Watch: Danny’s testimony
Danny grew up poor and vowed to become successful. In the process, he chased success passionately and became blinded to how he hurt his own family by neglecting their emotional needs. Danny received healing as he allowed the Holy Spirit to show him the truth in his heart that would set him free. Praise God!
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My marriage suffered and my relationship with my kids became more distant. God sent many warning signs but l was blinded by my fear and my drive for success.
My name is Danny Lim. I am 48 years old. I was born in Indonesia and migrated to Melbourne Australia at the age of 4.
A church sponsored our migration so my dad could train to be a Christian pastor. My father’s qualifications as a civil engineer wasn’t recognised in Australia, so he worked as a taxi driver by day and studied computer programming by night. My mother worked at various jobs during the week while also looking after my older brother and me.
After graduating from his theological degree, my father pastored an Indonesian church of around 200 while my mother played the organ. He didn’t take any salary from the church as he believed that being a pastor was his calling. My dad was my advisor and mentor while mum provided us with unconditional love.
However, due to dad and mum’s busy schedule taking care of the church and providing for the family’s financial needs, I somehow felt neglected and emotionally abandoned.
To gain attention, l sought to stand out and got a spiky punk hairstyle with shaved sides, a mullet back and blond tips my early teens. I developed an angry nature, often getting into fights and other mischief.
Our family were very poor compared to the kids around us. We lived in a housing commission area and we bought our clothes from the Salvation Army. l remember having only one pair of yellow rubber rain boots which l wore all year round. I recall vowing never to be in such poverty again when l grew up.
It was my fear of poverty and my strong desire to gain the attention and approval of my parents which drove me to pursue success at all cost.
After many years of struggle, God had indeed blessed our family. Our family’s property business flourished. My dad and brother generously made me a partner and taught me the business. l got married and moved overseas in early 2003. We were no longer poor anymore but my fear kept driving me to expand and to seek greater success. With the kind and generous support our our families, our business expanded into Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the United States. God had blessed us abundantly. l was married with a beautiful wife and four wonderful children, but while l over-provided for them financially, l had neglected their needs and abandoned them emotionally.
It is not surprising that my marriage suffered and my relationship with my kids became more distant. God sent many warning signs but l was blinded by my fear and my drive for success.
With the emergence of COVID in 2020, our business was greatly affected.
There was a very real possibility that we could have lost everything we had, and still owe money to the banks. I was reminded of Deuteronomy 31:6 that says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
God promised He would never abandon me, and I felt God challenging me to trust Him and make Him my shelter. I was now ready to let go. I deeply confessed and wholeheartedly repented of my sin of worshipping success and money. Simultaneously, l vowed to trust in God’s provision alone to take care of our family from that day onwards.
Also, I now realise that God was always with me and had never left me.
He was right next to me when l wore my yellow plastic rain boots, and is still with me today. I no longer feel the compulsion to pursue success at all cost. Instead, I feel a quiet confidence that God will provide. God has set me free from my fear of poverty and l now serve a new master.
Around that time, God led me to some Holy Spirit-led believers to pray for me. I had previously forgiven my parents for being largely absent during young childhood and thought l had dealt with that. Those who ministered to me taught me to ask the Holy Spirit the truth in my heart. I was surprised to find myself crying uncontrollably as l confessed feeling abandoned by my dad even though logically l knew my dad was obeying his calling to be a pastor and was working to provide us a better future. He didn’t mean for me to feel that way.
God showed me that l was angry and bitter with God because l felt abandoned by Him also. I repented of judging God and felt peace. I realised that all the things l felt about my dad’s neglect were now what my children felt of me. I can see that God has been restoring my heart so l can be a better husband and father.
I feel so thankful that God has changed my attitude at home and let me step up to be a more loving and present husband and father.
For example, rather than picking up the phone to look at work emails the first thing after waking up, l found myself getting up early each morning to prepare and bring kids to school so my wife can sleep in. It is also not surprising that my relationship with them has began to change and improve. God healed me of my fears and hurts and l am free to enjoy his love, peace and security.
God has been gracious to our family and till today, He continues to provide for all our needs. However, many risks and challenges in the business still lay ahead.
God is asking me and asks each one of us: What are your fears?
Are you afraid you will lose your job or business and you will not be able to provide for yourself or for your family? Or do you feel you are unlovable and are afraid that you’re going to remain single? Perhaps you are in a relationship but you fear your partner may leave you? Maybe you have made some bad choices and fear God could never forgive you. The Bible tells us that even when beloved Israelites were unfaithful, God always forgave them and accepted them back whenever they repented and sought Him wholeheartedly.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. “
I’m convinced that God has a special and unique plan for each and every one of us.
And I am 100% confident, that when we seek God with all our heart and put our hope in Him completely, our loving Heavenly Father listens to our cry, and will be our shelter and provide us with all that we need both in this life and in the life to come.
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