CHAPTER 1. Beginnings
It began when Jesus Christ saved me at seven years of age. Before that, I somewhat knew the existence of God. My little mind thought He was up there in the sky somewhere. But I didn’t have a personal relationship with Him, and I was trapped in sin. He kept planting His Word within me until one Sunday class, His verse prodded my heart.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 KJV
My teacher said that Jesus wants to have a relationship with me and for that to happen, I need to open the door of my heart to let Him in. The lesson ended and my teacher did the invitation for the unsaved. Wanting to understand more about becoming a Christian, I raised my hand.
After taking me aside, my teacher explained the Gospel, that I am a sinner and in order to be free from sin, I need to open my heart’s door and accept Christ as my Saviour. Minutes later, I said yes, and my teacher helped me find the words to pray while I pray from my heart. Thus, Christ saved me. To my discovery, not only He’s in Heaven but also He’s omnipresent. And He’s within me, always.
CHAPTER 2. A Book & His Will
As a child, I didn’t like reading books; that is, apart from the Bible. I read for the sake of school. While I was eight, my third-grade teacher read aloud John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I thought, wow, I want to write something like that someday. Soon, I began to enjoy reading.
Around that time, either before or after my interest started, God used a Bible passage to call me (1 Samuel 3). But I had no idea what He was calling me towards, and I was still a young Christian drinking milk. As days turned into weeks, and weeks into years, I forgot about it.
CHAPTER 3. Failed Attempts
Throughout my childhood and teen years, I wrote many stories, within and outside of school. School assignments consisted of short snippets; during which, several teachers encouraged me to write more. I also read books, books, and more books: good and bad quality ones.
Besides assignments, I leisurely wrote stories on my own accord. I, however, would stop after a few paragraphs because I couldn’t figure what it lacked. My mind had a character and plot, but I needed something essential. On the other hand, I completed short poems. Poetry appealed to me because I could be creative in expressing my emotions with its form.
As for my stories, my numerous tries weren’t failures; rather, they were steps.
CHAPTER 4. I Sought His Guidance
I started Book D in high school, well, I intended it to be a short story. Like my past attempts, I wrote several pages and quit.
Also, I created a blog about book reviews and random topics of my life. The postings were somewhat frequent, and I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, God didn’t want me to blog those areas; He didn’t want me to even blog . . . yet. My purpose to blog was therefore worthless which led to my closing it.
In my final year of high school, I prayed for what He wants me to do. I considered colleges, universities, or even dive straight into work. My study interests included history, literature, business, and criminology.
Then God led me to study Business Management and International Business. Why? I have no idea. What matters was to follow Him.
CHAPTER 5. The Unexpected Field
I found myself typing research papers, stressing over group assignments, and barely passing difficult subjects. Although the courses appear futile, I realised what improved significantly were my critical thinking, people management, and perseverance.
One day, I showed a poem I wrote during high school to a professor (don’t ask me why as I can’t remember how it came about). After reading the poem, he asked me why I wasn’t writing. At that moment, God brought memories of past teachers who cheered me into my mind, reminding me of my desire to write.
Thus, I returned to writing while I continued university. Despite of writing leisurely, I wrote more consistently than before. My business courses helped in a way as they made me write papers nearly every week, and I expressed my thoughts and ideas easier and clearer than before in both assignments and leisure writing.
I wrote snippets of daily life and self-reflection. I even commenced a mystery novel which I soon destroyed due to my using real people as fictional characters. Little did I know I would rebuilt it down the tracks.
CHAPTER 6. The Promise
As you may have known from my introduction, I grew up in countries outside my birth country. After my first repatriation, I thought I won’t ever move again. However, God planned otherwise again.
While I sat in my campus, the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray for another country that I would move to. He brought the passages of Acts 8:26-40 and Acts 10 to my mind. Someone needed help (after my family moved, I found it was the church).
Also, God gave another promise: a career.
CHAPTER 7. Transiting
As God promised, my family moved again. That time was to the Czech Republic I began to email letters to a circle of friends (Book F) because I didn’t want to lose contact with them. In the other country, I was confused as to why I couldn’t find a job, yet He promised me a career.
CHAPTER 8. Answering the Past
While I waited for companies to call me, I wrote a mystery short story because why not. I would be keeping myself productive and redoing the failed mystery novel. I tried building my characters from scratch instead of basing them off from real people. Initially, the project was intended to be a one-time attempt in completing a project; after all, the career He promised would most likely be business-related.
I was wrong again.
Short Story A became the first story I’d completed. What came thereafter surprised me: I wanted to write more. No. He wanted me to write more, but I wasn’t sure.
I wrestled between applying for jobs and writing because I considered the possibility that writing was merely my own interest, not His. As I continued to pray, I began another project, Book A; before I knew it, I was writing seriously. Each word written meant one step of faith taken in Him.
Since then, God has been guiding me as my Mentor while my ideas and projects increased. During which, Christ continued to pull me closer to Him and I continued to learn more about Him.
While writing Book A, I eventually found what I lacked decades ago: Biblical messages and themes to give my stories meaning. It didn’t take me long to have a waterfall of ideas. By His wisdom, I would have a theme first, and subsequently form the characters and plot.
God drew me to thematic stories when I was eight and brought it back to me in my twenties. I wanted to depict Biblical messages through fiction and show readers how redemption in Christ and truth prevails amidst sin. My purpose drove the themes, and the themes drove the stories.
I soon started this website to record the guidance of Jesus Christ throughout my journey; along the way, He brought people to me to help. The journey is not easy and there were times when I thought of quitting. Although the process seems to get more arduous than before, God is faithful and abundant in grace and mercies to me.
Ultimately, the true journey doesn’t end with published works. It continues until I arrive Home.
Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.