Hello everyone, I am Seoyeon Yoo and I will be sharing my experience with you all on my journey with Starting Point. I was introduced to this study by my youth leader Esther Sung, but in all honesty, I took Starting Point impulsively not knowing what I would be getting myself into. However, now that I’ve experienced it, I could have not been more grateful for this opportunity. It was a study full of reflection and healing.
Before I took Starting Point, I was not in a good mental state, and it felt like I was drowning in my own anxiety. I was avoiding my problems, people, and places; just about anything really. It was something I was struggling on for quite some time which eventually put a toll on my relationship with God. The whole concept of faith and maintaining this “Christain lifestyle” seemed so confusing and difficult for me. I had many people in my life walk out of faith, and when it is people who you look up to that give up on something they were so deeply passionate about, it complicates what you were told is true. It was almost as if the path to move further was getting foggier each day where it resulted in extreme loneliness and no sense of belonging; I didn’t know how to reach out for help. This is where Starting Point entered my life.
As said in the beginning, I made the decision to take Starting Point without hesitation. I went into the study with this mentality, “alright, just 8 weeks, you can pull through”. So for the first couple of weeks I found myself extremely guilty because I was doing the “homework” I had to get completed, the day of. It wasn’t until session 3 (Trust) where I took it seriously. I paused and questioned myself “how can I know where I stand with the invisible, silent God? What if Starting Point is a chance for me to restore my faith in God?”.
There was a story about Abraham in session 3. A man so flawed, and imperfect as we are, was chosen by God. Abraham had a rocky faith, and was unsure of the promises God made; like me. It was impossible for me to even fathom that God had a plan for me as I dreaded every second of my life. However, what really inspired me was that Abraham did not run away. He stood by God’s words and became righteous. This is where I realized the righteousness available to Abraham is available to me as well. To all of us. Through Starting Point, I realized it is not just me who has struggles with my faith. I thought God, who seemed so close but so distant at the same time was nowhere to be found. However, God was always there for me in my darkest moments. I’ve always had an invitation to experience His love. I just didn’t realize it until now.
Starting Point was yet another reminder that God never changes. My life after Starting Point has definitely put me in a better place with God. I obviously did not take Starting Point expecting change but realized I rather took it to find a “starting point” to rebuild that loving relationship with Him. And yes, I’m still struggling with the problems I had before, however, I’m in a much happier state right now. It is something I’m continuing to work on, but this time, I know God is by my side. Starting Point made me more knowledgeable and helped me reflect back on past experience with faith.
Being able to communicate with God was the hardest and throughout Starting Point, I was able to figure out what strategy works best for me. I started having conversational prayers with God, where I gave my thanks and shared my struggles. I wanted to believe He had listened so I was patient, and there I was, given a blessing. Remember the loneliness I had shared? A friend whom I was never close with contacted me one day (and this was towards the end of Starting Point), and now I’m proud to say that she is one of my closest friends right now. This was the first time, in a long time, where I felt that God was listening to my prayers and working through them. In addition, I felt I belonged not just to God but loving people of Him. I was reassured of His Grace.
The pathway to move forward that seemed so foggy, is now getting clearer where I can continue to move further. God was always here and always will be. I definitely feel his presence more than I did before, and am continuing to strengthen my faith with Him. I still get doubts and fears sometimes when it comes to the future, but I am assured that God has a plan for me. For all of us.
I thank Pastor Caleb for making this happen despite the circumstances, my incredible youth leader, and the members who were a part of this Starting Point journey with me. Thank you for listening.