Hi everyone, my name is Jenny and I stand here today to share my journey within Christ since I came to Living Water Fellowship (Now “The Seed”). So to give you a bit of background information on me, both my sister and I were born Christians. My mom has been a Christian for majority of her life, and my mom’s side of the family are all Christians. So when we used to visit our grandmother’s house, we would always sing praise songs together and pray together. What I’m trying to say is that the existence of God was always natural to me; it wasn’t something that someone had to teach me or it wasn’t something that I had to force myself to believe. It was in the environment I grew up in, so I never questioned it. But when we came to Canada, we started going to church. Then it became an on and off thing, and eventually we stopped going. At first I was sad about it, because I loved going to church, but eventually as the years passed by, it was normal to not go to church.
First year of university was really great for me. I met a lot of new people, made great friends, and had all the freedom to myself. But despite all this, I always felt something really empty inside of me, and I didn’t really know what it was. I found myself wondering who I am, why I’m here, if God really exists. This was really difficult for me, because I always thought that it should be something natural to me, because I was born a Christian. Many of you here may be born a Christian too, and you know you don’t question it when you are a kid. Nobody has to tell you God exists, because you grow up in the Christian environment and you just believe it because it’s the truth. When I was in university, I don’t know what happened to me, but this suddenly hit me, and I started questioning God. I didn’t always get the answers that I was looking for, and I was trapped inside of my own misunderstandings about Him.
I did have Christian friends around me, not many but few, but they only seemed to be reflections of who I used to be when I was young, and who I currently wasn’t, and who I’ll never be.
I thought things would get better eventually after I graduate university, get a job, and keep myself busy, which I did. A year has passed by since I graduated university and nothing really changed. I felt emptier inside. I still had really good friends, but they really couldn’t fulfill what I was seeking for.
When we moved to Aurora, my sister started coming to this church, and I would drop her off occasionally. She would always ask me if I wanted to come, and I always said no, because I never felt ready. How could I go to church when I don’t even know God exists for sure? It didn’t make sense to me. One day, I decided to come to check it out, and I wasn’t going because I knew I was going to go to church from then on. I just went because I had nothing to do that Sunday, my sister was going and she’s been nagging me about it for a while, so I just went. It was really great, the people were really friendly. I went a couple of more times, and I realized that I really loved Pastor Caleb’s sermons. It touched my heart every time, and for some reason it always seemed like the message he was delivering was always directed to me. That’s what really got me to come to this church on regular basis. After couple of more time coming here, Pastor Caleb asked me if I wanted to go to Receiving Jesus meeting, and I was like “okay, yeah sure.” I didn’t know what it was about, I thought it was something I had to do, I just did it for the sake of doing it. I didn’t even know what receiving Jesus meant. So when I went, I found out I can go to heaven. It was my first time learning in my life that I can go to heaven, and know that I don’t have to live in fear, or know that I don’t have to be perfect to go to heaven, or know that the past sins I committed doesn’t really matter, I can still go to heaven. But no one ever told me this before, and I guess it’s because I never questioned it before, or asked anyone for help. So after the meeting Pastor Caleb asked me if I wanted to be baptised and I said “okay, sure.” I didn’t really know the significance of baptism. So saying “yes” to going to Receiving Jesus meeting and saying “yes” to being baptised, it was rather a really easy decision for me, and I never gave second thought. That’s not because I loved God so much or was willing to dedicate myself as a Christian at that point, but it was really because I didn’t know the significance and it really didn’t seem like a big deal to me.
More or less the bible study was kind of like the same thing. I only went because my sister was going, so I might as well go. But what I got out of it is so much more than what I expected. Not only did I learn about the bible, but I also learned about how to get closer to Jesus, and most importantly I started building faith. This faith was not something that I was forcing on to myself, like I was trying to do back in my university life – it was very gradual, and very natural. I felt really loved by God, I felt protected, I could really feel his presence inside of me and I no longer felt as empty as before.
We had this one session during bible study, where we had to do Holy Spirit encountering session. We turned off the lights and prayed for 20 minutes. Pastor Caleb told me to pick 3 prayer topics that I would like to see happen within a short period of time so you know that it’s God helping you. So I chose 3 prayer topics, which I cannot share for personal reasons. Surprisingly two of them were answered within 2 weeks. My prayer topic wasn’t something like “I wish I get an A+ in this” – it wasn’t anything like that. It was something that I can never do on my own; it was something that no one can really help me with, but God. I was really happy at that point – not happy because my prayer topics were answered – of course I was happy, but I was mainly happy because I knew for sure that God is listening to me when I need him, and that he truly cares for me. That is when I started praying about every little thing, such as “I pray that my boss doesn’t give me so much work today”, “I pray that there is coffee left over when I get to work”, “I pray that I wake up on time”, or “I pray that my sister doesn’t nag me so much today”, all these little things. Not all of these prayers were answered, and I’m still grateful for it. That’s because I know that whatever happens to me, I know it’s part of God’s bigger plan for me. I have trust in him.
Even looking back at my university days, when I was really struggling – and when I say struggle, I mean struggle. I would sometimes go to church and see my Christian friends crying when praying, or singing praise songs, and I just didn’t understand why. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t cry, and I didn’t want to force myself to cry, I couldn’t force myself to cry anyways. But yeah, looking back at the struggle, I’m grateful for it, because I know that because I went through that stage my faith is stronger now and I know I’ll never lose sight of God again, because I’ve already been through my life without God, and I how it is.
I originally didn’t want to do this testimony, because I like to keep my Christian things private, but the main reason I wanted to do it is because I know there is a lot of you here who’s a lot younger than me. Who knows what life is going to throw at you, right? You might go through something I went through later in life, or something harder, or something different but still might be a struggle. But just know that God is almighty, he is powerful, and he is very capable of knowing what is best for you. So whatever He puts you through, it’s to make you a better person.
Finally, I want to thank Chris who isn’t here, and Wendy for putting up with me during class. I asked so many questions that probably kindergartens would know, but I didn’t know because I never was educated from church and never really properly attended church. Thank you so much, I know they must have secretly hated me for it.
I’m really thankful for Pastor Caleb. He was really patient with me, he answered all my questions.
Lastly, I’m very thankful for God for leading me to this church and allowing Pastor Caleb to help me to reconnect with God, and create a bond that will never be broken again.