23 March 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
Serena Ng is a precious child of our Heavenly Father, who did not know her worth and value until her heart finally accepted the relentless and faithful pursuit of her Father.
Soaked in His warm love, Serena finally knew God as a Father whom she could trust her needs with. But did her life get easier? In a down-to-earth candor, Serena admitted that being a Christian was not easy.
However, God our powerful Redeemer, redeemed not only her relationship with Himself as His Father, but also her relationship with her father, the church, and mostly, with herself.
Redeeming Her Identity as a Daughter
Although she saw God’s hands of providence in her family, her relationship with her father was strained since childhood, due to his heavy commitment to ministry work that took his time away from home. However, God is a powerful Redeemer!
Serena recalled recently how the Lord spoke to her father through his daily devotional to listen to her more during their conversation. On one day as well, Serena recalled how her father came to her rescue when an accident happened on her journey from work to home. And such were the little incidents amongst many others, which showed Serena how much he cared about her. Now, she could say that she really loved her father.
Also, at 19 years old, Serena went through a year of silent depression before, without the knowledge of her family. She shared how she would cry in her heart to sleep for not wanting to wake up her grandmother who shared the same room with her.
Everything was negative to Serena at that time. She did not think anyone like or care about her. There was no purpose in this lonely walk in life. Every night, she would pray to God to take her life away, even attempting suicide at different times although she knew that it was a sin.
But God used many ways to reach out to her—people, bible verses, concerts, and even dreams. One particular person, she recalled, was a in Christ who came from Singapore. Getting to know Serena, she brought Serena to the church and spoke into her life. Looking back, Serena testified that God would never leave nor forsake her. Besides people, The Lord also came into Serena’s dream by filling her with a very warm and protective feeling. She knew that was God’s love.
Hence, the Lord continued to knock on the doors of Serena’s heart, serenading and assuring her of His Everlasting and Real Love. One faithful day, Serena finally crumbled and broke down into tears, convicted that she was guilty, shameful, and broken before Him though He never stopped loving her.
A week later, a friend invited Serena to Jaeson Ma’s Concert in DUMC, which was the time she started attending church and joining a cell group. Like the father who waited for the prodigal son to return home (Luke 15:11-32), God the Father never let Serena go as well. No matter how lost you are, He will still find you; what mattered was whether you want to respond to Him, shared Serena.
Redeeming the World to God
Hence, after graduating from college, Serena shared the same love of her Father for the people around her. She counted her life as a privilege because the Lord has always been surrounding her with nonbelievers, where many of them became her close friends.
Nevertheless, Serena never found the urgency to intentionally share the gospel when she was younger, until she knew a friend in her first job at an event company. Building their friendship over lunch for the next four months, Serena left the company before contacting her friend a month later. Over the phone, she found out that her friend had already passed away due to lung infection.
Feeling shocked, Serena realized how short and unpredictable life can be. She wondered if her friend was saved in Christ, and was convicted to share the gospel in her next workplace. With a renewed desire to share the gospel, she wanted God to use her.
Moving on to her second job in a food company, Serena was more intentional to share her faith this time by asking if she could pray during lunch with her colleagues, inviting them to church, and also sharing their struggles.
During this time as well, she began to wonder if there was any purpose in her life although she enjoyed her work in sales as a people-person. After two years of enjoyable work, Serena left her company with her department colleagues after their boss decided to leave the company.
At that time, a DUMC ex-staff and friend shared with her that the church was having an opening position for a Geographical Zone Administrator. Since it has always been Serena’s dream to join a non-governmental organization, she was hired by DUMC and has been serving there for two years now.
Redeeming Relationship with the Church
Growing up witnessing how God provided faithfully for her family just at the right time—not earlier or later—Serena had a perfect and good perception of God and also Christians. But this perception did not last until a close sister-in-Christ betrayed her trust in her early twenties.
She began to realize that Christians are broken sinners who need the Grace of God as well. While she could easily trust in a Christian and depended heavily on them, she realized that God should be the person to depend on.
However, God has not invited Serena to bar her heart forever with chains from people. But He has called her to open her heart and her eyes to see, understand, and love His children, whom He has created uniquely and differently, yet called to be one body in Christ.
Coming to work in Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) for two years now, the Lord has been molding her character by bidding her to surrender and to die to herself. Through the ministry work, she learned most of all be humble and look at every person as awesome creation of God, whose intricate life story made them who they are today.
We are called to love our neighbors, where loving people with the biblical meaning of love are no easy feat. In fact, it is downright painful—only possible with a willing heart and training of the Spirit.
The Bible says that love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth, always protects, always trust, always hopes, and always perseveres (1 Cor 13:4-7).
To love with such a degree pinches our flesh because it requires first dying to our self. That is why Serena depended on her relationship with God to fill her with His Love. Her purpose in serving Him is clear in her work, and that is to glorify Him.
God, the Redeemer of All Relationships
Although being a Christians is not easy, Serena shared that we need to learn to trust God and surrender our whole heart to Him though it is painful to mold and change. While God pursues our heart to follow Him, we have the choice to be accountable in our every action to Him—whether to follow or not. Ultimately, God is a God of Redeemer who wants to redeem our identity as His daughter and son.
So, this is a story of how God brought Serena—his precious and valuable daughter—on a journey of redemption with Himself, his father on earth, and the church. Having wooed by the relentless love of His Father, Serena is now a conduit of Christ’s love to the rest of the world.
Indeed, God is the God of Redeemer of all relationships!
References for pictures