It was during the latter part of my first semester as a freshman when I met Christ. I would say, it was one of the weirder ways a person would know Christ,  being the God that He is, I wouldn’t expect Him to answer such a shallow prayer as mine.

I was a loner. I didn’t have my own set of friends since I don’t get along with people well. I grew up in a family where I’ve always felt unwanted and unloved. I never knew how to give love to other people. I grew bitter and snobbish. My life revolved around pleasing my family to get their approval and affirmation. I was always trying to be like my older sister or to be the person my mother expected me to be.  I did not feel free to me who I was. Freedom was a foreign word to me and fear was my comfort.

The fear to be known for who I really am led me to believe that nobody would accept me. Let alone love me.

I got accustomed to the mindset that it was okay to be alone; I just needed to study well and graduate. I strived to adapt to any environment. I’ve always exerted much effort to studying since I’ve learned that earning honors and academic achievements equates to being noticed by my parents, being praised by other people, and being on a higher level than my sister. Deep in my heart I longed for love and companionship, but I was reluctant to have deep ties with my friends for fear that they will all abandon me if they knew the real me. I was in a great deal of pain, yet nobody knew.

One day, a friend from high school invited me to a youth service.  I didn’t expect her invitation since we were not really close. Also, given the religion I was born into, I was really doubtful that time whether to go or not. I grew up knowing about God, but I never had a true relationship with Him. My friend’s  invitation consistently lingered on my mind, so when I was on my way to our Biology Institute, I asked for a weird sign from God:

“Lord, if I see just even a glimpse of him, I will go”, referring to my crush that time.

What a crazy prayer!

But while I was indulging in my desires, attempting to involve God in it, I never knew God was already orchestrating every way possible to get me to church. And then the unexpected happened.

I saw him. He talked to me. I talked to him.

Talk about God giving us more than all we ask or imagine!

I then blurted out to God in some way, “Lord, ok, it’s obvious that You want me to go to that youth service.” And that time, I made up my mind that I would attend the service.

I attended the service together with my friend. There was an undeniable feeling of warmth in that place, as people were singing and raising their hands to God in praise. For the first time, I felt a sense of belonging, a measure of trust that no matter what I do, it’s okay. As praises were being sung, one particular song with lyrics that I could never forget was played by the band:

“Chains be broken, lives be healed.”

I couldn’t understand at first but those words pierced my heart and my eyes welled with tears. I asked myself, “Is it even possible? That was the time I distinctly remembered that I raised my hands in surrender to the One who is offering me freedom from bondage. The One who offered me freedom to be just as I am.

I gave my life to Christ and that was the best decision I’ve ever made. God blessed me with great friends with whom I can be who I am and share great moments with. Jesus has truly set me free, and in His purposes, I find joy and peace.