Testimonies‎ > ‎

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

posted Jun 7, 2014, 8:43 AM by Christian Evangelical Church in Livingston Livingston   [ updated Sep 1, 2016, 6:28 PM ]
There are usually turning points in a person's life when an event or a decision radically alters his life. For many Christians, it is often the day they take Christ as their personal Savior. We often hear touching testimonies of miraculous transformations in peoples' lives when they believe in God and form personal relationships with Him. For the Apostle Paul, his encounter with Christ on his way to Damascus not only changed him personally, but also benefited all of Christianity. Unfortunately, not all such transformations are positive. For every positive example we may be able to find one to the contrary, e.g., the prodigal son. Nevertheless, these negative episodes do not have to be final. As with the prodigal son, there is always room for hope, restoration, and renewal.

Unlike Paul's, there was nothing dramatic about my conversion experience. I was brought up in a Christian household. I had attended church ever since I could remember. I underwent a gradual progression from Sunday school to youth groups to regular church meetings. There wasn't a specific "aha!" moment to speak of. I could remember thinking to myself that I would not make a good testimony for Christ given the "non-dynamic" nature of my salvation experience. I even prayed for a "dynamic" salvation, not really knowing what it meant. However, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for...

Things came easily to me when I was growing up. I did well both at school and at work. God has been gracious to me and has blessed me with good academic achievements and career advancement. Instead of glorifying God by living a life worthy of His calling, I made an unwise choice shortly after graduate school that launched me into a downward spiral. I began to squander away my life, just as the prodigal son did. I started to live a life that was completely indistinguishable from that of worldly people. I stopped attending church fellowships, abandoned all spiritual pursuits, carried on a life independent of God, and even forsook certain Christian values. My life became a mess. Not only did my life suffer, but that of my family's as well. Our children were raised with minimal knowledge of God and with very little Christian values; my manner of life rendered me ineffective in sharing my faith. On the surface, things looked normal but inwardly, I was in a rut. There was no real joy or satisfaction.

During this time of reckless abandon, the Lord shone His light upon me and set me on a path towards recovery. It started out as a longing to restore some semblance of a Christian life for the sake of the kids. He led me to the CEC in West Orange, now Livingston. I began to attend church services, albeit irregularly. My attendance was then mostly an outward formality devoid of life and reality. While I attended services on and off, my Christian life continued to stagnate.

Praise God that "He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion." Through the perseverance of brothers and sisters who indefatigably prayed for my family, who demonstrated their love and concern through persistent contact, and who painstakingly devised ways to usher me back to Christ by involving me in some church services, the Lord has wonderfully restored me back into the flow of life. Beginning in late 2010, through His appointment, first to the Sunday school service and then to the translation service, the Lord has richly blessed me. These services forced me to come before the Lord to draw supply from Him. They also enabled me to keep more of His words in my heart to serve as a constant reminder of how we should live our lives before God. By His unfailing mercy, I was able to restore a more grounded Christian life with daily devotionals, Bible-reading and prayers. I thank the Lord for providing such loving shepherds in the church who act in concert with our Great Shepherd to restore lost sheep to the fold. May this be the beginning of a closer walk with God and a turn towards all things godly and eternal. May I continue to experience Christ as the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

The phrase "O Love that will not let me go" from a hymn speaks to this stage of my Christian experience. While we may forsake Him, the Lord will never forsake us nor leave us. He may occasionally cut us some slack and allow us to venture out on our own due to our stubbornness, but He will eventually corral us back to His fold. Thank God for His faithfulness and loving kindness. Through His dynamic love and saving mercy, He has restored me into His fellowship. I pray that my family be not too far behind. 

Eunice Su