@jimmy12345_jim’s Story | Everything I Thought I Knew About God Changed In One Broken Moment8 min read
Synopsis: Jessica (@jimmy12345_jim on TikTok) — “I used to chase high after high in search for ‘freedom and fun’ only to feel filthy and fake at the end of the day. 3 years ago all of that changed in one broken moment when God found me.”
When Jessica hit rock bottom, God’s love helped TikTok influencer @jimmy12345_jim make the hardest U-Turn of her life. Watch this inspiring story of redemption and 2nd chances.
Hi I’m Jessica. I grew up in church but I ran very, very far away from God. My heart was so ugly and my life was in a mess. But my story is about how I went from 坏蛋 to 乖蛋.
I’ve been a Christian since I was 8 years old, when I came to Heart of God church. And while I knew God in my head, I never really knew Him in my heart. So as I grew older, I thought following God just meant obeying all these rules, and I just craved “true freedom” and thrills in life. I felt sheltered and I wanted to see what more the world could offer me. When I went to university, I purposely hung out with the “cool” friends – and by cool, I really mean toxic. Within 6 months, I had tried it all: casual dates, flings, drinking, clubbing, smoking – honestly if you can think of it, I did it. I think the only thing I didn’t do was murder someone. But that’s because I didn’t have the chance, just kidding! And I continued doing all of these just to keep up with the image I created for myself. Honestly, it just felt good when people looked up to me and thought I was bad, but in a good way… cool.
However, I felt further than ever from God, my family and church. The people who loved me the most On the outside, I put on a mask that everything was okay. But on the inside, the guilt and shame just ate at me. All this time, l was chasing high after high trying to build this insane image of ‘fun’. Yet at the end of the night, I would find myself sitting in my room feeling sad and meaningless. After all I did, I still didn’t feel free, and I wasn’t the slightest bit happier.
Then one night 3 years ago, I felt like I had truly hit rock bottom. I realised that the lifestyle that I was buying into was all just meaningless, temporary, and essentially superficial. I was at my wits end trying to come to terms with the guilt and shame, cause I couldn’t undo everything I had done. I was 20 years old, and I felt like I was covered from head to toe in filth.
Well I guess the good thing is when you hit rock bottom, the only way left to go is up. I knew I had to go back to God, but I didn’t know how to do it on my own. So I decided to meet with my leader Joy and told her everything. Honestly, I expected her to be disappointed with me. She didn’t judge me for a single thing that I had done, but instead, she told me, “Jess, all I can feel is that God really misses you.” Right there in the middle of the crowded restaurant, God’s love was just so tangible. The love of a Father cleansed all the guilt and shame I felt. In spite of everything I had done, I realised that God was just happy to have his daughter back home. I had given God a million reasons not to love me but none of them changed His mind.
That day was the first time I truly understood God’s love and mercy for me. Nothing filled my heart like the presence of God did. I wanted to live a life with God in the centre – and I needed to change my lifestyle drastically. As the saying goes – if you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done. I wanted to be accountable to this change, so I decided to tell my dad everything. That day was the first time I saw him cry…Maybe it was because to hear your daughter do all these things is alot for a father. He prayed for me and told me that he has never stopped praying for me, and he was so relieved that I finally encountered God. With the love and support from God, church, and my family, I found the courage to make the hardest u-turn of my life.
The first thing I had to do was to stay away from the friends who had a toxic influence in my life. I sent a very serious message to them to say I would not contact them again. I also stopped smoking, clubbing and drinking. By God’s grace I had no withdrawals. I even deleted my social media apps for a few months, so I wouldn’t be tempted to go back to my old lifestyle. For a few months, it was just me and God alone in my room. I would pray, God, protect me, God, give me peace, change my heart…Though I was alone, no friends, I felt God’s love and presence in a way I never did before. One verse I held onto was Psalm 139:7. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” I knew that no matter what, God’s Spirit and presence was with me and that was all that I needed. Finally, I didn’t need to do things just to chase after the thrill. For once in my life, I was free from the opinions of others, and I was free to live my life right. To me, this is TRUE freedom!
It was this time when I started to reconnect with my leaders and friends in church. Even after knowing everything I had done and hid from them, they didn’t judge me, in fact they loved me even more. Pastors were also the most encouraging and affirming. They noticed how I had changed so much in a short time and asked me how it happened. When I shared about everything that had happened to them, they were so moved. Later Pastors also encouraged me that it’s not about how I start, but how I finish my race. They also said that in God, there are no wasted years and that God can turn my weaknesses around into strengths! I’m so grateful for a spiritual family that looks beyond my past, who loves me and believes in me for who I am.
I realised there’s more to life than fun and thrill – God had a purpose for me! Since I was studying art, I joined the Design ministry and used my skills to design all kinds of things for church! When our church launched our first album, I helped to design the artworks for the music videos and screens. Little did I know God would open another avenue for me to impact lives for Him… So I had this TikTok account just for fun – it’s a social media platform to make 15 second videos. Then one day, I posted a video on Tiktok. The next thing I knew, my phone was blowing up my friends telling me my video went viral – it had close to 5 million views! But I thought then that I wanted to make these funny videos that show them that you don’t have to do crazy things to be cool. You don’t have to look a certain way for people to accept you. Social media was something that used to feed my desire for attention. But now, it is a platform for others to see God’s love through me! Today, it is my dream to use whatever God has put in my hands for Him. I want to be His light that shines in the darkest places and bring people to Him!
I was in such a mess but God pulled me out of the pit and gave me a second chance to live my life right. After having been rescued firsthand from such a life, all I want is for everyone of you watching to experience the same redemption that can be found in Jesus. There is not one life that is too much of a lost cause for God. No matter what you do, you can never be too far away from God’s love.