Who Am I
By Edmund Sim
When I was growing up as a teenager, my parents ran an embroidery business. Together with them and a younger sister, I had always thought that I had a happy and complete family. I was living in this bliss until when I was 16 years old, in the midst of a major examination. My mother revealed a shocking truth to me – that my father was not my biological father. She explained that she had kept that as a secret all those years because she wanted me to have a complete family. I felt like I was in a scene of a television drama.
My response to this news in the initial period was being emotionless about the whole situation and simply lived my days as if nothing had happened. However as time passed, the truth of the matter began to set in. The man I had been calling “father”, left our family. I felt lost and confused. I was angry at what had happened to me. I felt abandoned. A great sense of betrayal and brokenness overwhelmed me. I felt like I did not know who I really was. I slipped into an identity crisis.
That year in 1996, at 16 years old, I decided to enroll into a college in New South Wales thinking that I could then run away from the situation and bury my pain. I was accepted by the college and I was determined to leave the country, to leave my family.
Just when I thought I had made the best decision, my Pastor, Pastor Stephen Tan, came to speak to me about the reality of my decision. He set me thinking about many issues – How was I going to finance myself? Had I prayed about it? What did God say to me? Did I think that was God’s plan for my life? As he led me to think through all these, I realized I had never thought about finances and God was not part of my decision-making at all. Thank God for the counsel and guidance Pastor Stephen gave to me. He led me to see that my decision was purely based on my fleshly nature and desires.
I repented before God and immediately cancelled my plans to leave for Australia. I surrendered my plans for the future to God and not only that, I surrendered to Him all the hurt and pain deep inside me.
I experienced a deep ministry from the Lord when I decided to surrender. I remember I was in the church premises when I recalled a sermon preached by Pastor Stephen on Genesis 22 where Abraham obeyed God and offered Isaac to Him. And when the time came to sacrifice Isaac, the Angel of the Lord said to Abraham, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. (Genesis 22:12 & 13)
In his sermon, Pastor Stephen taught that “the place of obedience is the place of provision”. I began to cry like baby! It felt like I was letting out to God all the pain and unforgiveness that I had been harboring deep inside me. God took away the pain in me and led me to see that in Christ, I had already been made whole and that my identity was not based on what surname I bore but on who I was in Christ. I decided to obey God’s Word to forgive the man who was not my biological father for leaving the family.
I was set free from the feeling of abandonment. I was no longer feeling unsure and insecure about who I really was or belonged to. God has given me the peace and security of my identity. I am the beloved child of God. Praise be to God!