Head banner.
CCM Periodicals Reading Room   


When A Superwoman Meets Love

Love Rejected!

If not for God’s mercy, I might have gotten myself killed in elementary school! Called “little pepper” because of my hot temper and because, as a girl, I was not afraid to fight the boys, I—like a warrior—was always showing off my sharp edge, ready for a fight! This mind-set—the belief that force wins—no doubt resulted from the home life I experienced.

Whenever my father, a tough, hard-working policeman, fought with my mother, he always won—by force. My heart was filled with fear and hate for him. My mother, the director of a government department, was very smart, but under the oppression of my father, she submitted—at least superficially. I adored my mother, but I was also angry with her—angry that she didn’t divorce my father. As a teenager, I vowed I would never marry. If a woman as outstanding as my mother couldn’t earn love, no one could. And if anyone dared assault me, I would kill him, even if it resulted in my own death. I often imagined bloody scenes of fighting off an oppressor—and I never lost in a fight!

It has been said: “The stupid person is afraid of the unreasonable, and the unreasonable person is afraid of one who is unafraid of death!” I definitely fell into the latter category. I didn’t value my life because I didn’t know why I lived. When I was in junior high school, I asked my mother, “Why do people live?” and, though initially stumped, she said, “to fulfill the value of life.” This didn’t make sense to me. If man has to die anyway, I reasoned, what is the value of life? I felt that enjoying life made more sense—live a day, have fun a day! So, every day I secretly took money out of my father’s wallet and went out and had fun.

With this mentality, I entered college. But I soon came to feel it was meaningless to play around all the time. I should prove myself capable! So, with intellectual adeptness, I became a superwoman, proving my ability with good grades, becoming a goddess in my classmates’ eyes, and satisfying my ego in the process. This served to make me reckless, arrogant, and domineering. My father said of my character at this stage that I belonged to those who needed to be spanked eight times a day, and should I find a husband, he’d best be of good temperament or he’d be bullied! I did find a boyfriend with an especially good temperament, but not really liking him, I bullied him incessantly! This abnormal relationship almost drove me crazy!

Love Defined!

But thank the Lord, my spring came! In 2003, I went to England to pursue a master’s degree. After a time of living in a student dorm, I needed to find a cheaper place to live, so I advertised for someone to take over my lease with the school. An elderly man called me one day, and I mistook him as someone wanting to take over my lease. As it turned out, he was Pastor J. M. Chen, who had gotten my number off the form I had filled out at the new student welcome party. He told me that there was to be an evening of fellowship at his house, and if I wanted to come, perhaps someone there would need a lease. I accepted his offer, thinking it would be a good opportunity to advertise.

Oh, how I thank the Lord for that night! I did not stop attending the fellowship! Though my place was not leased by anyone, I had stepped into the church! This prodigal child was on the way to becoming a member of the family of God!

When I first went to the fellowship, I met many students from different parts of China and Southeast Asia. They were very sincere and friendly. No one competed, rejected, or was hostile to each other, and I envied their joy, even as I was a little porcupine among them! I was attracted to the group and began to feel curious about their faith. At the Friday night Bible studies led by the pastor, I gradually began to ask questions which revealed my lack of knowledge of everything spiritual: Is God a man or a woman? Did God ever get married? Does God feel lonely? Slowly, I began to accept some teachings of the Bible, but I strongly rejected one: The husband is the head of the wife, and the wife should submit to her husband. I bounced up and expressed my objection, saying it was discrimination against women. An unfair doctrine! Still, the reality of my home life had taught me that superwomen were not blessed. My mother was a superwoman, a strong woman of many abilities worthy of admiration, yet she was not a considerate wife who knew how to control her tongue. She often used mocking words which hurt my father deeply. Her arrogance and reproach took away my father’s dignity bit by bit. And my father, who loved my mother very much, lacked the tolerance needed to love his strong wife—causing a power struggle at home between them. They were two distinguished people living together who kept hurting each other.

The atmosphere in the pastor’s home was amazingly different! When I visited there, I was struck by the love that was expressed. I saw a relationship between the pastor and his wife that was loving and harmonious, and a home that was a place of joy and peace. I learned that the Bible taught the functions of the husband and the functions of the wife: The husband was to protect and be respected, and the wife was to help and be loved. At this point I was a “not-yet” Christian, but I told myself, “If I have children, I want them to grow up in church!”

Love Accepted!

One day in a Bible study discussion, we talked about the issue of sin, specifically some sins that are mentioned in Romans 1:28-32: greed, envy, murder, deceit, malice, gossiping, boasting, disobedience to parents, being untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. I realized that although I was a student and had not yet entered “adult” society, I had already committed many of these sins. And in the future, wouldn’t I commit even more? At that time, I wanted to be a Christian, but I couldn’t say it. I was afraid I didn’t qualify. I couldn’t reach the standard. I wasn’t worthy enough! Then one day, Sister J. H. Shen asked if I wanted to pray a sinner’s prayer to accept the Lord. I innocently asked her what a sinner’s prayer was. She said it was a prayer to confess yourself a sinner, ask Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life, and ask Him to forgive you and take away your sin. I knew I was a sinner—I was actually tormented by sin—but I didn’t know how to be set free. Now, at last, through Jesus Christ my sins could be forgiven, and I could be set free. I could be filled with joy and peace—like what the other students in our group who were Christians had. So, I prayed the sinner’s prayer before God. It so moved my heart that I couldn’t stop crying. I felt I had come alive, and I had found my true family—my spiritual family!

From that day forward, I began to believe in love, and I had a genuine smile on my face. I called my mother and asked if I could speak to my father. I told him, “Dad, I love you. I miss you!” We both cried, and our relationship, which had been broken for many years, was restored. Later, when my parents visited me in England, they said I had really changed. Mom, with good humor, said that she had taught me for over 20 years and couldn’t change me, but a short time in the church had greatly changed me! The Lord helped me to give up my stubbornness and prejudice, to appreciate others, and to accept good advice. Previously, there had been no “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” in my vocabulary, but now I frequently found I needed to say them. Once I realized that my Heavenly Father loved me—that I was an individually-created precious one in His sight—I didn’t need to be arrogant or feel inferior. I felt secure in knowing that God knows my strengths and my weaknesses. And being on a happy spiritual journey, I am free to give love and receive it.

The Bible answers the question of why man lives. It’s found in three words: To glorify God! To know God, to understand His will in your life, to obey His will, and to accomplish the work He assigns you is the greatest achievement in life! I thank God that He has given me a warm family who loves the Lord. My parents—seeing the change in me—later accepted the truth of the gospel for themselves. And now they truly love each other, praying, studying the Bible, and worshiping together daily. God has also blessed me with a wonderful husband—with whom I pray, study the Bible, and join in worship—and also three precious children. Our six-year-old son says he wants to be a pastor, and our two-year-old daughter mimics us in saying “Amen!” The life given by God is most blessed and meaningful!

My greatest gain in England was not earning a master’s degree, but becoming a Christian! The greatest blessing in life for anyone is to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.

Linda Zhu graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK in 2005. She worked as an executive operator for tourism in London and ran a family business in China. In 2010, Linda immigrated to the US, where she became a full-time mom to her three children.

Article Link: http://ccmusa.org/read/read.aspx?id=chg20170403
To reuse online, please credit Challenger, Oct-Dec 2017. CCMUSA.