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Finding New Life Through God


I am a Christian today because of God’s love. I believe He chose me when I was in my rebellious stage, when I was the most undeserving, to show me how much He loves me.

When I was in grade five, my family moved from Calgary to a small town just forty-five minutes away from the city and opened a restaurant there. My mom hired more workers during Saturdays so that she could drive me and my siblings to the city for Chinese school, swimming lessons, piano lessons, art lessons, and other activities.

During my teenage years I continued to attend Chinese school on Saturdays. When my mom dropped my siblings and me off for Chinese school, I often sneaked out with my friend and roamed around downtown and Chinatown. We joined other friends and hung out.

For fun, we stole cars for joy rides or weekend trips, partied and drank, vandalized, stole anything we could, and did drugs.

We fought often, both physically and verbally, within our group and with other groups of people we knew. There was a lot of violence, betrayal, anger, false friendships, jealousy, and lies.

My family was really worried about me during this time because they knew I had bad friends but didn’t know what I was up to all the time.

In our family of four children, I was the middle child and often referred to as the troublemaker. Ever since I was young, I was left out by my siblings because I was different from them. I was not obedient like them, nor did I like to study or help out around the house. Instead, I drew closer to my friends and became more distant from my family.

I would argue with my mom and yell at her until she thought she was going crazy. There was one time she ran home from work and started to drink whiskey straight from the bottle. Even though my mom didn’t drink, she was so upset and angry with me that she would rather die. My dad was a quiet man and didn’t say much, but I knew from my siblings that he had given up on me and had in fact disowned me.


I continued living a wild and dangerous life with bad influences throughout high school. My senior year, I celebrated my seventeenth birthday with a barbeque at a park. In the large group of people who gathered, I met someone named Calvin.

When we first met, we didn’t get along because our best friends were enemies, but despite our mutual dislike, we started to talk on the phone and then became friends. At the time, he was part of a group of people who did even worse things than my group of friends.

Soon after we met, Calvin went to a different city to finish his studies. We would talk on the phone every day and visit each other whenever we could.

After a few months, I started to have a harder time getting a hold of him. He told me that it was because he was attending church services. This was a big surprise to me, as he had never mentioned he was a Christian and that he went to church. The church that he was attending was called True Jesus Church.

He was busy most of the time because he attended services Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday — sometimes even more if there was family service. I didn’t know what was happening to him because he was in the next province, so I decided to take a few days off from school to visit him.

His Surprising Change, My Weight Lifted

When I arrived, he looked like a different person. He no longer wore dark designer clothing, and his hair was no longer highlighted and styled fashionably. He was wearing a green sweater and khakis with his hair dyed back to black and gelled to one side.

His friends, who were True Jesus Church brothers, were genuinely nice people, unlike the friends he hung out with before.

While I was visiting I watched him walk to the bus stop to go to school early in the morning, carrying a large backpack. There is nothing extraordinary about this in general — many people do this every day. However, I witnessed a person completely transformed from the way he used to be. After he returned from school I asked him to take me to his church the following Saturday.

When we arrived at church, the sermon was on jealousy. It was really intriguing because it was a problem I struggled with. I felt so peaceful and happy after hearing the sermon because it felt like a lot of weight was taken off of me.

Calvin introduced me to many brothers and sisters that day. One sister came to me and shared many words of encouragement. She told me to seek after God because He really loved me. She mentioned that Calvin could bring me to church but could not bring me salvation. It was up to me to seek after God and to find Him. I really felt God’s love through the brothers and sisters that day and was even touched to tears.

I had always thought that I knew God and that He was automatically part of my life; I never thought that I had to pursue and seek after Him. As devout Catholics, my family attended Sunday Mass every week. But I never felt God the way I felt Him through other brothers and sisters at True Jesus Church, and the sermons never touched me the way they did at this church.


After this experience at True Jesus Church, I went home and started reading the Bible. I also carefully and thoroughly read the basic belief booklet that they gave me at church. The last part of this booklet talked about the second coming of Christ. One part quoted 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17:

         For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

This painted a vivid picture of the second coming of Christ. After reading it, I really wanted to be one of those who would be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord and to return to our home in heaven forever!

I continued to study the Bible and learn more about the beliefs of the True Jesus Church. A few months later, I attended service at Calgary House of Prayer. I prayed for the first time with other brothers and sisters.

The preacher said that we needed to be humble, kneel down before God, repent to Him of our sins, and ask for forgiveness. He also said that those who had not received the Holy Spirit should pray for it.

