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I grew up with Buddhist parents who occasionally went to temple for worship. I followed more out of obedience and respect for my parents than a connection with their faith. In my early university years as a young adult, I developed an eager curiosity for finding truth in the world, not just another way to be a good person or to live comfortably. I believed science could answer all things and that there was no need for a God.

My world turned upside down when I met my soulmate, Mackenzie Chu.

Discovering Christianity

Our love for each other grew quickly. I discovered that Mackenzie was a believer and follower of Christ, and that her relationship with God was significant to her. My desire to understand and respect all of who Mackenzie is compelled me to discover what Christianity meant to her, which started my journey to Christ. I dove headfirst into books on Christianity by authors Lee Strobel, Timothy Keller, and Rick Warren. We joined an Alpha course hosted by our very own FAC (First Alliance Church). We formed a small group with our close friends for Bible study – friends I’d grown up with, never realizing they were followers of Jesus Christ!

Eventually, I felt compelled to read the Bible cover to cover. I needed a rational understanding of God before my heart and soul would change. My eyes opened to a new perspective with each step of understanding the magnificence and wonder of our Creator – I couldn’t go back to how I used to see. What were before mere “coincidences” in my life I now saw as small encounters with God.

An Unexpected Gift

The final turning point in discovering my faith in Jesus happened when I was let go from my job. This was the first time in my life I’d been fired from a job, even as an adolescent. My initial perception of the incident was as a curse, but it ended up being a gift and blessing. For the first time in my adult life, I had the opportunity to dedicate my time to reflect, meditate, and grow spiritually. I continued my intellectual pursuit of reading the Bible and other books.

As I read the last pages of “A Reason for God” by Timothy Keller, I decided to genuinely pray this prayer: “Father, I’ve always believed in You and Jesus Christ, but my heart’s most fundamental trust was elsewhere – in my own competence and decency. This has only gotten me into trouble. As far as I know my own heart, today I give it to You; I transfer my trust to You, and ask that You would receive and accept me not for anything I have done but because of everything Christ has done for me.”

A Personal Connection

After this intellectual journey, I decided that I needed to take a leap of faith, given all that I’d learned, and devote my life to Jesus. God showed my pride and self-centeredness, which I am forever grateful for. I felt a personal connection with God. My wife and I woke up a week after my commitment to Christ and we laid there for a long time as I shared my revelation. We cried tears of joy. She already knew that I had been transformed by the love and grace of Christ. So began my walk with Christ.

Written by Steven Hoang

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