By Elisa Cheng
Looking back at last year, I am amazed at God’s goodness. Being a Senior in high school, that year was filled with the chaotic mess of college applications, last minute college tours, and basically, anything related to the word “college.” Admittedly, writing those applications inflicted much pain on myself and my family. I cried many buckets of tears, and I believe I may have caused my parents’ hair to turn drastically white. But nonetheless, I have to say that in the months of crafting my college essays, I realized an extraordinary truth: God’s hand always was, is, and will be on my life. God is so faithful, so gracious, and so good.
For many years, I pushed God to be a mere background in my life. I was extremely insecure, stressing over the tiniest of things that I believed would affect my future, whether it would be 10-point math quizzes, perfect memorization of my speeches for competitions, and so on. The constant blanket of stress covered my eyes from seeing anyone besides myself. I was very self-absorbed. However, little did I know that God was heavily at work, repairing and renewing my heart. Piece by piece.
God’s work on my heart began in 2014 at Stonegate Elementary School. Volunteering as a Kids Club leader for a group of eight first graders, I was initially terrified. For many months, I was scared, and grew to be very frustrated as I was not able to connect with these students. It was not until two years later did God convict me of my lack of love for these students. I began to discover that I needed to rely on God’s love that is infinitely greater than my own limited capabilities in caring for these students.
In the same way, this past summer, I was shown another vulnerable population God deeply loved: the elderly. Indeed, through being an intern at a home health care organization, my perception of this population transformed. I used to be terrified of older people who I unfairly viewed as being grumpy, stubborn, and outspoken. But soon enough, I unearthed each of the patient’s rich history that entirely outshone their grumpiness and stubbornness.
Furthermore, at the recent Youth Winter Retreat, I experienced a glimpse of the depth of God’s love for not only the elderly, but also for the Youth. The testimonies at the retreat made me aware of how so many of my Youth peers have hurts and insecurities covered by a facade of a happy life, and yet it is God who embraces the brokenness of their lives and mine.
God is renewing my heart, as broken as I am. Though I still have insecurities and fears, especially as college decisions are coming out soon, I am clinging onto the truth that God’s hand is on my life, and His purpose for me goes beyond my own personal life. Ultimately, my life is for Him and to share His love to others.