I Found Purpose through a Physical Barrier and a Powerful God
I was born and raised in a normal Chinese nuclear family. Like in many other families in China, my parents provided the best for me. Pulling strings to make things happen, they sent me to the best kindergarten, the best primary school, middle school in our city, which is one of the best twelve foreign language schools in the whole country. Then because I didn't do well in college entrance exams, my father and I agreed after discussion that I'd receive my higher education in U.S.
However, once I was in the U.S. I found I was more than lost, I was purposeless. Back in China, I was taught in school and in society "to find a purpose for my life." The problem was, I still couldn’t find any. Education, friendships, marriage, and career - ideas concerning these things in life were taught in our culture as "purposes" of life. However, I began to realize these things just happen in our lives and don’t satisfy a longing for lasting purpose. According to my culture, if one falls short in any of these areas, he or she is considered a "disappointment" or a "failure." I felt like a failure because I didn’t know my purpose. All this time that I was told to do this or that. Even my college major was picked by father, and his reason was “many others do.” Because my family and educators were constantly telling me how to think, I really didn't form my own opinion on anything.
I carried my emptiness inside to America in August 2008, regardless of the culture shock and language barrier I experienced, I was losing focus on why I was here because the motivation wasn't really there in the first place. I started to drink and learn filthy slangs only to try to "fit in." My grades dropped rapidly and I didn't pass "freshman composition" class until the fourth semester.
However, soon I would experience more than a culture shock: a physical barrier. One night in winter 2011, after I drank a glass of alcohol, my nose started to bleed. It lasted for forty minutes. The next day my gum started to bleed and wouldn't stop, then I started to shiver. After checking my blood counts and my bone marrow, a doctor told me I had APL (acute promyelocytic leukemia). I was frozen. Immediately I could just see an image of Death like what I saw in movies, from far-far away suddenly appear right in front of my face, as if he was saying "it's time to go." I felt alone and helpless. I was so terrified that I didn't dare to tell my parents.
In the following weeks, I went under chemotherapy treatments and lost my appetite. In that town, I didn't know anybody, but some people from a local church started to show up in my room. They talked with me, gave me food, clothing, and books to read. One day, laying on my bed, I started to read the Gospel of Matthew, until my eyes were somehow fastened on that one verse: heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. I read it again and again, and I felt there was a voice deep inside of me saying: "I got your back. Don't be afraid. I got your back." Then, there was this feeling so warm and compelling, like a volcano was about to erupt from within. My tears was streaming all over my face. I felt I needed to do something, so I got out of my bed and went into the bathroom. There I couldn't stand on my feet anymore. I knelt down and prayed this prayer: God, if you are out there, save me, help me, I'm desperate, nobody else can save me now.
God answered that prayer. I regained my appetite from the next day, then I got discharged. In August 2011, I was enrolled back in school. And The Lord didn't stop but continued to draw me and plant me in a local church family called Lighthouse Christian Fellowship in Alfred unto this day.
I grew up in China not knowing God, neither was I told about Jesus. There was always a desire stirring in me since I was little, wanting to have something that's solid, sincere, and real. When my family would burn incense and make wishes in Buddha temples, I would just stand outside and wait for them to finish. After Jesus revealed Himself to me on that day, and as He continues to draw me to know Him, I know very surely that desire is satisfied. He is solid, sincere, and very real. He is alive to me and I am alive because of Him. He is the one and only true God.
I Found Love and Love Found Me
When I was a little girl, I went to Sunday school and vacation Bible school. I liked going and I heard about Jesus. One day I said my
salvation prayer but I didn't understand it. I thought that what I heard about Jesus was good and important, but I just didn't understand it.
For the next few years, I went through the motions of life. I was a really quiet kid; in fact, I didn't talk much. I spent time with people sometimes, but I was mostly the “smile and nod” person. I had one friend as a teenager, but it still wasn't that close intimate kind of friendship. I began to realize my loneliness. I started to be aware of my need for closeness, and for love. I was sad. I was lonely. I was hurting. So I tried to find love and happiness my way. In my teenage mind, love came from a boy/man. When a guy did come along, he made me feel like someone finally cared.
This began a cycle of finding a man, living together, and thinking “I'll be loved and I'll be happy with him.” However soon I faced unmet expectations and disappointment. Instead of stopping the cycle, I’d find another man and start over again, and again, and again. I put all of my trust in these men to love me the way I so desperately wanted and needed to be loved. I trusted them to make me happy and fulfilled and content. I spent a lot of years struggling with heartache and pain because I didn't understand where love comes from, where joy comes from. Jesus tells us "I am the way, the truth, and the life." I had started going back to church during these last three years and felt God calling my heart. I finally gave up trying to find happiness my way. Clearly what I was trying wasn't working.
I decided to trust God instead. I knew that living with my boyfriend was sinning so I moved out, I repented of that sin. While I don’t know exactly what it means to pursue Christ, I'm giving it my best attempt. As I do, God is guiding me! He is revealing His unfailing and ever faithful love for me! As I sing my praise to Him and read His Word (the Bible) and constantly seek to be in a close relationship with Jesus, He has broken and humbled me to know that His ways are so much greater than my ways! For the first time in my life, I'm content with just me and Jesus. I feel loved in a way that I've never felt before! I have a boldness that I've never had before and I know it's all because of the Lord. Because I asked for His will to be done in my life and not mine. I feel like my life has started over, a brand new life full of hope and love! Praise the Lord!
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1474 Randolph Road
Alfred, NY 14802
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Every Month we commit to pray and fast for our community.
Morning Prayer from 6:30AM to 7AM every morning,
Fasting and Prayer on Wednesdays,
Reading The Word and the Book of the Month.
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