| I was born in the southern part of China. When I was only two, my father was persecuted and died in jail due to his "right wing" views. Since then I began to experience the sadness of death, a broken family, separation and abandonment. My elder brother was given away to my uncles who were "anti-revolutionary". My mother and my sister were sent to the countryside for "reform" and I stayed in the city with others. Later on my mother re-married. |
I suffered from the bitterness of life when I was young and always felt the coldness and loneliness of this world. I became very sensitive and sentimental, often thinking about death. I could not understand why anyone like me, who had no one to care for, should come to this earth. When I was three, I was taken away by a strange when I was playing on the street with my elder brother. When I was twelve, I developed a serious amenia due to mal-nutrition. I did not even know that I was sick until my mother came back for visiting. She thought that I looked very pale, and took me to the hospital and found out that the concentration of my blood only half of the others. Since I did not get attention from my parents or other family members, I was very much longing for love and comfort. I came from a poor family and suffered a lot from that. But I knew, even when I was young, that nothing can compare with "love"!
I remember when I was little, my grandma came from the countryside to visit my uncle. She felt sorry for me and told me, "You can't choose the home that you were born into, but you can build your own home in the future!" This became "the truth of life" for me later on as I had tried so hard to change my fate.
When I graduated from high school, the "cultural revolution" was not yet over, so I could not go on for further education. I worked in a textile factory for three years making thread. When universities started to accept students again, I tired hard to prepare for the examinations while I was working in the factory. It took me two years to get into the college as I was not accepted the first time. After I graduated I was sent to the remote countryside to work there. Then, I started to think about taking graduate study. Again, I tried very hard to prepare for the examinations, and again it took me two years to be accepted. After that I left the southern part of China for the Northeast for graduate study. After two years, I was given a chance to go abroad to continue my education.
I remember when I wrote to my mother and told her that I was going abroad to study, she replied, "Don't even think about it. We have no money, no relative outside of China and no one can support you!" She didn't know that I had a full scholarship from the Canadian government and my supervisor even paid for my air tickets!
At that time it seemed that I was the master of my own fate. I could change it according to my own wish! I thought of myself as a small, weak girl who was able to move from the South to North China, from an Eastern to a Western country to create a brand new future; who was able to move from being a lowly factory worker to a graduate student, with an opportunity to go abroad to became an outstanding person, I was very proud of myself! At that time there were not many students could have the chance to go abroad to study, and even less people can get the full scholarship from foreign government! In my school, I was the only luck one! However, even so, deep in my heart I could still feel the pain due to lack of love in my life; and deep down I still had very low self-esteem due to my family background.
Early in 1986 I flew to Canada alone and was thinking that now I could build a better and happier future for myself. In the following years I moved from eastern Canada to western and back again to the east. I received a degree and got a job. I was falling in love, then married and had a son. In 1995 our family moved to the U.S. In 1997 we bought a beautiful single family house. Although in those years I went through a lot of winds and storms, endured tremendous sorrows and troubles, but eventually, I had fulfilled my American dreams! I thought I had built a no so bad "home" for myself.
I became a Christian in 1988 when I watched the movie, "The Story of Jesus". But at that time, I was very busy with studies and had no time or desire to know God more. I did not go to Church until 1993, and was baptized in 1997. Even then, I was only a believer, who believes there is a God who loves us and sent His only son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, so that we could be saved and go to heaven when we die. I had not experienced Him and had no personal relationship with Him. And heaven seems too remote to think about it. At that time I was kind of content with my life. Even if there were problems, I would solve them by myself or if there were burdens, I would carry them by myself. I tried not to bother God for help and was not sure if He would really help anyway.
In the beginning of 2000, my husband wanted to return to China to start a new career. I did not agree with it, but still he left. He told me he was just going back to take a look. However, he did not return and even quit his job in USA. What is more is that he wanted me and our son to stay in the U.S. in case he did not do well in China and needed to return. Since then my world changed. I thought this is not the kind of life I wanted. Family is so important to me! No matter how hard it could be, as long as the family stays together, I would take it! I could not face the separation of my family, and I knew a number of families which were broken due to the husband returning to China. Therefore, I could easily imagine my own future.
