Born and raised in China, I did not know much about Christianity till I came to the U.S. However, I did believe there was a Supreme Being. Soon after I came to the University of Florida for my PhD, I met the man who later became my husband and started attending church with him. At that time, I did not understand the Bible and I did not know God personally.
A couple of crises in my life started me on a spiritual journey to discover the meaning of life. In 2012, my father-in-law was diagnosed with the most malignant type of brain cancer. There was no effective treatment for it. He was given 6 months to live. When the doctor explained his condition and his options, his response was “I had a great life, if that’s God’s plan for me, I accept it.” He decided to forego treatment. He deteriorated quickly and passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday of the next year.
Watching the whole process made me realize how fragile human life is. I was also impressed by the way he handled the situation; he seemed at peace about where he was going after death. I knew that this was because of his faith. At his memorial service, the pastor referenced the Final Judgment and the Book of Life. It was all new to me and I was ready to find out more about God.
The opportunity came when the church threw a welcome party for new students. The speaker spoke about God's love and forgiveness for our sins, which can be defined as our failure to meet His perfect standards. He also explained how we can know God personally by inviting Jesus into our lives. That weekend I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
My worldview took a 180 degree turn after I became a Christian. Galatians 2:20 describes the new me: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Before I knew Jesus, I worked hard to gain worldly success in my academic career. Now I still work hard to excel but it has become secondary to my desire to love and honor God in all I do. So, for me, success is defined as doing the work God has created me to do: to mentor and conduct research with integrity and whenever the opportunities arise - with students or colleagues- share with conviction why I believe in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 2:20. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
My undergrad alma mater
West China University of Medical Sciences, Chengdu, China
My worst subject in school
My research is in the area of pharmacogenomics of drug-induced adverse events and Cardio-Oncology. For more information, please visit my website: https://pharmacy.ufl.edu/faculty/yan-gong/
← Go back