In June 2011, Ruo Xin and I, together with our 2 years old son, arrived in Singapore, where he spent 3 years as an oversea student. Ruo Xin was called by the Lord to be equipped at Singapore Bible College and majored in Master of Divinity.
Upon arriving at our new home, both of us wished that we could withdraw the lease. The building was 15 years old. With both my parents living with us at the time, the kitchen, living area and all rooms looked very messy. We were quite upset, as we had already signed up the lease for one year. We first learnt about this apartment from a website. After an inspection conducted by my uncle, we decided to take it. At that very night, I prayed to the Lord before going to sleep. I remembered my prayer went like this: We and other brothers and sisters from Living Water Assembly have prayed for our accommodation here for months. How come we ended up with this one? I fell asleep right after praying.
Early next morning, I woke up with a peaceful heart. God filled me with full of ideas how to rearrange our unit. After one hour of hard work, our unit looked totally different. Then Ruo Xin got up. He looked around and found the unit acceptable after the rearrangement. Maybe we do not need to withdraw from the lease. We later on realized that the Bible college was only one minute walk away. Maximum 5 minutes with a detour, if the side gate is locked. There were lots of plants in the area, where our son can play and do sports. Shopping is convenient, as there are two big super markets close by. The most exciting part is that a new subway station was due to be completed in a few months, which was only 7 minute walk away from us. Travel would be so much easier. We didn’t know any of these when we signed up the lease. In addition, there was a school bus available in our suburb for my son. Ruo Xin later on got to do a practicum in a church for one year and half, which was only 10 minutes away from home. We worked together in children’s Sunday school ministry. We were empowered in both personal life and church ministry. God has prepared more than what we asked for.
In 2013, Ruo Xin started serving in another church, which was further away. He had to catch a subway. Since then, I stopped my church ministry serving for a year and half. Ruo Xin suggested that I enrolled a course for Worship, through which not only did I learn more about the history of church worship but how to put it into practice. I then know better how the center of worship should be Jesus Christ. Worship should be practiced everyday rather than on Sundays only.
My child didn’t like going to school at the time. In the first semester, he was crying every single day trying to get away. Moreover, he often picked up germs from other kids at school. Hence he was sick every now and then. A few weeks after my enrollment, both the kid and myself were sick. Ruo Xin was very busy with his study and often stayed at school for entire day. I was so sick that I felt like throwing up everything that was in my stomach. Moreover, not long ago I accepted a job to set up a website for a shop and promised my cousin that I would work together with him. I struggled a lot from resigning to keeping on working on the job. I was so weak that I thought I was going to die. Overwhelmed by the horrifying panic, I was so desperate that I felt like I had no hope at all just like those who do not know God. There was no one I can turn to for help. All I can do was to ask God for help. After praying to HIM continuously, I was urged to resign straight away and apologize to my cousin. Knowing that I could not keep my word to him, I felt very sorry to my cousin and started to panic again. However, there was nothing I could do but praying to God. Ruo Xin was there to comfort me as well. Once again, I was filled with peace. I could then take care of myself and my sick child.
During our stay at Singapore, my mother in law came to visit us a few time. In the first two years, though we did not get along, I still wanted to share the gospel with her. We are different in many ways. We came from different countries and have different culture background. I am a Christian whereas she is not. We hold different views regarding how to raise a child. All these conflicts put me under a high pressure. I kept reading the Book of Psalms. Should I try practicing “the patient and kind love” or let go and let the relationship fall apart. I struggled to choose a side every single day. When I felt that I was weak in faith, I would lock myself up in a room for quite a while. No one in the house knew why I was acting that way. Sometimes I said something that hurt my mother in law. Although, each time I would be urged by the Words from the Bible to apologize to her, I was upset almost every day. And I did not know why at the time.
