Hi, my name is Hilda and this is my testimony. I was born Catholic but only went to church out of tradition. My reaffirmation of my faith in Christ was in fact an answer to my 8-year-old self long ago. I remember praying in Catechism class “God, I pray I will get to know you better and better”. The next time I prayed this was before I came to London. It was strange because what I asked for, I never tried seeking. God presented many opportunities for me to know him, yet each time I didn’t think to respond.
If you knew the kind of person I was in my childhood days, you would never even begin to think that such a person would do anything bad. I was the shy, passive and introvert type. I’m the type of person who would think if someone did something to hurt me or make me uncomfortable in any way, I would avoid their behaviour because I know how that feels like and wouldn’t want anyone else to feel the same. For example, I was made fun of in primary school I swore I’d never make fun of others. My Dad used to shout at me, keep me up late at night once as late as 3am on a school night and even beat me because I couldn’t get that one math question right. He was very strict on my studies. He would write apology letters in the morning only to shout at me at night again. I swore I would never treat my child the same. Or I would never leave someone out because I hated the feeling whenever my high school friends would walk in pairs and not include me. But then again I always thought well thank goodness no one else is being left out.
But well of course, I’m a hypocrite. But I’m also extremely oblivious to things. Most of the time when I do what is wrong, it is because I don’t understand why it would be wrong or am unaware that it is wrong.
God opened my eyes to my dark side. He showed me there was evil in me and saved me from loneliness, ignorance and selfishness. After accepting Him into my life, he gave me the most amazing reward.
God’s work is amazing. He planted Miruka in my life. She’s my roommate. We met in high school but oddly enough were not friends. When she heard I was going to UCL she asked why not be roommates and strangely enough I agreed straightaway. I knew she was Christian. She invited me to the church HTB and I fell in love with it. The sermon was what struck me because it was so different to Catholic sermons. For once I actually paid full attention and walked out with something to think about. I thought: if Miruka was not born with any Christian background, and she became Christian and knows more about the faith than I do, then what does that say about me? I then realised I label myself Catholic and believe in this God and Jesus but that was about it. So I my interest was there, but I still wasn’t doing anything more than going to church! Gosh God must have been so upset… because what was about to happen next was… definitely all my fault.
Before I continue, I must mention this first. The group of friends I hanged out with back in high school are good people of course in the general sense. But media tends to distort a few ideas and we were very enthusiastic about vulgar jokes. Looking back I was oblivious to how insecure my friends were. Anyway, I was very much influenced by my friends and the ‘world’. They were part of how I formed ideas of what love and relationship are meant to be like. What I was led to believe was that love was purely feeling based and when you enter a relationship it’s just a test or experiment to see if it might work out or not. I believed this to be normal and completely acceptable.
So my fourth relationship was here in UK. Well it was unofficial. There was this guy (who’s name I won’t reveal) and we both liked each other and it was so obvious we didn’t need to say anything. He knew that I wanted to date a Christian guy but he didn’t understand why and to be honest neither did I properly understand at the time. He wanted to make our relationship official after I stayed over in his room one night. Thing was we kissed, but I was conflicted. I knew dating a non-Christian was a slippery slope and God would not like this. Yet I thought this is my chance! I can finally get a relationship. Someone who loves me, who will listen to me, share experiences with and can physically satisfy me. I was lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. I told him I will consider making things official. The most awful thing was I went to his room again, made out and then rejected him. Sounds like I knew the rejection was coming, but I didn’t. On that night I felt really upset, frustrated and just plain sad. I was thinking God why, this is the first time I can have an actual decent relationship with this “nice” guy. I didn’t want to reject him. I thought so hard until my thoughts became a tangled mess. God or my way, God or my way… but honestly, I was also scared about what Miruka would have thought. I knew she would be disappointed. In the end told him no, he was crushed and every time I recall how he covered his face with shame of rejection I just feel like hitting myself. I never realised my selfishness until after and the worst thing was his image of Christianity just came crashing downhill.
I went back to my room, it was morning. Miruka woke up and I told her what happened. She didn’t speak to me for 2 whole days. This is because she had just shared a serious concern she had for a friend and my actions did not help in giving her hope in God. I knew her disappointment, my heart ached. How could I do something to betray my best friend? Why is it when I know the brutal effects of betrayal, did I lose all my sense and did what I did? I was lost, I had no one. I ran into Regents Park and literally cried out to God. In the end, He was all I had left.
