It is my privilege to share my testimony with you today. My prayer is that through my testimony you will see God’s power in saving me, and his name will be glorified.
I am aware that my story can be heavy for some people, I pray it won’t trigger you, but if it does, please talk to someone.
My story begins with 1 child policy in China, if you are not familiar with this term, it’s a policy China had in the past to only allow 1 child to be born in each family, but people in rural area can have two children for some reason I do not know. If you break the rule, you face penalty and the risk of putting into jail. My family was facing that risk when my mum was pregnant with me, I have an older sister, my dad was a school principal at that time, which mean the rule is strict to us. So in early pregnancy my mum thought it was not worth the risk, so she took an abortion pill, which didn’t work as you can probably figure out. But it did give me a heart problem.
Now another thing might be helpful for you to know is that I am also born in a family that favours boys much more than girls. My grandparents who had absolute authority in the family required all their children’s family should have at least one male child. Because of that they decided to pay money to illegally check out my gender when it was the time. But according to mum, the day when they did the ultrasound, I refused to turn around my body. So they couldn’t figure out whether I am a boy or girl. It was expensive and illegal to check the gender of the baby, so they gave up, they got 50-50 chance to get a boy. So mum continued to hide for the rest of pregnancy period.
A few months later, I was born in a small hospital.
I was taken away from my mum as soon as I was out of her womb. I lived with different relatives until I was 9 years old. For some family, they took me in for a couple of months, for others, they took care of me for 1 or 2 years, but no more than 3 years. I became a burden to everyone, and the experience of living with others was terrible. But God protected me, and I survived.
I was born undocumented.
When it came to school age, everyone needs to be on the family registration book to go to school. My mum couldn’t figure out what to do, my grandma decided to give me away to a barren woman, but mum couldn’t make the decision. She was a new Christian at the time, she cried all day long until my 5-year-old sister said to mum: Mum didn’t you say Jesus can help us, why don’t you pray? So mum went into the room to pray. Very soon, mum’s second sister who lived in rural area, she has two children, a boy and a girl, the girl is born with disability, she can’t walk, so the government had compassion on them and allowed them to have a third child. So my aunt decided to take my name into their family book. So, my surname today is not my real surname. But that is how I got to go to school and not being given away to some strangers.
While I was living with different families, I experienced different religions, I always believe there’s God, but didn’t know which one. My first exposure to Christianity is when I moved back to live with mum when I was 9 years old because of my heart issue, I had to have a surgery. I was very sick. My grandma wanted to give me up because they didn’t have the money for surgery, mum couldn’t watch me die, she begged dad for help, at that time, dad was already in Australia. We ended up borrowing money for my surgery. It went well. I have no heart problem until today. Living with mum didn’t make life easier for me, well, I thought it would, home was my hope, my rescuer. I was very excited that I was going home. However, my sister back to the days didn’t like the idea of having another child in the house, so every day she would tell me this is her house, her mum, her dad. And mum, she was unstable, short-tempered, she was verbally and physically abusive towards me despite that she kept telling me she loves me, I couldn’t feel it. My hope was broken.
Only 2 years after I lived with mum and my sister, mum decided to leave mainland China to Taiwan for work, I only got to see her once a year for a month or so since then, and that was the only time I related to Christianity as she would force me to go to church, this continues until my first year at Uni in China.
A girl from my class invited me to a Christian fellowship group outside of the campus. I thought to myself I’ve been to church before, so maybe I am a Christian, so I went along with her and got onboard quick. I was very touched when they called God heavenly father, I couldn’t stop crying and thinking that I don’t even know how does it feel to have a father, let alone having God who is almighty to be my father, that blown my mind away. So I stayed in the group. However, we were a very under resource group, we had one minister, but about 70 students. I didn’t know how to read the bible myself, I did not understand the gospel, change the way I live. I listened to whatever people told me about God. At the end my impression of Christianity is very legalism, and I got sick of it after a year and decided to leave church. But I never doubted the existence of God, people kept telling me that I need God, otherwise I will stumble or suffer in my life. So I remember I prayed to God before I left the church, I said to him: God, I know you are there, I have no doubt of it, but I don’t need you, if I am going to fall over one day, don’t worry, I can stand up by myself. So I left church for more than 2 years until I came to Australia 8 years ago.
Arrived in Australia in April 2014, I had no friends, I didn’t know the culture, my English was poor, I lost a long-term relationship first week I arrived here, all I had was a dad who was a pretty much a stranger to me back to the day. I only got to really meet my dad for the first time 2 years before I moved to here. Life was hopeless to me. I got really depressed, I cried and cried. And one day, I thought about God, I need help I said to myself. Then God reminded me of my prayer, very clear in my head: do you remember you used to pray that you don’t need me, if you fall, you can stand up by yourself. God reminded me a prayer that I prayed 2 years ago, as soon as I was reminded, I kneeled down to the floor and burst into tears. “No God, I need you, I need to know you”. It was a very vivid memory to me until today.
In 2015 I went to Wollongong Uni, I looked out for Christian group, I went to FOCUS, the first thing I did was asking a staff to read the bible with me. My knowledge of God really started growing this time. But It wasn’t until the first MYC (mid-year conference), I understood the gospel, understand that I need Jesus not just because he can help me with my pain, but because I am a sinner who needs to be saved. God has been so patient with me, and so kind. Over the years I continued to grow my love and knowledge of him, and it completely changed my life, I am totally a different person, a new person in Jesus. Looking back at my life, I know for sure that my life belongs to Jesus, physically, spiritually, I am bought by his precious blood, so my prayer since then is that I will live my whole life for him.
The story doesn’t end here, there is no happy ending until our Lord is back and take us home, we all know that. As you can tell, my life hasn’t been easy. I was ignored, abandoned, abused, forgotten by many people in my life. That has a big impact on me until now, I continue to suffer not just from depression and anxiety, but also other issues like trusting people, not knowing how a healthy relationship works. Sometime life is very hopeless to me because of the amount of pain I have to bear. I constantly battle between my pain and the comfort I can find in Jesus, especially in God’s words, they are powerful words. They got me through most of my dark moments.
This past Tuesday, Jane and I had lunch together, she said “life is full of suffering, isn’t it?” and thanks for saying that Jane. I kept pondering on that afterwards and realise this is much more helpful than someone said to me life will get better. Of course, life is full of suffering in this broken world, I did not realise how much I have been impact by the world view, chasing a suffering-free life in this world, and forgot about what God has been teaching me. Forgot about how my Lord suffered all his life when he was on the earth. But this also remind me of what Richard Chin said once at our staff meeting: brothers and sisters, let us suffer well. Yes let us suffer well. Let us not forget that our Lord Jesus endured the most painful and most shameful to the point that he died at the cross, so that we can have hope in him.
Whenever I think of my journey with our lord, I always want to cry out with the Psalmist:
“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
Human beings that you care for them?”
Yes, who am I lord, that you would die for me?
Who am I Lord, that you are so patient with me?
No wonder the Psalmist cried out at the end:
“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
Yes, I will struggle my whole life with my traumas, but God told me that his grace is sufficient for me. I will live with these conditions my whole life, but I will live with Jesus for eternity. For this reason, I pray I will, we all will suffer well, and continue to hope in our Lord, whose name is majestic in all the earth.