by Yangyang, United States
When I was three years old, my dad passed away, and at that time, my mom had just delivered my younger brother. Because my grandma was superstitious, she said that it was my mom and my brother that had brought the misfortune to my dad. Having no choice, my mom had to take my younger brother to her parents’ home. Thus, I lived with my grandpa and grandma since I was old enough to understand things. Though my grandparents treated me well, I was still eager to live with my mom and my younger brother. From grade three in primary school, I started to often ride my bicycle to my maternal grandpa’s to see my mom. As she much preferred boys to girls, she was obviously partial to my younger brother in eating and wearing, which made me suffer much. As a matter of fact, I was not very demanding and I merely wanted a home, where my mom could love me and tell me her innermost thoughts and feelings. But I could only meet her on weekends, and whenever I met difficulties at school, she was always not at my side. As time passed, I became unwilling to tell others what difficulties I met. When I was sixteen, a part of teens of my age in the village applied and got the tourist visa and some of them chose to stay abroad. So I thought: My family condition is not good, and if I go abroad, I will be able to earn my own living and further support the family budget, so that it can improve the economic condition of my family as well.
Thus, in August 2000, I came to the United States and worked hard by myself. I was awfully exhausted after working from dawn to dusk and as there was nobody by my side whom I could speak out my innermost thoughts to, I would miss my family very much every time this happened. I seemed independent and resolute, but I was actually very frail inside. I indeed hoped I could have a happy family.
At the age of 21, when I worked in a restaurant, I met my husband, who was honest and filial to his parents. Moreover, he resigned his work to take care of me when I sprained my ankle. Gradually, I began to depend on him and we got married in April of 2008. I thought that I had found a man to whom I could entrust my life, and finally I had my own home. After marriage, my sister-in-law (my husband’s elder sister) and I joined hands and opened a building material company. Through years of hard work, I not only helped my husband pay off his former debt but had some savings. Since I was the only one in my large family who understood English, the whole company was mainly run by me. Besides, I had to look after the entire family. I had expected that I could win the respect of my husband’s family with what I paid out, but the fact gave me a slap in the face. After we had stepped onto the right track, we intended to have a child, but I failed to become pregnant throughout. For this reason, I took a lot of medicine and got many infusions, but we still couldn’t see any hope. Since my husband was the firstborn of the family, his parents and relatives put a lot of pressure on us. As a result, my husband’s attitude toward me was much worse than before. Then his family began to change their attitudes toward me as well. My sister-in-law often excluded me in her speaking. What’s more, she also distorted the truth in front of my husband, saying I didn’t respect her. When I told my grievances to my husband, he not only didn’t understand me, but sometimes scolded me, which made me extremely sad and distressed. Later, only after another checkup in the hospital did we make certain that something was actually wrong with my husband. However, these were not important any more, for there were already many problems in our relationship after years of quarreling. From the beginning of 2012, my husband often returned to China to see a doctor and engage in trade, coming back every half a year. Every time he came back, he was merely for money, saying that the company he managed in China needed cash for working capital, but showed not the slightest concern for me. So, as a result of being apart for most of three years, we became more estranged from each other. In early 2015, as our marriage ran into serious difficulty, my heart was incomparable empty. Not knowing how to vent my sufferings, I just frequently watched TV play series as well as chatted with strangers on the Internet to fill my emptiness inside. Yet still I had to face the reality, and in September 2015, we divorced in the end.
Much to my disappointment, when dividing our assets, my husband entrusted a lawyer and asked me to sign a contract, which said that if the court did not approve our divorce, I would need to give him all the money belonging to me within a week. The lawyer advised me to consider cautiously as it would be very unfavorable to me if I signed it. He said he could help me draw up an agreement trying to renegotiate the maintenance. However, I signed it directly without further consideration, since all that I had sacrificed for the family in the past nearly ten years from courtship to marriage was what money and material could not match. But today, just because we had no child, my husband and his family had been criticizing me insolently. My efforts were repaid with too much sadness and grievance and I was so tired that I just wanted to stay away from these people as soon as I could.
