The greatest miracle of my life happened when I was about 18. Prior to that, my life was a wreck: I had dropped out of school and had no desire ever to return, would go for days without food because I had no motivation to get out of my room and talk to people, and had no hope or meaning in my life.
It started when I was just a kid. I struggled with major depression for most of my childhood and all throughout my adolescent years. As a child, I was bullied by my classmates, then later ostracised to the point where all my friends abandoned me because they didn’t want to associate themselves with such an outcast. Although I was bright and usually scored well on tests, I started failing all of my classes and crying myself to sleep every night because I was so alienated in school. Home was no better: after I got back from school each day, I'd be bullied by the neighborhood boys. And so I began to believe a lie: that there was something wrong with me, and that every failed relationship was because of something I'd done wrong.
The depression continued even after my parents moved our family back to the States, where I’d been born. I knew even fewer people there, and struggled to re-adapt myself to a culture I’d been away from for a few years. As a teenager in America, I had few friends, who stuck with me until finally one day they realised that they could do nothing to help me, and left me because I’d wounded them so deeply.
Many times, I tried to end my life, thinking that it’d be a lot easier for everyone if I didn’t exist. But no matter how hard I tried to kill myself, I never succeeded. Thinking back now, I have to believe that it was divine protection; the dozen methods I tried would surely have worked otherwise. I must’ve swallowed hundreds of different kinds of pills, 1kg of the nastiest-tasting rat poison I’ve ever tried in my life, a whole bottle of alcohol, and tried various other ways of killing myself…and yet the worst thing I ever had was a bad headache and stomachache the next day.
So, depressed, suicidal, and feeling like I couldn’t do anything properly in life (even suicide), I was living an empty life. By this time, I’d dropped out of university, and had no motivation to do anything, even get out of bed.
One day, as I was lying in bed pondering the meaning of life, a strong urging came to me: “Go back to Singapore.” Since I hadn’t had any motivation to do anything at all, it was very strange to suddenly feel a desire to do something. I decided to follow it. Thinking back now, it was God that put that desire on my heart: otherwise, I would never have realised the love of Christ.
So it was in Singapore that my ex-neighbour (whose son, by the way, had been my only encounter with Christianity when he gave me a Bible and told me I’d go to hell if I didn’t believe in Jesus) saw me and decided to make it her personal mission to mother me. She saw that I was living by myself in Singapore, and she took it upon her heart to bring me food every day, come by and talk to me, and love me unconditionally even though I was this sullen, bitter person who couldn’t return her anything. When she invited me to church one day, I agreed, and over time the church members there kept on showing love to me. I was happier, but still aimless; I was wary that these new-found friends of mine would eventually discover what a horrible person I was and then reject me.
Then one day, when I was sitting in service, I heard a message that I’d never heard before. It was about forgiveness, and about Jesus’s ultimate expression of love when he died on the cross—for a people who kept rejecting him and who crucified him. He forgave me and loved me—I, who had nothing to give him! With that message, I broke down and cried. It was then that I accepted Jesus and said the sinner’s prayer. When I said the sinner’s prayer, immediately a weight fell off my shoulders. I can’t describe it – there was nothing on my shoulders, yet I felt something physically drop from my shoulders, and suddenly I felt a freedom that I’d never known before. It was in that day that I was healed from almost a decade of depression and hopelessness.
I once was lost, but now am found; I was blind, but now I see. Jesus died so that we could be free; He rose again so that we could have everything. Now, I’m on a journey to discover more of my Father’s love, and I’ve been tremendously blessed to have Jesus, the ultimate expression of God’s love, teach me what it means to love.