I have grown to realize I need Christ more and more everyday.
This past summer, I had the blessing to be a part of the San Francisco Summer Project. Personally, I desired to reinforce my faith, to ground myself more in the Father’s love, and to understand what it means to know myself in Christ. Little did I know these hopes would challenge me into questioning my faith, struggle through resurfacing conflicts of my past, convict me of my tendencies towards conflict, and to identify how I view my relationship with Christ. It is through the numerous trials during and after project that I have grown to realize I need Christ more and more everyday.
I bring up many points of difficulty because of a heavy conviction that God placed on my heart- I am a broken person. I have known this for a long time, even before I accepted Christ into my life. But what struck me as profound was the extent of my brokenness and how I sought to satisfy my brokenness. I wanted happiness only to find contentedness in my deeds with a craving to minister more. I wanted to feel purposed only to find that my gifts and abilities had failed me and even kept from me serving those I loved. What I desired was good; I wanted to serve others, but my motivations were founded upon self-gratification, self-fulfillment, and a fear of not feeling otherwise. As a pastor preached on, “It is easy to fall in love with ministry.” This is exactly what happened to me. I started viewing ministry as works forgetting why I engaged in these activities. I forgot about my love for Christ. Or rather it was this, I forgot about Christ’s love for me.
Upon encountering those motivations, I plunged myself into prayer. I asked God, “If my gifts were given by you, how can they not be utilized for your glory?” I asked God yet another question, “If you love these people so much, am I not the one to you have sent to love them?” Indeed, these were true. They were questions that God wanted me to ask to guide me back to where He wanted me- face to face with the Father, the King, the Savior.
Nowadays, I am back at home and things are very different. I face God everyday: every morning and every night. Each time, I am reminded of His abounding love and Christ’s light in me. My vision has changed dramatically. I was so foolish to have such selfish goals despite desiring righteousness. But now, I remember my flaws. I remember my gifts. And I remember whom I am serving. Remembering those things has shaped me. This is the Gospel.
I have found the stepping stones that guide me closer to Christ, despite the long road ahead. I have approached my family, whom are Buddhist, about my faith. I have confronted many friends and testified to God’s presence in this world. I have begun seeking the counsel of peers. I am trusting in Him as I continue to face trials resurfacing from my past. But these are the things that Christ had promised to His disciples before He ascended. I will wipe the dust from my body and trust in the Lord. This is His testimony in my eyes. What is yours?
Brian Vuong, University of Texas, Austin