Hello everyone! As most of you probably know, my name is Seo Yeon. I would like to take this time with you and share my experience with God, and how he has taken a huge step in my life. Unlike most of you guys here, I was not born as a christian. I have been attending Mokmin church since I was three years old, but I never knew the reason why we had to go to church, and out of all the days it had to be on Sundays. And on some days when I complained to my parents like “I don’t want to go”, I would get a full on lecture on why I had to go which I liked to call “jansori”. I also felt very isolated at church as I was only surrounded by older people, so I never felt as if I “fit in” with everyone. I lacked interest in listening to sermons as I found them boring, and usually you would find me on phone most of the time.
If I had a problem, I was told to pray or read the bible. No matter how many times I tried that it just did not work. Middle school was an extremely hard time for me. One day, I was talking to my christian friend about God. A boy overheard me and said “God’s not real.” I did not know how to respond to what he said as I was still questioning who God was. After it became a huge controversy in my class about “God” and people attacked me with words saying I was delusional for believing something that is not real and that I was insane. And from that day on, religion was a hard topic for me and I never really spoke a word about it. Also, whenever my friends would ask me to hang out with them on Fridays or Sundays, I always had to say no because even if I wanted to go, I had to go to house church and church. Then they stopped asking me to hang out because I was too busy with church and blamed me for not being able to spend time with them. I could say I was even angry with God or blamed him, so I pushed him away and just went to church to please my parents.
There were a lot of obstacles for me, and it mostly had to do with myself. I started to sense that I was having a really hard time and my friends did not understand what was going on with me, and how to make me feel better. I was confused, in a really dark place and negative thoughts kept coming to my head. What is so scary is that, when this is happening no one knows what you are experiencing, so you feel more alone. It’s like screaming for help or knocking on a door but nobody answers, or they can not hear you. I felt as if I was stuck inside a box, and I could not get out. I did not know why I was feeling this way. On top of that, the event of my grandfather’s passing tore me apart. I did not know who to reach out to, as my friends would say “stop complaining” or “keep your problems to yourself, they’re irrelevant.” I was furious with God and completely shut him away from me and stopped caring about life and even had thoughts of just ending it and wanting to disappear from the world.
Soon enough, the winter retreat, “ASK” came along, and I had the opportunity to go to one of the counselling sessions that was offered. And let me tell you, I am so grateful that I had this time talking to someone that was willing to listen to me. I felt a sense of peace, and felt as if a huge weight fell off my back. Although, I was not completely ready to open my heart to God. Later on, Sarah, my shepherd recommended I go to GPS (Gospel Presentation Session). At first I was hesitant to go, because, I did not understand the purpose of it. But I am so thankful Sarah recommended it to me as I had a better idea of what becoming a Christian is, and who God really is. This is where I received Christ and made the decision to be baptized. The date was set and was approaching, however I delayed it as I was scared that it was too big of a commitment. The next winter retreat “RESOLVE” came around. This retreat gave me an opportunity to give myself another chance to open up to God. In one of the sermons, Caleb told the story in the bible about Daniel’s friends who were walking around the fire, and when Jesus came into the pit, the fire was gone. After, there was a prayer session and while I was praying, God showed me an image. At first, there was a fire in my head and I got scared, and was about to open my eyes but before I could a rush of water, washed the fire away. I was calm. And from there, I felt a sign that God was telling me that he was with me and that he knows what I am going through.
From there on, I made an official decision of wanting to be baptized and here I am today! I’ve created a closer bond with my house church as they were the ones who I first opened up to. Sharing in house church made it easier for me to reach out to people. And I’d like to thank my members and especially my shepherd Sarah. Also, there was a verse from GPS that has stuck with me and it is: (Revelation 3:20 CSB) “See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” This verse is a reminder of how I guarded my heart, even from God, and rejected him numerous times but he remained the same and was patient with me until I was ready to open my heart.
There are some changes I have made to my daily habits, and here are a couple of them. So personally, I hate reading, so I always lost focus when reading the bible. But, downloading the bible app, has made it easier to enjoy the bible. I now take the time everyday to sit down, listen to worship songs, and that is where I feel the presence of God. I use my phone at church for a good purpose, which is jotting notes from the sermons. I’d like to thank my house church, Caleb, and my family for the endless support and Anthony for giving me the opportunity for joining worship team. I am extremely excited to explore this new life that has been unlocked for me and I pray that you will all be able to open your hearts to God as well. Thank you.