“God Knew My Heart”
Vera Abandoned God, but He Never Forgot Her
By Bethany Lockett — Editorial Assistant
Vera Xu looked back on her past with amazement. For so long she pursued a lifestyle forsaking the God she knew as a child. But in that brokenness, God had a plan to reveal His amazing grace.
“I was born into a Christian family,” Vera said. “However, my faith in Jesus was not deeply rooted.”
When she left her hometown as a teenager, Vera left behind any connection with Christianity. But God never left Vera. For years, He quietly prepared her heart to return to Him.
When Vera met and married her husband, “Christianity” was simply a word from her past.
“I remember the first time entering his home as newlyweds I joined him in worshiping his ancestors, and from then on began a 25-year-long lifestyle of idol worship.”
In Vera’s culture, honoring ancestors is an important part of family life. She was taught that caring for dead relatives would bring health, peace, and prosperity to her living family.
“As the oldest daughter-in-law in the family, it was my responsibility to participate in all the rituals,” Vera explained. “Never ever did I imagine that I would one day turn back to believe in God.”
Vera’s time away from the Lord led her down a path of anxiety and hopelessness.
When her son left home to attend high school in a bigger city, she constantly worried. His friends seemed to be “good people,” but there was a problem: they were Christians. Then her son asked to be baptized. The faith Vera left behind years ago now threatened to tear her family apart.
What would her husband think? Would he accept this newfound faith?
As she nervously shared the news, Vera was shocked by her husband’s acceptance.
The God who is near
Although her fears were unspoken, God had known Vera’s heart. In His perfect timing, she recognized His enduring presence. The God she abandoned never left her side.
Vera gathered the courage to tell her husband she wanted to return to God.
“Amazingly, my husband was not against it, acknowledging that I had served his family and parents faithfully for the last 25 years. To hear this was truly God’s amazing grace to me!”
But there were still limits. Her husband did not want their life to change. He was willing to drive her to church, but not to attend with her. And the family idols remained.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Vera remembered, “except pray without ceasing. I prayed quietly and reverently for him.”
“I didn’t know what to do except pray without ceasing.”
Vera longed for her home to reflect her renewed faith, and so she prayed.
Miraculously, Vera’s husband had a complete change of heart. He allowed a pastor to remove the idols from their home, and in the process, he heard the gospel. As the final idol left its pedestal in their house, Vera’s husband accepted Christ.
“I so vividly remember my heart and my eyes overflowing with tears of joy – rejoicing in God’s amazing and gracious plan to bring us as husband and wife into a new marriage relationship before God!”
God’s timing for healing
As Vera and her family learned about their new faith, Vera discovered BSF.
“At first, I found everything very challenging; I was not familiar with the Bible, didn’t know what to write and didn’t have the courage to share during the discussion time,” Vera shared. “Gradually, as I prayed, the Holy Spirit guided me to first set aside 15 minutes, which then became 30 minutes, then one hour.”
This “quiet time of meditating on God’s Word” showed her the life-changing power of the Bible. She finally healed from the fear and despair that ruled her life. She cried tears of joy every time she worked on her lesson that year.
“Though my heavy heart issues were not spoken out loud, God, in His faithfulness, knew everything; He knew exactly what I needed, and through the prayers of my faithful fellow BSF sisters, the Holy Spirit continued to work in my heart to lift me up out of my worries, fears and anxieties,” Vera shared.
“Though my heavy heart issues were not spoken out loud, God, in His faithfulness, knew everything.”
God’s timing for us
In this year’s study, People of the Promise: Kingdom Divided, we wonder about God’s timing. Did God already fulfill his ancient prophecies? When will He fulfill others? Why does He wait so long to deliver His people?
We are often left with more questions than answers. But Vera’s story reminds us that when His people are lost, God is near. When He seems slow to act, His timing is perfect.
As humans, we struggle with patience. We long for deliverance and are discouraged when we wait. But we know this: God does not forget His people.
God does not forget His people.
If you are waiting on God today, know that He cares, He sees, and He is near.
As Vera saw in her own life, “God absolutely knows what circumstances will develop and mature His servants and He faithfully provides all that is needed. When we fix our eyes upon God and His mighty power, then we are ready to see God at work.”
Bethany Lockett is an editorial assistant at Bible Study Fellowship Headquarters. She is a third-generation BSF-er and native Texan. She joined BSF after graduating from Wheaton College where she studied spiritual discipleship in a digital world.
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