Committing to walk in obedience through baptism
By Angie Tong
Growing up in a non-Christian home I did not know anything about God. When I was 20, my colleague invited me to the Billy Graham crusade where I was moved and decided to respond to the altar call and prayed the salvation prayer. But following that, nothing changed in my life. I did not know what to do next. I did not have a bible or know who God is. Christianity faded into the background and I continued living my life as usual.
Marriage and children
Subsequently I got married and had my first child. Being young and inexperienced, I struggled with marriage and raising a family. There were many occasions when I was hurting and desperate and had no one to turn to, I would turn to God and cry out to Him and I felt He was there when I needed Him.
With occasional visits to different churches, my growth as a Christian was sporadic even though I sent our daughters to a Catholic school and to church for Sunday school. I did not know what it meant to have a personal relationship with God.
In 2001 I developed lumps in my right breast. During the procedure to test if the lumps were benign, the radiographer inserted a long needle into my breast to localize the growth. That caused me unbearable pain. At that instant, I was reminded of the pain Christ suffered during his crucifixion. The image of his suffering in the movie The Passion of Christ flashed into my mind. Surprisingly, the pain I was going through suddenly felt less. The surgery went well and the result was that the lump was benign. I was very thankful to God for hearing my prayer and at that moment He felt very real.
However, I had to undergo a second procedure as the lumps returned after three months. I was admitted into hospital and had to undergo the procedure alone as my family members were all away. Even though I was alone, I was not fearful as I had the assurance of God’s presence. While I was on the surgical table, I heard God’s voice telling me that He is with me and that I will be ok. This was the first time I heard His audible voice and it brought me much peace. Through this encounter, and many others following after, I experienced God’s presence and peace. I started to read His Word more and pray to Him more. My faith started to grow and I believe He honoured His promise to never leave or forsake me and that He will protect and help me in times of trial and difficulty.
There were many times I failed to recognize His work in my life but as I grow in increasing intimacy with God, I am able to recognize His grace, mercies and love for me. I experienced His faithfulness and goodness in my life as well as in the lives of my family. I hold onto God’s goodness and always remind myself to count my blessings. As I understand more about God’s grace, I am more willing to show grace to others especially in asking God to remove my bitterness and hurt in my marriage. I am releasing all my past to Him and trusting that He is in the process of restoring my marriage to what He intended it to be. With God’s grace, I have become more patient and less explosive when disagreements arise.
I still have a long way to go in my Christian journey and still struggle in my weaknesses. But unlike when I was younger, God is more personal and I now understand more of His love for me. I took the step to be baptized together with my husband because I want to entrust and surrender my life to Him and commit to walk the ways He wants me to. I have faith now to believe that God has better plans in store for my marriage and my family.
Angie is working in the National Heart Center at their Call Center as Patient Associates Officer in Singapore. She will be joining her family in Perth soon. Her pastimes are gardening, swimming and helping others.