Back then, when I went to church, brothers and sisters would come to me and tell me that I should not let my husband return to China because of the lack of moral standards and the tendency to have affairs outside of the marriage. I thought to myself, "Do you think I don't know about this? Do you think I can stop him from going?" I could feel that my heart was crying but no one listened to me, no one understood me and no one could help me. Under these horrible circumstances I became very depressed. I felt as though my life had come to an end. I could see no light in front of me and nothing but darkness ahead. I was the sort of person who pursued perfection and if prevented I would rather give up. Therefore, I was living each day painfully and could not sleep well, always crying at night. Living was a suffering. I would rather die. No one knew I was depressed. Besides my 10 year old son, no one else was around me. Brothers and sisters felt sorry for me sometimes, but there was not much they could do to help. And my God seemed far, far away from me.
In the summer vacation of 2000 I bought return tickets and took my son to China to visit my husband. During this trip I experienced serious vaginal bleeding twice. After visiting a hospital I was found to have Uterus leomyoscarcoma, a type of cancer that spreads through the bloodstream, not through the lymphocyte. Since my life was in danger, the doctors wanted to operate immediately. I thought that God finally took mercy on me and He wanted to take me home now to the place with no tears and sorrows. I was very calm and did not care where the operation would be. God was going to take me home anyway. I knew He would definitely arrange for good care for my son when I was gone, so I had no worry about anything.
Then I collected some basics and my Bible before going to the hospital. I decided that if I died, I wanted to be cremated with my Bible. That night, when I was alone in the hospital I saw many hopeless faces in pain and heard cancer patients vomiting and crying after chemotherapy. I thought, "I am leaving this earth soon and will suffer no more". I was happy for myself.
felt very calm. After the injection of anesthesia, I said good bye to the world and thought it was all over. But then I was awakened from my sound sleep by others who were calling my name. I opened my eyes and wondered why I was back again. I was very confused. I had not met Jesus yet, had not been to that white and beautiful place yet, but I was back again! (I knew that many dying people had this kind of experience before they came back to life). I was very disappointed but knew there was not much I could do. So I talked to God. "God, you don't let me die. Then I will live for you, because I don't want to live for myself anymore. I had enough with my life and it was too hard for me.”
So, I changed my way of living and dedicated myself to God. I am a serious and faithful person. I knew that I had made a covenant with God, and I should not take it as a joke. Therefore everyday when I woke up I asked God, "What do you want me to do today? Please have your Holy Spirit guide me!" During the first few days I could only lie on my bed, but I started to read the Bible (it was good that I had my Bible with me). I also began to spread the Gospel to my roommate and her family. Later, when I could walk around, I went into other rooms and talked about the power of God. By the time I was discharged, two patients had accepted Jesus as their Savior. (They both died later.)
After the operation, I stayed in China to recover and my son went to the local Chinese school. I began to preach the gospel to people around me and helped them whenever I could. Although life was still not easy for me and I was still struggling, God often reminded me of the purpose of my life and helped me to learn to focus on Him. His grace never left me and guided me to a higher place each day. I learned not to care about what I gained or lost in my life; not to ask if my husband still loved me or whether he loved someone else. I learned to ask God every day, "God, what do you want me to do today? May your will be done!" At night I would ask, "God, did I please you with what I have done today?" I had switched the purpose of my life from pleasing myself to pleasing God. And if God is pleased with me, I would be happy!
After I offered my life to God, He started to make a new way for me. I was hired as a foreign expert in an university to teach English. Through this I met many students and teachers, and that gave me the chance to preach the gospel and to help others, which gave me great joy. I often invited students to my home, spent weekend and holidays together with them and tried to deliver God's love to them. Later I met many foreign teachers who were all Christian. We helped and encouraged one another, praying and serving God together. We arranged home Bible study and preaching and brought many students and others around us to Jesus. All these experiences gave me great joy from heaven.
In May of 2003 Chinese schools all closed because of "SARS", so I took my son back to the U.S. for the summer vacation. Since there was still about a month left before the U.S. schools finished for the summer, I put my son back in the school. I had never thought that he would not want to return to China to study any more. Because his Chinese was not good, he could not catch up with his age group in China and had totally lost his confidence. Now in the U.S, he was considered as an outstanding student and was put in the honor class. When I saw him came home with great confidence, I was happy for him, and agreed to stay with him in the U.S.
