How I Forgave My Abusive Family
I come from a traditional Chinese family where male children are considered more important and valuable than female children. In this testimony, I would like to share how the Chinese culture that I was brought up in (especially on my mum’s side of the family) during my young age had affected me, and how knowing God later in life led me to forgive them.
Females can only have second hand things, but males can get and use the best of all things. All valuable items, such as the best foods, the best gifts, and any status in the family were given only to male children. Every male is a gift from God, but not a female.
My childhood in a traditional Chinese family
I was always told to be silent when I was hit or abused by my elder brother, or any of my mum’s relatives. From a young age, I looked more like my father’s side of the family, and I was told that I belonged to my father, not my mother. Whenever my brother did anything wrong, I was told to bear his sinful deeds.
Since I was a young girl, I had been physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially abused and persecuted by my own mother, sister, brother and mum’s side of the family. I never once experienced the true meaning of a loving hug, a kiss, or comforting and positive words.
I went through daily life being scolded and blamed for not being able to perfectly do simple chores like washing dishes or sweeping the floor. I remember trying my best to wake up as early as 4 a.m. to do the family chores before walking to school. At the age of 16, I had to support myself financially and give money to my parents. Even though I followed my family to worship in their church, serve in ministries and lived as if I was a Christian, I doubted their God.
At the age of 13, I intended to commit suicide, but God’s voice stopped me. He called out to me in His loud but gentle and loving voice saying, “Do not be afraid.” I was touched. I cycled home that day, entering the bathroom to cry for almost an hour at this great loving touch of God. I did not know who He was at the time, but I intended to find out. He cannot be my family’s God, I thought.
Meeting God in the mountains of Belize
From 1998 to 2003, I followed my husband to Belize in Central America. Most of the time during the day, I was left alone. I read the Bible aloud not because I was devoted or wanted to, but because I was afraid. I was treating it like a talisman that could fight and protect me if I faced trouble or danger.
Through reading the little pocket Bible given to me by a Gideon when I was 10 years old, and through praying, my eyes and ears were slowly opened. I came to understand that I was a sinner who needed a Saviour to set me free. When I was up in the mountains, I would carry this little Bible and use a small torch to read it. During this period, I was touched by the Lord Jesus Christ and came to know Him personally, receiving Him as my personal Saviour and Lord.
With God’s given gift, I offered myself to help many hurtful ladies and women who were coming to me. I am now also serving in a ministry in my local church. God led me to totally forgive all my family members who had harmed me and betrayed me. After praying for repentance and accepting Jesus, God transformed me from the inside out, transforming my heart to love everyone.
Ephesians 4:22-24 says, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
I’ve learnt that through the Holy Spirit in me, I can put off whatever old self which is corrupted and put on the image of the Lord Jesus Christ in my daily life (Romans 13:14). Lord, may your righteousness and true holiness be filled in me, that I may be your servant and your beloved princess always. Amen.
About the Author
Louise Lee is a homemaker. She is married and has two sons. A small group leader and a disciple course facilitator of a Methodist church in Kuching, Sarawak, she is also active in comforting and helping those in need of counseling.
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