Grad Night Testimony (2012)
A bunch of my friends graduating this year are writing their grad night testimonies right now. It made me go back and take a look at my own testimony I wrote 2 years ago. And especially for this particular season of my life right now, reading this tonight has encouraged me and reminded me of a lot of previous convictions God placed in my heart.
My name is Andrew Darmahkasih, and this is my testimony.
If I could summarize what God has taught me the past four years in one word, it’d be this: SURRENDER.
I came to Michigan kicking and screaming. I didn’t want to go to Michigan. Frankly, I thought I was better than Michigan. It didn’t help that I was an Ohio State fan. Truth be told, I was secretly rooting for the Buckeyes during the Ohio State game my freshman year.
I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life, my future, and my career. I was going to go into Michigan, graduate in 3 or 4 years, go immediately to a top-notch med school, and become a doctor in record time. I’ve always felt a call to do missions, but instead of accepting that call humbly, I justified my ambitions by saying that the faster I finish college, the quicker I’d be able to serve God as a medical missionary.
But God had other plans. He knew what He was doing, and He by His grace knew that had I been allowed to do things my way, I would have stolen the glory that rightfully belongs to Him. So He placed circumstances, challenges, difficulties, and trials my way, to break me of my pride and show me how much I needed to depend on Him. The breaking came in many ways. It came with the ankle injury I endured my freshman year, where I had to trust Him for my physical and financial provisions. It came with the falling grades and difficult classes. It came with struggles in my relationship with my parents. It came as I tried to juggle my involvement here at HMCC with school and family. It came through difficult conversations, sleepless nights, and heavy hearts.
Finally, God brought me to my knees. During the Congregational Revival this past January, I asked God in frustration, “What do you want to do with my life? Was I wrong all along about missions? Is medicine not for me? Why is my GPA sinking and my medical school plans closing? Have I been wrong all along?”
And in the quietness that followed, an unmistakable voice, “Andrew, I don’t want to send the smartest doctor. I want to send a surrendered life. Will you surrender your own agendas and your own plans to me?”
I guess that’s why God brought me to Michigan, to this church, to this community. He wanted to break me out of my own set agendas, to show me just how much greater His plans are for my life. Along the way, He has allowed me to interact with some of the best brothers and sisters I could have asked for. Some opened their lives to me and faithfully advised and counseled me through the ups and downs of the past four years. Others have been my peers, buddies who have listened and prayed for me more times than I could count. Still others I have been given the privilege of discipling, not knowing that I would learn from them immeasurably more than they have learned from me.
But ultimately, He has shown me so much more of who He is. In Matthew 16:24-26, Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” This is the call of being a disciple of Jesus. This Jesus – he is a God worth sacrificing my life for. He is my greatest treasure, my greatest hope, my Lord, and my Master.