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Karissa's Personal Testimony

4 July 2022

Growing up in a Christian family, and being the youngest child, my life was relatively sheltered – and I thought: Well, I am saved and until I meet God in heaven, my life is pretty much settled. I rarely pondered about who this God truly is.

When I reached a tender age of 14, I found myself stuck in this cycle of busying myself, prioritising friends, studies, fun, and chasing after worthless materialistic goals, only to satiate my hunger to please others. After every church service, I would slouch back into my unhealthy habits of laughing along with friends who gave insensitive remarks about others. ‘Christianity’ was merely a label, not a relationship with my heavenly father.

Then, I turned 15 years old. Greater personal problems caved in and internal struggles of self worth dug deeper, leaving a hole in my soul that I thought can never be filled. I felt betrayed by a role model, was overwhelmed by my own expectations, and confused when it didn’t go away. Even more so when I felt alone.

Still, God loved me and sent people to redirect my life when my path was unsteady. I thank God for my sister. Even though we were both going through a painful struggle together, she still reminded me of God’s persistent love. She was determined to place God into the centre of her life and is, still to this day, consistent in her daily devotions. I thank God for her humble character and her deep relationship with God, which set an example for me to follow.

Of course, the battles we fight are ultimately with our God the Father. He reminded me, through my family and friends, that all we have to do is to simply trust in him. Of course, this is easier said than done. If we just let go of the burdens we carry and stop worrying, that act in itself is telling God that he is fully in control of everything.

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable?” Matthew 6:26 summarises this idea wonderfully. If he takes good care of his precious creation, from the tiniest ant to the enormous whale, why am I worrying about the little things in life?

Over the past few years, my school friends started pestering me about this mysterious God whom I believe in, why I chose to follow this God who seemingly hardens his rules around our lives. And as I relooked at my own faith, I realised I couldn’t find an answer. Why did he allow suffering in this world? Why does he not simply save everyone? What makes Christianity the right religion?

Thankfully, God sent people along the way, like Grace who was able to take the time out of her busy schedule to fill my hunger and answer my questions about life and faith – now it’s not after worthless gains, instead it’s the hunger for Christ. I am also grateful to have Jerv, who has stuck with me since I was really young, and is now my mentor. She constantly invited me to join the different church activities and reminded my forgetful self, that despite all the troubles that I face, I still have this family in Moriah.

Over the past few months, I've slowly realised that sometimes not getting an answer reveals how little we know of Jesus and how our limited perspectives can never comprehend his great plan. The problems that destroyed my perfectly easy life gave meaning to it and made me realise how every problem AND person was a part of my growth.

Looking back, I am extremely grateful for all the trials and people that He has allowed into my life. And most importantly, I thank God that I am able to experience these struggles with Him, for His greater purpose.

Thank you.

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