Testimony

I have a dear, dear friend that I would like you to meet.  He has been an inpiration to me.  This is my story of how I met him and what he has done for me.

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I was born in Taiwan and didn’t come to the U.S. until 11.  I was raised in the typical Chinese family to be a good girl – to be respectful, to get good grades, don’t drink/smoke/curse, etc.  Basically I was probably in the 90th percentile on the bell curve if I were to be graded on “goodness” in relation to the rest of society. 

But only I knew the truth.  The scary thing was that, most of the time, I rationalized it so much that I began to believe that I was a good girl.  I mean, I was better than a lot of people.  But deep down inside, I felt the guilt that had accumulated over the years.  It was a heaviness on my heart that I could not get rid of.  I was not the goody-goody that people thought I was.  I was a fake. 

“But what could I do?  What was done was done.  There was no turning back.  I couldn’t make them right.  Do I have to just keep living with this burden on my heart forever?  I guess I could.  I would just be living in this shadow forever.  Never to be free - ever again.  I’ll just continue in my ways and sink deeper into this purposeless life!

“No, I’m not going to let this weigh me down.  I’m just going to forget that any of this happened.  I’m going to start a new life on my own.  No one has to know what went on in the past.  I can pretend that I am clean and pure and white as snow.  It may take some coverup and some lies, but that’s okay, it needs to be done.  Everyone lies.  I’m no worse than others.  And I have to go on, you know.”

And that was what I did…

until I met him.

He tried to visit me once or twice every week in college.  But I kept him on the front porch of my heart and never invited him in.  At first, I just ignored him.  I didn’t want to know him.  I didn’t need his company or advice.  And sometimes, he would talk like he knows me really well – that was scary.  I didn’t want him to start telling others about my “secrets”.  He didn’t.  He wasn’t the gossip type.  Since he was at least quiet about everything, I thought maybe it’s okay for him to hang out with me every now and then.  But not too often. 

He would talk with me patiently and try to answer some of the questions I have (mostly to just get him off of my back).  He never took the hint, of course.  And he never once got angry.  I keep pushing him away and he keeps coming back.  

And then one day, I thought that I didn’t need to ask any more questions…

He came to visit during my lunch hour at the office of where I was interning in 1999.  I was just doing what I usually did – finished eating lunch and was just surfing the web.  He directed me to a website.  I began reading it until I got to the bottom of the page where there was a statement about how to get freedom from guilt, from bad habits, from messing up your life. 

All the stuff that I tried to bury and cover up came rushing back in that instant.  He was standing right beside me.  He knew exactly what was going on.  He knew exactly what was going on in my head.  He knew everything about me. 

My heart broke.

I was so ashamed…

The tears began to gush out and I told him that I don’t deserve him to be  so near me.  I don’t deserve him to still stick by me even though he knew ALL the bad things I had done.  I don’t deserve the freedom that he bought for me with his life.  I don’t deserve to be rescued by him.  I really do deserve the punishment that my actions have generated.  I deserved to be lonely and depressed.  I deserved to be carrying the heavy burden in my heart forever. 

I kept telling him this and expecting him to criticize me, to condemn me.  But all this time, he just stood there and gazed lovingly at me.  I couldn’t do anything but cry. 

Then he said,

“My child, I love you – no matter what you have done in the past.  You no longer have to live in guilt.  You no longer have to live under this heavy burden.  You no longer have to live out your sentence.  I took your sentence and carried it out for you.  You may live freely now.  You can become the new person that you wanted to be – now thoroughly cleansed, completely pure, fully forgiven.  Just trust your life to me.  For I know the plans I have for you.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Right then, I understood why he wouldn’t leave me.  He loved me so much that he wanted to set me free – to rescue me from myself, the society, the world.  And he paid the price of my actions with his own life. 

How do I respond to someone who gave his life for me?  I gave him my life in that moment.  Everything that I was, I gave him.  And he gladly accepted without hesitation.  It’s a love that I have never known before. 

I am so grateful to this day.  Everyday, I am in awe of what He did for me.  Jesus – savior of my soul, king of my life, comforter and counselor – is always there for me, always loving me unconditionally.  I’m so blessed…


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