These two testimonies are taken from the website of the Quan Nan Church, in Quanzhou, Fujian Province. Quan Nan Church is a registered church, affiliated with the Chinese Christian Council/Three-self Patriotic Movement (CCC/TSPM).
The CCC/TSPM of Quanzhou City organized its first Women's Retreat from May 1st to 4th in order to help sisters in Christ better understand their uniqueness in God's eyes and their role of "helper." When the retreat came to an end, many sisters wrote out their testimonies. Here we have selected two testimonies.
A pearl that has been reclaimed
This retreat was God's special grace to me. I was originally not qualified to attend because I am still single. I always felt inferior to others for I thought I would never get married. But I thank God, He led me through this camp and brought me back to Him.
My father was not faithful to his wife. When I was growing up, he would often flirt with other women in front of me and my mother. My mother felt hurt and helpless in their marriage and gradually I became her only hope and the only one she could talk to. Looking at her disappointment with my father, I decided that I would never trust men.
Before I came to Christ, I enjoyed having men around me. I always managed to find ways to make them love me and then leave them. I don't feel responsible for those relationships because I believed that men don't understand what it felt to be abandoned and that my job was to teach them.
As a result, I never dared to really give my heart to any man because I didn't want to get hurt. This is how it was until I met Jesus and He healed me. Last year, I fell in love with a brother in Christ. He loved me very much and protected me in every way he could. Slowly I found myself opening my heart too. But the more I loved him, the more the fear rose in my heart. He is younger than me and the fear grew in my heart that he might abandon me someday.
My father's example was like a nightmare that kept haunting me. Before I came to this camp, I prayed that God would help me find a way out. And He did! During the camp, I realized that I have always rooted my self-esteem and confidence in humans. I wanted to find someone that could make me feel completely secure. I couldn't find that somebody because I was looking in the wrong place! No human being can give me full security. In the camp, I cast aside all my fears and worries and I surrendered all to Jesus. In the name of Jesus, I declared that I will trust Him to heal me and guide me. I am willing to follow and obey Him. I will no longer let the past haunt me and I will allow the Lord to use my past to help people who have similar experiences.
I believe that I am a pearl that God created. A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels (Proverbs 31:10). It is God who created me and molded me. If there was no sand in the shell, then there would not be a shining pearl. I am willing to be God's channel and to be used by Him the way He sees fit. My time, money and all my energy all belong to him. I pray that God will use the sands -- the wounds in me -- and make them blessings for others. And I pray that my life will be a pearl, shining out God's glory and beauty.
I will be obedient and become a helper
I got married in 2009. After being disobedient for four years I finally returned to my roles of a wife, mother and daughter-in-law in early 2012.
When I married my husband, I had had my own business for 12 years. During those 12 years, I built all my self-worth on my business. I felt that my career and the stable-income made others think highly of me and thus I thought highly of myself and viewed myself as valuable.
Earlier this year, I sold my shop and became a stay-at-home mother. In one day, I changed from being a businesswoman to a cooking woman and one that cannot cook! My life suddenly seemed out of place to me. I didn't know what to make of it. I felt worthless and of little value, and became depressed.
Unfortunately, my depression influenced my family members. Because of it, I became easily agitated. I would hit my three- year-old boy when he didn't listen to my instructions. One day, when I took out the clothes rack to beat him for not doing things my way, he looked at me and said, "Mom, please don't hit me." When I heard this, tears filled my eyes. I felt very sad that even my child was now afraid of my short temper.
But our God knows the needs of every one of us. He led me to the women's retreat. The first lecture in the retreat was The Reclaimed Pearl. The lecturer talked about our valuereal value. I couldnt stop crying when I heard what he said. The Lord completely changed my whole value system. Thank God, I now feel confident that I am a valuable person in the place God put me. When I submit myself to Gods plan, I find my value and my uniqueness.
Once I discovered the value in me, God set me free. I felt released -- my body, my heart and soul, all set free beyond expression. The pearl which was lost in the ocean is now found, shining with honor and beauty.
After the series of courses, I realized that I had many wrong ideas and incorrect values. I am willing to change myself in the coming days and years. First of all, I want to be closer to God and hold a gentle and quiet spirit before Him. Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God's sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
I am also willing to be submissive to my husband. "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." (Colossians 3:18) I will not raise my child based on my emotions; rather, I will treat him with love and patience. I would love to let my husband be the captain of our house. I am asking the Lord to help me walk out of the old bondage and use me as his vessel to bless others.
Lord, please help me. Help me not just listen to your Word but to put it into practice. I pray that my testimony will not be just pretty words but one that is carried out in my life, one that gives glory to God.
Original article: “女士营会”见证分享
Image credit: Moon Gate, by Sheila Sund, via Flickr
Are you enjoying a cup of good coffee or fragrant tea while reading the latest ChinaSource post? Consider donating the cost of that “cuppa” to support our content so we can continue to serve you with the latest on Christianity in China.