No one ever spoke the words, 'I love you' to me until I was sixteen years old. And it wasn't anyone in my immediate family.
Despite growing up mostly happy in a village in Myanmar, with parents who loved me, I had never been told I was loved. My boyfriend said it to me before another person ever did, and it felt strange to hear it.
He was hurt because I didn't say it back but I didn't know if I loved him or not. I didn't know what it was supposed to feel like. Eventually, though, because of my boyfriend, I learned how to express how I felt and began to cling to and depend on his love.
A Broken Heart
We dated exclusively for two years and planned on getting married after high school but by then, things weren't going so well. Unfortunately, Win left me while I was in high school after two years. I was tormented because he meant so much to me. I wanted to die.
I managed to graduate from high school and then started attending college in Yangon. But I had a vacuum inside of me. I was vulnerable, desperate for love. I was attracted to men who abused me. I became pregnant and the pressure to choose abortion was more than I could stand up to. Afterwards, my life became a turmoil of severe depression.
Because of my sorrow, I turned to alcohol and drugs. I turned to prostitution to support my drug habit. I was arrested several times on various charges, but I was never convicted and never served in prison anytime. I know God was taking care of me even when I was deep in sin.
A Ray of Hope
It was at this dark stage of my life when God moved to save me. One morning, when I got up I heard a voice saying, 'Go next door.' I listened to the voice and found out my neighbors were Christians and when I entered that morning, they were worshiping and holding a church service.
I came into the service and sat quietly at the back trying to find out what was happening there. When I heard the songs I started to cry. I don't know why but deep down inside my heart something miraculous was happening.
My cry was not loud enough for anyone to hear, but the tears were streaming down my face. Then to my amazement, the preacher stopped all the singing, stood up and looked around and said, 'The Lord just told me that someone here needs to come to Him. I don't know who it is but I will wait. Please come up and let's pray together.'
I knew he was talking to me, but I didn't move. The pastor kept calling and inviting to come forward with the same words for the next 15 minutes. Finally, I could not resist any longer, I wanted this love and freedom. I could feel the Holy Spirit nudging me to go.
A Heart Renewed
In that small house church I met the Lord and gave my life to Jesus. Soon I was baptized and made a decision to change the rest of my life forever. The peace that was beyond my understanding and the joy of the Lord flooded into my heart.
Jesus has worked major changes in my life. Since I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior, I have received true forgiveness, love, satisfaction, fulfillment, joy and peace. I no longer live in my old habits of fear. Christ is the lover of my soul, my friend; He is my Life and Living water.
My life was like a Samaritan woman who met the Lord in the hot season wandering under the terrible sun in the desert. My favorite scripture verse is, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'
Now I am a new woman created by God, aware of the price Christ paid for me. I cherish time studying the Bible and praying, that is the true food for my soul, all for His glory!