Notable apostles, church fathers, and esteemed Christian leaders willingly forsook worldly possessions to wholeheartedly devote themselves to the Lord. While the spiritual journeys of ordinary Christians may not mirror the great apostles, a profound transformation takes place when they encounter Christ, illuminating their lives with a divine radiance.
One devout female believer once confined her faith to personal interests. Her prayers were consistently centered on the well-being of her family, the prosperity of their business, debt relief, and avoiding hardship. It was her typical supplication.
Then, one day, she heard the pastor say that the most important purpose in life was to connect with God spiritually, understand what God wants, and sincerely do what God says. That's when she realized that her faith had been in the wrong place.
Surprisingly, when she found a strong connection with God, her previously hard-to-control temper just vanished. Dealing with noisy and stubborn kids, she suddenly had lots of patience, and her kids felt like it was her way of showing love. Her previous obsession with how she looked, putting on makeup meticulously, and choosing her clothes for going outside all changed. She started focusing on simple, well-fitting clothes and stopped wearing makeup. Now, she understands the scriptures that used to confuse her, and she quickly figures out if her thoughts and intentions are selfish or unrighteous, following what God would want.
Beyond the obvious changes and increased sensitivity to sin and God's Word, the experience of the Lord's presence was what gave her the most happiness and contentment. She had fallen deeply in love with the Lord, akin to the fervent love between the woman and her beloved in the Song of Solomon. The mere contemplation of God's boundless love secretly elicited a warm smile.
Recently, I met some nuns, and one of them, born in the 1980s, was different from what you might expect. Instead of being quiet and mysterious like nuns in movies, she was full of life and excitement. She described her choice to become a nun as if she had met someone, locked eyes with him, and wanted to marry him. Her love for the Lord became more important to her than getting married, having children, or wealth. She left her family with the strong intention to be close to the Lord, even though her Catholic family had doubts and didn't quite understand. She said it was like she ran away to be with the Lord.
Now, after many years, her family has seen her living a happy and content life, and they've slowly come to accept her decision. When asked if she had any regrets, she said, "No, because my love for the Lord grows every day, and I'm really happy."
She admitted that she sometimes felt lonely, especially during the tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic. She got sick with the virus and had to rely on walls for support to move around. But she's thankful for being able to connect with the Lord during those lonely times, as He let her not feel so isolated. She was sure that no matter what happened, her closeness to the Lord would never change.
- Translated by Abigail Wu