“I didn’t know that people my age could experience God too!” - Karen
I once lived a life of not knowing who this great God was.
I came to know about Christ in a very different way. I started learning about God through the Bible stories my aunt told me. Both my parents are Christians but they never really explained much about it to me until I was eight or so. When I was nine, my parents signed me up for water baptism without me knowing its purpose. They simply told me that I would be baptised. I never got the opportunity to choose whether or not to accept Christ.
Going to church was just something I disliked because I had to stand during praise and worship for 45 minutes and listen to really long sermons. My relationship with God back then was like, man, I don't even know. All I knew was that I was a Christian and that was it. I went to church for the sake of going.
But God changed my life when I moved to YM two years ago. I was thirteen. It was a totally different atmosphere when I entered the room. Seeing teenagers like me praising God and encountering Him - I was shocked! I didn’t know that people my age could experience Him too! Hearing hundreds of testimonies about how God changed their lives made me want it for myself. I wanted a personal encounter with God and to really have a relationship with Him.
I encountered God for the first time at Unbound 2015, my first YM camp. God spoke to me, telling me that no matter how far I was from Him, He would always welcome me back with His arms wide open. I felt refreshed and reconnected with Him through the message and atmosphere in camp. And that’s when God began to change me for the better.
When revival broke out in April 2016, I became so desperate and hungry for God. I wanted more of Him. I wanted to be filled. I didn't want God to pass me by. Man, the revival was so powerful! It made the Encounter Camp that happened that month one of the most memorable camps out of all the ones I had ever been to. It was the first time that God had spoken to me through His people, something I totally wasn't expecting. Because of this camp, I started doing devotions too. I started to grow spiritually, knowing more about Him, hearing from Him, and learning to put my trust in Him.
God went through every storm I faced with me, leading me and guiding me. I used to go to my friends first when I had problems, but now I reach out to Him first. When I was going through a difficult time, my cousin told me, "You know what? Last time when I was like that, God came through for me." Hearing her testimony really encouraged me to hold on to Him no matter what, by reading His word and hearing testimonies from other people about what He’s done for them.
A verse that I constantly keep in mind and hold super close to me is Jeremiah 29:11: ‘"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."’
Without God, I wouldn't be where I am and who I am. He has shaped me into a very different person. With every encounter I have with Him, the way I see things change. I learned to treat my friends and family better and do things out of love - not just for the sake of doing them. I’ve discovered that having an encounter with God is more than just emotional excitement or having a distant admiration of Him, it’s a transformation. Every encounter with God should not just excite us but also change us in our studies, in our lives, and in everything that we do.
It’s about building a relationship with the Father.
Today, I am proud to say that I am a child of God. I have this freedom in Christ that is my constant reminder that there's a Father who's bigger than anything I’m facing.
- Karen Lim