“I Had to Return to God”
by a Tibetan Believer
I went to my parent’s home during Chinese new year. Some of our neighbors and family members gathered and told me that I was possessed by evil spirits and that I had brought curses over my family because I had adopted a foreign religion. I should repent and return to my spiritual roots: Buddhism. All this did not hurt me too much. But over time, while I was helping my family, they kept telling me that I was harming them. I had always been a very good daughter but now I was bad and had no love for my family. I was my father’s oldest daughter; he would die without any peace if I did not return to my spiritual roots.
My father had always looked young. When I was a teenager, people thought that my dad was my older brother. Now he looked old and gray. One day he was sitting on the kang and I looked at him. Bent over, his face was full of wrinkles and his hair white. His second wife (my mother died when I was young) kept pulling me aside to tell me how much my dad and she loved me and how much they had done for me. When I was in high school and university, they had both gone out to work every day to make ends meet and put me through school. [She told me that] I should get a well paying job as a teacher, leave all those Christian friends behind and start all over again with the support of my family. They and other family members, as well as neighbors, kept telling me how much suffering I had caused the family by becoming a Christian.
I felt torn, could not pray anymore and had no contact with other believers. The day before I left for the big city, my stepmother begged me to go to the monastery to worship the idols and pray to the gods to ask for a prosperous new year. I went to the apartment that I shared with some other Tibetans. They are all anti-Christian and adore the Dalai Lama (DL). His pictures are all over the place. They had decided to go to the monastery the next day, and the put a lot of pressure on me to go with them. They woke me up early the next morning, and I gave in. I went with them. I went into one of the big dark temple buildings and there was that huge statue. I prostrated with the others. I felt numb. On the way back my stepmother called me on my cell phone. I told her that I had been to the monastery, and she was very happy. I was not happy at all. I felt completely empty.
The months that followed were very tough. My house mates were excited and told me that I should not go to the meetings with the other Christians anymore. They took me to internet cafes and invited me to parties. My Tibetan Christian friends kept calling and inviting me. I decided not to go to their meetings anymore. I had worshiped idols, so I was not one of them anymore. Jesus could not possibly love me anymore. But when the meeting time came, my heart became all cramped. It was an awful feeling, and I had to go to the meetings. I went sometimes but made as many excuses as possible not to go. I had nightmares very often and tried several times to find enough medicines to kill myself. I just did not know what to do.
The times I spent with my foreign Christian friends were in a sense even more awful. I knew I was a hypocrite. When I worked with them, I did not want to pray. I never read my Bible anymore and did not bring it with me on those trips. One of my foreign friends kept asking me why I did not bring it. I knew that she was disappointed that I had not studied and not done my Bible-study-homework. I did not know what to do. It was strange, but when I was completely at the end of my ropes, I would search for medicines but I could not find them. It was as if someone was hiding them from me. Physically I was also doing very poorly. I lost a lot of weight, had stomach problems, headaches and colds.
Summer came and with that the preparations for a special gathering. My Christian Tibetan friends were very excited, and I helped them to prepare worship songs and practical things. My dad kept calling me. He wanted me to take part in an exam so that I could be a teacher again after the summer. I told my friends that I would need to take the exam and not go with them. They couldn’t believe their ears and told me that they could not go either if I didn’t go. They were so sweet, and I decided to forget about the exam. I went with them, but I did not take part with my heart, until during a time of worship someone said that there was at least one person in the group who needed to return. God was inviting that person to come back to him. I knew that I was that person. I had to return to God, my Father. I could not. I cried on the shoulder of a dear friend, but even she did not know what was going on.
The next day someone was teaching about the need for repentance. We are all sinners, even though we have accepted Christ, but we run away sometimes and we need to come back and need to repent. This time I knew that I did not want to keep running away, and I knew that I had to repent in front of everyone. I did. I came back. Jesus filled me with joy. Hallelujah! He is much stronger than Satan and in him I am strong. He is the only living God. I want to walk the narrow road, and with him I can tell my parents. I read my Bible constantly and pray all the time. I am so thankful that I don’t live in the house with the other Tibetans anymore. They know that I have returned to the Living God and they don’t want to see me anymore. But I am full of praise.