by Taeha Ahn
I haven’t seen myself in the mirror for 26 years. I became a Christian about three years ago. I grew up in a Catholic family but, at that time, it did not have any meaning to me. I went to Catholic church on Sunday out of habit, but there was no faith. It was like a clamshell of Catholicism. If you opened the dead and hollow clamshell, there was no faith in it.
The turning point was when my older sister converted to become a Christian. She invited me to a Christian conference in August, 2018. I decided to go with her because I wanted to figure out if the Church was a cult or not. Even though I had no idea about what Christianity was all about, I went in as a detective. I was worried about my sister. On the first day of the conference, my pastor was talking about homeless people. He said that while there were a lot of situations, the one thing they all did that led them to their path was that they made a mistake. They made a bad decision somewhere. Homeless people never dreamed to become homeless. They would have had a different dream.
Everyone started with an ideal dream, and while some people tried to achieve it, others could not. The moment I heard that story, I looked back on my life, and I realized that I had also made many mistakes. Then he said, “Assume that you live your whole life believing that there is no God and die and face God in front of you.” I used to believe there was no God. But when I heard that, I began to think, ‘I may be wrong,’ and I began to listen to the pastor’s stories. The pastor taught me what the Bible is about, who Jesus was, whether he actually existed in history, whether he really died, and whether he really resurrected. I started to believe in the Bible, and Jesus, especially why Jesus matters to us today, two thousand years later.
I attended his lectures for the whole conference for four days. I was reading the Bible every day. One of my favorite Bible passages is from John 3:16-17. “Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world. He did not send him to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.” When I read this, it touched my heart. I never thought about God this way. I thought God was not interested in humans. But it was not true! God really cares about all of us! I misunderstood who God was, and I could not see his truth because my mirror was dirty. If my mirror is dirty, it can’t reflect things as they exactly are. When I stand in front of my mirror, it reflects dirty on me because the mirror itself was dirty. So, that was why I kept seeking other things that can make me clean, that can bring happiness to me like drinking, chasing women, and fame. But those things cannot bring true happiness. Whatever I was holding in my hand, the mirror showed me a dirty appearance. But after I accepted Jesus as my savior, God wiped the dirtiness off my mirror. So now I can see myself as the OG version, that God made me. And that is enough. It was okay not to hold anything to look like a clean me. My mirror is wiped clean by Jesus. This is my story about why I couldn’t see myself in the mirror in the past, but now I see my true self and purpose.