After divorce, I felt very helpless. I did not know who I could trust and share many of my innermost thoughts with. Whenever recalling my failing marriage, I was very oppressive and painful. Looking at myself, in order to have a baby, I had taken different kinds of medicines containing hormones, which had made me half a body heavier than before. I was much afraid that people would see my appearance of abjection and discomfiture. Though I pretended to be strong on the outside, I had been frail to the extreme within. I truly longed for living a heart-released life one day. And just from then on, I had a desire to .
One day when I was shopping in the mall, I met Sister Carmen who kindly helped me a lot, and we shared with each other the contact information. Later, I saw her posts on WeChat, from which I knew she was a Christian. Moreover, she often shared with me the love of God to man. To my surprise, I was gradually willing to open my heart and pour out my inner bitterness of these years to her. At the same time, she also told me her similar experience, which made me feel warm inside. One day, she asked me to go to another sister’s, where I met Brother Kevin and other three or four sisters of the Church of Almighty God. During the contact, I felt they differed much from people in the society, as I would never be truly understood there even when I had opened my heart to my own forks and friends; I instead would worry about their jest at my encounters. Therefore, I didn’t want to confide in anybody. However, I felt much released to get along with Carmen and other brothers and sisters, because they could all understand my sufferings and shared their experiences with me. I never imagined that we could share our mutual experiences so genuinely at our first meeting and I felt that the brothers and sisters treated me as their family. I was deeply moved, as this was what I could not receive from the society.
Later, we watched the melodrama video of The Story of Xiaozhen of the Church of Almighty God together and my heart was touched. I found it so real: The heroine and the friends around her had fun together innocently and naively when they were very young. However, when they grew up and encountered disputes over gains, their hearts all started to change. They gradually started to intrigue and fight against one another, taking no consideration of familial affection or friendship at all. I could not help reflecting my past: I had striven hard with my ex-husband for many years. But it was simply because we had no child that we broke up, and he even actually schemed against me when dividing up our assets. How incredibly horrible humans are! All of their affections seem so unworthy of mention when confronting gains and interests. Nevertheless, the heroine in the video found God at last and returned to God’s family under His guidance. With God being her only support, she felt no more loneliness and neither agitation nor loss. I was really moved at the sight of these. With my eyes brimming with tears, I thought: Now that Xiaozhen had returned before God, torn off her mask at last and lived in release and freedom, then Almighty God can also save me for sure, making me live happily just like her. Particularly, Almighty God’s words in the video, furthermore, warmed up my heart; Almighty God says, “Mankind, who left the supply of life from the Almighty, does not know why they exist, and yet fears death. There is no support, no help, but mankind is still reluctant to close their eyes, braving it all, drags out an ignoble existence in this world in bodies without the consciousness of souls. You live like such, with no hope; he exists like such, with no aim. There is only the Holy One in the legend who will come to save those who moan in suffering and long desperately for His arrival. This belief cannot be realized so far in the people who are unconscious. However, the people still yearn for it so. The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time. He is watching by your side, waiting for you to turn back. He is waiting for the day your memory suddenly recovers: becoming conscious of the fact that you came from God, somehow and somewhere once lost, falling unconscious on the roadside, and then, unknowingly having a father. You further realize that the Almighty has been watching there, awaiting your return all along” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). I became aware that God had been watching by my side and awaiting my return all along, so I was not a lonely person. At that moment, I was like a lost child who suddenly found his way home. I really felt considerably blessed! God knew my predicament and need, so He sent brothers and sisters to preach me the in order to bring me back to His home and let me receive His salvation. God really loves me so much!
