My story: how I went from totally uninterested to totally in love with God
🎄This is my story of why I’ve changed, and how Christmas has an entirely new meaning for me. | 4/24 new drawings
HopeMail #128 | Sharing one new drawing and writing about life, on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. This issue is 4/24 new drawings in a year. If a friend shared this with you, and you'd like to subscribe, c'mon in.
Waving 👋🏼 to my new readers. And thank you to those who’ve supported my work with a paid subscription and donation since the previous issue of HopeMail! 🙇🏻♀️ The HopeMail newsletter with its drawings and also other projects are available free for anyone.1
Your subscription and donation support the production—time, costs, resources, effort—of my work. It empowers me as an independent creator to continue using my art—word and drawing to reach out to people. So, thank you for your support.
“Christmas to me was—parties, drinks, presents, merry-making, heck yeah. It’s an amplified version of my idea of fun—basically, more drinks, new clothes, topped with a Santa hat.”
This is my story of why I’ve changed, decided to accept Jesus as God, and how Christmas has an entirely new meaning for me.
For all my life, I wasn’t interested in Christianity, religion, or spirituality of any kind. Self-reliant, individualistic, performance-driven—I paid top dollars to attend seminars by renowned speakers for self-improvement. Walked on fire, burnt my toe (thanks, Tony), read many popular self-help books.
God? Christianity? Definitely not on my list. I thought it’s weird, prudish, and boring.
Seeing the conflict and wars among people of different religions, I used to think that religion divides. And I didn’t want to have anything to do with that.
The concept of trusting and obeying God in the Christian faith was another deal-breaker for me. I don’t get it. It seemed so weak.
To some, f* is a revolting word. To me then, the four-letter word is o-b-e-y.
As long as I don’t kill, steal, harm people, I’m fine. Who needs God?! I refused to believe that Jesus has anything to do with life. I’d seen my share of Christian hypocrites. I’m fine. I’m cool. No, thanks.
I also thought all gods are the same—they teach you to do good. (And have to do enough good to get into heaven.)
Then came the turning point in my life.
My life hit rock bottom.
I got tired of life.
I got so tired of everything.
Tired of the fighting and striving.
Tired of myself.
I had nothing left.
I was at a stage in my life where I started questioning—I’ve been living life my way for all these years. Despite all I had done, something was not right. Something was missing.
What is your life? | Line drawing
I didn't know how, but my hardened heart started to crack slowly. A hairline-opening in my heart to let God in.
I remembered suddenly getting it. When I realised much of our world’s ugliness were done by people. And not caused by God.
It was around that time when I followed my husband to watch a church’s Christmas play, “Mad World—what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” 2
At the end of the production, a pastor shared a short message and a prayer. Somehow, I felt compelled in my heart to pray along.
So, in the gently-lit cocoon of the church auditorium, I closed my eyes. At that moment—it was just the voice of the pastor, me, and God. As I followed the prayer in my heart, it felt personal. Not some religious mumbo-jumbo. It felt like my cry for help.
I believe You died for my sins.
I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life.
Please forgive me. I am willing to turn from my way & follow Your way.
Thank you that You died on the cross for me so that I could be forgiven and set free.
I receive You now as my personal Saviour & Lord & invite You to manage my life from this moment.
In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Though I’ve prayed that prayer, I didn’t acknowledge it yet. However, what changed was—I wanted to find out about who God is.
There was a need in me to look for something bigger than myself, bigger than what this world could offer. Because I was spent from living life depending on my finite strength and wisdom.
I heard about something called “Alpha”. It’s a video series and a conversation space for anyone to find out more about God, and the meaning of life. I was comfortable that I don’t need to have any religion or to be a Christian to join. There’s no pressure that someone would try to convert me, there’s no awkward follow-up. And—I can ask any questions…like this…
Through the videos and the conversations, some things in life made more sense to me. Even though I don’t have all the answers yet, I took the step of faith, and prayed the same prayer again.
I believe You died for my sins. (I said the word “sin” without cringing like it’s such a fanatic Christian word.)
I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life. (So many of them. I’m truly sorry.)
Please forgive me. I am willing to turn from my way & follow Your way. (The defiant wall is breaking.)
Thank you that You died on the cross for me so that I could be forgiven and set free. (You did that? I didn’t know. I don’t understand why You would do that. But, thank you.)
I receive You now as my personal Saviour & Lord & invite You to manage my life from this moment. (Help me.)
In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
It has been more than ten years since I’ve prayed that prayer.
Through the worst and best of times, He’s with me, and He sees me through. I’m freed from having to carry life’s burden on my own. I’m freed from struggling to figure life out on my own. Or figuring out who I am.
Though it’s still an ongoing process; the more I know who God is, the more I know who I am. When I know who I am in the eyes of God—it changes everything in my life.
It changes how I view my work, it changes how I view money, success, family relationship, relationship with friends and the community. I repeat, it’s still an ongoing [lonnng] process of changing from the inside out. But all that has helped me to live life differently, and with a longer-term perspective—as a pilgrim on a journey to eternity.
Letting God into my life and accepting Jesus—it’s the best decision I’ve made in life.
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"
Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"
🎧 Hark the Herald (Sing Out Loud) | The Spirituals Choir (Official Music Video) At St. Paul’s Cathedral
Originally performed in St. Paul’s Cathedral, this London-based choir bring exciting and rhythmic re-arrangements that go beyond the season.
🎶 More Christmas carols | The Hillsong Christmas Spectacular Online
Watch this with your friends and family. It is indeed spectacular!
0:18 Drummer Boy - Alex Pappas
2:34 Brian & Bobbie Houston
3:17 Sleigh Ride - Melodie Mezieres-Wagner & Isaac Fisher
5:36 Hark The Herald - Gloria Mati
7:48 Angels We Have Heard - Dejsha Mato
10:43 Joy To The World - Chelsea La Rosa
14:01 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Daniele Montarulo, Michaeli Witney, Eric Hutchens
16:29 Most Wonderful Time - John Davis
19:11 Brian & Bobbie Houston
21:27 Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Renee Sieff, Katrina Lugtu, Sarah Funke, Dejsha Mato, Stephanie Cruz
24:32 Brian & Bobbie Houston
30:12 Carol Of The Bells - Rachel Toomalatai
35:36 Mary Did You Know - Alex Pappas
38:06 How Great Thou Art - Bella Taylor-Smith
41:34 Noel - Chelsea La Rosa
47:30 O Holy Night - Taya Gaukrodger
51:10 Did You Hear What I Hear - Rachel Toomalatai, Gloria Mati-Leifi, Bella Taylor-Smith, Dee Uluiwera
55:22 Peter Toggs - Do you know Jesus?
57:51 What A Beautiful Name - David Ware & Dee Uluiwera
59:11 O Come All Ye Faithful - Alex Pappas & Stephanie Cruz
1:02:17 Brian & Bobbie Houston
That’s all for now, folks. This is the last issue for 2021! 🎉 Thank you for reading and letting me share a part of my life with you. If you’d like to try Alpha, it’s run across the globe [in person or online] in over 100 countries, there’s bound to be one near you, or your time zone.
Merry Christmas and I’ll see you next year!
🎁 I did a free phone wallpaper of my drawing, “Tis the reason for Christmas”. You can download it here.
From the Bible, Matthew 16:26 (New Living Translation) And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?