When I was 6 years old, I was the bubbly, outgoing class monitor – the top student in class.

But one day, my best friend stabbed me in the back with my secret that I told her. In that instant, my childhood broke apart and I understood that the world wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. So I became wary of people. I shut myself in. And by the time I decided to start believing in friendships again, I was a stranger to the rhythms of social cues my peers had developed.

A few years later, there was this ah beng in school who sat in front of me. He would lean his chair backwards against my desk and play games on his phone. I decided to report him to the teacher one day. But guess what? I got found out by the class.

I became hated by all my classmates. They threw staple bullets and eraser dust at my back. They also threw hurtful words like “traitor” and “betrayer” at me.

Once again, I withdrew from people.

I would hide in the library during recess so that I could have some peace and be away from all the pain. I wondered if there was anyone in the world who would love me. I wondered what I did so wrong: Didn’t I do the right thing?

I dared not tell my parents what was happening because I was the only child that my parents had in their late age. Instead, I would secretly hide underneath my blankets and cry myself to sleep every night.

Honestly, if I had a sibling, I would have gone ahead and ended my life.

But I didn’t have peace even when I slept. I would have suicidal nightmares and find myself waking up with tears streaming down my face before crying myself back to sleep. This cycle would repeat itself for the whole night.

Honestly, if I had a sibling, I would have gone ahead and ended my life.

But that was until I encountered Christ.

In Secondary Two, a popular kid in class got invited to attend a cell group through street evangelism and she decided to invite everyone to go with her.

Surprisingly, she asked if I wanted to go too. Since I didn’t have any friends at the point of time, I happily tagged along. I had no idea where we were heading – I was just happy to be going out with friends.

The moment I stepped into the house that the cell group gathered in, I felt a warm feeling spreading in my chest. These Christians welcomed me! I wondered how such a community could exist – one where people laughed with each other and embraced each other in their weaknesses. This community seemed to glow.

After attending the cell group a few times, I decided to accept Christ in my life. I felt so loved by God after feeling so rejected by the world. I didn’t cry myself to sleep anymore and my nightmares stopped as well.

From then on, I recognised that I was given a new life. I should have been long gone from this world. Now, I owe this life to Christ. 

Not long after I became a Christian, I changed classes.

I was glad to leave my old class and start afresh. Even though some of the classmates who bullied me were still in the same class, I believed that history would not repeat itself as I now had God.

In this new class, I befriended a girl who sat behind me. She was from another class and wasn’t really into school gossip. I saw that she tended to go for recess with another friend of hers so I asked if I could tag along. They agreed. I was well aware that they initially didn’t want me around, but they didn’t openly asked me to leave either. So I stayed.

Looking back, I am thankful that they allowed me to be around them. They were the first few people who really accepted me outside of my church community, and that was precious to me.

I was so grateful that I wanted only the best thing for them: I wanted them to be saved by the Lord.

So I continuously invited them for church services, week after week. One of them finally got fed up with me and agreed to come. I was over the moon! But she didn’t accept Christ that day. Still, I thought to myself: “No! They need to know the Lord”. So I continued asking them.

The girl who came to my church didn’t expect me to continue bugging her. She thought that I would stop asking if she came once. But I couldn’t get that hint back then. Finally, she exploded: “My cousin goes to church every Sunday. If I want to go to church, I will let her know. Stop asking!”

At that, God told me to have patience. So that was what I did. 

“I will wait my whole life for them.” 

Over the next 2 years, our clique expanded. Joining us were even people who used to bully me!

I remember smiling, seeing all of us standing in a circle during our final exam period. I was just so thankful that these people adopted me into their group. I was also amazed that this group of people with such distinct personalities were able to come together as friends.

I remember telling God, “It would be so amazing if we can all serve you together, Lord.” God replied: “In My time.” And I whispered back, “God, since you said that, I will wait my whole life for them.” 

In 2010, the church that I attended was raising funds for a bigger venue.

A few years later, church members were invited to the new auditorium. As a prophetic act, we wrote the names of the people who we were praying for on the floors and walls of the church. I wrote the names of the few friends who I had always been thankful for.

You might be thinking: Why remain as friends when they may not fully accept me? Well, God often reminded me through the years that my friends had been sent to help me through those dark times. I was given friendship though I did not deserve it.

Now it’s my turn to give back to the Lord and to them, with a grateful heart.

It is now 2019. Half of us have already come to know the Lord. But I know the last 10 years are just one chapter in the story of my life. There’s still more to do.

To my friends who have not yet accepted Christ, I’m praying that you all will come Home soon. For the other half that are already serving the Lord, let’s continue to labour in prayer for the others as we continue to serve our good Lord. 

One day, we will get to serve the Lord and His kingdom together. I look forward to seeing all of us gathered together, covering each others’ backs and heading forward towards our destinies. 

I will work and wait my whole life if that’s what it takes.