Mary Goh, Emmanuel Assembly of God
I was born in a Christian family and was baptized when I was just a few months old. Since I attended Sunday school and services since young, I grew up hearing the word of God all the time. Bible stories were not unfamiliar to me. However, even though I believed that God is real, I did not personally experience an intimate relationship with Him and was more of a “Sunday Christian”. I would only pray when I was in trouble or needed help, and other times I would simply forget about God.
I made numerous detours in my walk with God, and they lasted longer than the 40 years that Moses and the Israelites took in the wilderness. Yet, even with my lukewarm attitude, God continued to show mercy and grace to me.
I remembered the time in 1992 when I was pregnant with my first child. I had started going into labor at the 5th month of gestation and the doctor had to give me strong medicine to stop my contraction but it was to no avail. As the dosage got higher and higher, the doctor decided to stop the medication due to the fact such high dosages would damage my internal organs. At that point in time, my fetus was only 750 grams and the survival rate was only 50%. I was told that even if the fetus survived, he may be born with abnormalities. My gynecologist proposed to have the fetus taken out and put in an incubator.
On the night before my operation, I, in my desperation, remembered that I MUST PRAY. Both my husband and I began to pray very hard, and we even got our church members to pray for me. The very next morning, the contractions miraculously stopped and everything went back to normal! We praised and thanked God for his intervention, but we didn’t think much about it after that day. Praise God that I managed to carry my child to full term and he was born a healthy baby. We decided to name him Samuel.
2 months after giving birth, my gynecologist did an x-ray for me and found that the tiny fibroid that I had in the womb had now grown drastically big and he advised me to go for surgery. When the fibroid was taken out, the doctor dissected the fibroid and to his amazement, he discovered the fibroid had died inside my womb previously, but had grown back to life again later. That probably explained why my body initially wanted to expel the fetus out of my womb much earlier. The doctor called it a miracle, but we know very well that it was God’s doing. What a miraculous God we have! Indeed, we truly have a kind and faithful God who is always so merciful. “For the Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5 (NASB)
God values us so much that even the very hairs on our heads are numbered. He is always there wanting to protect us but we are the ones who often forget and reject Him. I soon went back to my busy life working very hard to support my comfortable life. I was blessed with success in my career and I later went into business. In fact, I experienced success in everything I did. When it came to church, I gave excuses for not serving and often gave my leftover time to God. My entire life revolved around building my business.
In 2014, after much persuasion from my cell leader, I decided to join an Israel tour (December 13 to 22, 2014). This trip to Israel was my turning point. The Bible suddenly came to life as I walked Via Dolorosa, a street in the old city of Jerusalem that was believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to His crucifixion. I cried my heart out during the morning service at the Garden Tomb. God loved me so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for me and yet I have been so ungrateful towards Him. I could even visualize the suffering that Jesus went through just to die for my sins. I finally agreed to go through baptism and was baptized on December 17, 2014 at Eln Gedi, a beautiful place where David took refuge from Saul.
The very next year, 2015, proved to be one of great transition for me. I started the year with a desire to go back to God and give God more of my time. However, my business grew and the expansion took up a large part of my time. In my heart, I knew that God wanted my first fruits, and not my leftover time. After much negotiation with my partner, I managed to get someone to take over a part of my workload.
During that period of time, the atmosphere in the office somehow began to go haywire and for some reason, those who used to back me no longer supported me. The office life that I once enjoyed was now a battleground. “God, why is this happening? Is that you stirring things up? I thought I had your favor…” I was confused and afraid of leaving my comfort zone. I didn’t want any changes to my life as I was fearful of rocking the boat.
Then God reminded me that He was my potter and I was His clay. How true that was! God understood me so well that He actually turned the boat over and so that I would be forced to move forward. God knew that if He didn’t close that door for me, my business would still be dragging me down and keeping me from stepping into the fullness of what God had in store for me. I stepped down as a director in October 2015. In the days that followed, much time was spent relaxing and traveling before I started SOM. I received more than what I expected in TLBS. It was here that I gained revelation and experienced the next level of my faith.
My relationship with God was gradually being restored. My desire for an intimate relationship with God grew stronger each day. When Pastor Elisha Satvinder shared on the “Father Heart of God”, my heart ached and once again, I cried like a baby. I was once upon a time an Iron Lady, but God’s love had now turned me into a crying baby. God has indeed melted a hardened heart.
Upon looking back, I realized that God loved me so much that He didn’t want me to just be successful in my career, but He wanted me to fulfill His purposes for my life. During one morning devotion, Dean Guek Ju mentioned that we need to “OBEY TODAY”. She also mentioned that we needed to rest in God, refocus and recommit our life back to God and I was convicted to do just that.
I want to thank God and praise Him for His mercy upon my life. I am now enjoying the embrace of God every day and cuddling safely in His arms. Praise God for His mercies are new every morning! “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is faithful God who keeps His covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love Him and obey His commands.” Deuteronomy 7:9, 12 (NLT)