I followed what the preacher said to do and knelt down and started to repent. I started digging up all the sins I had committed in the past, and I felt so ashamed while I was thinking of what I had done. I had never felt ashamed before and never regretted anything I did.

However, in that prayer I felt really ashamed of myself and unworthy to ask for God’s Holy Spirit. While I was thinking this, my arms started to shake, I started to cry, and I felt God’s presence for the first time in my life. The prayer was very peaceful and full of light.

After experiencing the movement of the Holy Spirit and through studying the Bible, my attitude started to change towards my family and friends. There were fewer arguments at home, and Calvin encouraged me to love my family and to respect my parents.

Every time I got into an argument with my mom, I would tell him, and he would encourage me to apologize to my mom and tell her I loved her. It was very difficult for me to say “thank you” and “sorry.” Even though I really wanted to, I had to fight all of my old habits and my pride to say those words.

I remember crying in front of my mom when I told her that I was wrong and that I was sorry. She also started to cry and came to hug me.

Getting Baptized

As I continued to seek after God and learn His truth, I learned that my sins were not washed away through the baptism I had received as a baby. I registered to get baptized during the next spiritual convocation.

The day of the baptism was a cold November day. We had to drive about one and a half hours out of town to get to the lake.

When we got there, we walked up to the shore and saw that the lake had already turned to ice! Although there was sunshine and snow had not started to fall yet, the lake was already frozen over.

My first thought was that God did not want me to get baptized that day. However, the brothers and sisters took the initiative and tried to break a hole in the ice. Young and old, they threw rocks, stomped on the ice, and pounded away with all their strength using sticks they found on the shore.

It was very touching to see the effort of these brothers and sisters. They were not willing to miss this chance to save one more soul. Not long after, a hole large enough for two people was made through the thick ice, and I was baptized in the name of our Lord Jesus.


Calvin and I got married the year I was baptized. As we wanted to start a new life together in Christ, we decided to move so that we could avoid our past and the bad friends we made over the years.

This change was very sudden. We did not slowly detach from our friends, but stopped all communication with them. It was a conscious, deliberate decision for us, knowing that if we wanted to live this new life in Christ we had to change ourselves, especially who our friends were. Thank God, through His love, we made these changes easily.

We are both thankful that our past never came looking for us and that our hearts were not tempted to go back to enjoy the evils of the world. Giving up our old life freed up a lot of time, which we filled with God.

I looked forward to Friday evenings because it was the start of the Sabbath. The brothers and sisters were attentive because I was a newly baptized member and graciously studied the Bible with Calvin and me during the week. Some of the church members also invited us to their homes for dinner and to share the word of God.

Since we got married at a young age, we promised each other that if we ever got into an argument we would kneel down and pray and trust our problems to God. We believed that God would watch over our marriage and become the head of our family.

The change in my life shocked my old friends as well as my family. Even my friends’ parents, who used to follow us around to see what we were doing, couldn’t believe I was talking to them about God and how my husband and I were determined to commit our marriage to God.

Together, we have tasted the joy of living a simple and quiet life in Christ, which is far better than what the world could offer.


Our wonderful Lord has His great plan for everything. He even had a plan for a small-town girl who was not only the black sheep in her family but was also unwilling to listen to anyone!

I was brought to His church through witnessing the quick and dramatic change in a friend’s life, which caught my attention and sparked my curiosity in the source of this transformation. I was also drawn to know God because I felt His love through the brothers and sisters in church as well as God’s movement in me when I prayed for the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:38, 39 says:

         For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s love is so immense and so great, I don’t know if we can fully comprehend it. We can only relate based on what we have encountered in life and assume that God’s love is infinitely greater than that.

The only comparable love I have experienced is parental love. My parents sacrificed a lot so that my siblings and I could have a good future. They worked really hard at the restaurant and put their time and money into our education and other extracurricular classes. They always gave us the best and took the leftovers.

However, this love is limited. At my most rebellious stage, my parents disowned me not because they did not have love, but because I grieved them beyond what any human being could bear. My mom said, “I will feed you, you may live here, but you are no longer my daughter.” I put on a strong face and showed no emotion, but in reality I felt empty and lonely.

I now understand why I cried so much when I went to church the first time and when God’s Spirit moved me in my prayer in Calgary. It was because even in my worst state, when my own mother had disowned me, God accepted me and loved me.

Through God’s love I learned to seek after Him and became His child.

Author: J. Chen