Synopsis: Jared had always based his security on success, but realised that it was only a facade when things took a turn for the worst. Listen to Jared’s story of how he found both success and significance in God.
Hi everyone, I’m Jared. On the outside, it seemed like I was on track to building a successful life. But deep down, I had many struggles that no one knew about. Here’s how my life has been transformed! Growing up, I was a driven person.
I studied in the National University of Singapore and was part of the top 3% of undergraduates in the University Scholars’ Programme. I was also on a Joint Degree Programme with Australia’s top university. If that wasn’t enough, I started a business in my first year of university. Our business took off and an investor even gave us $50,000!
But things didn’t go as I planned. Without any warning, my life fell apart. I found out my business partner had been secretly taking money. Suddenly, my business had failed and I was left with a $10,000 debt. Also, I had neglected my studies and dropped out from both the University Scholars’ Programme and my Joint Degree. Within 2 years, my business failed, I had a $10,000 debt and I was failing in school. Everything I had prided myself on was gone, just like that. I coped with my anger by smoking and drinking heavily. I also blasted heavy metal music to vent my frustrations. Deep down, I felt I was beyond redemption.
At home, I showed my ugly side and often lost my temper at my younger sisters. I even slammed the doors and once broke a window grille. My parents tried to reach out to me, but I was too angry and proud to listen.
After graduation, I started work in a leading public-listed company in Singapore. I met two colleagues, Wei Rong and Candice, who attended Heart of God Church! When they first invited me to church, I outrightly rejected them. I told her Gandhi’s famous quote, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” Somehow, Wei Rong and Candice didn’t take my mean comment personally. When I was struggling, Wei Rong texted me to say she was praying for me. She said, “I know you don’t particularly believe in my God, but He does love you.” That got me thinking. Maybe Christians weren’t that bad after all.
So, when Wei Rong & Candice invited me again, I decided to just take a look. During service, Pastor How preached about making faith-based decisions. Pastor How said, “Fear is actually faith for bad things.” That hit me. I was having so much fear that bad things would happen to me again. I didn’t have room to have faith for anything good. Right then, I felt a nudge – to place my faith in God! So, I said yes to becoming a Christian! As I came back for service, I started to read the Bible on my own. Proverbs 16:9 jumped out at me. “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps..” All my life, I had tried to plan the best way to success. But I felt God reassuring me to trust Him to direct my steps. As God filled me with a faith for good things, I no longer needed to rely on heavy metal music, drinking or smoking anymore. I gave that all up and I have been happier and healthier ever since!
Here in church, I met people who had no hidden agenda. They genuinely cared for what mattered to me. Once, I casually mentioned that I was going for a job interview. On the day of the interview, Ps Lynette texted me to encourage me! It was a small act, but it was one example of many where everyone in church had such a big heart for others. It made me so inspired. I wanted to catch the heart, principles and intent behind everything in church. So I made arrangements with my boss, and took leave to do a short internship in church! I was captivated by how every decision was made for people! Pastor How and Pastor Lia also spent 2 hours each meeting the interns to affirm our dreams. Pastor Lia also prayed for me and gave me so much faith for my future.That internship, I was so sure of God’s purpose for me – to make a difference in the lives of others. Instead of having transactional relationships with my colleagues, now I sincerely care for them as friends. I have found significance in loving others!
God’s love had been so real to me – I had to share it with my family! My sisters were terrified of me. Then, I started treating them to meals and they couldn’t believe it. They were so curious that they came to church with me. I was the happiest brother when they gave their lives to Jesus! It is priceless to see them love and serve God with all their hearts…I would not trade it for any success in the world. Even if I was busy, I took time out to hear their struggles.
My change was also noticed by one Korean Christian girl – Candice! Sparks flew! We got together and soon after, I proposed. She definitely said yes – because we are now happily married! We had the most epic wedding. I thought I was in a Korean drama, while she was in a Bollywood movie! God has blessed me with a beautiful wife who is my seoul-mate! We are now building our marriage on the foundation of loving God and loving people.
My life had the facade of success. Its emptiness was revealed when it came crashing down. I felt like I was beyond redemption. But God transformed me from the inside out and filled my life with so much significance. Friends, maybe you can relate to my struggles and fears. Today, God can turn your life around too. Have faith in Him today!