Until I learnt about mood disorder from a TV program. I noticed I had almost all the symptoms. For a very long time, I was so unhappy that I had difficulty falling asleep. I even believed that I was terminally ill. I was avoiding people all the time. I lost interests in everything and had a strong sense of fear. My emotional issues triggered a lot of fights between me and Ruo Xin. There was a time I seriously considered jumping off from a building when we were in Beijing. Luckily, God enlightened me through one TV program that I needed to change my way of living as well as the way of thinking. I should not keep making same mistake. If I succeeded in killing myself, my son would lose his mother forever. I had always put my son as the center of my life. I repeated the same life day in and day out. Other than Sunday service, I had been to no fellowship, cell group meeting or prayer meeting. I lived like I was not part of God’s family at all. Being so busy every day, I was not happy. There was this day, I was walking pass a blind man through a tunnel, who was playing piano, when God asked me why are you not joyful? The man was playing a hymn. The lyrics went: Seek first His kingdom and his righteous, and all these things shall be given to you. Hallelujah, Halleluja. How amazing is the way God enlightened me!
In my old days, I tried so hard to satisfy my child, including making hard effort to drop him off and pick him up from school. I spent a lot of time and energy on his diet. My relationship with mother in law and my husband worried me a lot as well. Since God had reminded me twice, I determined to change my life style. I let my child catch school buses on his own to and from school, while I stayed home preparing meals. He never cried about going to school again! I joined a mother’s group organized by the Bible school, where I started serving God. I was greatly encouraged by the messages delivered by the speakers as well as the support from the wife of the Reverend. I also joined the sister’s group at Friday night, where I had the opportunity to share my story and God’s grace on me. My days were strengthened again. When my son was 5 years old and started going to Sunday school, I could focused more on Sunday service. Meantime, my relationship with my mother in law had improved as well. In my latest visit to Beijing, she mentioned that I had changed a lot. I thank God for letting my spiritual life grow through hard training. Though there are still times when I feel weak, I would not cry over it for hours like before.
In May 2014, finally came Ruo Xin’s graduation day. More than a dozen people from both families came for his ceremony. They took the chance to travel around Singapore as well. Everyone was happy. During that time, my mother in law visited our church a few times and read a few books published by CCMA. Although she was not completely ready, I believe that the seed of Gospel has been planted and will grow. We thank God that Ruo Xin became physically stronger through doing exercise with his classmates. We thank God that after 3 years, Ruo Xin finally completed all courses, especially Hebrew and Greek which are particularly difficult for him. The childcare and Sunday school ran by the church let my son know Jesus a lot more. During my last trip to Beijing, I got along very well with Ruo Xin’s family. We chatted a lot and expressed our care for each other. These could not happen if not for God.
In the last few years, I have lost some relatives. My cousin was only 29 when she died of terminal stage liver cancer. My uncle was 48 when he died of a sudden heart failure leaving behind his wife and daughter. Feeling very sad, I knew I should share the Gospel with their remaining family members. Because I know we will never be set apart in God’s kingdom of eternity.
On 8th September 2014, we came back to the very place where I got pregnant. Many years ago, we stepped out of Australia. Wherever we go, should it be Malaysia, Beijing or Singapore, God’s grace has always been with us. In prosperity or adversity, the Lord Jesus has always been with us, leading us in the paths of righteousness. It is Him who held our hands and led us to where we are. Our experiences over these years can be best describe by the hymn below:
Having gone through a baptism of a stormy rain, you see a clear blue sky
Having experienced the fickleness of human nature, you bring your life to blossom
Afflictions are blessings in disguise, which guides us step by step towards sanctification.
Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus
You are my savior
You are my friend
Your grace is sufficient for me
Although I have been through darkest valley, your Word is a lamp to my feet
Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus
You are my comfort, my shepherd
Your staff will strengthen me
Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life
The refining trails test our heart.
We gain perseverance through them.
We stood the tests, we will be like the Lord.
With the outpouring love from Holy Spirit, our hope lasts forever.
Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus
You are my savior
you are my friend
your grace is sufficient for me
Although I have been through darkest valley,
Your Word is a lamp to my feet
Translated by : Ivy Ma