Testimony & Thanksgiving: His Love Is All Around Me

by Tan Ci Rui (receiving the Sacrament of Baptism)

Before attending OYP RCIY last year, I struggled with a lot of insecurities and feelings of unworthiness. I often felt that I was not good enough for those around me and that I was undeserving of being a part of their lives. This made me feel like I always had to be better at earning my place in their lives. Whenever I made mistakes or did not meet the expectations of those around me, I would start blaming myself for not being a good enough daughter, friend and student. I would end up with my thoughts spiralling; constantly reminding me of how I was neither good enough nor worthy of love.

Going to a Catholic school and having Catholic friends, I was somewhat familiar with God. I knew that God loved me, but I could not truly believe it as my insecurities made me feel unworthy of love. During my secondary school years, I witnessed my friends receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. I was in awe of how they were able to find peace, comfort, joy and love in a God who could not be seen. As I battled with my insecurities of not being good enough, the idea of being able to find peace in God through a simple short prayer really drew me to the faith. Coincidentally, RCIY was open for sign-ups in that same period, and my friend invited me to attend after I expressed interest in the faith. I decided to give it a shot in hopes of being able to find some peace and comfort like my friends had.

Ci Rui receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation

Honestly, it was so intimidating to join RCIY on my own without knowing a single person. Last year, we had sessions on Zoom because of COVID and on the first zoom call, everything felt so foreign. During the third session, the session giver shared about the creation story of man, and how Adam and Eve took a bite from the fruit that God forbade them to eat. When Adam and Eve went into hiding after they realised their mistake, God asked them, “Where are you?”. These three words struck me as I realised that I was like Adam and Eve, hiding from what it is like to be truly seen and loved because I was so afraid that I was unworthy of being loved by anyone, including God. But God was still searching for me asking, ‘Where are you?’. He had always been inviting me to come out of hiding and to see what it is like to be infinitely and perfectly loved by Him. It was then that I realised, wow, God loves me so much that He would search for me even when I did not see Him.

After this encounter of an overwhelming love from God, I started to see God’s love in my life each and every day and His relentless pursuit of me. I saw it through my family being patient with me exploring a faith they are not familiar with, to my friends checking up on me to make sure that I was coping well in university, and my parents constantly showering me with lots of care and food during hectic periods. Even in the little things like somehow reaching classes on time even though I had left the house late, or when the rain only started the second I stepped into my home, I was able to see God’s love and providence.

Of course, nothing changes overnight. The insecurities I struggled with did not suddenly disappear, neither did I suddenly feel good enough to be loved. But God never fails to remind me of the unchanging truth that He loves me very much. During one of the guided reflections at the Combined University Retreat last December, we were invited to imagine that we were in the nativity scene and were asked to hold baby Jesus. As I imagined myself carrying baby Jesus in my arms, I was once again reminded of the magnitude of Jesus’ love for me that He would let me carry Him. No amount of unworthiness could stop Him from coming to meet me and tell me that I am loved.

Every time I feel that I am not good enough to be loved, God reminds me otherwise through a gentle, yet persistent voice that says, I am His beloved child. He loves me even when I fall, He loves me even when I’m weak, He loves me even when He sees every single one of my flaws. And if God, who is so great, can love me despite all my flaws, nothing else can ever separate me from His love. Be it my insecurities or my anxious thoughts, He will still love me.

I am no longer defined by how successful I am, how well I do in my exams, or how many achievements I have because all of these could never change the identity I have as a child of God. I am now free to be whoever I want to be and claim the truth that I am good enough as I am because I do not have to earn the love God gives!

Ci Rui (second from left)

In this world where our value is often linked to how successful we are in our relationships, career or academics, it is hard to believe that we do not have to earn our worth. Through God’s relentless pursuit of me and His endless love for me in my journey of searching for Him, I can proudly claim the truth that I am a child of God and nothing I do will ever change His love for me. He loves me without fail through everything and every season. Even as I struggle, I struggle with God by my side and with His love all around me.

Dear brothers and sisters, God truly does love you and nothing you do will make Him love you any less. Will you open your hearts and allow yourself to experience His infinite and perfect love for you?

Do you desire to come home today? Come and SEE!


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