My Story

When I was 16 I became a Christian. This experience was the most amazing thing to ever happen to me. It was a time of liberation, confusion, self-discovery, and most importantly Christ-discovery.

I have lived on the island of Guam for my entire life. The culture and my general upbringing made the topic of religion a very confusing experience. Growing up the major religion was Roman Catholicism. Almost everyone I knew was Catholic or at least labeled themselves as that, including my family. As I grew older I had little interest in religion and no desire to pursue a life immersed in any type of faith.

I was always a “good” girl. I had good grades, good morals, I was nice enough …

But, there was a major shift as I hit the prime of my adolescence. I suddenly realized I was living a lie. Not realized … It was revealed to me quite bluntly. My life was full of sin; some which I did not recognize to be sin. That is until I reaped the consequences of them. My idea of sin was very subjective. Sin was what I labeled and judged sin to be.

So, my gossiping, sexual immorality, rebelliousness, the lies, the selfishness, the pride …

They weren’t as bad as other peoples faults. It was ok … until it wasn’t. Sin always catches up to you one way or another.

My world seemed to fall apart.

My relationships fell apart and I was left with no one to sympathize with me. I entered into a deep depression and the anxiety that I struggled with for most of my life seemed to be at its worst.

I was at a turning point. I barely believed in God but I prayed for the first time. I asked if He could help me. I didn’t know what I expected but I know that what happened went beyond that. In my desperation I turned to a friend, somehow remembering the one time I went to an event at her church.

That is where I met Jesus. Nothing crazy happened, there were no fireworks or signs written in the sky. I was simply made aware of my sin and the good news that Jesus had taken them in my place.

I was aware of His amazing grace and love, the gospel.

I want to say that from that moment on my life has been perfect. That’s not true. I continued to struggle with sin. But now it was a struggle, instead of enslavement. A battle that was being fought on my behalf, that was already won through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

The life of the Christian is a pilgrimage, a journey, a beautiful story wrapped up in the larger story of redemption. It’s messy. I’m messy. 

I wanted to start this blog to share the encouragement of the gospel. This is especially for Pacific islanders. What a unique context we live in! Our cultures are rich, diverse, and beautiful. I hope that whatever I share here will help you on this gospel journey. I hope to point you to Christ through my thoughts and stories.

Happy Reading and feel free to reach out to me!

-Neena

 

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