The following is a testimony letter.

My friend,

What is it that you are looking for? I'm asking you -- deep down and dirty, in the deepest depths of your eyeballs. What do you long for? What do you wish? Are you one who stands behind the exterior of constantly talking about friends, love relationships, sports, computer games, music, events, activities? Because behind all that, I know there is something deeper that you long for. You are not the only one. You want to be accepted, you want to fit in, you want to feel important, you want to be approved of by all the people who surround you. Sometimes it feels like you've gotta do so much pretending, doesn't it? You have hurts that no one sees, and you want them to be healed but you feel like you can't tell anyone because if they knew, they might reject you completely. You often go to fellowship or come home from hanging out with friends finding yourself feeling as empty as before you came, though you thought that they would make you feel better.

I have felt all these things. The disappointment of life and of people. Nothing ever seems to turn out the way it's supposed to or the way that you expected it to. Or it does - but only sometimes.

I spent most of my high school days trying to fit in so that I could be accepted. I wanted to be important to people, and I wanted to be approved of. Deep down in my heart of hearts, I really wanted to be loved, and that was my motive for everything I did.

When I was in high school, I had more crushes than should be allowed a person in such a short span of time. Seriously. Every boy - almost - was a "possibility." By the way everyone talked about it, it seemed like having a relationship was the way to obtain love and eternal bliss. So I figured that having crushes and chasing boys was the way to go if I really wanted to attain that bliss. You wouldn't believe me if I told you now, but I was quite a flirt in high school. I knew how to flirt with boys, to say one thing but mean two things, to drop hints, to casually brush some part of my body on another's. My words and actions were oftentimes illusive, ambiguous and questionable.

At the end of freshman year, after a whole year of flirting, I engaged in my first relationship with a boy. It was to the utter astonishment of everyone because we were such opposites. He was a rebel without a cause who got into fights, and I was the goody-goody who always obeyed the rules. It was a strange combination, but that was probably why I was attracted to him. Perhaps that or maybe because when I gazed into his eyes, I felt myself get lost in them. It was a surreal experience. We had an accelerated relationship that lasted a whopping three weeks because of the fact that it was only about physical attraction, physical lust and the indulgence of it. We experimented on each other and after the novelty of that was over, we stopped feeling like we "liked each other" and broke up.

Can I tell you that a kiss is not eternal bliss? Kind of a disappointment, actually. In fact, experiencing all that everyone had been flaunting for so long made me find only that it wasn't what I was looking for. I got what I wanted but it wasn't what I wanted after all.

But seeing that no one offered me any alternative for bliss, I thought that perhaps the emptiness of all that was because I was with the wrong guy. So I continued having crushes on boys and flirting with them relentlessly.

Something else I was really good at it in high school was coming up with schemes to fit my desires. My junior year, my then best friend and I had crushes on two guys who were good friends with each other. We somehow schemed our way into having an outing with these boys in the lovely, secluded outdoors. We went on a hike on a trail, played "damsel in distress" when we got to difficult parts on the trail (i.e. pretending like we needed their hand to get down rough slopes), had a picnic under the shade of some trees, and took some pictures among fields of wild flowers. It was quite romantic, in a sense, and enjoyable. It was the perfect scheme because we cleverly deceived them as to the reason of our excursion. They had no idea that they would be involved in such a romantic date until they were there. And that was probably why it was most delightful to me.

But I canít remember a time that I can recall more distinctly the feeling of emptiness as I felt after this incident. I recorded it in my journal as "a day of heartbreak and confusionÖinsidious loneliness pervading my soul. It tugs at my heartstrings with an emptiness so full that I cannot swallow it away (April 9, 1996)." Perhaps it was because I had to use so many falsehoods in order to get what I wanted. I felt like I had to play a part (i.e. the damsel in distress) and be someone I wasnít, because I thought that was the way to being accepted and liked. The world told me that I needed to flirt and put myself out there and chase boys in order to get them and get loved. And maybe freshman year, I got what I wanted, and junior year I didnít quite get what I wanted, but in reality through those ways, I never got what I really wanted.

I wanted to be wanted. But what I didnít understand that whole time was that what I needed was not to be wanted by a boy. I didnít realize this truth until many crushes, schemes, dances and heartbreaks later.

It is not new news to confess that I have always been quite a romantic. I always thought it would be so romantic if a guy would pledge his love and devotion to me in such a way that he would be willing to do anything for me Ė that he would fight for me, lie for me, cross the world for me and even die for me. (I got that from a song.) What I didnít know was that I wasnít the first to think of this romantic notion. There was someone who thought of this at the beginning of time. He knew me and He loved me even before I had done anything good or bad, and He decided in one moment that He would die for me. He would die so that I could be with Him for all of eternity. Can you imagine anything more romantic than that?

I was introduced to this great Lover my junior year in high school at CBC, around the same time that I was trying to scheme a place in the heart of that guy mentioned above. A few months later, I surrendered my life to this Pursuer, Jesus Christ. I began growing more in love with Him as I learned more about Him through the words He had written to me in the Bible. Jesus filled my every longing. The more I grew to understand His unconditional love for me, the more I realized that I didnít have to go on as I had been in all those previous high school days. I didnít have to scheme or flirt or pretend to be someone Iím not in order to fit in or be accepted or loved. Nope. I was already loved and accepted by the only person that it matters to be loved and accepted by. And I didnít have to do one single thing. WellÖexcept make Him the treasure of my heart.

I guess you can sum up my experience as that I was waiting to be wanted. And I believe, also, that is your experience. But did you know that you donít have to wait? God wants you. He already died in order to reach you. He waits to be wanted. He waits to be wanted! He wants you to want Him. Will you keep Him waiting?

I donít recommend that you keep Him waiting, because it is really what you have been looking for your whole life. Jesus will meet your every need. My life stands as a testimony that these claims are true.

Praying that you will find in Him the greatest thing you have ever known,

Mary Ann Nguyen
Phil 3:7-11

Oct 5, 2001


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Created Oct 5, 2001
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