“Is There a Savior Who Can Really Save?”

Pamela Wan’s Testimony
Written on May 9, 2000

As I sit here and reflect on the last 23 years of my life, I stand in awe of the journey I have traveled thus far. I can hardly say that I got through it in my own strength, but I'll let you decide for yourself what or Who held my hand the whole way….

Writing this testimony has given me a huge sense of peace and joy. Peace because I know that I serve and love a gracious and loving God, and joy because I have seen much suffering and know the sweet fragrance of forgiveness and healing has made all the difference in my life.

Growing up, I had many sleepless nights. You may wonder why...kids usually sleep through the night and wake up with LOTS of energy. For me, there were many nights where I woke up to yelling and screaming in the next room. I remember all too well the sounds of slapping and sobbing, yelling and high pitched shrieks. I grew up in an abusive home, one that was cold and dark. I don't quite remember a time where there was a happy moment. Dark times where I just wanted to hide and never come out. My dad was a powerful and controlling man, while my mom was an independant free-spirited woman who was being snuffed out and longed to be released from this hell. As their only child, I was used as a pawn in this world of manipulation and hate. These images stay with me even today.

It was the fact that my mom was such a strong woman did I ever survive those years. At the age of 7, my parents got a divorce. I was rejoicing inside... The hard thing though was that I still had to live with my dad on the weekends, and it drove me absolutely insane to go back and forth. Talk about NO stablility. Once again, it was my mom's faithfulness and encouragement that helped me through those years.

My mom was and still is a very strong believer in Christ Jesus. She introduced me to Him when I was very young. I actually accepted Christ when I was seven, but it was only in my head. I didn’t really understand what it meant to live fully for Christ. And so it would remain until years later...

There was a turn in events when I was eight. I started to play the violin for fun. My dad is a musician and a perfectionist. When he found out that I was playing the violin, he started to dream big dreams for my life. He wanted me to become a concert violinst. And so every day he would come and watch me practice for hours on end. Sometimes I wouldn’t get to eat or sleep until I practiced up to par. These are days in which I remember all too well...days of yelling and hitting and much crying.

By my sophmore year in high school, I had developed a really low self worth, feeling like I never measured up to any standard that my dad had for me. I was a failure at everything that I did. To him, I was not good enough...never good enough. I about had it and thought, "if this is all life has to offer me, then I want out." It was at that time that I considered running away and then suicide.

The bout with suicide came after many years of watching my mom get abused and then in turn watching it happen to me right before my eyes. I figured the best way was to just check out and forget all the pain that way. It was in my deepest valley that I heard God call out to me. I was on the brink of ending my life when I threw up a desperate prayer... I remember saying , "God, if You are real and if You truly love me, then You'll get me out of this mess..." At that moment I remember falling to my knees and crying and in the midst of my tears, “Isaiah 40:31” popped into my head. At that time, I had not had a lot of Bible knowledge, so I had no idea what that verse said…so I ran to get my Bible and opened it up and it read this...

"Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary..."

When I read that, I Felt an overwhelming sense of peace flood my heart. I said..."Okay, God...if You get me outta this, I will give You my WHOLE life and will do whatever You say..." Well, a little while later my dad lost his job here in San Diego and had to move to New Jersey -- all the way across the country!! It was at this time where God started to change my heart and mold me into what is still being shaped today. The funny thing was that I had forgotten that little promise I had made to Him if He would get me out of my situation. In my senior year in high school, He gently reminded me, and in response, I surrendered my life to Him.

I have to say that in the midst of all those years of struggle, God really held my hand. He used my mom to bring comfort and encouragement to me. And also in the midst of those years, God called me to the mission field -- not that I comepletely agreed to it, but the tug on my heart for missions first got stirred when I was 13. At that time, I was like... "no way!!” Although I had no idea what that "call" meant, I knew it was a strong calling. It’s also a very high calling. (But that's another story in itself:0))

I wept and cried a lot, but my mom was there the whole time to cry with me and to keep pushing me towards God. She never stopped praying for me or my dad. My mom is a very gracious woman. The one thing that I always remembered her telling me was to love my dad no matter what...he was still my dad and she always reminded me that she had already forgiven him.

As I look back, I see that it was God who helped me through all the "stuff." It is He who has taken me to a new height. Because of Jesus, I have come to reconcile the hardness I had in my heart toward my dad and have forgiven him for all the things in the past. God has also changed my dad’s heart immensely, and I believe my dad now has a personal relationship with God. :0)

No matter who you are or how good your life is, there will be times when you will question if there is a Savior who can really save. I want to testify that there is!! He never gives up on us. We go through seasons in our lives where we are allowed to go through hard times so that others will be blessed through it, so that we could see God’s glory, as well as for others to see it. And in the end, none of us will have a perfect life, but we will have lives that are filled with peace and an unexplainable joy. Christ -- if you allow it -- will radiate from your life like the noonday sun...blessings.

love you much


"Now unto Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jer 29:11-13

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Created: May 13, 2000
A Lil' Ladybug Production
Copyright Mary Ann Nguyen