8 years ago today, sometime around 9pm, I accepted Christ into my life. This was the day where my life changed forever. I didn’t change as a person, didn’t become smarter, or get better in any way. Eight years ago today, I became a child of God. I became aware of His presence through His people. I had some amazing friends who invited me to attend Impact, a christian retreat organized by Houston-area chinese churches. It was at Impact that someone first shared the Gospel with me, planted a seed in my heart that would grow eternally. At that time, all I lived for was approval of my peers, parents, and the world’s standards of good/bad/perfection/imperfection.
To be honest, I only really remember one thing from Camp that year. The theme that year was “In Transit” and the speaker said something along the lines of, “our journey here on earth is a transitory one. We will all carry baggage from this life into the next. Do you want to carry all your baggage with you to the next one? Or better yet, what baggage do you want to carry?” God makes it very clear to us in Matthew 6:19-21 what we are to keep and what we are to let go of – in essence, our baggage.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy,and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I think I remember that part of his message because it made the theme “In Transit” make sense. Some of my main thoughts were, “I’m living my life right now, for what? Where am I going? And why do I care so much about some of this stuff going on in my life? What is my baggage?” On the last night of camp, there was an altercall, a formal call for people to receive Christ. After mulling over all these thoughts, I prayed for maybe the second or third time ever, “Hey God, I believe that you’re there. So, if you are, please just reveal yourself to me.”
And He did. I mean, He has done much more than just reveal Himself to me. In these 8 years, I’ve seen Him mold me over and over to be more faithful, more dependent, and more trusting of Him through the Holy Spirit. I have grown into a (not so) beautiful crabgrass. Except God doesn’t see me as a patch of crabgrass; he sees me as a blossoming flower in the midst of darkness. I’ve made so many mistakes in eight years. Oftentimes, I still find myself seeking approval from people rather than my God. And I’m sure that’s heartbreaking to Him, but grace is present again. I can’t say thank you enough to God for pulling my from the trenches and showing me what joy we’ve been promised. My life changed that day eight years ago, not just for the better, but for the best life I could possibly have. Not about succeeding and becoming a better person, but to life a life glorifying to God.