How I Learned to Walk with God
Julie Lee — Baldwin Park, California, USA
Our faith in the Lord is not a
series of isolated events but a seamless thread that runs from faith to faith.
I can relate very well to such a thought because from the day that I believed
in God until now, He has blessed me in so many ways that has rooted my faith
and allowed me to approach Him better.
God has indeed chosen us not
because of anything we’ve done but because of His mercy and grace. He also
gives us rich experiences that compel us to return His love and to study His
teachings more deeply.
The following is a retelling of a
fraction of His blessings to me, and each experience anchors my faith deeper
and helps me walk with God in Spirit and in truth.
My family moved to Argentina
in 1986 because of my father’s work relocation. At that time I was five years
old and the True Jesus Church in Argentina was still at its infancy.
My mother brought my siblings and me to worship there, but we were not baptized
at the time.
It wasn’t until 1992 that the
church held the first spiritual convocation. I remember that the first night of
evangelical service was on a Wednesday, and everyone was telling me how
wonderful it is to receive the Holy Spirit, and how, without the Holy Spirit,
we would not be able to enter the doors of heaven. Back then, I was just an
innocent eleven-year-old who did not know too much about salvation, but I was
very determined to receive the Holy Spirit.
I remember making a promise to
God, during one prayer at the convocation, that if He gave me the Holy Spirit I
would offer myself as a living sacrifice to serve Him for the rest of my life.
I felt like a child who was trading something precious for an even bigger
After I made this promise to God,
I felt a tremendous heat come from above and it filled my body. As the Holy
Spirit filled me, a very bright light bursted in front of me. It seemed
brighter than the sun and it was very warm. I could look straight into it, and
there was a soothing feeling of kindness incomparable with any other kind of
As it got closer to me, I began to
trace the lines of a cross that was emerging from the light, which was brighter
than the light itself, and the crystal-like cross seemed transparent and very
precious. The light and the cross came closer to me, and when it was right
before my face, I saw a man hung on it.
He was severely beaten up and
emaciated to the point where I could survey His bones. His eyes were shut and I
saw the pierced crown on His head, but His countenance was not of a man who was
severely wounded. He had a very kind look—a look that I was drawn to approach,
which said, “I love you. This is what it took for Me to save you.”
This vision compelled me to
receive baptism after the convocation that year. But most importantly, I
realized how much God loves me and how I should also love Him.
During the years of growing pains
that followed, and when my faith was low, this vision reminded me that I had
been purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ, and it was by His grace that
salvation had come to me. Therefore, I am different from this world. This
reminder empowered me to live according to His words, and it continues to
empower me today.
I was born with a disease that is
much akin to what we know today as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a
disorder of the immune system. The symptoms are like an allergic reaction to
Every time the season rolled
around, all my joints would swell up to the point where I was physically
unrecognizable. I was a frightful sight because of the swelling, perhaps worse
than an ogre, and I would scare myself whenever I looked into the mirror. The
swellings in my joints would turn blue and green, and they would itch and hurt.
My parents took me to the doctor
when I was four, and the only inclination they had at the time pointed to a
problem with my blood circulation. The chance of survival for the required
operation was only fifty percent at best, and the operation itself only had a
success rate of fifty percent. The expense was also very high so we didn’t go
through with it.
This disorder would plague me
about twice a year, and it took about one to two weeks for the swelling to die
down before I would return to normal. My parents still insisted that I go to
school during those times, and I would lower my head as much as possible during
class or when I walked down the halls. The kids would even call me “little
I had heard testimonies about how
baptism not only washes away sin, but God could also cure people of their
illnesses during their baptisms. After I got baptized, I still had the disease
and I wondered why God didn’t cure me.
In the same year I was baptized,
we also moved to the United
States. And in 1993, during the winter
student spiritual convocation, the allergies struck again and I felt my joints
swell up. I was scared that people would be frightened at the sight of me, so I
called my mom to pick me up.
My mom knew how serious it can
get, so she drove to Garden GroveChurch in the pouring
rain. She testified to me later on that while she was driving to the church,
she cried to God, “My daughter has had this disease since she was little and we
can’t help her. Lord, You are the mighty God and You can cure her right now.”
She picked me up from church and
we went home and prayed. My mom pleaded to God saying, “I entrust her into Your
hand. With man it is impossible, but I hope in You because with You all things
are possible. If You want to cure her, please stop the swelling.”
She told me what she prayed about
before I went to sleep, and I knew that it was an impossible request because,
for the past thirteen years of my life, it always took at least one week for
the swelling to go down, and there was no way for things to go back to normal
the very next day.
