I Have Found a True Home
When I was three years old my father passed away. At that time my mother had just given birth to my younger brother, and my grandmother, owing to superstition, said that it was my mother and younger brother that caused my father’s death. For lack of a better option mother had to take my younger brother to her father’s house to live, so from the start of my earliest memories I was living together with my grandpa and grandma. Although my grandpa and grandma treated me well I still felt lonely and really wanted to be together with my mom and little brother. I hoped for the same kind of motherly love that other kids received. Really, what I was asking for wasn’t much, all I wanted was a true family, a mother who loved me dearly, who I could share my true feelings with. But even this small ask turned into an extravagant hope. I was only able to see my mother on the weekends. Whenever I got into trouble at school mom was never there by side either, I was like a small patch of grass by the side of the road, nobody showed any interest in me. Over time I became very self-abased, I held everything back in my heart and didn’t take initiative to interact with others. When I was sixteen there were some people in my village who were going abroad for work, and the idea tempted me. I thought to myself: My family conditions aren’t very good, if I were to go abroad then I could earn my own living, and even give some of my earnings to my family. That way I could help my family live a little better.
In August 2000, I came to the United States to make it alone. While there I’d wake up early in the morning and work all day late into the night, and there was no one by my side whom I could share my thoughts with. I forced myself to hold it together on the outside, but on the inside I felt especially lonely and desolate. Whenever I felt this way I would really miss my family, and I would yearn even stronger to be able to have a happy family.
When I was 21 I got to know my husband while working at a restaurant. He was dependable and devoted to his parents, so I had a favorable impression of him. One time, I sprained my foot while not being careful, and to my surprise he quit his job to take care of me, which made me feel very touched. I slowly started to depend on him. In April 2008 we got married. I felt like I had found someone with whom I could entrust my life to, and finally it felt like I had a family to call my own. I felt very happy in my heart, what I had hoped for for so many years had finally come true. After getting married my husband’s sister and I partnered up to start a building materials company, but since I was the only one in our family who knew English, the entire company was basically supported by me. On the one hand I was looking after everyone in my family, and on the other hand I was managing the company. Through several years of struggle I not only was able to help my husband pay back his previous debts, I was also able to collect some savings for my family. Originally I had thought that my investment would win me the respect of my husband’s family, but the reality was a slap in the face to me. Once the business started having some success we planned to have a child, but I couldn’t get pregnant. Because of this I took a lot of medicine and visited lots of doctors, but I didn’t see a single ray of hope. My husband was the eldest son in his family, and his parents and other relatives lost hope in me since we didn’t give them a grandchild. Facing this kind of pressure my husband’s attitude toward me also changed dramatically from before. Afterward, everyone in my husband’s family changed their attitudes toward me. My husband’s older sister would often say things to exclude me, and would even distort the facts to say bad things about me in front of my husband. I felt I had been wronged, so I told my husband how I was feeling. He not only didn’t understand me, he even started yelling at me while I was explaining myself, which made me feel even more hurt and wronged. Later on, we went to the hospital for another checkup, and finally found out that it was actually a problem with my husband’s body. But this was no longer important, because after several years of fighting our relationship had become a mess. Starting from the beginning of 2012 my husband would often go back to China to visit doctors and carry out business, only coming back home once every six months. Every time he came back he was just to get money, telling me that the company he was running back in China needed funding to cover its costs, but he was completely indifferent toward me. In this way we were barely ever together for over three years, and our relationship drifted further apart.
In September 2015 we finally ended up getting a divorce. What hurt me the most was that when we were dividing up our property my husband went so far as to entrust a lawyer to make me sign a contract saying that if the court did not approve our divorce then within a week I would have to give him the entire portion of earnings I had made. Another lawyer had me think it over carefully, if I signed this contract it would be very detrimental to me, and he said that he could help me write an agreement that would win me alimony. Seeing my husband be so cold and ruthless made me feel very disillusioned. From first falling in love to getting married, for nearly a decade I gave everything to my husband and this family, to which no amount of money or possessions could compare. But now, because my husband couldn’t have a child, he and his family placed all blame on me, and turned heartless toward me, without the slightest consideration for my feelings. What I got in return for what I put in was a lot of pain and a broken heart. I felt exhausted. I didn’t want anything to do with this family, I just wanted to leave this home as soon as possible and get far away from these people who hurt me so deeply. So, without the slightest hesitation I signed my name.
