Personal Testimony of Grace Wan
13 July 2022
I was born into a Christian family as a PK (Pastor’s Kid), but I did not have a personal relationship with God in my younger days. I thought that being a “Christian” was simply an identity that I inherited, like how we inherit our surnames.
At the age of 11, I entered a rebellious teenage phase and started to have a distaste for the “Christian ways”. Although I never doubted the existence of God, there were 2 aspects about God I disliked.
First, I felt that God was moralistic and high-handed. My parents were the only believers in their families, so they were strict with us. This put a terrible strain on my relationship with my mother, and led me to infer that God must similarly be bent on punishing everyone who goes against His wishes. Second, I also blamed God for the humble background that I grew up in. My father came from an upper-middle class family, but gave it up when he chose to serve the Lord among the poor.
All these “observations” of God, exacerbated by the fact that the youth pastor in church was very boring, led me to decide that God was not worth knowing more of. Although I still attended church with my mother, I did so because I had to, and I was content being a pew warmer.
When I turned 14, a series of small, unrelated events happened that changed how I saw God. During one of the sermons in my school’s annual Religious Emphasis Week, God spoke to me about how real He is, and that He longed to have a personal relationship with each one of us. It was also around that time that a new youth pastor took charge of the Teenage Fellowship (TF), and she convinced my mother to actively support me in attending TF. So, my mother decided to wait for me at a mosquito-infested MPH after service while I attended TF, much to my chagrin. But it was through TF that I felt God’s love, when my youth pastor spent time building intentional friendships with us. God also used the discussions there to speak to me. One such discussion was about the “God-shaped hole”, and I remember feeling like my eyes were suddenly opened as God shed light on a hole that I had felt for the longest time.
Even though nothing spectacular happened that year, I slowly came to believe that God was real, and that He loved me enough to reach out to me. I wanted to know Him personally, and to have that close relationship with Him that I admired in my parents. What He said in His bible began to make sense, and I started to depend on Him. Priorities changed as well, as God sent me pastors and mentors who journeyed with me through every decision and struggle in life, big and small. They challenged me and corrected me when I strayed, and they taught and modeled for me what it meant to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
My relationship with my mother has since turned 180°, and my parents became my best friends, the only ones who knew everything about me, even my crushes! Their willingness to be vulnerable in their walk with God always encourages me to press on even when I fall, and the spiritual conversations we have help me to see that God’s Word is relevant to everything in life.
Now, I have the joy of passing the blessing along as a mentor to others. It can be draining to pour ourselves into the lives of others, and it can be a struggle to mentor someone while facing my own inadequacies and failures. But Paul’s admonition of “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1) reminds me that it is not about arriving, but about the process of faithfully following Christ myself. God may use many others, not just me, to bring His children to Him, but I am thankful to be a part of His “team”, to be a tool in His hands for a season in someone’s life. What a joy to see many of the girls whom I’ve mentored now becoming mentors themselves! May God’s work not end with us, but flow through us to be a blessing to others!