For our final interview in this series, I thought it would be fitting to ask Isobel Lin, Chair of EQUIP women, if she could share a bit about herself and tell us how she came to have faith in Jesus.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Family, interests etc?
My mother describes me as a "banana", that is "yellow" on the outside but "white" on the inside. It's what happens when you have Chinese parents who were raised in Malaysia and yet you yourself are born, raised and educated in Australia for the last 40 odd years. I' ve been told that this also makes me officially middle-aged! I'll be married to Peter for 12 years this Sunday! I have 3 beautiful daughters. One "tween" on the verge of discovering what it means to be a woman, followed by her twin sisters.
As for interests, I like to read when I have time. Sleep always rates high on the list of things I enjoy. I have started knitting scarves for everyone I know but I think it's not really a hobby but a diversional therapy - something productive to do - to avoid doing other things. I am unfortunately a procrastinator.
What did you trust in before you trusted in Jesus?
I can't remember a time when I didn't know about Jesus. Both my parents became Christians as adults and so they were very eager that their faith should be "passed on" to my sister and me. So, I would say that before my own faith in Jesus developed, I trusted my mum and dad. When I was older, it was hard for them and me, when they didn't always agree with where I thought God was leading me.
How did you come to faith in Jesus?
I look at my faith in Jesus like a precious heirloom - something which was given to me as a child, something which I could grow into and something which I did eventually own for myself. As I mentioned, my parents made every human effort to make sure I understood the gospel. This included the whole family changing churches, so I could attend a youth group which taught the Bible. And I know that my mother in particular prayed and continues to pray for me daily. Like any emerging adult, I went through my own rebellious phase. As I ended my highschool years and started university, I felt like I was entering a whole new world of choices and with them came responsibility and consequences. I remember thinking that if Jesus was real and if His words were true, then a mere lip-service and weekly attendance at church would not be enough...giving Jesus my whole life was the minimum. And if Jesus was not real, if His words were not true then even a mere lip-service and weekly attendance at church was a waste of time. I had so many basic questions. Was the Bible reliable? Did the world make sense without God? God kindly provided people to help answer these questions. Looking back, I think all the time I was searching, I felt a "nagging" in my heart that Jesus was real and His words were the truth and that perhaps I was just looking for an escape so I could live life selfishly. It was finally the book of Hebrews which made the difference. As I understood how God had fulfilled his plans in Jesus, I was convicted to hold on to that precious faith my parents had given me.
What difference has your faith in Jesus made to your life?
I find this a difficult question to answer. I've never really known life without Jesus, even in my rebellious phase. But I think the biggest difference faith in Jesus makes to my life is hope. Jesus' death and resurrection and what it achieves gives me hope. I look forward to a guaranteed place in heaven, of which the good things in this life are but a foretaste. And Jesus provides me with a real solution to my own sin and the difficulties of this life. The hope of enjoying eternal life in Jesus' presence, without the stain of sin gives me a true perspective on my life now...it's like a compass for life.