“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.  

Lost years

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

Editorial Assistant

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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86 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. It is very encouraging to be reminded that God cares, sees and is near to us despite difficult circumstances that we may face. How encouraging to have the certitude that He does not forget us.

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  2. I believe everything God allows that brings discomfort, is because we belong to Him & He is giving us repeated opportunities to depend on Him until it becomes our default, for He is jealous for us. When chosen, victory is imminent but must have His Process attached to it. His Ways & Thoughts are above ours.

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  3. Great story!! Great job!! Great God!!! Amen.

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  4. Vera’s story has really encouraged me because I have been waiting for God to answer specific prayers for a long time. There are times I have felt discouraged and empty. But now I’m reminded that God hears my prayers and will answer at the right time. His right time. I will continue to trust and believe in His promises over my life. Amen

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  5. This has really encouraged me and uplifted me this morning.

    Vera’s story has helped me remember that in HIS time God makes all things beautful, and thus I will wait for HIM patiently..

    Thank you and God Bless you as you continue to serve HIM.

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  6. I had the same experience as Vera. Yes, God is at my side for over 45 years when I did not care who He is and left Him to turn toother source of help. He picked us up at our lowest point or before we fall off a cliff. Only He knows when is ahead of us.
    I need to trust continuously every day and He will honor us when we honor Him.
    THANKS BE TO GOD !

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  7. Yes, God never forgets nor abandons us. He always waits with arms open to receive us. May His name be always exalted!

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  8. Thank you Vera & Bethany. What a beautiful testimony. I have been praying to the lord how to introduce my friend to BSF your testimony is something she will connect with

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  9. God will answer us in his own time. That’s what I learned from Vera‘s story, and I pray without ceasing for it him to do so in my life and my family’s life. Thank you, Jesus.!

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  10. I needed to be reminded today of God’s faithfulness. Wonderful testimony. Thanks so much.

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  11. Thanks for sharing that beautiful story of Hope. God is the God of Hope. He loves us unconditionally and cares about every detail of our lives.

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  12. REALLY TOUCHED ME, TO THE POINT OF TEARS. IT WAS A REMINDER OF MY MANY YEARS OF ADDICTION AND HOW GOD NEVER GAVE UP ON ME AND BROUGHT RESTORATION AND PEACE BACK INTO MY LIFE. THANK YOU,VERA,FOR SHARING YOU’RE STORY. GOD IS GREAT

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  13. I am still earnestly praying for my son, daughter in law, my daughter and grandson to accept Christ as their savior. After college they left away from faith. I don’t want them to be perished. That is the only prayer request I have day in and out. Like Saul when they will become Paul I don’t know but I am praying for them to have a discerning spirit, so they know the love of God who has blessed them with everything.

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  14. Thank you for sharing, it reminds me in my past… And praise God for He is gracious God to me and my family. And continue praying for the rest of my family to open their hearts too to know a true and loving Father in heaven.

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  15. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been struggling with my husband’s unwillingness to renounce his family’s ungodly influence on him and our family. Vera’s story reminded me to take my struggles to God for He sees all and only He has the power to change my husband’s heart.

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  16. Wow this is such an amazing testimony! Particularly coming from a culture of idol worship, I can evaluate that so many of the things don’t align with God’s word – about prosperity, provision, good fortune, abundance, and the like. Those blessings are from God and we are to seek Him alone – not for the things that He can give us. Thank you for sharing that He is always abiding, His timing in perfect, He is the provider of ALL things, including salvation, and that His Holy Spirit prompts and encourages us in prayer for our family who are lost, anxious, without hope.

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  17. Reading the story about Vera was encouraging for the lessons about mostly evil kings in this week’s lesson was depressing for how can we forget and defy such a faithful loving God who was willing to suffer our sins, taking us through impossible situations. In the old and new testament not only, but our own lives as well.
    i have been miraculously healed. through prayer offered up for me in the class room by members of my dear BSF sisters when the surgeon said it would be a two to three hour surgery it took 10 min. instead, for the mass was gone when he the DR went to operate. Oh what a God, oh what a Savior.

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  18. This is only my third year in BSF….I did a year many years ago when we were on furlough from the mission field, and now I am living in the US again and attending. I find this year`s study to be particularly difficult for new people….some of the questions are especially long to answer, so I hope the three new members that just started don`t get bogged down….we just had three start who have never studied the Bible before! I pray that they may keep coming, even if they can only answer a few of the questions.

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    • Amén!

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  19. Hi, I have been away from God for 17 years. While I was in a deep turmoil and anxiety for a unhealthy relationship, God called me to Him again. He made me meet a group of Christians. They were meeting once a week for Bible study. Few months later I was invited to join BSF. Since then I have been walking on the path of God.
    It was like being reborn again. Thank you Lord for saving me. Amen.

