By Laura Yang
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new Creation. The old has gone. The new has come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Driven to Perform
I have always been driven to be the best. In high school, I was an all-star runner and a top student. I craved the approval I got from teachers, coaches, and fellow students. But soon, this empty feeling would creep in. It was like a drug. I needed another test, or another race, to prove to myself and others that I was worthy. I worked so hard I became our high school’s valedictorian. I built Graduation Day into my mind as this grand event. But it came and went like any other day.
Growing up, I often dreamed of sitting at the head of a boardroom table flanked by men. I would run the company and tell the men what to do. Even though college wasn’t the grand adventure I’d hoped for, it was the means to getting a decent job. I signed on with a prestigious consulting firm and figured I was on my way to that boardroom experience I’d envisioned my whole life.
Most of my fellow employees at the consulting firm were recent college graduates like me. Often, we worked 12-hour days, six days a week. Sometimes we would go out to dinner after work. Everyone else seemed so jovial, so happy, but I was miserable. Many days I would go home and cry, wondering if this was all there was to life.
I woke up one day and decided it was time to get married. Yes. Really. Just like that. If my career wasn’t bringing me fulfillment, marriage would. I couldn’t stop daydreaming about a young man, George Yang, I had worked with at the consulting firm. He was nice, kind, and funny. I tracked down his phone number and left a message. He called back, we went on a date, and the rest is history. We got married, bought a home, and got pregnant. We had two beautiful baby boys. Still I wondered, is being married and having kids the whole purpose of life?
A New Vantage Point
I began attending a program at a local church for Moms of Preschoolers (MOPS). I loved it! We got a warm breakfast, a break from our kids, and there were excellent speakers. The speakers were my favorite. Their topics ranged from “Making Your Traditions” to “Mealtime Tips.”
But one day, our speaker was different. She got up and said, “Ladies, have you noticed the beautiful roses in the center of the tables?” As I was thinking, “yes, these roses are gorgeous,” the speaker said this: “These roses are dead! Their roots are cut, so they have no life source. And that’s how you are if you have not trusted in Jesus. You are cut off from God.” That jolted me. Afterward, there were three books available for purchase. I bought one entitled: “How to Know Where You Will Spend Eternity.”
I grew up attending church Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. I didn’t like it one bit. To me, church was boring and irrelevant. As much as I complained, my parents still dragged me back each week. So, even while I was attending a Christian college, I never went to church or Bible study. I was a very unlikely candidate for the adventure God had in store for me next.
Something compelled me to read that book I bought at the mom’s program. It had a lot of Bible verses in it. But unlike when I was a teenager, the Bible now seemed relevant. The verses jumped off the page and made total sense to me, particularly Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I realized I had purposely separated myself from God my whole life. I had been “doing life on my own,” which always left me empty. I never considered what God might want for me and my life. My sin had been preventing me from connecting with God. But how could I connect with God?
I learned I could not make myself right with God on my own. I needed Jesus because Jesus took my sins to the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For God made Jesus, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin so that we could be made right with God through Jesus.” I decided I wanted to be right with God. While my babies were sleeping, I went out on my patio and prayed. I made the choice to follow Jesus.
An Unlikely Adventure
Things started to change after I believed in and accepted Jesus’ gift of salvation. My MOPS table leader, Jana, asked if I wanted to do a Bible Study. Jana and I seemed to be polar opposites. Yet, something about Jana drew me to her. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was Jesus in Jana I was drawn to.
I loved our Bible study. I loved that our kids played on the floor while we studied God’s Word. God’s Word became meaningful and showed me a whole new way to live my life. Jana and I are still best friends.
Church became a priority for our family. We went because we wanted to, not because we had to. My earlier visions of sitting at the head of the boardroom table dissipated. I became a MOPS table leader. I began inviting friends to church and church activities. I served alongside my kids in children’s and youth ministries. I’ve led prayer groups and Bible studies. But my favorite thing to do is to tell anyone who will listen about Jesus.
I have learned that most Christians are hesitant to share their faith for one reason or another. To this end, I wrote a book called “Everyday Evangelism: Practical Tips to Use Today.” I also hosted a radio program by the same name. I speak to various groups, including MOPS and Stonecroft Ministries. I help with Harvest Crusade and go to the beach to tell people about Jesus whenever I can.
I was, indeed, an unlikely candidate for the adventure God gave me. John 10:10 says, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” If God can do this for me, he can do the same for you. Will you let Him?
Laura Yang’s favorite thing to do is tell others about Jesus, one-on-one or onstage. She has been known to bungee jump and swim in ocean races. She enjoys playing board games with friends and family. Her book, Everyday Evangelism: Practical Tips to Use Today, is available on Amazon.