Jesus answers ministry worker’s longing for acceptance
D works in church ministry serving many others, yet she felt distant from God. Here is her testimony of how God lovingly reassured her of His love and redemption, as she picked up the courage to confront all her past family grievances and lay them down in Jesus’ name. Praise God!
I was born and raised in a traditional Chinese family that values performance and wealth.
Growing up, I felt I had to perform in order to earn my parents’ love. I constantly strove for good grades at school because that seemed to be the only thing that brought my parents happiness. Being the eldest, I was required to behave well and set a good example for my younger brother and sister. We were not allowed to cry or show any negative emotions. Otherwise, we would be isolated until we calmed down.
Whenever I did something that displeased my dad, I was punished physically.
I never understood why my dad punished me. That left me feeling very confused until my early 20s.
I felt trapped in my family situation. On one hand, my love for them motivated me to always do whatever was pleasing in their eyes. I placed much hope in my relationship with my family, as they hold a very special position in my heart. Whenever people asked me for my prayer requests and praise reports, my parents and my siblings would often be the first ones that came to mind.
I felt that I needed to comply with whatever my parents asked me to do. If not, guilt would fill my heart. I would accuse myself of upsetting my parents and my siblings.
I couldn’t freely express what I wanted or be who I really was.
This constant striving, performing, and yearning for my family’s love tore me apart, making me feel so tired, drained and frustrated. I felt like I was living in a chaotic, messy, and helpless place, despite the fact that God had shown me His sovereignty, His perfect Law, and His guidance.
I often reasoned with God and held back, not wanting to take any further steps outside my comfort zone. I struggled to have faith and hope in Jesus and really doubted whether Jesus would save my family.
I struggled to worship the Lord with all my heart.
At work, there was a tendency in me to have a “me versus them” perspective and compare myself with my coworkers. Driven by my insecurities, I was often quick to judge and jump to conclusions about any situation or person. That caused me to build wall after wall between the people I judged and myself.
I was not happy in my family, with my friends, or at work.
I didn’t know what was causing me to feel so disconnected from God’s truths in my heart.
In the preparation for my prayer session, I was asked a lot of questions about myself as well as my dad. These included questions about his upbringing, his self-image, and his family situation.
In answering them, I began to see how my dad had been living in shame, hopelessness, and fear.
On the day that my dad was born, my grandpa’s mistress died from a miscarriage. After that, my grandpa saw my dad as a curse. He neglected my dad and treated him badly even though he was the eldest son. My dad was very confused all his life, not knowing why grandpa would not love him or let him continue studying in spite of his good results.
My dad worked hard with the thought that “you have all the say when you have all the money.”
To boost his business, my dad believed in a lot of different things. Over the years, he would go to the temple as a way to repay the “debts” for his previous life and to earn credits for his next life. (Like so many other Chinese families, my parents worship a lot of different Chinese gods and dedicated my siblings and me to guanyin. They also took us to all sorts of temples to ask for favour from the gods.)
My dad only found out about the mistress incident when he was 60 years old, after my grandpa passed away. That left him very frustrated. There were nights my dad would cry like a child, saying “I didn’t do anything to the mistress, why do you treat me like that, dad? That wasn’t my fault, dad.”
God gave me His heart of compassion to feel all that my father had been going through. I was tearing so much.
God also showed me how Satan has been controlling my dad like a puppet, tormenting him, speaking lies into his mind, bringing a lot of destruction, and stealing His joy. At the same time, God began comforting me that His work in my family is not finished. He has great compassion towards my family, my dad, and me.
At the beginning of my renewal prayer, my prayer counsellors encouraged me and shared how God can create diamonds from dust. Diamond making is a tough process to go through but as long as we wait on the Lord, He will lift us up and make us shine brilliantly. They reminded me of the story of Abraham who demonstrated strong faith when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac, his son, as an offering. Was there anything I should count as dust so God can make something new from me?
I felt very convicted that I need to lay down my feelings about my parents and siblings at His altar and entrust them to the Lord.
Only then can I truly love my family like Jesus does and be freed from generational curses. God opened my eyes to see that my only eternal relationship is with Him, not my parents, not my siblings, or my husband.
God also revealed how much He desires my whole heart. He tests and refines the hearts of those He loves.
Discernment is my top spiritual gift and it has been strengthening over the years. Yet I never knew that I had been misusing this wonderful gift from God to pass judgement on people and even curse them. Instead of using the discernment to recognize the influence of God, Satan, the world, and the flesh, I took what I discerned at face value and labelled my family as well as certain people, organisations and situations.
Instead of using the gift of discernment to minister to people, I judged them.
I repented and righted my heart and mind with the Lord’s original intentions regarding how I am to use this wonderful gift.
Next, God brought back one particularly painful childhood memory and the feelings attached to it. As a young teenager, I hurt myself with a stapler and my hand was bleeding, but I lied to my dad that I was okay. I vividly remember how I felt so ashamed, unworthy, and helpless. I tried so hard to suppress my cries because I was told not to cry nor make any sound.
God revealed all the ungodly self-beliefs I formed due to the pain. I believed that “I am naughty”, “I’m not a good big sister”, “I am always a liar”, and “I am not lovable.”
I began bawling like a seven-year-old little girl. I didn’t realise how much emotion I had suppressed in my heart all these years.
Through a vision, Jesus revealed His presence in my childhood. He said He sees me as a beloved good girl and that I am bright. As His immense love and grace poured into my heart, I felt so comforted. How mighty is God to redeem even the feelings stored deep in my heart.
The Holy Spirit also revealed a lot of the inner vows I had spoken over myself. I was led to renounce my ungodly expectations of myself, my womb, my future, and my job. Then I rededicated my whole self to the Lord and declared that He is the Lord over my life. Afterwards, I felt so hopeful and light.
I am no longer living under the framework (of inner vows) that I set over myself.
Next, I was led to repent of idol worship. The Holy Spirit revealed a lot of the cults that I participated in as a child. God gave me the strength to cut off all the puppet strings from the enemy in the name of Jesus. He set me free from all the unholy “contracts” unintentionally made with Satan because of all my family’s ungodly spiritual practices since I was in my mother’s womb. I also rebuked all the unclean spirits that had been stealing my joy and causing division in my family, my work, and my circle of friends.
There has been so much more clarity in my mind after that. My thoughts are clearer and sharper. That day, I finally walked into the Kingdom of light.
I am no longer a child of Satan, enslaved to His destructive plans. I am a child of God, fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.
Towards the end of my prayer session, I was asked to ask Jesus what He thinks of me. I didn’t have the words to express it but I could fully experience Jesus’s strong, passionate love for me. One of my counsellors then affirmed me with the words she got from Jesus.
Jesus was speaking through her, telling me, “You are precious, my precious daughter, I have been waiting to bring you fully into My Kingdom, to give you a new heart – a heart that is crafted especially for you. You are my sparkling daughter, I love you. Don’t run around dressed in rags, let Me bathe you in My robe of righteousness. Everything you’ve been longing for is found in Me. Now, rest.”
After my renewal prayer, there have been significant changes in my life. I enjoy my time with the Lord more.
There is a new hunger in me that I will crave reading God’s Word every day.
I am able to focus more when I read the Bible and there are more revelations while I read the Word. I am more aware of my need to serve with God’s humility. I am living in an entirely new pace – God’s pace which I can experience His peace and rest in His sovereignty. I am really thankful.
This line from the song, New Wine, concludes my renewal prayer experience, “I lay down my old flames to carry Your new fire today. Jesus, bring new wine out of me.”
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