How I Found My Spiritual Family
Molica Nol—Pacifica, California, USA
HAPPY ON THE OUTSIDE
I was born on April 16, 1993. My
mom was sixteen years old and my dad wasn’t even there for my birth. Soon
after, he got put into prison for shooting someone, and my mom wanted to give
me up for adoption. Thank God, my grandparents fought for me and became my
guardians. It is because of them that I can be here in True Jesus Church and
have brothers and sisters in Christ.
Growing up without a father figure
was hard for me, and I struggled every day because I didn’t have anyone to look
up to. As I got older I started hating my life more and more. I really thought
there was no point to life.
When I entered high school, my
depression got worse. Every single day I would repeat in my head, “I want to
kill myself.” I felt emptiness inside my heart, and I thought that there was
nothing that could replace that emptiness or fill it.
I hated my life with a passion
because high school was difficult—I felt like no one cared about me, everyone
had boyfriends or girlfriends, and I wanted to be cool, but being cool didn’t
make me feel better.
During my freshman year I would
always sneak out and party to try to find happiness. For that short moment I
always felt like I was on cloud nine, but really I was making a fool of myself.
And I never felt truly happy.
My partying and depression got
worse. I seemed happy on the outside but inside I was dying slowly and darkness
clouded my heart. Loving people and trusting them were hard for me. I thought
that everyone was out to get me; I was always paranoid about telling anyone
I transferred to a new high school
in January 2008. I was worried about it at first because I had to make new
friends, but it turned out to be okay—except that everyone that I was friends
with was into drugs and alcohol. At the time I thought that it was normal for
teenagers to use drugs and drink, so I wasn’t worried that it was wrong.
After a month at the new school, I
found out that I would be moving across the country to California after the
school year ended to live with my uncle. I saw him maybe twice a year and
barely talked to him. I only knew that he was a pastor and traveled a lot. I
didn’t see the point of living with someone who’s never home.
Knowing that I was moving for sure
made me completely lose hope for everything. I didn’t believe that my life
would get any better. I always looked on the negative side because it seemed
like everything had gone wrong my whole life and I was never happy.
I got depressed whenever I thought
about the move, and when I told my friends that I was moving, none of them
believed me. They didn’t care because they thought I was joking.
Everything turned bad for me: my
school, my friends, and my family. I was failing in school because I never
wanted to go, and I never paid attention in class. My friendships ended because
they were people I should never have trusted in the first place. My family was
never close like a real family—it was a broken home where everyone was either
partying or gambling, and no one was ever around.
By the end of the school year
things got so bad that I wanted to kill myself and suffer by hurting and
cutting myself as much as I could. I kept telling myself, “I’m nothing, I’m
stupid, I’m worthless, and no one cares about me.” I didn’t care about anything
or anybody, even the people that loved me.
As school was about to end, I thought
about committing suicide by jumping off a bridge because I thought that was the
easiest way to die. But someone made me realize that there’s more to life than
waiting for death.
One of my closest friends, who is
like a sister to me now, said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” It really taught me that
even though I couldn’t start my life over again, I could start new today and
make a different ending for myself.
I was ready to start fresh once I
moved to California, but I actually felt more sad because I lost most of my
friends, and I couldn’t see my family as much as before.
But when my uncle brought me to
True Jesus Church, I felt the love of the brother and sisters. Even the members
who couldn’t speak English would put in that effort to say Hi or Ni hao whenever they saw me. Never in my
life have I met such nice and compassionate people.
I enjoyed going to church and
learning about the Bible. I discovered that God is a great God, and His love is
manifested in the brothers and sisters in church. Whenever I stepped into church,
I felt peace in my heart that I had never known. It’s a feeling I can’t
My life changed completely in the
summer of 2008 because I experienced God for the first time in my life. It was
the most heartwarming feeling ever.
The National Youth Theological
Seminar (NYTS) was held in Northern California and I got the chance to visit a
few times. Whenever I visited I would participate in the prayer sessions, and
through the longer prayers I realized that I really wanted to change my life
and receive the Holy Spirit.
The first time I heard people
praying in tongues I thought that they sounded crazy. But I came to understand
that the Holy Spirit was a gift from God and that I could be a different person
if I received it. I was pursuing the Holy Spirit in all my prayers because I
really wanted to stop being unhappy.
After Sabbath service during NYTS,
a sister asked me to pray with her and the rest of the students attending NYTS.
I replied “no” because I didn’t want to pray for some reason, I just wanted
to go home. But it wasn’t time for us to leave, so I ended up praying with them.
