From a young age, I had always felt I was worthless. My mother, who was constantly fighting with my father when I was growing up, kept telling me I was a nobody just like my dad, and that just like my dad, I would amount to nothing. This feeling of worthlessness stayed with me and became stronger when I was molested as a child. I blamed myself for it happening—that it happened to me because I really was worthless and a nobody.
Growing up without having the love of my father, I became desperate to find and hold on to what I thought was love. I ended up having many relationships and partners. I was so afraid to let them go. I felt like I needed them to be there because I was so afraid to be alone.
All these things eventually led to my living a destructive lifestyle of sin where I was deeply unhappy. I knew it was destroying me from the inside but I didn’t know how to how to change it. I felt confused, lost and empty all the time. I didn’t think of going to God and church because people I knew would tell me, “You’re going to go to Hell because of your choices and how you’re living. God’s angry with you. He’s disgusted with you and He’s not going to bless you.”
Because this was what I constantly heard, this is what I believed about God and thought there was no way I could come to Him. Thankfully, I came across Pastor Prince one late night in 2008 when I was channel surfing on TV. I saw this Asian preacher on TV preaching and actually wanted to pass it up when something inside said, “Just listen to what he is talking about.”
I’m so glad I did because Pastor Prince was talking about the finished work of Jesus at the Cross, how Jesus loves us, and how much He loves me as I am. I found that I couldn’t stop listening to the sermon. It was the start of my discovering how God gave His best—His Son, Jesus—for me, so that I can have a relationship with Him as my Daddy God and come into His presence without fear or shame.
At the end of the sermon, Pastor invited us to pray and ask God into our lives if we’d never done it. I prayed that prayer and told God, “I need You and I need Your help. I don’t know how to change what I’ve become but I know that You’ll help me. Only You can help me get out of this lifestyle, the drugs, the alcohol, having so many different partners. There’s a relationship I need to get out of right now but I don’t know how to. I’m so unhappy. There has to be more to life than the kind of life I’m living.”
As I was praying, I felt Jesus’ love just overwhelm me, and all the bitterness, confusion, unhappiness and pain in my life just melted, as Pastor Prince likes to say, “like butter”. I can’t explain it. The dull ache, the frustration and gnawing emptiness all just left, and for the first time, a joy I can’t explain came in.
The very next day, God opened doors for me to get out that bad relationship I was in—effortlessly and without bitterness on both sides. Since that time, so many amazing things and blessings have happened. My relationship with my mother has been restored. Through experiencing Jesus’ love for me, I’ve been able to forgive my mother for the times I’d felt hurt and rejected by her and to come to genuinely love her. I’ve also been able to forgive other family members who had told me I was worthless and who didn’t want to have anything to do with me.
Everything is so different now. Today, I wake up and say, “Thank You, Jesus, for Your supply of grace to me. Thank You for all Your blessings. Thank You that You’ve already done everything for me. You will keep me on the path You want me to go.”
I know that Jesus loves me and that He has great plans for me. I see His favor in my life. My bosses tell me, “You’re doing such a good job and you’re always smiling.” People I meet tell me, “You look younger than your age.” I tell them all that it’s Christ in me.
Now, when I get a little frightened about things or situations in my life, I remember to cast all my cares to God. I put in my iPod and listen to Pastor Prince’s sermons. Even though they are sermons I’ve heard before, I’ll still get something new out of it. I’ll see the beauty and love of Jesus all over again and feel His rest and peace wash over me. And when I make a mistake, I just say, “Jesus, thank you that you still love me even when I make a mistake.” That gives me strength to get past that mistake and move on.
Even when I make a wrong turn, He always finds a way to bring me back. And whenever I’m in a negative situation, Jesus tells me the outcome is going to be good because He is there and He’s working on it.
Sometimes, thoughts of my past would come back but I’ve learned to say, “I’m a new creation. I’m the righteousness of God in Christ. It’s not about what I’ve done but what Jesus has done.” Amazingly, the temptations that held me in the past have all lost their hold. It feels like I’ve never lived a destructive lifestyle before.
Today, my life testifies that Daddy God loves and saves. More importantly, the change has been effortless—it’s all by the grace of Jesus. It’s had nothing to do with my willpower but by the divine power of Christ at work in me. Thank you, Pastor Prince, for unveiling Jesus’ beauty and love for me. I feel so loved by Him and I’m so grateful for His finished work at the cross!
Melissa | Texas