After my divorce I felt very helpless. I didn’t know whom I could believe in, and I didn’t know whom I could go to and share my feelings with. Every time that I thought about my own failed marriage it made me feel so depressed and sorrowful. I reexamined my current self. In order to have a child I took so much medicine with hormones that I gained half again the weight of my original size. I was so afraid that others would see me now in these dire straits, in this difficult situation that I was in. On the surface I feigned being strong, but in my heart I felt extremely weak. I really did long for the day that I would be able to live a life where my spirit could be set free. It was from this point in time that I started having the desire to believe in God.
Not long after this, I ran into Carmen one day while at the mall shopping for clothes. She was very enthusiastic in helping me, and we exchanged phone numbers. Afterward I saw a message she posted on WeChat, and I discovered that she was a Christian. Carmen would often share with me God’s love for man, and I felt very moved in my heart. I gradually discovered that I—originally someone who was closed off—was willing to open my heart and interact with other people. As Carmen and I got to know each other I opened up to her about the suffering that I had felt in my heart these past many years. Carmen really understood my suffering, and she shared with me a similar experience that she had gone through. I felt that I had met someone who truly cared for me, and it warmed my heart. One day Carmen invited me to another sister’s home where I met Brother Kevin and several other sisters from The Church of Almighty God. While being with them I felt that they were quite different from the people I had met in the past. Whenever I was with other people, even if they were my relatives or friends, it felt like I wasn’t truly understood when I opened up my heart to them. On the contrary, I would worry that I would be ridiculed by them, so I wasn’t willing to share my feelings with anyone. However, while with Carmen and these others I felt very at ease, for they were all able to understand my suffering, and they even shared with me their own experiences. It truly was difficult to imagine how sincerely I could open up my heart and talk with everyone here the first time I met them, how we all shared our experiences with one another. I felt like these brothers and sisters treated me like a relative more than my family did, which was something I had never experienced before while living in this world over the past several decades, and it made me feel very touched inside.
Later, we all got together to watch the musical Xiaozhen’s Story from The Church of Almighty God, which I thought was so touching. The story in the movie was so true: As a child, the heroine in the film played with her friends innocently and without impurity, but once they grew up and came across needing to fend for themselves, everyone’s heart began to gradually change. They started to scheme against each other, even becoming enemies and fighting with one another. There was no affection or friendship. I couldn’t help but think of all those years my husband and I struggled. Because we couldn’t have a child there was a fracture in our relationship, ending when we split up our property and my husband actually started calculating against me. It made me think about how terrible people really are, whenever it’s their own interests at stake all feelings become unworthy of mention. Fortunately, the heroine in the film eventually finds God, and returns to God’s home, where God becomes the only thing she can rely on, and she is no longer lonely, nor does she go on feeling indecisive and helpless. I felt quite moved after seeing this, holding back tears in my eyes. I thought to myself: “When Xiaozhen returned to God she took off the mask worn for survival and truly lived in the presence of God, receiving His salvation, and being able to live a liberated and free life. So, Almighty God surely will also save me, allowing me to live as happily as Xiaozhen.” Then I heard the words of Almighty God: “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” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Upon hearing these words it was as if my mother was calling out for me, and it seemed like I had returned to my mother’s side, where I felt an incomparable warmth in my heart. As it turns out, God has always been by my side watching over me, waiting for my return. I was no longer alone. God knows my plight and my needs. In my greatest time of need, when my spirit ached the most, He, through brothers and sisters spreading the gospel to me, brought me back into the house of God, where I received God’s salvation and enjoyed the love God has for me. In that moment I felt like a lost child who had finally found home, who had found their family, and I really felt truly blessed!