Surely enough, after I had gone to
bed, God really cured me by the next day—just as my mom had prayed. Twelve
years have passed since that incident and the illness never returned. Praise
Five years ago, when I was about
to apply for college, I was under International Student status in the U.S.
and still without a green card. So if I went to college, I would have to pay
international fees, which everyone knows is triple the amount of what local
students would pay.
My mom said to me, “Because of our
status and the fact that your younger brother and sister will also be going off
to college soon after you, we will have to pay a lot for tuition at the same
time.” My dad also told me that there was a miscalculation, as they thought
that we would have gotten our green card by the time I was ready to go off to
My parents asked me to consider
going back to Taiwan
for my degree and my immediate reaction was, “There’s no way that is an option
for me. I am not going back to a place I have no recollection of anything else
besides stinky tofu.” My mom responded, “So does that mean you won’t go to
I was very mad at my parents for
not being able to send me off to college. I was also complaining to God, “You
want me to study hard, and I did. I applied and I got into good schools. Why
are You so unfair to me?”
I headed straight for my room
after that emotional conversation with my parents, and I proceeded to pack for
of California San Diego),
where I was accepted for school. I even moved all my stuff there—waiting for
school to start.
That week, which was a week before
classes began, a thought occurred to me. Even though I forged forward with
everything as planned, I had an uneasy feeling that what I was doing just
didn’t sit well inside.
I asked myself, “Am I walking in
front of God with this decision, when I’m supposed to follow and listen to Him
instead?” After a week of soul-searching, I decided to apply for a year of
absence, and I packed my stuff and went home.
My mom told me that it’s not
absolutely necessary for them to send me back to Taiwan, but this would be the only
way I could comfortably finish my undergraduate degree without fiscal
uncertainties. At the same time, they were also planning to send both my
brother and I back to Taiwan
My mom told me to pray and entrust
everything to God. In that year that I took a leave of absence, I was studying
at a community college in Southern California
while awaiting my brother to finish high school.
I kept praying to God about how I
really didn’t want to go back, and I was also very lackadaisical with the
application papers for the schools in Taiwan. I actually didn’t even
bother asking for application deadlines and my parents took care of everything.
The only thing I said to them was
that I would only go back if I got into the top two schools in Taiwan. I knew
I wouldn’t be able to get in. I was just giving them a hard time and trying to
find a way out for myself. I told my parents that I would work fulltime to
support myself and that I wanted to stay in the U.S.
My mom asked, “Aren’t you testing
God with the way you are handling all this?” But I shot back, “There’s nothing
that will convince me to go there.” She asked my brother the same thing, but
both of us asked for the impossible so we didn’t have to leave.
While we were waiting for the
results, and through my prayers, I learned to start trusting in God more. In
front of me there seemed to be no way, and I slowly began to realize the
meaning behind the saying: “When God closes the door, somewhere He opens a
I wanted to get a good education
and to graduate, but there seemed to be no way of achieving it. So I started to learn to trust God in my
prayers, and I asked Him to give me wisdom and faith, and to prepare me to walk
in the way that He would show me; most importantly, for me to submit and to
follow His will.
Six months after that, the results
came in and I found out that I got into the best school in the country. I left
after that and stayed there for four years.
The first semester, while students
were preparing for midterms and finals, I had to start a month ahead because I
had to memorize the whole textbook. I still remember my first midterm, when I
was taking the test and I couldn’t remember the Chinese characters. I either
had to leave it blank or write something down, so I decided to use Chinese
phonics to spell out the words for the professor. When the test results came
back, the professor made this little speech about how he was appalled at the
deterioration of the students’ writing skills. But thank God, I passed the
Those were four very hard years,
but every step I took was sweet because I knew that God was with me. This is
the confidence that we have in approaching God—that if we ask anything
according to His will, He hears us (1 Jn 5:14).
James 4:14-15 also reminds us that
we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We are simply a mist that appears and
disappears, and in our life we should say and do whatever it is God wills for us.
I feel that for peers my age, we
often think that we have experienced a lot, but some adults will tell us that
life is only starting for us and we are only beginning to face the wearies and
challenges that lie ahead. But I believe that as long as we keep on obeying and
trusting, we will learn the lesson that God wants to teach us and we won’t ever
feel in lack.
We can either learn to trust Him
more, or we can let the things we face in life be our stumbling block on our
way to heaven. The decisions may be ours to make, but the power and the will
come from God.
For what it’s worth today, if we
are willing to entrust all things to the Lord, He will bless us beyond our own
expectations. May all the glory be unto His holy name, amen.