Journey Back Home

I started attending CHCKL when I came to here to study in 2008. It was never a question since so many of my hometown friends were already rooted here. Regularly, I went to church services and cell group. Though it seemed like all was well, I was rather hard-headed back then and that eventually became a barrier for me. My then cell group leader, Hazel, had a difficult time trying to get through to me. I evaded anything to do with the word ‘accountable’ and my ego got the best of me. Slowly, I slipped away.

Bitterness got the better of me and it emanated in every area of my life, so much so that even my mother, who is a non-believer, would insinuate that I should get back to church.

That was the beginning of year 2010, and from there, everything took a turn for the worse. Leaving church hardened my heart and I began looking at every aspect of life through a negative lens. I looked for love in all the wrong places and made regretful decisions along the way. Bitterness got the better of me and it emanated in every area of my life, so much so that even my mother, who is a non-believer, would insinuate that I should get back to church.

I believed the lie that I was unworthy of anything good.

To be honest, even though I had an inkling of longing in my heart to return, I felt too ashamed. Too ashamed to face God and to face my God-fearing peers. I believed the lie that I was unworthy of anything good.

It all changed in November 2014, when I came across an invitation from a church member, Ben Yaep, to Chromeheart. I didn’t know what had gotten into me then, but I suddenly decided that I would go.

I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I stepped into church not knowing what to expect, but a warm sense of belonging surged within me. Nearly 5 years later, everything in church had changed. The new building swarmed with new faces, yet I still felt very much at home. Greeting me as I walked through that door was a familiar face — Pastor Kevin’s. To my surprise, he remembered me. Amidst the thousands he had ministered to, he knew my name even when I had not been in church for many years.

There was nothing different that morning but I knew nothing was the same all because I had made that very first step towards God.

Chromeheart was a mind-blowing experience, and I re-surrendered my heart to God at the altar call. I knew I wanted to be back in this community and that my life had to change. There was nothing different that morning but I knew nothing was the same all because I had made that very first step towards God. My heart was already lighter but God’s plan to bring me home did not end there.

 “ Why would a pastor of such a huge church pray for someone whose role in church is so small, almost negligible?”

Two days later, a Facebook message from Pastor Kevin popped up in my inbox. He told me that he had been praying for me and seeing me walking into church was a prayer answered. I broke into tears, like a well in me had cracked open. In my mind, only one question resounded; “ Why would a pastor of such a huge church pray for someone whose role in church is so small, almost negligible?”. That night, I truly encountered God again. ln all the days I spent without Him, I had felt broken and it was at that very moment, I knew what it was like to feel whole again.

I still have no explanation for what made me decide to go for Chromeheart that day, only that I believe it was the work of the Holy Spirit. No matter how far away I have wandered, His grace would have reached me still. I began to grasp my true worth in God, to understand His love for me. I learned to never underestimate the power of prayer.

I’m the happiest that I can be at this point of my life, not because I have no worries or no struggles, but because I finally feel like I am where I should be.

It has been a little more than two years since I came back to church, and I’m now back in Hazel’s cell group D21, and am serving in the worship ministry.

I’m the happiest that I can be at this point of my life, not because I have no worries or no struggles, but because I finally feel like I am where I should be.

This journey back home was not an easy one, but it was well worth it.

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