After this, I started participating in church life, and through reading the word of Almighty God I felt that I had found something I could truly rely on, that there was goal and direction in my life. However, since I understood little about the truth, every time I thought about my failed marriage I would still feel pain in my heart. I hated the way that my husband’s family had treated me, and every time I thought about it I would start to feel my heart sink into despair. So, in order to seek the truth and find answers, I prayed to God about my troubles, and I opened up to the brothers and sisters and told them about my problems as well. One time, Brother Kevin shared with me this passage from the word of Almighty God: “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” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Brother Kevin fellowshiped on this, telling me: “The reason that our lives are so full of pain is because we fail to see through the fact that mankind is corrupted by Satan. In fact, mankind has been corrupted by Satan for thousands of years. For a long time now we have been used to everything Satan instills in us. Mankind relies on Satan’s rules of survival to live, making us self-seeking, selfish, contemptible and without conscience. Your former husband’s family was able to treat you in the way they did because they too were controlled by such feudal thoughts as ‘Carry on one’s ancestral line,’ ‘There are three ways to be unfilial, having no sons is the worst,’ and ‘Bring up children so as to be looked after in old age’ that had been instilled in them by Satan, and when your husband was dividing up your property he didn’t consider at all your many years of being together as husband and wife, this too was him being affected and controlled by such rules of survival as ‘Money is first’ and ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ which turned him selfish and unfeeling. Because of Satan’s corruption people simply cannot get along with each other, and there is no happiness in our lives. All the suffering that we experience is caused by Satan’s afflictions. All of our families are afflicted by Satan as well, the entire human race is under Satan’s domain, and without the freedom to act independently we are harmed by Satan. So, without God’s guidance, people relying on the philosophies and laws of Satan to live have lives that are without true blessings and happiness. In our lives what we need the most is not material wealth or the love of our families, but rather God’s salvation. What we need is to be supplied with the word of God. God alone can lead us to break away from Satan’s corruption and affliction, and restore our conscience and reason, enabling us to live like true people and obtain freedom and liberation.” After listening to Brother Kevin’s fellowship I suddenly realized: As it turns out it wasn’t just me who lived in suffering, but rather the entire human race had been fooled by Satan and corrupted by Satan, all were struggling with pain. So long as man comes before God and accepts God’s salvation, then they can break away from the affliction of Satan, and walk away from this suffering. This is the only way to obtain happiness and freedom. Once I understood this my mind felt so clear, and I was able to let go of so much. Thanks be to God’s salvation!
Once I understood the root cause for why man lives in pain I realized that the resentment I held toward my former husband’s family was all the result of Satan’s afflictions, and this made me even willing to try and forgive them and stop holding a grudge against them. When I started putting the word of God into practice I felt a lot more joy in my heart. One day in August 2016 I ran into my former husband on the street. We greeted each other and I felt clearly in my heart that I no longer resented him, because I knew that he had been living with Satan’s afflictions, that he had been fooled and tormented by Satan. If I have the opportunity I will spread the gospel of God in the last days to him, so that he too can come before God and receive the Creator’s salvation. In that moment I felt that God truly is so lovable, and that God’s word is the truth. So long as we come before God and receive His salvation, then we can free ourselves from the binds of Satan and obtain freedom and liberation, and live happy and blessed lives.
Every time that I watch the dance and song video The Happiness in the Good Land of Canaan I feel so happy. I feel like they are singing about what I feel in my heart: “I’ve returned to God’s family, excited and happy. My hands hold my beloved, my heart belongs to Him. Though I’ve passed through the Vale of Tears, I’ve seen God’s loveliness. My love for God grows day by day, God is the source of my joy. Bewitched by the beauty of God, my heart is attached to Him. I can never love God enough, songs of praise well up in my heart. In this blessed land of Canaan, all is fresh, all is new…. Canaan’s land, the world of God’s words; His love brings us unending joy. Fragrance of fruits fills the air. If you live here for a few days, you will love it more than anything. Never will you want to leave.” When I think back on the road I’ve been down, regardless of what I experienced on the way God has always been by my side watching over me, and in the end He took me back into His home. Now every day I enjoy being watered and provided for by the word of Almighty God. The pain I felt inside has gone away, and I have found direction in my life. I have obtained true freedom and happiness. Thanks be to God for saving me, I will strive to pursue the truth and fulfill my duty as a creation as best I can to repay God’s love. All the glory be to Almighty God!