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“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

Luke 15:20-24 NKJV

I was born into a Christian family and was taught to do good to get good. I believed in Jesus but was uncertain of my salvation as I could never live a life free of sin. Alas, my wrong belief would eventually lead to my downfall. Bad decisions, unmet expectations, disappointments, and failures started piling up, and I soon found myself running away from God. Silencing my conscience, I then threw myself into a hasty relationship. I met with betrayal, heartbreak, battled depression and addiction while struggling to put up a strong and cheerful front, even though I knew I was crumbling inside.

To exacerbate things, I injured my back in an accident during the summer of 2016. I lived in agony for a year while seeking relief from chiropractors and physicians, only to find an accurate diagnosis after undergoing an MRI scan at the start of 2017. I had a slipped disc in my lower back. Months of physiotherapy and painkillers did not alleviate my condition, and I had to undergo an operation. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was tired of running away and chose to run back to Jesus.

I was blessed to have Dr Lim, a masterful surgeon, pray for me before he started the surgery. The operation was swift and successful, and I had ample rest to recover from my limited mobility. It was then when I started feeding on God’s word again, listening to sermons from Pastor Joseph Prince, and spending more time with my Godfather. Only then could I relate to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. I felt like a useless sinner and unworthy to be called His son, but as I took a step toward the Father, He ran towards me, embraced me and kissed me. I experienced His overflowing love, joy and peace again, and He pulled me back up to my feet.

Looking back, it does seem unfortunate to undergo such trials in order to learn from them, and I am certain that there are easier and less cumbersome ways to learn such lessons. But I always had my stubbornness and pride, and thankfully I now know better. Turning to God may seem hard when I try to base my faith on physical evidence and the things that are seen. Even doing things by my own strengths and skills come so naturally. But only when I stop trying, does God start working. I have learnt the hard way that it is much easier to lift my troubles up to Him. I enjoy relying on Him to bring me through my troubles instead of having to constantly strive and struggle. Today my back is healed, I have overcome my addictions and am excited to live each day under His grace.

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