I firstly want to thank God for making this day possible by giving me life. I was a miracle baby due to the fact that my parents had medical complication (Rhesus factor) that usually causes the baby to die. I’m the survivor and the doctor still can’t believe that I was born and so healthy.

I was born in a Christian family but that doesn’t make me a Christian. I received Jesus Christ into my heart at the age around 6-8. I first really experienced God was when I was 8 years old. I was in a Christian camp and the pastor asked if anyone needed prayer. I went up and she prayed for me. As soon as she laid hands on me, the presence of God just came upon me and all I did was cried for hours. It was an amazing experience because it told me that God was real. I could feel Him.

Being born in a Christian family, I had many strict rules and regulations at home. I couldn’t do what I want, couldn’t do what other children my age would normally do. I went to church every Sunday, helped out and served in cell groups and children church. I knew I was different from everybody else since I was young. And everyone knew that I was a “good” girl. Friends wouldn’t even ask me for homework assignments because they know I wouldn’t let them cheat and just really knew that I always wanted to the right thing. After high school, I went to college to study for a year. This was when I really felt that I had the freedom that I’ve always wanted. My parents could not control me anymore. I was sick and tired of those strict rules that I wanted to do things my own way. The college was 2 hours away from home and I’d come back every weekend. I didn’t do any big outward sin like taking drugs or smoke, but a sin is a sin no matter how big or small it is. It is still a sin. A lie is the same as trying to smoke. But I wanted to do things my own way. I was involved in a relationship that was not of God. I knew my parents would definitely say no to this relationship even though this guy was a Christian. So, this relationship was kept a secret and only people in college knew about it. I thought the freedom that I had was what I really wanted and that it would make me feel free and happy. It made me feel worse. I always had to hide and always had to be very careful so that my parents would not find out about my relationship.

From then on, I knew I was far from God. I knew I had lost my first love, the love that was unconditional.

I knew God was there. I knew he was watching me, I knew He still cared. But I wanted to do things my way. It came to a point where everything was all about me. I want this and I want that. I wanted to satisfy my own fleshly and worldly desires.

After one year, I transferred back here to SIU. (I was here previously with my family during my junior high school years). God miraculously brought me back here. He was my provider. It’s when I started to get plugged in, and really serving God that I found Him again. God has been training me and disciplining me all these 2 years that I’ve been here. Now, He has captured my heart. I do everything, my studying, my playing musical instruments in church, my social life, everything, I do it for God. It’s so different now because I can feel God so intimately. I learned that God will never give up on you. You see, I was taking God for granted. Here I was, born in a Christian home. There are people who face serious persecution at home. I had God in my home but I put Him aside. I wanted to do things my own way. But God, lovingly and persistently still calls me back. He kept knocking at the door of my heart, waiting for me to open the door. He has captured me now. I live a life, wanting to please Him. For all of you who feel that God is far away or you are far away from God, I believe with all my heart that He is still and will keep on knocking at the door of your heart and will never ever give up on you. Now, God is in control of my life. It’s all about Him, it’s not about me.