Afterward, I started to live the church life and through reading Almighty God’s word, I felt that I had found the true support also could live with aim and hope. However, as I understood too little of the truth, whenever thinking of the failure of my marriage, my heart would still ache with my grudge against my husband and his family who treated me like that. At such times, my heart would always be overwhelmed in great sufferings. Then I told my bitterness to God in my , and afterward, spoke my mind to the brothers and sisters. Then Brother Kevin shared with me a passage of Almighty God’s word, “Man walked through the ages with God, yet man knows not that God rules the fate of all things and living beings or how God orchestrates and directs all things. … None actively seek out the footsteps or appearance of God, and none wish to exist in the care and keeping of God. Rather, they are willing to rely on the corrosion of Satan and the evil one in order to adapt to this world and to the rules of life the wicked mankind follows. At this point, the heart and spirit of man are sacrificed to Satan and become its sustenance. Moreover, the human heart and spirit become a place in which Satan can reside and a fitting playground for it. In this way, man unknowingly loses his understanding of the principles of being human…. God loses the man of His original creation, and man loses the root of his beginning. This is the sorrow of this mankind” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). The brother fellowshiped with me, “The reason why we lived so miserably is that we could not see through the fact and the truth of mankind’s corruption by Satan. In actuality, as Satan has been corrupting mankind for thousands of years, we are already accustomed to living by the outlook on life, the values, and the philosophies of life imbued by Satan, and we have all become mercenary, selfish and contemptible, and devoid of conscience. For instance, the reason why your husband and his family treated you as such is that they are controlled by the feudal thinking of ‘raising sons is to live a comfortable life in old age,’ which was engraved by Satan. And when distributing the belongings, your husband did not even have the slightest regard for the conjugal affection between you two for years, which is also due to the thought of ‘Money talks’ that Satan had implanted into man. Because of the corruption of Satan, we simply cannot live harmoniously with each other and we have no happiness at all in our lives. Therefore, all of our sufferings result from the affliction of Satan. The whole mankind, including our family, is under the affliction of Satan. So the one we should hate most is actually Satan. From this, we can see that we indeed need God’s salvation to us, because only God can lead us to get rid of the corruption of Satan, to restore our consciences and senses, to live out the likeness of a real man, and to obtain the real release and freedom within.” At hearing the fellowship of the brother, I came to my senses suddenly: I’m not the only one that lives in agony, but instead, the whole mankind is all fooled by Satan and living in misery. Looking back to my childhood, wasn’t my mom also influenced by the thinking of “preferring boys to girls” so that she took an aloof attitude toward me? After understanding these, I felt much brightened and somewhat released inside.
Later, I tried to understand my husband and his family and hold no more grudge against them, and thereupon, I had more peace and joy within. In August 2016, when I met my ex-husband on the street, we greeted each other and I could sense clearly that there was no hatred in my heart, for I was thinking: So is he living in the affliction of Satan. If there is a chance, I will preach the gospel to him so that he can experience the Creator’s salvation to mankind too. At that time, I felt that God is really so lovely and His words are exactly the truth. Only when we come before God and accept His salvation can we break away from the bondage of Satan, gain release and freedom, and live in happiness.
Whenever I watched the choir and dance videos of The Happiness in the Good Land of Canaan, I would feel blessed inside, feeling that this song had spoken my mind out, “I’ve returned to God’s family, extremely happy and excited. I hold my beloved with hands, already giving my heart to Him. Passing through the valley of weeping, I’ve seen God’s loveliness. My love for Him is increasingly close; my heart is happy because of Him. God’s beauty obsessing me, my heart is intimate with Him. I cannot love God enough, filled with praise songs within. In the good land of Canaan, everything is fresh and lively. They are full of vitality. Living water flows from the practical God. I get the supply of life and enjoy the heavenly blessing. … This good land is a world of God’s words; living in His love is very enjoyable. Clusters of fruits tinge the air with their fragrance. Those who live here for a few days will love it exceedingly and feel reluctant to leave.” Reflecting upon my past, regardless of what I had experienced all the way, God was always watching me by my side and finally brought me to His family. Now I enjoy the watering and shepherding of Almighty God’s word every day, my inner pains are solved thoroughly and I have found the guidance of my life, obtaining the true freedom and joy. Every time I think of this, I am really touched inside and only hope to pursue the truth hard, fulfill my duty of a created being, and live out a real life to repay God’s love for me. All glory be to Almighty God!