SOCL 2021 THANKSGIVING

Before coming into SOCL, I always wanted to take control of my life because living in uncertainty made me very fearful, hence, taking control of my life felt like something that gave me security but at the same time, not enough to fill this void in my heart. Many times, when I faced obstacles or my own struggles, I always relied on myself to handle these situations and turned to God only when things got worse or made me feel like there is no hope. I often tried to be God, wanting to be that perfect child of God/daughter/friend/partner/ whatever our roles call us to be. Growing up made me want to seek that self-perfection even more, to live up to the expectations of society and not to be a disappointment. It was in these lies that made me feel inadequate, unworthy, lousy and many other negative scripts I told myself.

However, during SOCL, the Lord has revealed to me that these negative scripts I told myself were lies and that I am MORE than what I think I am. There is no affirmation that will make us feel whole but the heavenly affirmation, that I am a work in progress and to be patient with myself and with God. It is so easy for us to be harsh on ourselves and then get upset when we don’t meet our expectations but have we considered looking to God when things get tough? In 1 John 4:18, it says ‘there is no fear in perfect love, for perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment’. There is nothing we can do to make Him love us more and nothing we have done to make Him love us less.

Today I want to claim the truth that I am healed, protected and loved by Jesus Christ, that He heals because He loves us, because He is God. He is a God who loves unconditionally, who looks into you and does not condemn, a God who is trustworthy. – Jermaine Lim, SIM, Participant

 

Before coming to SOCL, I’ve always tried to fill the void in my heart with worldly things like recognition from others or material possessions but in doing so, I’ve been disappointed time and time again. In this search for something that could make me feel whole, I did not realise I was in pursuit for something that this world could not offer me. 

During SOCL, one of the speakers shared a quote that said “If I find myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world”. I truly claim this truth for myself, the truth that only God can offer a form of love that fills me up and overflows like no other. A love that demands nothing from me other than to be myself, a love that calls me Beloved. Today, I am proud to say that I am starting to discover God for who He really is – my father, friend, comforter but most importantly, lover. Having experienced a life magnified in Christ, there is no turning back, for those who have experienced a life in Christ never go back the same way as they did before. 

To all my brothers and sisters, I say to you that there is no fear in intimacy with the Lord, there is only love, great love to be lavished upon you. He is the Lord who turns graves into gardens and the Lord that desires a deeper healing for you. –  Natalie Khoo, NUS, Participant

Prior to SOCL, I was struggling to stay committed to having a regular prayer life, and felt like I was failing God in this relationship, so I was wondering how I could recommit my life to him and what it even meant to surrender my life to Jesus. I was battling a lot of lies from the previous year of leading a cell group that I didn’t achieve what I set out to do and failed in many ways, so I was hoping that coming to the school would help me be more convicted in my walk with the Lord in the coming year. 

While I was still fearful of what the 10 days would bring and SOCL being moved online, I still believed that God prepared a way for me to turn up for the full duration as I previously wouldn’t have been able to and that He called me by name to be present. The 10 days were a time of trusting in the Lord and what He had in store for me, and it was revealed to me that I’ve been wrongly placing my worth on the work I was doing and have forgotten my first identity as His beloved child in the process of doing so. It was one that was difficult to swallow and let go but I’m thankful to God for His never-ending pursuit of me. It was also then that God called me to be more vulnerable to Him, which was difficult because I was trying to keep Him at a safe distance in my life. However, through the vulnerability and many testimonies of faith shared by others over the school, I desired more for what God wanted to do for me and thus began this ongoing process of being willing to give God more of my heart. 

Leaving this school, I want to claim the truth that God is pleased with me and not with any amount of work I do, because He calls me His beloved and allows me to find refuge in Him alone. He desires more for me than anything I can imagine. Will you allow the Lord to take you on this adventure with Him today? – Andrew Lim, University College Cork, Participant

I fought very hard against Jesus before SOCL and even the first few days of SOCL, I was so close to pulling out. Having a very dry season during the holidays, focusing on internship, money and other material things, I was so so far from Christ. I wrestled with all my worldly desires throughout SOCL, telling myself that I don’t want to let go of it even though I know I should, I can’t do it, it’s too hard, I don’t want this. But somehow despite all my restlessness and distractions, Jesus still managed to speak so many beautiful truths to me. He revealed His love for me. A love I found so hard to grasp and understand. A love I never thought I could experience because He was not of this world.

But through revealing my inner wounds that dated all the way back to primary school, I saw Him there with me, holding my small little hand, walking with me. He looked at me with a gaze filled with such immense love and said to me: “my child, don’t worry, you are not alone, I love you, and I will walk with you every step of the way.” Streams of tears just flowed uncontrollably. I realised that this is God revealing Himself to me, speaking to me, showing me in such a tangible way that His love for me was so great, so gentle, so overwhelming. No one in this world could ever come close to loving me the way that our lord and saviour loves me. Jesus has always loved me and will always love me. He will always hold my hand, even if I do not recognise it, even if I do not want it, and even if I push him away. Thank you Jesus for loving me in spite of my disbelief. – Rebecca Lee, SMU, Participant

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