Born Again in Christ
My name is Jenna Zheng. I was born in Shandong, China and brought up as an atheist. Before I graduated from university, I began thinking about the purpose of my life. I felt that my life should not just be about money or success but I wondered what it should be about.
My aunt, my father’s younger sister, was the first Christian in my family. When she learned of my confusion, she told me to follow Jesus Christ to gain eternal life. When I heard the word “eternal,” it grasped my heart. Although I didn’t understand what that word meant exactly, it sounded to me like something valuable, something that was worth getting. So, I prayed with my aunt saying that I wanted to follow Jesus. That was in 2005.
I read the Bible weekly with an older Christian couple after I decided to follow Jesus because I couldn’t find a church at that time. Later I started to attend a small house church and began to know more about the Christian faith through sermons and Bible studies.
It was easy for me to accept the truth that God is the creator, and that he has authority over the world. But there was one thing I’ve struggled with for a long time. I was about 30 years old at that time, and I wondered why God hadn’t given me a marriage partner. Did he love other sisters and brothers more than me? In my heart, I doubted his love for me.
One week in October 2012, I complained and cried out to God for several days about being single. That weekend, through prayer, God opened my eyes and let me see how sinful I was. He reminded me of the lies I had told, of how shameful I was to have sex with previous boyfriends, how arrogant and proud I was to be self-centered. In my mind, I knew I had committed these sins, but this time God helped me realize how dirty I was in his eyes, and how great his rage was towards these sins and to a sinner like me. When I faced God, I really desired to be forgiven by him.
There was a wooden cross on the wall of my room. When I looked up to see it, I knew I was a sinner who needed the salvation of Jesus Christ. He died for sinners just like me. At that time, it was a great comfort to know that the blood of Jesus had cleansed me of all my sins. I was no longer a sinner in God’s eyes, but a holy person. Jesus really became my savior that day and let me know that he truly loves me. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). I know that I was reborn in Jesus Christ in 2012.
Growing in Christ
My life changed dramatically after I was reborn in Christ. During all these years, I have sinned against him and doubted him, but he never gave up on me. Instead, he kept changing me with his unconditional love.
Understanding God’s Love
First, God patiently showed me his love for me. It was not a problem for me to believe in God’s almighty power, but very difficult for me to believe that he loved me since I grew up in a broken family. In my mind, I knew that God loves everyone, but in my heart I continued to doubt his love for me because of my singleness. I struggled with that for several years, until God’s mercy came upon me.
Through God’s word, the Holy Spirit led me to realize that it was sin to doubt God’s heart for me, and it was my evil desire to want God to do things for me. God showed mercy to me to let me how sinful that was. The Holy Spirit helped me confess my sins and to ask God for help to trust him. God is faithful; he did amazing things for me. After my confession, he helped me to see clearly his heart and love through the Bible. How he sacrificed his only Son to save me, how he forgave David and kept his promise to Abraham, and how he had compassion on the helpless crowds. Whenever I sinned against him, God let me know of his unchanging love and complete forgiveness through the cross and to see his concern for me in my daily life. Eventually, his continuous love dispelled my doubt.
Dedicating Myself to God
Second, God helped me to dedicate myself to him. I couldn’t do that in the past because I thought it meant having a hard life and giving up everything I love.
As God kept showing me his great love and salvation, he helped me focus on him and his good will for me. As I stopped doubting his love, I loved him more and more. So, dedicating myself to him was not painful anymore, but rather good and happy. I know there will be difficulties, but there is confirmation in my heart that my God is a mighty God. All I need to do is obey and follow him. He will complete everything in his plan.
Besides, God helped me to know my real identity in Christ, to fight spiritual battles and live a holy life, and to have a real desire for my heavenly home. He changed me by renewing my mind through his word and gave me a soft heart towards others. Although I still need to face my own sins and weaknesses, I believe he will help me because “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
In the year that I was reborn in Christ, I began to work for a Christian organization that helped several ministries from America in China. For the first four years, I led a team that created Christian social media accounts and posted Christian content on Chinese social media sites like Weibo and WeChat. In those years with a measure of freedom, we posted a lot of sound gospel and theology content to help Chinese Christians grow in Christ. Later, God opened a door for us to translate and publish Christian books. There were not many editors at that time, so I began to learn editing and publishing.
In the years that followed, I gradually realized that I needed to know more about the Bible and Christian theology in order to translate and edit more precious Christian books. After several years of prayer, God opened a door for me to be equipped in a seminary and I have studied for two years at a seminary in the US.
There have been difficult moments and easy moments in my life in Christ, but God’s steadfast love never changes.
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