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  20. This is an encouraging story to share about God’s agape love for us and His forgiveness when we falter.

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  21. I thank God for using Vera to share her story of leaving, returning and staying steadfast in prayer with patience and faith. I’ve been asking God for His blessing in different areas of my life, and I keep hearing the words God’s timing. I worry somewhat because of my age but I know God can bless and show favor at any age. I thank God I’ve been with BSF for 3yrs and I love it and I love God and love the classes I’ve been a part of. Thank You BSF and Vera’s story

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  22. Thank you for sharing Vera’s story! I relate to her story so much with a Chinese idol worshipping upbringing. I even baptized in a church just to get rid of the constant evangelizing of my Chistian brothers and sisters by birth :-(five of us) But God was faithful and knew everything. The first time I attended BSF, I was at the bottom of a pit: husband took our two toddlers away and filed for divorce…But God knew! BSF is my place of born again 🙂

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  23. What a mighty God we serve angels bow before him heaven and earth adore him!

    What a wonderful testimony and how our GOD intervened in Vera’s life through his son. We have God who answers his children’s prayers in his beautiful time. And how he will guide us through his Holy Spirit to understand his scriptures.

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  24. Thank you for this true story. It really is encouraging to hear how God is working out his will for his glory. Good news on a cloudy day.

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  25. Amazing story that strength our faith in our leaving God that never leave alone to us!!! Amen!!!

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  26. Thank you for that amazing true story of God’s amazing love! We need to hear those accounts while we pray and wait!

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    • What a tremendous testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit’s silent work in our hearts. Praise the Lord for Vera’s faithful witness.

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  27. Encouraging story of Vera , God is so patient.Thanks for sharing this story. I pray that others will read these blogs be inspired and blessed as I am.

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    • Yes, what an amazing example that worshipping anyone or anything else does not satisfy. Our one and only True, Merciful, Compassionate, and Patient God can fill that emptiness deep inside. Only the creator of the universe, our creator, is worthy of our worship. Praise Him, Praise Him!!

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  28. Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony about God’s faithfulness! My heart is encouraged and blessed to continue to seek and serve our Lord Jesus no matter what circumstances I find myself facing.God bless you today and always for sharing your story.

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  29. I enjoyed reading the story about Vera Xu’s faith journey that brought her back to the one true God. Bethany did a very good job writing this article.

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  30. PTL for giving Vera’s son the gift of faith and his baptism testimony to bring the parents to believe in Jesus. God relentlessly pursues us even when we stray from Him. He listens to our prayers and cares for us. Let’s keep praying and believing.

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    • Thank you for this beautiful and inspiring story of God’s perfect timing for healing and restoration!

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  31. Thank you for these encouraging words. I love stories with a happy ending. Vera’s story is a lesson to each of us.

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  32. One of my sons is 44 years and has 2 masters degrees in theology, one from Westminster Theological Seminary and one from Yale. He has been married to his wife since the week he graduated from Texas Tech, she has been with him all of these years.

    During his 1st semester at Westminster, he was bitten by a tick that was infected with Lyme disease and the co-infections that come with it. He was treated by the local doctor in that town and considered cured. However, throughout the next 16 years he had quirky health issues arise. 3 years ago he discovered that the Lyme and co-infections never left his body and in fact, he was so ill by this time that he could not physically tolerate many aspects of normal daily life. For example, being around any electronic device that had wifi, or just wifi signals in general, made him extremely ill.

    At that point, my son and his wife sold their home in the huge Texas city where they lived and moved to an 8 acre property in the country where they have no cell towers around, and all devices in their home are wired.

    For the past 3 years, they have had an Online business and been primarily reclusive while undergoing stringent diet regimens and natural methods in order to be rid of this horrendous invasion of his body.

    Today, my daughter in law surprised me with an email. The two of them were catching a flight to tour a in order to take an official tour of a school where he could earn a Doctorate in wholeistic medicine. Since he became so ill, he has taken preprerequisites for medical school. Their hope has been to help others spiritually and medically.

    My prayer request is that God would make His will for the direction lives crystal clear and that they will follow His leading.

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    • Sally – we are praying!

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  33. Thank you for this God filled message of God’s timing. Your dedication to His Word is evident and encouraging.

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  34. This blog was perfect timing for me today. I am waiting for answers to prayers and at times feel overwhelmed. This reading has shown me God’s perfect grace and timing! Thank you 🌺

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    • Me too , waiting on God to answer my prayers on behalf of others.

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  35. What a great testimony, encouraging and full of hope. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

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