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From fear to faith: Our journeys 

Photo courtesy of Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

By: Saige Batza and Antoinette Yen

Two of the Charger Bulletin Newspaper’s newest editors, Saige Batza (Student Life) and Antoinette Yen (Entertainment), share their testimonies about how they ultimately used their faith in God to overcome fear and anxiety in their lives. Each of them shared their own story of how they came to Christ and how their lives changed as a result of their salvation.

Saige Batza, a freshman psychology major at the university, shared her testimony: “Ever since I was a little girl, I was taught to believe in a God that was loving, sacrificial and intimate with His people. When someone asks me what I believe, I simply tell them, ‘As a Christian, I believe that following Christ and having a relationship with Him is the most important aspect of my life.’ Faith is all about believing in what you cannot see. For me, faith is an everyday practice that requires determination and commitment.”

Saige continued to explain her journey with Christianity, and how it defines her life’s work. “I believe God sent his Son to sacrifice His life to save mine, which is the ultimate form of love. He is the model we should all strive to live after. No one is perfect, nor should we try to be. Just knowing that we have a God that inspires us to do better everyday, gives us the motivation to keep going.”

Saige, along with many others at the university, has struggled with anxiety in her past. “Growing up, I had a very different childhood than one might expect. I was born prematurely at 24 weeks, weighing only 1 lb 4 ounces. I was born with a cleft-lip birth defect that resulted in me having 20 major reconstructive surgeries throughout my early life. I wasn’t even expected to live past birth.” 

She recounts the struggles she had to endure, which ultimately led her to Christianity. “I believe that I have a purpose in this life, and without my relationship with God, I wouldn’t have even taken my first breath of life as a newborn. I give all the glory to Him.” 

Antoinette Yen, a healthcare administration major at the university, shared her story. “For me, Easter is no longer the season of Easter cakes anymore. While it used to be full of colorfully glazed cream cupcakes and Easter eggs? I never questioned this until I lost my confidante, my grandmother about a year ago.”

“Grandma had beaten cancer, and Easter was the day my family decided to honor her courage and strength in overcoming a disease that would have consumed her. Were we finally out of the woods? Certainly not. Two days before Easter, Grandma complained of fever and shortness of breath. A preliminary test resulted in a positive result for the now-ever-increasing COVID-19. What I didn’t realize at the time was what lay ahead for my family. But what I did know from all the stories that filled columns of print media, was that people either got better or became very sick, and in some cases never survived.”

Antoinette continued to share her experiences, remembering how painful this time was for her and her family. “The unpleasant video call discussions about grandma’s inability to breathe was hard to experience. But that was just the start. I remember getting a call at 5:00 a.m. the next morning telling me that my grandmother had to be transferred to a different hospital because she required ventilator support. A call from a hospital in the early hours of the morning is never good news, and my heart was braced for the worst.”

She shared personal details about her faith and how it ultimately gave her strength to persevere. “Having faith in the unknown is, after all, a part of having a relationship with Christ. When the plot is hazy and the ending’s unknown, When there is no logical explanation for why you are in your current situation. When you are unable to see the future or what lies ahead is when your faith is tested.”

Remembering the last time she interacted with her grandma before her passing, Antoinette said, “I recall my last video call with my grandmother before she was intubated. I even remember taking a screenshot of how she looked, and despite having so many good pictures filled with good memories, I chose to keep it. It was, in fact, our final conversation, and I wanted to remember it forever.”

Antoinette holds onto the memories she shared with her grandma, and the lessons she learned from her growing up, “My grandmother used to tell me that Christ always has a plan and that we are merely followers. God wants to use the uncertain, unknown, and confusing times in our lives to draw us closer to Him, so that we can trust Him so completely that we won’t need to know how the story ends because we know Him.”

“Reflecting on my grandma’s many teachings I ask with faith ‘what is this meant to teach you?’ In the end, not knowing—as difficult as it is—is what strengthens my faith. I try to make sense of everything that is going on in my life and put all the puzzle pieces together in some way. I try to figure out God’s perspective and plan. I will have faith that His plan for me is good, even if it takes me through dark and lonely places.”

Both Saige and Antoinette share their experiences with the hope that audiences and students alike will come to recognize the importance of having faith, especially when facing trials in life. 

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