A Brand New Beginning // 新開始
Having been through the uncontrollable ups and downs of life, looking back reveals God’s hands at work in our lives. Our reader shares how God uses people and events to lead her to the beginning of a new life.
For a very long time, I couldn’t muster up the courage to share my testimony. But I want other people to feel God’s love too, so I have decided to put it down in writing.
I was born into a good family. Both my parents worked and we were quite well off. Religious faith has never been present in our household. As my father always said, “only the weak needs faith, I believe in myself.” When I was young, I had to attend a religious studies class in school. At that time, I also did not understand why people would want to rely on Jesus and not just their own wisdom.
Later, my father got sick and could not work anymore. Our family was living on our savings and the atmosphere at home went downhill into a valley of depression. During my teenage years, my heart turned black. Even though I didn’t do anything that was considered very wrong, my thoughts were rotten and hatred and jealousy corrupted my heart.
One day, I started going to church. I went every Sunday because I had nothing else to do, but I refused to listen to the pastor’s preaching or the sisters’ sharing about Jesus because I did not believe. Gradually over time, I began becoming less reluctant towards God-related topics. People at church really cared about me and showed me a lot of love. I started to like going to church. Nevertheless, just because I have become more well-behaved, the wrong things that I’ve done in the past did not leave me. They remained in my heart, hurting me and making me feel guilty.
At the end, there were two things that led me to believe in God. The first was my father. He decided to end his own life but did not succeed. He told us later that he believed it was Jesus who had saved him. I couldn’t believe it. My proud and arrogant father, who used to always say he would only believe in himself, had chosen to believe in God. And the fact that his life was saved was a solid fact. I couldn’t even convince myself that it was just a coincidence. I felt that it must be God’s plan.
The second thing is about my own life. It slowly started to change. My bad friends left me, my grades were improving, my relationship with my family started to restore and I became a kinder person. At that time, I was experiencing a low point in life but every week, the pastor’s preaching spoke to me personally as if it was designed just for me. The truth that was spoken was exactly what I needed to hear. I didn’t just suddenly believe in God overnight. It was because of the many things that have happened over the past few months that I slowly began to believe.
After I had accepted Jesus, my life had been improving in all aspects. It was unbelievable that God has chosen to bless me, who had a black heart, with a new life. Every time during worship, when I thought about how God did not give up on me no matter how bad I had been, I would feel so touched and cry.
However, the mistakes I had made in the past did not leave me even after I had accepted Jesus. I had a lover whom I met when love was lacking in my life. He would always hurt me. After I had become a Christian, I wanted him to know God as well. After several attempts, he told me that he didn’t want to believe in God. I prayed and asked God what to do. This man kept breaking my heart and was a bad influence. I felt God telling me to leave him. I did not dare to leave because I was afraid that he would hurt me if I did. But sometimes when I felt lonely, I would want to keep him by my side. With my Heavenly Father, I am no longer alone, so why would I feel lonely? Even with this in mind, I lingered at where I was for a few years. Recently, I tried something new while serving in church. It was something that I never thought I was capable of doing. From then on, I kept thinking about my faith a lot more often than I used to. During worship one day, we were singing a song, of which the lyrics said, because of Christ Jesus, all our fears would disappear and we can face the day. I was inexplicably encouraged by this and I suggested breaking up to my lover. This time, he didn’t reject the idea. After I left him, I also left my bad habits and I felt myself growing closer to God every day. Looking back, isn’t all this in God’s plan?
Jesus relentlessly brought me new life time and again. I feel like my Christian life is just beginning.
Image credit: flickr.com/west-park