When I knelt down I felt peace and
joy come back to my heart. I realized that I needed to pour out my heart to God
because He listens to our prayers. I was finally ready to let go of my past and
tell everything to God because I knew He cared.
As I prayed, I didn’t pray only for
myself but also interceded for other people because I knew that I wasn’t
suffering as much as they were suffering. I felt a warm breeze, and I could
feel the Holy Spirit move in my body. Then slowly I was speaking in tongues and
I finally felt God’s love and warmth upon me.
After the prayer ended, tears of
joy continued to run down my face. I knew that God understood what I had gone
through and had listened to my requests. My heart was finally at the
destination it was looking for, and it was a calm heart. It was a feeling I
couldn’t describe, but God’s words could:
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love
of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
FINDING MY SPIRITUAL FAMILY
A few days after NYTS ended, the
Student Spiritual Convocation (SSC) took place at Garden Grove Church. I was
really excited to go because it was my first time attending, and I wanted to
spend time with God and pray for my cousin who hadn’t received the Holy Spirit
One night at SSC, it was really
hot and the air conditioner was broken, so we had to open all the windows
during the evening prayer in the chapel. Afterward I felt really dizzy, and as
I was walking back to my seat I could tell that I was about to pass out. So I
sat down on the closest pew and tried to breathe correctly.
Someone asked me what was wrong,
but I couldn’t hear clearly. Then one of my counselors brought me into the side
chapel and laid me down and made sure I had enough water. She started to hum my
favorite hymns, and it was the nicest feeling at the moment.
Soon more people came into the
room and I could hear them talking, making sure I was okay. Then they began to
pray for me, and I felt the room fill with the Holy Spirit. As they finished
praying, I was able to get up and go to my room and sleep. I was touched by
their love because they took time to pray for me when they could have been
doing other things.
I was sad about leaving SSC when
it ended. Even though I had only spent a few days with people I had never met
before, it felt like I had known them for years. We all bonded as friends and as
a spiritual family. This was the family I had been searching for my whole life.
I really learned a lot from the other
students at SSC. They taught me how to relax and just be a kid for once. They
also taught me how to love because they showed me so much love, and they told
me that it’s because of God’s love that they can love.
There was a Bible verse we read
during SSC that really touched my heart:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Against such there is no law. (Gal 5:22, 23)
It really moved me because this
verse teaches us that if we have the Spirit of God, then we can have all these
qualities, which God Himself has. Through SSC, I finally found the path I had
been looking for, and I discovered that it’s the path of salvation. I went home
with a calm and pure heart, knowing that God is my Savior and is the author and
finisher of my faith.
EMBRACED BY GOD
It is through God’s grace and
mercy that I was baptized at Pacifica Church a few months after SSC with three
other members of my family. I truly believed that True Jesus Church was the
only church that could save us. I knew there was only one true God, and He was
the God we worshipped and prayed to.
In my prayers during the spiritual
convocation before baptism, I made sure that I had repented for all of my sins.
As I repented, I felt that the burden that had been weighing down my heart was
finally lifted. It felt like I was walking on air. I knew God was listening to
When we arrived at the baptismal
site, the water was just above freezing and the wind was so cold. My uncle told
me I had to be the brave one and enter the water first. As I entered the icy-cold
water, I was repeating “hallelujah” in my heart.
My sinful body was submerged in
the water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. As I slowly got out of the
water, I felt warm. God had just washed away my sins, and it felt like He was
embracing me with His arms.
Since then, my family has noticed
that I have changed so much as a person. My biggest weakness has always been
anger. I struggled with it every day because the smallest things were enough to
get me going. When I got angry I didn’t think before I acted or spoke, so I
often hurt people’s feelings without knowing it and yelled or punched things in
But after coming to Christ and
receiving baptism, I realized that none of these things would solve my problem.
When I am angry or frustrated, instead of acting out right away, I am able to
take a step back and think to myself: Is that what a Christian would do?
Living in a house where God is our
priority shows me that our family helps us understand what’s wrong and right
and whether the choices we make are according to God’s will. I have learned
that I need to rely on Him whenever I start to get angry. Knowing that God is
there for me and won’t give up on me no matter what is what helps me the most.
Weaknesses can be a way for God to
show the grace, understanding, and mercy He has for us. I drew close to God
through repenting of my sins and changing the direction of my life. Through His
love and mercy I have found my spiritual family and a calm and peaceful heart.
Most of all, I know now that God will never leave us hanging when we need Him