Stories of Renewal: Shelly — St. Peter's Fireside | Vancouver, B.C. 

by Stories of Renewal
July 9, 2017
4 min read

Growing up in Taiwan, my family believed in everything. I remember looking for a quick fix to all my problems by praying to many “gods.” I believed in Karma – that if you do good, good things will happen, and if you do evil, bad things will happen to you.

I remember being proud of myself because I had worked so hard for everything that I had, my marriage included. But I would wake up at night sometimes wondering to myself: Is this it? Are we just here to eat, drink, party, and die? If that’s the case, why do I feel this emptiness and sadness inside? There has to be a purpose in life, what should I look for?  I had everything but still felt so lost, unsatisfied, and lonely.

My husband Matt and I got married after only knowing each other for 6 months. Right after we got married, we moved to hong Kong. Being in a foreign country with no family, no friends, no job, and not knowing each other well nearly destroyed our marriage. There were countless fights, heartbreaks, and pain. About 2 years into our marriage we were ready to divorce.  I was so depressed, I felt like I was losing everything. I put so much emphasis on Matt, I thought getting married would fix all my problems. I lost all hope.

A Christian friend invited me to lunch one day.  I asked her about Christianity. I was at such a low point in my life. Could God save me?  She said “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.”  So she gave me a book to read about the Gospel. I was able to understand it, but my heart still did not believe.

Over the next few days we went to visit Matt’s relatives in Shanghai.  They are faithful Christians and have being trying to share the gospel with us since we moved to Hong Kong.  We arrived late at night so they were already asleep.  They were all leaving 5am to catch a flight. I asked God for an opportunity to talk to them about Jesus.  I wanted to know why I still had doubt.

The next morning I woke up to find them all sitting at the table eating breakfast.  They said there was a huge thunder storm overnight and all the flights in Shanghai were delayed 8 – 10 hours.  I was shocked and did not know what to say.  I sat down quietly.  Matt’s Uncle Howard started sharing the Prodigal son Story with us.  After hearing the story I could not stop crying.  I was filled with joy, shame, regrets, love and warmth.

I never felt so loved before. I felt like I was lost, but was now found! I felt saved, and seen by God, and finally felt at home.

I do not feel alone anymore – I was never alone.   I see myself as the younger son who took everything for granted and went astray.  I see the love Father has for me and the forgiveness and grace he offers me.  I see the joy it brings Him to have me back even though I betrayed and hurt him.  I also see myself as the older son, full of pride, jealousy and judgement. In the past I often thought some people did not deserve salvation.  Now I see that I am no better than anyone.  I am just as sinful and I have no right to judge anyone.

We started going to church, and attended community groups.  My friend told me” Seek his Kingdom first, and all will be given”.  Matt’s Uncle Howard also told me to put God first – in the centre of everything.  Initially I was unsure of how that was possible. How could I love God more than I love Matt and my family?  I started a conversation with God and asked God to show me and guide me.  Slowly I noticed myself bringing everything to God. My relationship problems, my job, and my finances.  God grows and cares about everything in my life, including my faith.

I used to believe people couldn’t change.  But in Christ,  I find the strength, power, and will to forgive and to love.  I find peace, joy and safety when he is the centre of my life.  When I am with Him I know I am always loved, and never alone.  Only God fills the God size hole in my life.

about the author
Our Stories of Renewal feature people connected to St. Peter's Fireside who are experiencing spiritual, social, or cultural renewal. If you'd like to share a story, we would love to hear how God is working in your life! Please email us.

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