I am thankful I was born in a country where the doors of opportunity are not opened only to those who are rich, powerful, or famous.
For I was born of humble means. I was first generation American-Chinese and I grew up in a single parent family back in the 70’s when co-parenting was not in vogue. My father left when I was seven. I grew up fatherless and I grew up fast.
So how does a little girl born among the steep hills of San Francisco Chinatown, who grew up speaking Chinese first from her momma who didn’t speak English (I actually learned to speak English from Bert and Ernie by watching Sesame Street, before meeting my Kindergarten teacher Ms. Carol) – how does someone like me end up writing here at (in)courage and publishing a book Whispers of Rest that sits on the shelves at Barnes & Noble?
It isn’t by might nor by power – for I had neither. But, here in this country, there is freedom of religion; because of this, when I was just eight years old, I opened a book that would change my life.
This was a book I read first as a story, because I loved stories. I read books the way you’d take to a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven with a tall glass of cold milk. I gobbled them.
But, this story was very odd. This story did not end up the way I expected, with its pages only filled with beautiful and happy things.
This story was shocking. The person who loved everyone was rejected, thrown to the side, discarded, by those who were popular and rising up with mainstream acceptance.
He was an oddball. He didn’t fit in. He was condemned as a criminal. And everyone left him.
This story was told to me that unlike all other heroes I read about, he died alone, wronged, hanging on a cross.
But, what was strange about this story is that it didn’t end there. The story continued because this man was Jesus. And this man wasn’t just a man. He was the Son of God, and He rose again and stood alive – with His hands outstretched to call me His.
What drew me to this Jesus wasn’t his perfection (I didn’t understand such things as a little girl). What drew me to Him were two things:
Jesus loves me.
Those two words are close cousins for me. For I have known suffering and rejection, but I didn’t know about love, even though I hungered for it..(to be continued)
Before I Walk You Over – Photos to Share from Whispers of Rest Celebration
Before I walk over to (in)courage with you – where the rest of today’s post continues – I wanted to share photos from the book signing event for Whispers of Rest I just posted on my public FB page this photo along with words about how how I felt that day standing in the bookstore –my favorite place in the whole world. Two sweet sisters from our Private FB Group Book Club here made it: Sharon (she’s the one with the glasses who came with her sister Wanda and also Silvia, Julia, Michelle and many others. Thank you for all your well wishes ‘cuz I know most of you all are not here in the Bay area – just knowing you were with me in spirit really made me so happy!
As you can see, there were lots of flowers, yummy pastries and I gave out “Loved” necklaces as “party favors” to every woman who came! I wanted to decorate it so it’d be like a wedding because we are each God’s Beloveds!
I’ll be sharing a few special stories from the day’s event on my Facebook Page and Instagram, so be sure to follow me there because I’d love to be with you there. My husband Eric and I are also taking the boys for a little road trip to San Diego for the July 4th break, so I’ll be sharing reflections on rest and encouragement on Facebook & Instagram too. I hope you have a wonderful Independence Day, friend – as you rest and reflect on the true freedom we have in Christ – tucked in my story on (in)courage today!
Looking for a summer read?
Soak up sunshine for your soul with my 40-day devotional Whispers of Rest! Tuck me in your beach bag, friend. Let’s go places!http://whispersofrest.com Grab your copy on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or LifeWay Christian Stores. Love, Bonnie
Back to How I Grew Up Fatherless And Still Found Freedom
Now, to read the rest of “How a Little Girl From Chinatown Was Set Free”, click here to join me at DaySpring’s (in)courage, where today’s post is published.
Join me there. I’d love your company!