Eventually, I found myself struggling to find my identity in this world and my purpose in life. I was a walking corpse, alive on the outside but completely dead on the inside. I grew tired of being in this state of desolation and I desperately wanted to live again.
When I was about to join SIM last year, I felt this strong prompting from the Lord to check out SIMCS in school and to attend its Freshman Orientation Camp (FOC). However, I didn’t know anyone in the community and also I didn’t have any friends to go with. Till this day, I can’t fathom how it happened; it was truly by God’s grace that I had the courage to sign up for FOC. When I look back, I realise that God was relentlessly pursuing me and He was doing his very best to reach out.
In the year with SIM CS, I had begun to be open to God and allowed Him to slowly break down the walls that I’ve built over the years. Though it was very painful and uncomfortable, It was absolutely necessary. Through FOC and the weekly sessions, I experienced the Lord’s continuous healing grace and His love for me. I once again claimed my identity as a beloved Child of God, who is so loved and cherished by Him and by the people He has placed in my life. I also realised that God has always been with me; I was able to see where Jesus was in difficult moments of my past and how blinded I was to His presence at that point of time.
Walking into SIMCS was truly the turning point in my faith journey. I am so grateful for this community for being the Lord’s vessel of love and truth in my life. I understood that as much as a personal relationship with God is important, it is also necessary to have community and kingdom friendships to support us in this lifelong journey towards heaven. We cannot do this alone.
The Lord called me back home to Him through this community and saying that ‘yes’ has been the best decision I’ve made in my life so far. The kingdom friendships forged in community continues to play a pivotal role in my faith journey. I’m blessed with many brothers and sisters in Christ who always remind me of God’s faithfulness & love and they are always there for me whenever I need them most. During the moments when I struggle to see God in the circumstances of my life, community has always been such a reliant support system to me; never failing to carry me through the tough and trying seasons, towards my own Calvary.
The desire to share what I have received through community burned intensely within me because I really wanted to bring the light of Christ to others so that they too can experience God’s love through community. In this season of my life, the Lord continues to challenge me to die to myself and give more of my life to him with a Fiat of surrendered love. The Lord doesn’t want me to settle with where I am, He wants for me to grow and become the man of God He desires me to be; this is His salvation plan for me and I am meant for so much more than I can imagine.
Today, I try to see God in everything that I do and in every moment; not to confine Him to a place or to a particular season of my life. In times of struggle, I choose to live in remembrance of how faithful and loving God has been to me throughout the years. He has saved me before, He will save me again. He has always been good and He will always be good to me.
“Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.” – St Therese of Lisieux
Bennett Jayakumar, SIM CS