A Brand New Beginning // 新開始

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Leaves (west-park)

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.
經歷過人生裡不在掌握中的起伏,回頭卻發現神早有安排。我們的讀者分享神如何透過她生命裡的人和事帶領她到生命的新開始。

一直以來,我甚少有勇氣講自己的見證。但我希望其他人也能感受到主的愛,所以選擇寫下來。

我出生在一個完整的家。雙親都有工作,經濟上很富足。家裡一直沒有信仰,父親經常說:「只有軟弱的人才需要信仰,我只信自己。」小時候老師要我讀經文,也不明白為何人不可倚靠自己的聰明而要依靠耶和華。

後來父親病了,無法再工作,我們一家靠著積蓄過活,家裡氣氛變差了,瀰漫著抑鬱的氣息。在青少年時期,我的心腸變得很壞,儘管我沒做什麼壞事,但我的思想變得腐化,憎恨、嫉妒蠶食着我的心。

偶然之下,我開始去教會,每個星期天都去,只因為我閒得很。對於牧師的講道,姐妹們講耶穌,我都抗拒聽,因為那時候我不信。也許是潛移默化,我漸漸對有關主的話題不再感到抗拒。教會裡的人也很關心我,讓我感受到很多愛。我開始喜歡去教會。儘管如此,很多我做過的錯事沒有隨著我變乖離我而去,它們殘留在我的心,傷害著我,讓我內疚。

最後有兩件事令我信了主。第一件事關於父親, 他選擇結束自己的生命卻沒有成功,後來他告訴我們,他相信耶穌救了他。我不敢相信,從前傲慢自大的他,口裡說著只相信自己,現在卻信神了,而且他的生命被拯救了是事實,我無法說服自己這只是偶然,相信必定是神的安排。

第二件事,是我自己的生命,開始慢慢地變化,壞的朋友離我而去,學業上得到進步,與家人關係開始修復,心也一點點地變善良。這時我正經歷人生的低潮,每星期牧師的講道彷彿就像說給我聽,裡面的道理剛好是我合用的。我相信神不是突然間的事,而是發生了這一切幾個月間,慢慢地我就相信了。

信了耶穌後,我的生命一直往好的方向發展,讓我有點不敢相信,神挑選了壞心腸的我,給了我重生。每次敬拜時想起自己有多麼壞,神都沒有放棄我,我都會感動落淚。

可是舊日的錯誤並沒有因為我信主而完全離我而去。我有一位戀人,是我從前缺乏愛時認識的。他常常會傷害我,我信了主後想帶他信主。努力過後,他向我表示他不願意信。我祈禱說怎麼辦,他經常傷害我的心,他對我有壞的影響。我感到神叫我離開他,但我不敢,因為我怕他會再傷害我。有時候我又因感到寂寞,而想把他留在身邊。在我有了天上的父,我已不是獨自一人,為何要感到寂寞?雖然我有這樣的想法,但我也拖拖拉拉了數年。直到最近,我在教會的侍奉做了新的嘗試,這是我以前一直以為自己無法勝任的。從那時開始,我經常思考我的信仰,比以前頻密了許多。有一次敬拜,我們唱了一首歌,歌詞說因為主耶穌,我們所有的恐懼都消失,我們可以面對明天。我得到莫名的勇氣,提出了分開。這次他沒有死纏爛打。隨著我離開他,我也離開了壞習慣,我感到與神的關係開始拉近,回頭看看,這一切不都是神給我安排好的嗎?

耶穌不斷為我帶來新生命,我常感到我的基督徒生涯,才剛剛開始。

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

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