As a kid, I often wanted to escape from home. My parents divorced when I was 4, and I fought a lot with my step-sister as our parents were always absent—busy at work. My dad and step mom quarreled frequently, creating a tense atmosphere at home. I grew up crippled with the constant fear of offending my parents for the slightest reasons. Punished often, the feeling of neglect was great. I kept wondering, “Why was I in this family? Why can't I have a normal ‘happy’ family?” Sadness and confusion about life overwhelmed me. But I wasn’t alone in my despair. When I look back, I can now see that God was faithfully unfolding His loving story over my own broken one.
You see, I’ve always loved music, and when I was 13, God’s providential hand led me to a Christian high school (even though I was actually registered in a public school). It was at the school’s weekly chapel that I became attracted to worship, which unconsciously inspired me because one day, when I was bored at home, I found myself thinking about my dad’s old guitar. Finding it in an old cupboard, I got my dad to teach me a few basic chords. My musical journey slowly grew from then on—I diligently learned new chords online, and progressed even without formal guitar lessons. But the story doesn’t end there because one day, at a Christian school camp, I encountered God’s presence powerfully. I wept but it was so much more than just being emotionally touched. For the first time, I felt peace in the midst of the stormy life I faced at home as I received Jesus as my Savior. Eventually, I began leading worship at my high school chapel. God used music to ‘call me over’ to His brand new story for me.
This is just the tip of the iceberg on how God is an amazing author, writing His story over mine; a story once headed toward a dead end but then rewritten with new hope. Don’t get me wrong. My life circumstances remained unchanged. But the difference was that I had a fresh sense of peace and a newfound joy, that made the actual circumstances of my life lose its negative grip on me.
God says in Nehemiah 8:10, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” This is absolutely true for me. I hope you find its power in your own life too and, like me, end up experiencing true happiness.
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