Teen Testimonies 4
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The ultimate personal goal of a Christian generally isn't fully realized until you least expect it. That's the way it was with me. I was baptized at birth and raised as an Anglican, and until I was about 6 I was the goody-two-shoes Christian who prayed to God every night and read my Bible every day, sang the kiddies' hymns we learned in Sunday School and told everyone repeatedly how much I loved Jesus during circle time. Boy, was I wrong. I suppose the wave hit me when I moved to a new school and a new neighbourhood. I didn't think I'd like it much, aleady having cerebral palsy since birth and being in a way different from everyone else.
Now, you don't think much about it when you're 8, but you undergo an odd transitional period when you try to adapt to your new life. And they say kids adapt quicker and easier than adults. I beg to differ. Everyone was so different than at my old school, I found myself the odd one out on most occassions, and any religious beliefs I atttempted to put forward in class where immediately brushed aside as if they were of no consequence. This kind of thing put up a wall, and for the next 7 years I went through hell, under completely ignorance by people.
During that time I drew farther and farther away from God, never went to church, and though my mother didn't mention it, she as a devout Christian I could tell was a bit disappointed. Things didn't pick up until high school when I went back to church for a bit and agreed to undergo Confirmation. By that time people were becoming more and more aware of Christianity in their lives and I felt a bit better, because by agreeing to Confirmation I knew it was a decision that had to be made, without my parents for once. My religion was my business, not theirs. But even Confirmation didn't seem to open up any doors spiritually. I found myself leafing aimlesly through the Bible, trying to make some sense out of it all. It wasn't until I about a year ago when I finally realized the missing link: expression. I had never in my life been able to speak my mind about my views of Christianity and other religions as well, without being ridiculed for my actions. I began to express my opinions toward people, and opened up more, and I started to feel this sense of happiness and perseverance. I had finally seen God, and I was a true follower in my heart, I knew at last.
Now I attend chuch regularly, help out at functions, and with a knack for computers manage a webpage for myself and my youth group, which you can find at: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/8305
Also I thoroughly enjoy the alternative group Jars of Clay. Their uplifting and motivating music has put a completely new prospect on my life. Let me say this straight out: Don't believe everything you hear in Sunday School. It's a place where they constantly hammer into you how good God and Jesus are and how without them your life won't be worth crap. It's a place where they expect to instill some kind of motive in you that will last the rest of your life. They want to program you. You have to pick your OWN time when you know you're a Christian. No one can do it for you. Constant Bible quotes and sermons won't do the trick. God has set a time when you'll realize it. And when it happens, it's the best feeling in the world. You have to make the call when you're ready, not when someone else says you're ready. I will now say I didn't become fully baptized until I was 15, because it was only then that I realized God's plan in my life. And I'm happy to have it occur when I'm just getting ready to see the world, because He will help me face all the challenges and overcome all obstacles. Shinrai no kirisuto.
-Eric Chor, age 16