It was not until then that I realized how hard life could be. I could not take care of both my husband and my son as one wanted to live in China and the other in the U.S. A broken family cannot give a child a comfort and a secure home. Our family became a single parent family and I became a single mother, a person who should be sympathized with, helped and sometimes looked down upon. When I went to church I heard people say, "You should pray to God more often, so He will bring back your husband." Or, "You should learn to be a good wife, so he will turn his heart back." Suddenly I became a person who needs advice, who is a failure in life. I had no where to express my feelings. I started to wonder how I am going to live for God. Does God still want to use me? When I saw other families being blessed by God, happy and sound, I felt sorry for myself and my son. Even if I did not want to live for myself, I could not ignore my son's feelings. I became confused, disappointed, lonely and isolated. "Oh, God, where are you? Why are you not answering my prayers?" My heart started bleeding again. This time I was like a wounded dog, hiding in a corner, licking my own wounds.
However, God did not forsake me! He has His beautiful purpose in my life. In 2004, after I watched the movie, "The Passion of the Christ", I started to write songs! This is a miracle in my life! I could pour out all of my feelings to God now! I wrote songs almost every day. I gave all my tears and sorrows to God and then, He filled my heart with spring of joy, of life. I experienced great love and comfort from Him! It just like what Job said, "My ear had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you." During this time God was truly my only support and help, my strength and hope. Through His love, my withered life started to glow again.
In the summers of 2004 and 2005 my son and I both joined short term missions to Taiwan and China for Summer English Camps. I led many students and teachers to the Lord. God's grace was with me and he gave me strength to allow me to net people, like netting fish, and fill my heart with the joy of heaven. Since then I would go for short term missions every year. Wherever there is needed, I will go to help, to comfort and to spread the gospel. The more I serve, the more joy comes to me.
Now, I have started this music ministry. I thought I had no ability and was incapable of doing it. I was without any confidence before, was hoping to give the songs to others to sing and record. But as no one took the songs, I knew that God wanted me to do it, and he even wanted me to sing! Now I truly know that I can do nothing by myself, but with God's strength I can do anything! I know it would show more of His power through the weak one. May all the glory go to our God!
I once lived for myself and was not happy. Now I live for God, and I am very happy and can enjoy my life. I had never thought that the next half part of my life could be more colorful and meaningful! Jesus said, “Come to me, and I will give you life, and it will be a more abundant life!” I really understand it now. The most beautiful blessing in my life is knowing Jesus! He raised me up from the dust to a place I had never dreamed of. Who am I to deserve His love like this, to be chosen as His beloved daughter, as His precious vessel. I am no longer full of self-pity, no longer searching for love, for His love has made me satisfied, made me noble!
I have been a Christian for more than 20 years. Thinking of the road I had been through, my life was really changed when I was completely broken, that means when I realized that I am nothing, that I do need God’s help; the closest relationship with God was when I felt most lonely and desperate. All these years, God had mold me and changed me from someone who thought that she could manage her own fate into someone who is willing to hand her life to God, to let Him mold her, use her, and willing to be His Holly vessel. Although I am still far from being a righteous person, in Christ I am renewed every day.
Although the situation I am facing now is still very bad, and the road in front of me is still very bumpy and twisted and I still don’t know what will tomorrow be, these are not important to me any more, I only longing to walk with my God everyday and to be His precious vessel. And I do know deep in my heart that the God who took care of me before and now, will definitely take care of me tomorrow. I also believe that He will take my hand and walk with me everyday. God will always be my fortress, my shield and my refuge! My God is a powerful God and in Him nothing is impossible. He is the Lord of Lords, King of Kings!
Now everyday when I wake up, I thank God for giving me another day of life. And when I think about God’s grace, my heart will be filled with love. No matter what kind of circumstance I am in, my heart will always be in peace. Although the home I came from was not a good one and the home I built was not good either, I know that God has prepared an eternal home for me which is so good that no ears had heard, no eyes had seen and no minds could image! This is the words from the Bible; it is God’s promise to us. Now I am trying hard to reach this home because I know everything on earth will be gone soon!
I can never pay back the grace my Lord has given to me. I want to give myself as a living sacrifice to Him, to live for Him every day. I want to use my life to witness His grace. I want to praise Him all my life and spread His holy name to the ends of the earth!