By Kemu, Japan
I was born into a normal peasant family. My mother was diligent and hardworking, while my father was a lazy alcoholic. Every time he lost his temper with my mother after getting drunk, my younger brother and I would hide under the quilt with fear. Later, my parents got divorced due to the broken relationship. Growing up in such a circumstance, I extremely hoped to marry someone who cared me and loved me to live a happy life.
Later, I made the acquaintance of my ex-husband, who was very filial toward his parents and considerate to me. But my mother-in-law was a well-known shrew in the village, so I planned to live apart from her after getting married. However, things didn’t turn out as I wished. My mother-in-law insisted on living with us, so my plan fell through. Then I thought: Since we live together, then we should get along well with each other. But my mother-in-law always found fault with me because my family was poor and our marriage was not of equal rank. Even if I did everything according to her requests, I could still receive a bad scolding, and she even tried to drive me away from the house several times. I had thought that finding a considerate husband could let me live a happy life, but it was beyond my expectation that I would have such an aggressive mother-in-law. To get a good assessment from the villagers and change my mother-in-law’s attitude toward me, I always swallowed my anger and grievance, doing the housework hard and even letting her manage all the money my husband earned as a driver. After a period of time, my mother-in-law’s attitude toward me still had not changed though all the villagers regarded me as a good daughter-in-law. My efforts were in vain at last, and it was still a torment to me to get on with my mother-in-law.
As my son was growing up day by day, I placed my hope on him, hoping to build a good life for him with my own hands, for it was the greatest happiness of me as a parent. But my mother-in-law kept the money my husband earned, which made me pretty dissatisfied. Thus, I said to my husband, “When could we keep our own money? Our son need to buy a house and get married when he grows up; now your mother is in charge of the money, and if she doesn’t help us and we have no savings at that time, will our son complain about our uselessness?” Hearing my complaints every day, my husband then reclaimed our money from my mother-in-law, and we finally could keep our own money. But the first year after that, my mother-in-law borrowed 10,000 yuan from us, and then 20,000 yuan the next year. I had never thought that she should take our money in charge in this way. Later, the transportation business run by us was no longer profitable, and we even needed to put in our own money, so my hope of saving more money for my son faded. What was even more unexpected was that my husband had an affair and betrayed me when he worked as a driver. At that moment, I was so helpless. Thinking back, my mother-in-law was bad to me, but my husband loved me, so I still had something to look forward to in life. After my son’s birth, I struggled to create a happy home, but in the end I had nothing. I had suffered so many hardships these years, yet nothing went right for me. No matter how hard I tried, what I gained in the end was just sufferings instead of happiness. Thinking of these, I felt as if my heart were hollowed out. Later, my husband and I got divorced.
After divorce, I was still not reconciled to my fate, so I continued to pursue happiness with my own hands. Then I went to Japan alone. Though I had suffered many pains and frustrations during my first marriage, I still didn’t give up seeking happiness, so I went on planning for a wonderful future after marrying my present husband. In the beginning, our relationship was steady and he was very fond of me, so I thought that I finally found happiness this time. But one day in February, 2015, my husband suddenly told me that he owed over 3,600,000 yen and wanted me to help him repay the debt. Hearing his words, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I had thought that he worked two jobs for our future life; only then did I know that he did so to repay the debt. Facing this reality, I pretended to be calm outside, but shouted in my heart: Why is the happy life always far from me? Why on earth?
Gradually, I became quiet and was unwilling to talk to anyone, hiding all the things within my heart, because I was afraid of being laughed at. But this made me more mentally tired and I smiled less and less. Whenever I recalled what had happened to me since my childhood, I felt so exhausted and grieved. Sometimes I thought: If only I could fall asleep and never wake up, and then all my pressure and suffering would be relieved. I wanted to leave Japan yet had no idea where to go, so I could only force myself to hold on.
Soon after, I returned to China to take a holiday and told my mother about all things happening during this period, and she exhorted me: “Everything of us is in God’s hands and is not up to ourselves. Justand rely on Him, and stop resisting fate. You always desire to take your fate into your own hands, which only made you more and more pained. You have been toiling for your family and money these years, trying to live a happy life with your own hands; then what is the result? Could it be that your destiny is really held in your own hands? You should think about it carefully.” Before, my mother had preached the to me many times, advising me to believe in Almighty God and accept God’s sovereignty; however, I had been seeking happy life according to my own will all the time. At that time, I had to admit that there was nothing working out as I wished all these years, that what happened in real life brought me nothing but sadness and pains, and that I indeed couldn’t get real happiness by relying on myself.
