Sometimes, I forget that the absence of things is a blessing in itself.

The absence of worry, anxiety, stress, and fear, disappearing in the presence of peace.

The absence of drama among friends, conflict with another person, turmoil in one’s heart towards an enemy.

The absence of hatred, anger, and bitterness, overflowing with love instead.

The absence of heartbreak and of loss, but one of contentment and joy.

These are just a few things I really take for granted.

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Ways to Improve Sharing Your Testimony

  • Talk more about HOW GOD CHANGED YOU rather than entirely focusing on who you were before
  • Emphasize the joy, peace, and tranquility he’s given you and how it wasn’t your work

Your Testimony

  1. BEFORE:
    1. Background with grandparents and parents (China’s countryside –> China’s city –> United States)
      1. Upholding legacy of upward social mobility
    2. Chinese culture
      1. Emphasis on being the best and working hard ; family first and honoring your parents;
    3. Cut-throat and competitive high school (suburbs outside of DC) [#1 public high school in maryland, #24 high school in the country, CNNMoney listed it as the #1 most affluent town in the US; Forbes named it 7th most top-educated] [home to lots of CEOs, politicians, hedge funders] [22% asian, 9% black, 8.5% hispanic, 56.2% white (and high jewish population; didn’t even know they were a minority till I left)–majority educated, middle-upper class people] [everyone worked hard and played hard]
      1. Entitled, privileged mentality
      2. EITHER low self-esteem and never seeing self as good enough…OR proud and snobby attitude of thinking I was better than someone else
      3. 30 people from my class went to ivy leagues; 70 people went to top 30 schools (Uchicago, Stanford, UC berkeley, rice, etc) — always send around that many every year and it keeps getting more and more competitive
    4. Constantly playing the comparison game
      1. Not proud of coming to Carolina
      2. Best friends went to Princeton, WashU in St Louis, Harvard, Yale, UPenn, Duke, Vanderbilt
  2. DURING:
    1. Losing everything found self-worth and value in
      1. Grades, attractiveness, friends, family, boys attention, even how Christian I appeared
      2. Feeling condemned and rejected by Christians in the South because I didn’t fit a certain unspoken criteria
    2. Realizing not really a Christian and that I didn’t know Christ; genuinely reading Bible to find out who he was and praying to God that he may reveal himself to me
    3. Made God a priority; tried to make both him and my career a priority [wanted to go into Corporate Finance & Consulting]
    4. Being hurt and hazed in DSP (all the people I had admired and idolized and wanted to become like) –> realizing how their actions were out of self-interest, lack of compassion, ultimately looking out for self
      1. Realize how important it is in business to align yourself with someone with the same values, character, and mission/goal [i.e. social responsibility, environmental responsibility, glorifying God]
      2. Drove me towards healthcare where its inherently about caring about other people: 1) profit-driven for sustainability, but also 2) the patient experience, and providing affordable, quality, and accessible healthcare to everyone (comes down to human life’s worth)
    5. Realizing cannot balance both God and career at the center of your life, nor can you separate him from your professional life –> that God has to be number one in your life
  3. AFTER:
      1. Feeling truly loved and accepted
      2. UNCONDITIONAL love –> don’t have to do certain things to receive the love of God
      3. Peace and tranquility –> knowing God has a plan for me and he will provide; that this time on earth is temporary
        1. Being able to stop, enjoy beautiful weather outside, spend time with close friends and not feel like I’m wasting time by not studying or going to a networking session
        2. Less stress in everything I do
        3. Gave me courage to pursue what I’m passionate about — that I don’t have to worry about money because He will provide enough for me (hard rich man to enter the gates of heaven than pass camel through the eye of a needle)
      4. Overflowing with love and a constant joy
        1. Strongly desiring to share this peace with others; this feeling of love
        2. Seeing people as people (rather than evaluating them), treating everyone lovingly and never seeing them as less for not accomplishing as much

    Humbling me — I am no better than anyone else.

    1. Loving people first, giving people the benefit of the doubt
      1. When I experienced that condemnation/shunning/having people stop associating themselves with me, I felt so alone and the people who were supposed to love me didn’t
      2. Forgiving others cause He forgave me
    2. Asking God to lead me and show me what it looks like to glorify him on this Earth
      1. Difficulties with family; realizing that Mom hasn’t placed her trust in God and is still very self-dependent
    3. My thoughts are not your thoughts, my way is not your way
    4. Everything, all made possible, because Jesus loved me first. He proved this on the cross. He loves all of me, and I don’t need to do certain things or be a certain degree of attractiveness/intelligence/kindness/personability. I don’t need to send in a resume and cover letter to Jesus. I don’t need to prove myself to him. He loves me for me, despite how messed up I am. And it’s taken me a year and a half to say this, but I finally truly love Him too.

I love my school. I love my Tar Heels. I love how caring, how genuine, and how intentional people are here. It almost always manifests itself in the day-to-day, whether its something as small as helping someone up when they fall down or something as big as the vigil for the Chapel Hill shooting. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. This is a beautiful place to be. God’s presence is manifested here, and I love it so so much. People come out of Chapel Hill more passionate, more loving, more caring, and more human. It’s a beautiful thing.