By Su Xiaobei
I was born in the 80s. My parents were both humble and incapable farmers. My mother often told me, “In my day, marriages were all arranged by parents. Before getting married, I had only met your father once, and we barely knew each other. Only until after our marriage did I know he was incapable. Since then, I didn’t have an easy day. I’m so miserable!” In my memory, whenever quarreling with my father, she always complained, “Why did I marry you?”
As time went by, I gradually grew up and began to have my own thoughts. While I was at school, my teacher told us that “One’s destiny is in his own hands” and “We can build a brighter future with our own two hands.” Hearing this, I made up my mind: I’m not gonna live like my parents; my marriage should be determined by myself; only by marrying a person I like can I lead a happy life. With this thought, I kept looking for a partner in the vast sea of humanity.
Later I met a boy, who was honest and capable, and was six years older than me. In the beginning, I thought: As long as we love each other, age is not an issue that could come in the way of our marriage. However, after knowing him for a time, I found that we had differing tastes and characters, and shared nothing in common. In the end, I quit my job and returned home, and our relationship drew to an end.
Before long I went to a city of Guangdong Province to work. Living a fast-paced life, I adopted a relaxed attitude toward love, believing that my marriage partner would appear sooner or later. One day, when attending a dinner party with my roommate, I met a boy who impressed me with his appearance and speech and behavior. After the dinner party, my roommate told me, “A boy had a crush on you today. If you like, I can introduce him to you.” Knowing that he was the very boy I met at the party, I agreed to meet him, and soon we fell in love. We had common tastes and common topics, which made me firmly believe that he was my other half. Three years later, he introduced me to his family, and they were all satisfied with me. Nevertheless, because of the long distance between our families, I was afraid that my parents would disapprove of our marriage, and thus didn’t take him home to meet them. But I made up my mind that I must get married to the person I like.
I returned home that fall, and told my parents that I was going to get married. Unexpectedly, as soon as they heard the boy’s home was far away, they firmly opposed our match. My mother said, “Arranged marriage is right and proper. It is humiliating to marry into another place; if you are bullied in the future, there is no one around to support you.” She even asked my relatives to persuade me, but it didn’t work. Seeing that my family disapproved of our marriage, I didn’t ask for their opinions any longer, and decided to leave this house and never come back. However, my mother made a vigorous attempt to prevent me from leaving and kept me in the room, insisting that I should be engaged before leaving. In order to leave earlier, I had no choice but to agree. I thought: Once leaving this house, I won’t come back, and then the boy’s family will break off the engagement. Later, my aunt introduced a boy in the neighboring village to me, and we got engaged very soon. After that, when I was ready to leave, my mother said to me in tears, “Sweetheart, you’ve grown up. You should stop acting like a child and be sensible. If you accept fate, then your life will go smoothly; otherwise, you will live in pain. Just look at me. Though my marriage is full of frustrations, that’s my destiny and I’ve accepted it, and so should you. Now that you are engaged, you shouldn’t part with that boy.” Upon hearing that, I felt disgust and said, “I won’t resign myself to fate. My destiny is in my own hand. Can’t I decide whom I’m gonna marry?” Then I left for Guangdong Province without hesitation.
Although I went back to work, what happened at home became a knot in my heart, which made me depressed every day. One day, a colleague asked me to accompany her to hospital for a health check. When we arrived, she said, “For the sake of your health, you should also have a physical.” Then I had an examination. However, when the result was out, I was shocked that I had a malignant tumor. The doctor told me, “You are seriously ill and need immediate hospitalization. The malignant tumor in your uterus grows very fast; I’m afraid you can’t procreate in the future.” This news struck me like a bolt from the blue and shook me so much that I couldn’t accept it, feeling as if the sky had fallen. Later, I was hospitalized. To my surprise, when I told my boyfriend about my illness, he, who had a sense of responsibility in the past, never showed up since then. Only then did I realize what “true love” was; it was so silly of me to break with my family for such a person. In despair, I left the hospital of my own volition.