Then I looked at my mother in front of me. Since she believed in God, her views about things had changed a lot and she became more and more happy. My mother’s transformation made me interested in believing in God, and I wanted to live easily and freely like her. Then she asked me to read the following passages of God’s words: “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives.”
“If a person’s attitude toward fate is passive, it proves that he or she is resisting everything that God has arranged for him or her, that he or she does not have a submissive attitude. If one’s attitude toward God’s sovereignty over human fate is active, then when one looks back upon one’s journey, when one truly comes to grips with God’s sovereignty, one will more earnestly desire to submit to everything that God has arranged, will have more of the determination and confidence to let God orchestrate one’s fate, to stop rebelling against God. For one sees that when one does not comprehend fate, when one does not understand God’s sovereignty, when one gropes forward willfully, staggering and tottering, through the fog, the journey is too difficult, too heartbreaking. So when people recognize God’s sovereignty over human fate, the smart ones choose to know it and accept it, to bid farewell to the painful days when they tried to build a good life with their own two hands, instead of continuing to struggle against fate and pursue their so-called life goals in their own manner. … Only when one accepts the Creator’s sovereignty, submits to His orchestrations and arrangements, and seeks true human life, will one gradually break free from all heartbreak and suffering, shake off all the emptiness of life.” After I read these words, my mother said to me, “Our whole life is held in God’s hands, and we are incapable of controlling ourselves. So don’t struggle against your own fate anymore.”
Hearing her advice, I reflected on God’s words carefully. Thinking back, I was full of fantasies about life and marriage at first, desiring to build a happy life with my own two hands. But things always went contrary to my wishes, and I became exhausted both physically and mentally and felt unbearably painful. Isn’t it all because I had no knowledge of God’s sovereignty over my fate and blindly struggled against the fate with my ability? Yet these sufferings are what I should undergo, because if I hadn’t experienced so many frustrations and failures, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to come before God or know that my destiny is not controlled by myself. At this moment, I was full of gratitude for God and was willing to submit to His sovereignty. In the days that followed, I often went out for meetings with my mother; when I was free, I would read God’s words, listen to hymns, and watch gospel movies and videos; and my mother taught me how to pray. Every day was full and I no longer felt the days unbearable.
Later, I went back to Japan. After a while, my husband told me that we just needed to pay the solicitor 500,000 yen and then he would help us handle the matter of the debt; besides, we could pay the lawyer fee by installments, which wouldn’t influence our life. I deeply knew that it’s owe to God’s sovereignty and arrangements that my life took a favorable turn, so I thanked God constantly in my heart. Later, I had contact with the brothers and sisters in the Church of Almighty God in Japan and had a regular church life. Through reading God’s words continually and the fellowship and help from my brothers and sisters, I was certain that Almighty God is God incarnate.
One day, I read these God’s words: “A person who truly knows and experiences the Creator’s sovereignty should be in an active, not passive or helpless state. While at the same time accepting that all things are fated, he or she should possess an accurate definition of life and fate: that every life is subject to the Creator’s sovereignty. When one looks back upon the road one has walked, when one recollects every phase of one’s journey, one sees that at every step, whether one’s road was arduous or smooth, God was guiding one’s path, planning it out. It was God’s meticulous arrangements, His careful planning, that led one, unknowingly, to today. To be able to accept the Creator’s sovereignty, to receive His salvation—what great fortune that is!” Through the revelation of God’s words, I truly experienced that no matter whether my road in life is rough or smooth, it is God that leads me all the way until now. Though I have suffered a lot, I finally see clearly the fact that I really can’t dictate my own fate. When I accept God’s sovereignty and obey His arrangements for me, and no longer seek happy life by my own ability, I live more easily and freely. I feel so lucky to come in front of God, and have finally understood that only those who know God’s sovereignty have true happiness to speak of.
I remember a hymn of life experience which says: “If I were not saved by God, I would still be drifting in this world, struggling hard and painfully in sin; every day gets bleak and hopeless. If I were not saved by God, I’d still be crushed below the devil’s feet, snared in sin and its enjoyments, ignorant of what my life would be. If I were not saved by God, I’d be without my blessings here today, much less know why we should live on or the meaning of our lives. If I were not saved by God, I’d still be confused about my faith, still in empty space passing the days, unaware in whom to put my faith. I have finally understood God’s loving hands hold mine as we go. I would never go and lose my way ’cause I’m on this brilliant course to stay. I have finally understood God’s intent, earnest to man. False impressions fully removed, I will give my flesh and soul to God.” This hymn makes me identify with it, for it gives voice to my own thoughts. From now on, I only wish to walk on the path which God points out for me, sacrifice my whole being to God, and accept God’s sovereignty over my fate.