When we let go of ourselves and surrender our lives to the Lord, He will lead us.
I was wandering in faith and was grateful that finally the Lord Jesus has become the Savior of my life. Now I don’t need to go to the priest for confession, because I can go directly to the Lord, and in Him, I am filled with comfort and encouragement.
Finding the Purpose of Life
Not long after graduating from university and started working, I was promoted to supervisor, and things seemed to go well. In reality, my life at that time was only work: going to work, getting off work, and getting back to work… During this period, I broke up with my boyfriend of ten years. Trapped in the confusion of life, I asked myself: what is the purpose of life? At the time, my boss was a Catholic and invited me to a catechism class. I remember in the first lesson, the teacher said that God knew that the world was unable to deal with their sins, so He sent His Son Jesus to the world to bear the consequences of their sins. Jesus was nailed to the cross to redeem our lives so that those who believe in Him will not go to hell but heaven instead. I was overjoyed to hear that I could go to heaven, so I continued attending the class and was eventually baptized in 1996.
After I became a Catholic, I pursued my religion seriously. I prayed to the Virgin Mary every day, I went to mass every week, and I did reconciliation (confession) with the priest every year. I was also involved in volunteer works. In 2000, I even went all the way to the Vatican and had a chance to get up close to the Pope, and I was very excited. But a few years had gone by, and I found my spiritual life stagnated. I didn’t know what the problem was. Then in 2008 (three years after immigrating to the U.S.), when the global economy collapsed, the department I worked in was moving to Panama. This meant I was about to lose my job. At the same time, my husband’s company was not doing well. Some tax issues could result in the company being sued. The two of us felt extremely stressed. My husband had sleepless nights, and he suspected that he was disturbed by evil spirits. He felt there was no way out in life, and he even thought about suicide.
Finding the Hope of Life
So, I took him to observe masses, hoping he would have some peace. But after several attempts and seeing that it did not help, I did not know what to do. I discussed the matter with my sister, and she suggested that I should try a Christian church. I did not know where to find a church like that, but later I found out from a Christian publication that there was a Chinese Christian church near my home. I followed the address and attended the worship service there.
After the service, the pastor talked to us enthusiastically. I told him that I was a Catholic and that he did not need to talk to me. Only my husband had some emotional problems, and I suggested the pastor talk to him, hoping that faith could help him. However, in addition to explaining the truth of salvation to my husband, the pastor asked me two questions. The first question was, “Where is Jesus now?” I said, “In my heart.” He went on to ask, “Then have you surrendered your sovereignty to Jesus and let Him become the Lord of your life?” I really did not know how to answer this question, because since I became a Catholic, I had never put Jesus in my heart. I had never even thought about handing over the sovereignty of my life to Him. This question got me thinking for a long time.
That day, the pastor led my husband in the sinner’s prayer. I asked my husband how he felt, and he said, “When the pastor was praying for me, he invited the Spirit of the Lord Jesus to come into my heart. At that moment, my heart started to pound heavily, and I was very scared. But afterward, I felt peace.” Later, we realized why we could not have peace before. It was because of the sin of human pride and unwillingness to obey God’s commands and His plan. As a result, we made wrong decisions causing more problems.
When I confessed my sin, I truly repented and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of my life. From that moment on, I felt reborn and no longer felt estranged from God. In the past, I only prayed to Mary. After believing in the Lord Jesus, my target changed. Since then, I have rebuilt my relationship with God, and my heart was filled with peace and joy. My husband and I continued to attend the church services, enrolled in the discipleship classes, and were baptized together on Christmas Day of 2010, testifying Jesus Christ. We also joined the Cantonese fellowship, being with the brothers and sisters and supporting each other. My husband and I are both grateful for finding a spiritual home.
Experiencing the Peace of Life
We learned to tell God about all our difficulties, and the amazing thing was that they gradually got resolved. God prepared very good lawyer and accountant for my husband’s company, and it passed the IRS audit successfully. I thought I would lose my job, but the company transferred me to another department. Even though I had no experience in the area, the company still gave me the opportunity to learn. I did not expect that I would become the director of the department a few years later. There were all Americans in the company, and I was the only Chinese! All these make me realize that when we are willing to let go of ourselves and surrender our lives to the Lord, He will lead us. My husband and I relied on this true and living God to ride over our difficulties. During the journey, we were filled with peace.
I also gradually understood why I did not grow in life in the past when I was a Catholic. I had never been directing myself at the Lord Jesus. It was not until I became a Christian that I realized that I was living in my own way, so my life did not experience renewal and peace. In the past, I thought that Christians were traitors who branched off from Catholicism, but after studying the Bible, I realized that Christianity existed way before Catholicism.
I finally understand what faith is all about. Christians are not looking for a religion to believe in, but to establish a close and trusting relationship with the Lord Jesus, so that He can become the Teacher of our life. Willingly, the Lord Jesus became a model in obeying God’s plan. He is still living today, seeking unbelievers, and He is the mediator between God and the world. Now I don’t need a priest to help me with confession and forgiveness of my sins because I can come before God with confidence and prayer.
I believe that God has a plan for every Christian. I believe that life will not be smooth sailing and there will still be difficulties. I also believe that the Lord Jesus will always accompany me through every stage of my life, all the way to eternity.（何在凡採訪）
本文原載於《中信》月刊 (總715期)， 版權屬『中國信徒佈道會』本會蒙允許轉載。