In this unprecedented year that is 2020, I believe many of us have taken a step back and contemplated our past. Did we live our lives to the fullest? Are our lives filled with real joy, peace, prosperity or hope? As a Christian, I uphold that Jesus is the true vine and we are His branches. In Him we will bear much fruit; apart from Him we can do nothing. God has amazing plans for His children, way beyond our expectations, to bless us and for us to prosper — “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 — but why do we sometimes not see the fulfillment of His promise? Why do we still have much oppression, complaints, anger or anxiety in our lives?
I got baptized back in 2014, but I was just a “Sunday Christian” who read the Bible and had relationships with God mostly at church, until I entered college and went to a new church. I witnessed the fruitful lives of my pastor, ministers and many other church members and was taught what a real Christian life looks like. A Christian, according to God’s will, is someone who establishes daily relationships with God and bears the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit — Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness & Self-Control. A child of God doesn’t think of his or her Father only in times of need, but regards Him as a single priority. Seek first His kingdom and righteousness and all we need will be given to us.
This piece serves as a brief insight into my college life walking with God. God’s role in my life may sound incomprehensible to some, but it’s based on His Words and it’s so crucial especially amidst such a turbulent time. I hope my stories can help others on the same journey of faith — God has transformed my life as I have gone through my college years, and I have seen this more and more.
As an international student, I never attended any English language training besides school-required courses; but I was fortunate enough to visit the United States for six months when I was nine years old. That’s the extent of the background in English I have, however, not sufficient at all when I was blessed to go abroad again for college. Many problems arose.
Life studying abroad at a foreign university wasn’t easy. No family members or acquaintances within reach, no adequate language skills to understand the professors’ speedy lectures or comprehend hundreds of pages of text. So much to read, understand, memorize and skillfully apply — basically, I was nowhere near capable of performing well in school. I used all human resorts: I cried, I pulled all-nighters, I got tutors, and I also became addicted to YouTube to relieve my stress. Finally, my grades improved, but not my physical or mental well-being.
When I thought I was at my wit’s end, I realized I had long forgotten about my loving God, who is always there waiting for me to turn back to Him. Without God we can do nothing! Nothing! A perfect example at hand is one might plan, detailed to seconds, their schedules in 2020 and realizing all got turned over. I began to understand the importance of prayer, worship, Biblical truth and fellowship in church life –– the foundation of Faith.
It was life-changing. I aim to begin every morning with worship, prayer and proclamation of Truth, the best way to start the day. When I wake up, I may feel overwhelmed by all the tasks ahead, so it’s crucial for me to start my morning routine with His presence. During the day, I will continue to pray, give thanks and praise Him. Without His guidance, I can easily become a workaholic, feel anxious or lost. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit will remind me to turn back to God. I constantly pray that Father can lead me to the right path, so I can live out the true purpose of my life.
I learn to live according to His wills. We are all God’s sons and daughters, where else can we find protection besides in our home with Him?
My life turned 180 degrees when God’s light shone on me. I was renewed in mind, body and soul. I began to have great joy and zeal in life, whether in academics or other relationships. I don’t study like a robot for anyone’s expectations, but really relish the process of learning and regarding it as a tool to equip myself. I began to develop healthy habits like reading, exercising, painting and many other activities beyond academia I once labeled meaningless.
God creates this Earth with ample healthy amusement methods, to enlighten and nourish us, but oftentimes we are blinded by heavy workloads or an overwhelming amount of information from the internet.
It is all God’s grace and blessings that I can be reborn and reconcile with Him! Again, it is a life-long process following Jesus, but it’s never too late. “It has often been said, and with truth, that Christianity is the only religion that can deal with man’s past. God can “restore the years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25); and He will do this when we put the whole situation and ourselves unreservedly and believingly into His hands” (Streams in the Desert, Nov. 22).
May God speak to you and guide you when you are willing to open your heart. God bless!