A Father’s Love: Meity Chen’s Conversion Story
Meity’s conversion story is a part of our five-part Holy Week series: Conversion Stories & Encouragement for New Converts. Learn more about the series here!
Country of Residence: Australia
Religious Background: Buddhism
Year you entered or came back to the Catholic Church: 2002
Her Conversion Story
I grew up in a traditional family that practiced Buddhism. I was taught that I had to do good in order to have a better life after this life (Buddhism believes in a cycle of rebirth before entering Heaven). When I was 14 years old, my parents sent me to the Catholic School in town for its prestigious reputation. It was through my experience there that I was exposed to the teaching of other religions and got to know Christianity.
Since attending Catholic School, I have learned that God is a Father who is ever loving and forgiving and always reaches out to His children.
However, when I was a teenager I could not imagine such a loving Father when the only father I knew was alcoholic and abusive.
Dad was an alcoholic ever since I could remember. He drank excessively and would scream and throw things. Mom always got my sister and I away from him. The image of drunk dad always terrified me. He was a man full of pride that would never say ‘sorry’ nor acknowledge his mistakes.
As part of our Catholic school program, we would attend Mass on the first Friday of the month. As I was sitting in the last pew of the Church, I had a clear view of the Altar and the Cross. I looked at the Cross and asked myself “If God is a loving Father, why did He let His Son died on the Cross?”. I was just turning 15 years old and this was the beginning of my spiritual journey into Catholicism.
I joined RCIA in my local Church when I was 16 years old. I journeyed for 2 years, searching for my Heavenly Father. However, because I was considered an underaged child, the Church would not allow me to be baptised unless my parents gave the consent to do so. My parents were against my choice to be baptised, my dad was furious. It was a very hurtful time for me. I felt disappointed, alone and wanted to forgo getting baptized.
In my loneliness, I found myself flipping through my notebook that I used for personal reflection and found a note called “Father’s Love Letter.”
This note was given to me I attended a retreat organised by my school. The passage warmed my heart and reminded me that I have a Father who loves me unconditionally. It was difficult to receive this love, but God continued to affirm me of His love. My yearning for my father’s love was fulfilled in a way I least expected. Psalm 139 was my prayer and my comfort of God’s love for me.
I realized that God the Father had always been reaching out for me first.
He knew my brokenness and limitations, yet He loved me. He saw my yearning and cries for love, He chose to love me. He invited me into a banquet of Love in the communion with His Son in the Sacrament of Eucharist. Despite all of the challenges I faced, I finally entered the Church after 3 years of searching for Fatherly love.
Meity’s Words of Encouragement for New Catholic Converts
On the day of my baptism, I received a bookmark with bible verse written,
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last - and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16
I believe God the same message for you! He has called you and brought you into Catholic Church. Draw strength from Mary, the Queen of Heaven, and be inspired by our Saints - they’re ordinary people like you and I, but they have lived their lives faithfully in God. They have fought the good fight and now it’s our turn!
My prayer is with you as you begin this new journey. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. We have a Father who is ever loving and compassionate.
Do not be afraid to reach out to Him. I will end by sharing with you a verse that is very special to me, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
About the Convert: Meity Chen
Meity had been part of Youth Ministries in several countries (Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia) in the last 15 years. Together with her husband, currently running young married couple ministry called CANA with the focus to promote and build domestic church in family life. She’s also a volunteer catechist for the Catechesis of Good Shepherd.