Joyce Lim

I’m a cradle catholic and have been serving in CSC’s music ministry for more than a decade. But this didn’t mean I believed in our God whom I proclaimed to serve. Being a rational thinker, I had doubts about God, the Bible, and even the scared Host.

At the Conversion Experience Retreat, during my first hourly adoration, I vented my frustrations on God. As I was about to leave, these words came to me: “Be a reflection of me. Find your identity in me.” I didn’t understand what it meant and wondered if it was just me thinking, or God speaking.

Minutes later, I bumped into my CER buddy. He said he had been prompted to speak to me as he prayed for us during adoration. He said that in a vision of me earlier, I was in the exact outfit I was wearing. I poured out to him everything; my anger, my hatred…

Knowing my love language is words of affirmation, God was giving me his first affirmation to make me believe. The second would come later in the form of a biblical verse.

At Mass on the second day, I was sleepy and the only message that got my focus was “He died for us”. Thus, I did not expect to ‘experience’ Him that day. But as I was about to receive His Body, I felt overwhelmed by His love. It struck me, that was “the Body of Christ” and “He died for me”. I wept knowing He exists–and He truly exists in the Eucharist.

I thought I might have been imagining all these emotions until one of the Retreat facilitators shared about her similar feeling of being overwhelmed in the Eucharist. It was crazy! All the more so because, as a regular server at the CERs, I basically knew most of her sharing, yet she had never shared this encounter. I knew then that I had seen the Lord.

As I was walking back to the room with a room-mate that night, she disclosed this: As she was praying beside me during adoration, she felt prompted to tell me, “You do not need to earn my love, you already have my love”. Yet another of God’s affirmation that He loves me!

On the third day, as I went before the priest for Confession, I was calm despite having wept much over my sins earlier. When it was time to say the Act of Contrition, I fumbled—even though I say the words about monthly. Father assured me I could say whatever was in my heart. So I improvised the words. They came very naturally–and I cried hard. That was my most sincere Act of Contrition ever!

Later, a Bible verse appeared mysteriously among my belongings. When I checked it out, I knew for sure it was God speaking to me. He affirmed that I should not to be afraid, that I should look to Him and His strength; and should always remember the wonders He has done for me. This was God’s second affirmation in words. Everything gelled, and I started to give Him my ‘all’.

At another session, over the sharing of a fellow ministry member, everything struck a chord with me. It was as if God had planted me in the ministry to hear—unmoved–her sharing on those previous occasions; and then, at the Retreat, revealed His plans for me.

During prayers for inner healing, I experienced an overwhelming peace, one that I had never felt before. I exercised my gift of tongues, received a few months ago. It was clear to me: the reason for my gift was to intercede for others, for God to touch and heal them—and I did.

I learnt that ministering can be done in different ways. As a retreatant, I was ministering through my sharing, and that helped some in my group to ‘open up’ and to experience God.

I testify because I was once an unbeliever, rationalizing everything that God tried to show or tell me. Now, I believe because I know He has a hand in everything in my life. Praise the Lord!

 

Joyce Lim, CER 30