Friday, April 11, 2008

New Heart

Isn't it amazing the way life just changes and expands with every passing season? It almost feels as if each day I'm a completely transformed person, and if I were to somehow be transported back about 10 years when I was 14 years old and no doubt on the phone gossiping about boys with one of my girlfriends, I would have absolutely nothing in common with that person. I've been transformed so many times since then, experienced so many things. Am I even the same person that I was then? Maybe this doesn't make sense to a lot of people, but it makes sense to me.

I've been so busy studying Chinese, and I've really grown to love my classmates. We're in this together, each and every one of us. I used to be jealous of most of them. This one had better tones than me and that one knew more vocabulary words, but I've transformed enough times since those jealous days to not care anymore. The best part about going to Chinese class is making friends from all over the world. One of my favorite people in the class is a Japanese woman. This girl is model material -- so tall and thin, and she has shiny hair too! The other day she gave me a handwritten recipe for miso soup complete with illustrations and an adorable little disclaimer at the bottom apologizing for her English. I've noticed that she reads a book every morning before class, and today I asked her what she was reading.

Me: 你在看什麼書 (ni kan shenme shu ~ What book are you reading)?

Her: 日本的書 (ribende shu ~ A Japanese book).

Now here's the point where I started to stare blankly because I was trying to figure out the Chinese for what I wanted to say next. Then she said:

Her: 我看Bible (wo kan Bible ~ I'm reading the Bible).

Me: Oh! 我也喜歡看Bible (oh! wo ye xi huan kan Bible ~ Oh! I also like to read the Bible).

Then she looked at me and said, 新的心(Xinde xin ~ New heart).

Did we have a deep theological discussion? No. Our Chinese is still pretty limited, and I certainly don't speak any Japanese (by the way, the reason why I wrote our entire conversation out in Chinese is because I go to school two hours a day, do about 2-3 hours a day of homework a day on top of that, and am just so happy that I am progressing so I'm going to take every chance I get to show it off -- in other words because I can). Neither of us knew how to say anything very "deep" or "spiritual", but we could say "new heart", and that's all that needed to be said. When God transforms me, that's what he gives me -- a new heart. I used to think that everyone just underwent one big transformation when they got "saved". Now I'm not so sure though, mostly because I can't pinpoint any one exact time when I gave my life to God and automatically became a new person. It's been more of a journey that started with a single step, as trite as that sounds. In any case, I'm happy for the newness of things. The newness of each season, the newness of each day, and mostly, the new heart that God so freely gives me.


  1. Welcome back to blog-dom! ;) This was a great one, and you taught me some new sentences - thanks!

    New heart! Exactly right - He gives us a new heart, a new life.

    Keep up the great progress!! You'll be fluent by the next time I see u!

  2. What a wonderful story, Cahleen! It truly is evidence of an Almighty God!

  3. I love it! A new heart is the greatest joy.
    You said "I have been transformed so many times since..."
    That's the beauty of the mysterious work of God in our lives when we allow Him. The Scriptures use the continual progressive form of the verb as well when it talks about us being saved. We are continually being's a journey, a process. (I Cor 1:18 ; II Cor 2:15).
    Thanks for this post. It made me smile.

  4. How cool was that!
    You met a sister and one day you will be able to have a real conversation.
    I love it.
    I am glad that you are moving along well with your studies.

  5. That's amazing when God makes a connection where you least expect it. How wonderful!

  6. great post!
    The gospel is full of meaning and deep thoughts and significant philosophy... but at its heart... it is SO SIMPLE... and you sum it up by sharing that conversation... 新的心. I love it.

  7. So glad your Chinese is coming along.

    I just made a new friend who is Chinese...she is coming to a women's bible study with me.

    blessings to you;
    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

  8. Just stopping in to see how you are doing.
    I know that life is busy.
    I pray you are doing good--that your marriage is growing and that you are walking closer to God each day.
    Just thinking of you.

  9. Hey! I hope you are doing well. I think of you and wonder about you on occasion.

    I did tag you in a silly meme, but of course there is no obligation to play . . . but if you wanted to . . .I'd love to read it. :)

    Hope you have a great week!

  10. It was so nice visiting you again. Your post was a blessing to me. I am glad that you are doing good in your new language and are enjoying the students you go to school with. Have a happy day and I hope to see you again soon. I love the conversation written . connie from Texas

  11. If only I knew the squiggles for "golly moses that was a beautiful story".

    I enjoy hearing what you have to say, Cahleen so I'm asking you to talk some more. I've tagged you for this meme:

    a. Link to the person who tagged you.
    b. Post the rules on your blog.
    c. Write six random things about yourself.
    d. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
    e. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.
    f. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

  12. Wow, everyone! Sorry about basically not responding to ANYONE'S comments until now. Every one of your thoughts are very appreciated! =)

  13. Just read several of ur latest blogs. The New Heart story - lovely, so beautiful. I love it. Also enjoyed learning that you are in just the right place in ur class and that u enjoy the teacher, students,etc. It wld appear ur Chinese is progressing rapidly. Wonderful. Love u much. We should try the skype again as I have a need to see u. MeiMei looks like he is studying hard too. Now when best time to use the 562 line to call u. Love ya, Grandma (Alyce)


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