** Disclaimer : This post is heavily concentrated on my faith and Christianity and my views on it. It is not to intentionally offend anyone. We understand religion differently, and I accept that. I hope you can too. **
If I hadn’t move to Seattle, I probably would have had another religion now. I’ve always dreaded moving to Seattle and this might sound like such a stupid reason but I didn’t want to move to Seattle because I heard it’s a “God-ly” city. At that time, I was terrified and confused. Confused by what religion means, terrified that I’d be “brainwashed” by these religious fanatics.
But I had no choice – hey, afterall my parents were paying for my school fees and Seattle was the only place to be.
Thinking back, one thing that really really really urked me was how a certain group of people will host “caregroups” (which in Christianity means a group of people getting together and discussing about last Sunday’s Service. Sometimes people share testimonials and what they’ve experienced ever since they follow Christianity) to connect and have it as a ‘get-to-know-you’ event. Some caregoups do it well, but man, have you heard of some other caregroups who fails at doing so…? I’ve heard many horror stories and experienced a couple. Nope. Nope. I closed my door on opportunities like these since then.
Fast forward a couple of years, I’ve accompanied my boyfriend at that time to churches on special occasions, I’ve even attended church on Sundays time to time. But I didn’t quite understand nor was I engross in it.
It wasn’t until 2013. Something happened that really hits hard to home. I can’t go into too much detail nor do I want to, but it was something that shook my world. For once, I felt like I was all alone in Seattle. There were instances where I tried taking my life, when I thought “What am I doing on this Earth? What’s my purpose?”. I turned to alcohol, I thought money could buy me happiness so I just spent, spent, spent. I felt like I fell into a deep, dark, hollow hole. I didn’t know what I was doing nor where I was going.
One day, when I was 4-5 glasses of wine down. I broke down. Usually strong, that was the exact moment I felt the most vulnerable, the most hurt, the most helpless, all alone. But funny enough, I felt this protective enclosure around me. “You’ll be okay,” I found myself saying so. I have never reassured myself like that.
At that very moment, I ran and grab my pocket bible given to me by my tuition teacher when I was still studying in Singapore. Even though I randomly flipped to a page, the first verse that popped out at my very eyes was Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (NLT)”
Again, I never really could understand. But if you break it down simply, the verse’s underlying meaning is just to protect yourself as your choices will be the outcome to your path in life.
That very Sunday, I made the decision to go to church. I wanted a church where I didn’t know anyone, where there weren’t a lot of Indonesians so that “care groups” will not happen. Because at the end of the day, I want to discover my faith and not find friends nor have any ulterior motives. I was told that City Church is amazing, all sermons are conducted in English (Thank goodness!) and their Lead Pastor Judah Smith is an amazing person with top-notch positive energy.
For once, I felt that I could relate to what was discussed. I couldn’t pinpoint my finger onto what was exactly discussed but the message was strong enough to make me want to go back the very next Sunday, and then the next, the next, the next….
Funny how people say life works in various ways. I know that I’ve said it, and even if you don’t understand it now, try not to overthink/overcomplicate your mind, you’ll see how simple life is and how everything just falls into place. I’ve ever since became more positive, and remembered to stay faithful. “He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'” Mark 4:40
Another thing I’m really thankful of is that my parents never forced me into any religion nor was I pressurized to follow any of my parents. Although both my parents each follows a different religion, I am fine with that. But deep down, I do wish my father would follow Christianity so he knows from what viewpoints our decisions are made.
Ever since I followed Christianity, it is ingrained in my head that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14, we are unique, we are one. I often do not discount myself for anything else than what I deserve although I do slip and fall sometimes, but I am grateful to know that I have the strength to pick myself back up.
In March, I was a born-again Christian, and was baptized in The City Church, Kirkland WA. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to gain my faith every day. I know I’m not a model Christian – I am still scarred and sinful. Despite everything, I know He has the plans for me as Psalm 103:10 says, “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities”. For what you can do is “keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 and if you don’t get what you asked for, that just simply means He has bigger, better and the most compatible dreams for you, and what you need, and not what you want. “11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
I’ve had times when I drifted away from church. But I’ve recently went back and it feels like I was welcomed back with opened arms. This life I have right now, I’m in love with. I am forever thankful, and I can’t begin to say how good is our God.
I hope to be able to touch a few hearts with what I’ve written today. Of course, I’ll develop writing about my journey dealing with faith, crossroads and most importantly, how I build this relationship with the Lord. I am still a work in progress, but I’ll get there. Just so you wait 😉
And for Seattle? It was the best blessing in disguise. Thank you Mummy Daddy.
** I often get inspired by Vinna Gracia, who speaks of the Lord and preaches about so many things relatable to young female adults. She’s a youtuber/influencer, I love watching her.
** I go to GILGAL PIK now, I love it.
** A few pastors I love – Juan Mogi, Edward Supit, Carl Lentz, Judah Smith, Steven Furtick.