When I returned home and told mom about my illness, she immediately sent me to the hospital. Seeing that she cared for me day and night, I felt remorse for my deeds and actions of the past. Over the following year, I received chemotherapy every month, which soon made my hair fall out. Looking at my ugly appearance in the mirror, I was in great pain. During my illness, the boy I was engaged to often came to the hospital to take care of me. When I lost my temper with him, he silently bore it without any complaint. In addition, ugly as I was, he still didn’t break off the engagement, which was contrary to my expectation and touched me; gradually, I began to accept him. Because of the illness, I became taciturn. Sometimes I lay on the hospital bed and gazed out of the window, thinking of my situation; then I came to know life was so fragile that it couldn’t withstand a single blow. I couldn’t help but think to myself: Why am I so miserable? Why can’t I have the life and marriage I want? This isn’t what I expected. Could it be that I am truly unable to control my own fate? Then who controls it? Why couldn’t I get what I had been struggling for? Why? Later, through a year of painful treatment, my illness was cured. Having come back from the verge of death, I felt as if I had been in a dream and so happy that I could live freely, yet my doubt about the correctness of the words “One’s destiny is in his own hands” still remained.
After illness, I soon got married to the boy I was engaged to. Later, we had a lovely daughter and lived in happiness and peace. When my daughter was three months old, my aunt gave me a book of God’s words, in which I found the answer to the mystery of fate. God’s words say, “Marriage is a key event in any person’s life; it is the time when one starts truly to assume various kinds of responsibilities, begins gradually to fulfill various kinds of missions. People harbor many illusions about marriage before they experience it themselves, and all these illusions are beautiful. Women imagine that their other halves will be Prince Charming, and men imagine that they will marry Snow White. … Though everyone has their own ideas and personal stances on the subject of marriage, no one can foresee who will finally become their true other half, and one’s own notions count for little. After meeting a person you like, you can pursue that person; but whether he or she is interested in you, whether he or she is able to become your partner, is not yours to decide. The object of your affections is not necessarily the person with whom you will be able to share your life; and meanwhile someone you never expected quietly enters your life and becomes your partner, becomes the most important element in your fate, your other half, to whom your fate is inextricably bound.”
“Where you will go every day, what you will do, who or what you will encounter, what you will say, what will happen to you—can any of this be predicted? People cannot foresee all these occurrences, much less control how they develop. In life, these unforeseeable events happen all the time, and they are an everyday occurrence. These daily vicissitudes and the ways they unfold, or the patterns by which they play out, are constant reminders to humanity that nothing happens at random, that these things’ ramifications, and their inevitability, cannot be shifted by human will. Every happening conveys an admonition from the Creator to mankind, and it also sends the message that human beings cannot control their own fates; at the same time every event is a rebuttal to humanity’s wild, futile ambition and desire to take its fate into its own hands. … From these daily vicissitudes to the fates of entire human lives, there is nothing that does not reveal the Creator’s plans and His sovereignty; there is nothing that does not send the message that ‘the Creator’s authority cannot be exceeded,’ that does not convey the eternal truth that ‘the Creator’s authority is supreme’” (God Himself, the Unique III). In these words, I found the answer to my question. It turned out that our fate is not controlled by our own hands, but is arranged and ruled by the Creator; our marriages are also predetermined by Him. No matter how hard we try, we can’t alter the predestination of the Creator and have to play our respective role in our marriages. It’s just like the saying goes, “Man’s life is fated by Heaven.” Although I could fight for my marriage, I still had to return to the path God had predetermined for me; what’s more, from my own experience, I realized all that God has arranged is the greatest.
At that time, I couldn’t help but think: In the past, why did I always face fate defiantly? Then I understood that during the course of my learning knowledge, Satan’s poisons “One’s destiny is in his own hand” and “We can build a brighter future with our own two hands” were instilled in me, which made me vie obstinately against fate all along. It was not by chance that I got illness, but was God’s salvation; God used the fact to awaken me from the fallacy that “One’s destiny is in his own hand,” making me reconsider who is in control of my fate. In His powerful words, I found the answer that God is the Master of my fate. In addition, I felt even more grateful for His salvation and love for me: If not for the illness, I never would have seen through the so-called true love among men; if not for God saving me in this way, I would still be drifting in this world and become further and further from Him, and moreover would continue to oppose God and be fooled and harmed by Satan; if not for God’s care and protection, who knows what I would be like today. Thank God! My illness was His grace and special favor, which gave me an opportunity to know Him, accept His care and protection, submit to His sovereignty and arrangement over my fate, and live with joy and happiness before Him. All glory be to God!