When does a Christian single woman become a “leftover” Christian Single woman? According to the statistics, over 800,000 Christian single women fall into this category in the city of Beijing every year. What is the cause? They turn 28 and they are still single.
According to this definition, I became a Christian single leftover in 2009.
As a village-born and raised girl with higher education, I became the shame and source of humiliation for my parents. Having an older, single daughter is looked down upon. I have always worked hard to please my parents, but as a single woman, this was out of my control. I couldn’t please them.
Every time I would go to visit my parents, I felt like I was a burden to them and it led to be getting severely depressed. That burden got heavier and heavier and so unbearable in 2013, that I found myself on the 32nd floor of my church’s sanctuary. I was thinking of ways to escape this heavy burden. Satan struck me and got me thinking, “You, worthless woman, why don’t you just jump off from this floor to solve this problem?”
I do not live according to society’s rules. I don’t live according to Satan’s rules. I read these words from the Bible and they gave me some insight:
And there was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. Luke 2:36,37
I learned from Anna to be content and satisfied with my circumstances, whatever those might be. I continued to face the humiliation from my family during these hard times, but this comforted me.
In scripture it says:
For everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is never a time that God is not in control. That include includes the time for me to get married. If God thinks that for me it would be good to get married at age 50, then that’s the best timing.
In Jan. 2020, right as Wuhan was hit by Covid-19, I got a message from Gary on the
SovereignGraceSingles.com website. He said that after reading my profile, he appreciated how I honored my parents. The way he greeted me sounded very humble and mature. I thought, “I would love to get to know him.” I was concerned that we 15 years my senior.
After praying to God for about a month, I humbled myself before Him and spoke to my Spiritual father, Dad Ken. Dad Ken suggested that I ask for a recommendation from one of Gary’s elders. I did and got a recommendation from his Elder Ian’s which I forwarded it to Dad Ken. The question he asked me was “Lara, will you marry a godly man no matter where the Lord leads you?” I said “Yes!” Then, Dad Ken sent Gary a note explaining to him what kind of person he perceived me to be.
After some time of discussion, I found that Gary was not committed to Infant Baptism embedded in the Westminster Confession of Faith. I had a problem with that and impulsively initiated a break-up before consulting with Dad Ken. When I came back to Dad Ken and my Spiritual mentor Eileen, I got their input. Eileen witnessed to me, “If this brother only wants you to agree with him, then he is not really that nice to be with.” But Gary had none of it and Dad Ken’s opinion would be “Two serious Christians desiring to marry will never find the perfect partner. But to find a partner committed to Jesus to be the person in Christ he or she provides a basis for a very happy life.
And that’s what love is all about…seeking the best for one’s partner and not in an overbearing way.”
Of course, the process was longer than just these words. I finally admitted to Gary that I was using “break-up” as a means to manipulate him. I wanted to change him to embrace Infant Baptism. I asked him to forgive me for such a sin and he did. We got reconciled to each other by God’s grace.
So then we moved forward with me visiting his family and church in South Africa during my winter break. It took my time to get to know him and the more I got to know him, the more I could appreciate how he could lead and guide me with Biblical principles. That included helping me to understand “how Materialism had damaged my thinking.” I had a very fruitful visit with him. During that visit, Gary proposed on Feb. 13th and I agreed after getting my father’s consent. Then the only issue was my school commitment. I still serve as an English Teacher. I returned to China and kept my word for my school and traveled back to South Africa on July 2nd to marry my sweet
When I was crossing the border of China to fly, I was asked “Why are you going abroad?” Without a second thought, I said, “To get married!” The officer at the border checkpoint asked me for proof to testify my words. I gladly showed him an invitation that Gary sent me from his South African friends and families in Wechat. The officer whispered to his superior after checking my Wechat’s chats with my Christian sisters. Then he asked me to talk with his superior.
They asked me some basic information about me, where and how I met my fiancé, how old my fiancé was, the official asked me whether my fiancé was a Christian. I told him “Yes! And me, too!” Then, he said he was not against religious beliefs. He said Buddhism or Christianity for him were the same. He asked me the difference between the two and I told him that Christ died for my sins. I told him I claimed Him as my Lord. That is very different from Buddha.
He was suspect of my marital status and kept asking “Have you never got married before?” I told him, “No, never!” He then told me that “My concern was for your good. I didn’t want you to be deceived by this South African guy. Please keep in close contact with the Chinese Embassy therein SA and be on alert.“
I felt so blessed by God when He finally let me through. Officials in China can be very antagonistic about religious beliefs and these were not.
I arrived as scheduled and spent three weeks with Gary and his God-seeking mother Amy. I am so thankful that Amy accepted me. I can see from her benefits of what you sowed as a mother who was seeking God’s help in rearing her children. I now call her “Mom” and I thank her very much for raising a godly man like Gary.
Before our courtship, I had asked God for a three-faceted man:
1) Someone who would be approved by my Spiritual father.
2) Some who got them approval by my father.
3) We are drawn closer to God by being in our courtship.
I thank God because Gary has been the answer to all these prayers! As Christ is the King and He reigns in us, so I let Him rule in me through my guardians including Pastor Ken Smith and my Father