From Approval-Seeker to Grace-Receiver: 

A Journey of Faith, Purpose, and Surrender

Written by Chris Fu 

Life and Fruit Member 

Growing up in Atlanta in a non-Christian household, life’s aim as a son was pretty much to get good grades and do good things. Because my parents were busy working to provide, I did not get a lot of attention at home. And so I sought it from the only other place - the classroom. Much to the amusement of my peers but not the teacher. I acted out to receive any kind of attention - good or bad. I tried being the class clown, didn’t listen, and tried to be smart with the teachers.  

My first encounter with Christ happened when my mom and I were invited to church. Upon hearing a sermon about the afterlife, the thought of heaven stirred in me to want to be baptized. Even though I went through the ritual of being baptized at age 14, my life went right back to my normal routine, that was until my junior year of high school. 

All of high school, the purpose of everything I did was to get into what my dad deemed to be a “good college.” That “good college” was Georgia Tech. I did what most students would do: do all it takes to make your application stand out. I signed up for a lot of after-school clubs to show I was not just a bookworm. I volunteered with many organizations to convince others I was altruistic. I went to English and Math tutoring on Saturdays to boost my SAT/ACT scores, took the SAT six times, and still scored average. I did all this so I could show that I was “well-rounded” and “good enough” not only to admissions, but also to my dad. I felt like I needed to prove myself and please my dad. 

Fortunately, in the winter of my junior year at a youth retreat, I met Christ again. This time I took His words to heart. I remember bawling my eyes out after finally letting go of wanting to take control. After all, I was told my entire life that “you get out what you put in”. Didn’t get good grades? Should have played less games and spent more time in the books. Didn’t get into Georgia Tech? Should have been more serious about school and studied harder. Thankfully, I have a God that flips worldly standards 180. Didn’t get good enough grades? That’s okay. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, it says: 

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. 

So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”

Jesus first and foremost died for my sins. There’s no need to continue to prove to others that I am good enough, even my parents. After becoming a true follower of Jesus, I learned from my failures, became more diligent, and managed my time more wisely with my studies. Didn’t get into Georgia Tech or a “good enough” college? That’s okay. God has plans for you and me and will never fail us. In Proverbs 3:5-6 it says, 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” 

God has plans for everyone, and it’s probably not the one you thought you’d be on. Despite not getting into Georgia Tech, I trusted in His plans and timing for me. By His grace, I went to college at the University of Georgia and eventually transferred into Georgia Tech which I graduated from in 2018. 

Since then, my life has not followed my own “perfect” plan, but I have a perfect God.

One pandemic and a couple of life stages later, God revealed to me just how much I truly need him. I used to stress incessantly about money, but now I sleep easy knowing that God is the ultimate provider. I was so intent on reaching FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) as soon as possible, but now all I’m concerned about is what God wants, His timing, and what I can do to best serve Him.

Christ came down to save my life and yours. I pray that you will also accept the gift of eternal life He freely gives.