The 22nd February 2013 was the most stressful day of my university life. (Huh and I thought high school drama was over!). It was only on the 21st Feb that Miruka was able to approach me. She had thought it over and sought counsel. We hugged, then talked about it. I was so happy to have my friend back. She told me she received a text from the guy wanting to talk to her about something. At first Miruka speculated it was something to do with how Miruka and I weren’t talking since he knew. Miruka told him she wouldn’t meet up without letting me know what they were to discuss. When they met up, it ended up him complaining and being frustrated with what I did. He was angry, of course I can’t blame him. Having to hear what his pure honest thoughts was not easy for me. It was like someone smashing the pie that I made selfishly for myself into my face in a twisting motion. I realised the consequences of my actions and how hypocritical I was that I didn’t consider his feelings. I realised I was so selfish. Having my major crit (pin up of architecture work then being judged by my tutors) and having my phone drop causing the screen to crack did not make life easier either.
Why I was so affected by this event was because it wasn’t the first time I manipulated and mistreated someone for my own selfish gain such as through feeling reassurance in romantic gestures. It wasn’t until God gave me a good kick to realise the consequences of my wrong deeds. My second relationship was out of desperation, loneliness and neediness. It’s the relationship I never talk about. I misused this girl’s feelings for me and even though I knew after a certain time my feelings weren’t the same, I still mistreated her. She was my best friend and I’ve lost that friendship. I dumped her for my third relationship, which became twisted because the only thing that held us together was lust. He would often hurt me with degrading words because he expected more of me. It sounds really horrible. I feel so guilty and embarrassed whenever I think back. Why did I not see how if someone did the same to me, I’d grow so bitter and filled with pain? I apologized to the girl, but things are still slightly awkward.
Anyway, the week after my crit, I had one final lunch on Saturday with that guy whom I almost chose over God. I told him: I want to apologize for the way I treated you, I hurt you and I also hurt Miruka and disappointed her. I told him not to think of Christianity as rubbish just because the people can be, in the hopes he wouldn’t give up seeking. We ended on a light note, but I knew he was still angry.
After we went our separate ways, I suddenly had this pain in my right knee. So I walked with a limp. The next day, I went to church. There was a guest speaker called Albert Vun from Malaysia. In his sermon he mentioned if there is no forgiveness, there is no healing. He spoke of a man named Alan who injured himself during a football game in university and walked with a limp and pain for many years. Alan went for a church revival meeting, and the main speaker had a word of knowledge and said there’s a man who has pain in his leg and the Lord says you need to be healed. He continued saying that the injury was on the right leg, but still Alan refused to come up. The speaker then to Alan’s surprise, the speaker then revealed the name of this man to be Alan. So Alan came up, but he was then asked to forgive his father. Alan was annoyed because he thought he was just there for healing and mentioned how could he forgive his father when he already passed away. The speaker insisted and so Alan forgave his father. The moment he prayed the prayer, Alan felt the Lord come upon him and instantly his leg was healed, there was no more pain.
I was so shocked. Because I knew that God was speaking right at me. Even though there wasn’t hostility between my Father and I, I never told him ‘I forgive you’. The feelings of how he used to treat me turned bitter and even though he tried to say sorry, I never said anything back. In my heart I wanted to have a relationship with my Dad, and even though I knew I would regret it if I never reconciled with him if he was gone, I was still so stubborn in my ways I refused to admit I needed to forgive him. When I realised this, I was so overwhelmed at what the Lord had shown me, I felt so loved and thankful that I made that decision to follow him. I was so happy that God was able to speak to me because my ears were no longer blocked. I went back home during summer and forgave my Dad. He poured out his heart and renewed his trust for Jesus.
I thank Jesus so much for everything he’s done for me. The chance to know God, the chance to reach to my Father. I’ve always felt strongly drawn towards what is ‘good’, and in so doing acknowledged good and evil in this world. It was when I found out what true love was, because I realised in each relationship, even though I cared about the other person, unconsciously it was more based on what I can get out of the relationship. I’ve always sought trying to do what is right, and when I realised that my standards were inaccurately shaped by the world, I knew I could no longer rely on myself and the way I saw the world. God taught me that love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. If God is really who He claims to be, then whatever He instructs must be for my own good. Therefore, my testimony for me, is truly the foundation of my faith.
Looking back, I realised I made an active decision to follow Christ; I placed my trust and faith in Him; did my best to listen and pray; He worked a miracle in my life; then I discovered His greatness; and the more I realised His goodness, the more love I felt from Him. Only then, was my love for Him becoming more and more genuine as I got to know him better… and better.