The Years I Put Myself Out on Behalf of My Daughter
Yang Yuqing, Japan
I was born in a small village in China, and grew up there living an ordinary, simple life. Because my family was poor, I had to go to work in a big city after finishing junior high school at the age of 16. At the age of 17, I met my ex-husband, who is 12 years older than me. At the time, the concern and care he showed for me was like the sheltering protection I got from my father and the fraternal love that my older brother showed me. I felt that I was very lucky to have met him, and I was very happy. One day, his mother came over especially to see me. I thought that she would be glad to see me, and so I was surprised when, on seeing that I was pretty and much younger than her son, she immediately suspected that I had some ulterior motive for dating him. Right in front of me, she said to her son: “Aren’t you afraid that she’s up to no good?” I felt very sad and upset to hear her say that, and was at a loss. My ex-husband replied in an angry tone of voice: “Mom, if you think you can split us up you can shove off!” I was stunned to hear him say this sort of stuff. He’d always seemed to be a gentle guy, and now he was getting furious at his mother in order to protect our relationship. I was very touched by this, and thought that it meant that his love for me was real and that I’d found true love. Later on, I married him and gave birth to a daughter, even though our parents were opposed to the idea. But, to my complete surprise, within a few short years he changed into a totally different person. He started drinking, whoring, and gambling, and in no time at all had blown through all of our savings and landed himself in debt as well. At my wit’s end, I gave our daughter to my mother-in-law to look after and went out to work to make money to pay off the debt. But no matter how hard I worked, no matter how much money I made, he would take it and gamble it away. We ended up arguing every day and finally I couldn’t take it anymore and moved out. I originally wanted to take our daughter with me and move away from that place where I’d known so much heartache, but my ex-husband didn’t allow it. He said that he’d only hand over our daughter if I gave him 200,000 RMB.
I was worried that my ex-husband would find another partner and that my daughter would be bullied by her. I also wanted to take my daughter so that I could put her into a good school and give her a good education and a bright future. So I agreed to pay my ex-husband the 200,000 RMB. But I hadn’t worked for a few years, and had no way to quickly get such a large sum of money, so I started to work as hard as I could to make money. It was during this period that my mother and elder sister both accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. They also urged me to believe in God and rely on God, but I didn’t have the inclination and remained totally focused on making money. All that concerned me was getting together the 200,000 RMB as quickly as possible so that I could get my daughter back. But what I never imagined was that when I paid my ex-husband the 200,000 RMB he still refused to give me our daughter and demanded 500,000 RMB, and tried to justify his greed with all sorts of reasons.
As a result of not being able to get my daughter back I began to drink every day to drown my sorrows and I became like a zombie. But so that my daughter could have a good future, I once again agreed to my ex-husband’s irrational terms and began the struggle to reach the 500,000 RMB target. I became a total slave to money, and worked day and night. It was during this time that I took a job in a Japanese restaurant, and that’s where I met my current husband. Because of the way my ex-husband had hurt me, I had lost all hope of re-marrying. But my new man was kind and gentle, and didn’t mind that I had a daughter, so I married him and came to live in Japan. After I arrived in Japan, my daughter, thinking that I didn’t want to be with her, started calling me daily. She would cry down the phone and say that she hated me and that I wasn’t a good mother. My daughter’s words were like a knife in my heart. What I wanted to say was: “Daughter, why can’t you understand how I feel? It’s not that I don’t want you. Your father won’t let me take you!” At the time, I made a pledge to myself that I’d get my daughter back. After that, I started to work even harder, and nothing occupied my mind except money and my daughter: I had to reach the target of 500,000 RMB so that I could bring my daughter to live in Japan. But when I finally got the money together and asked my ex-husband to send me his bank account details so that I could wire the money to him, he demanded 1 million RMB. My ex-husband’s continuous deceit saddened me greatly. I thought about how hard I’d worked over the last few years to get my daughter back, but all I’d gotten back was deceit and pain. In fact, I’d exhausted myself so much that all I could do now was stay at home and recuperate. The more I thought about it, the more upset I got. I was full of resentment, and felt that life was bitter and exhausting …
During this period, my mother and elder sister, seeing how I lived so miserably, again urged me to believe in God. They told me that I could only get rid of the suffering if I went before God and relied on Him. But I was still pre-occupied with the whole thing with my daughter and still didn’t have the inclination to believe in God. One time later on, I returned to China, and my mother once again earnestly urged me to have faith and trust in God and not to fight against my destiny. My mother said: “The heavens and earth and all things have been made by God and we humans also come from God. Our destinies are all in God’s hands, but you don’t believe in God’s rule. You hurry and bustle around thinking that you can do it all yourself. You keep on rebelling against God and refusing God’s salvation. You want to control your own destiny, but this will only make you suffer even more. You think that all it takes is money to get your daughter back. You’ve struggled all these years, but to what avail? Has your wish come true? You should seriously consider whether or not our destinies are really in our hands. Yuqing, have faith and trust in God! Only God can save us from suffering!” After saying all this, my mother read out a passage of Almighty God’s words for me: “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. When one has no God, when one cannot see Him, when one cannot clearly recognize God’s sovereignty, every day is meaningless, worthless, miserable. Wherever one is, whatever one’s job is, one’s means of living and the pursuit of one’s goals bring one nothing but endless heartbreak and irrelievable suffering, such that one cannot bear to look back. 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” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words of God really touched my heart, and all the scenes of me putting myself out for my daughter flashed before my eyes. All these years I’d been giving free rein to my character and “groping forward willfully.” For the sake of my daughter I’d given my all to make money, never stopping to rest. I’d born enormous stress at work, my husband’s irrational bullying, my daughter’s misunderstandings, and my own longings and worries for her. All this had worn me down both physically and mentally, making me extremely miserable, and only I knew just how deep this sadness, pain and suffering really went. Now, Almighty God was describing the source of my pain with great clarity, and I was finally coming to understand that the reason for my suffering and pain was that I didn’t know whom the fate of every living person is controlled by. I’d always wanted to rely on my own efforts to improve my daughter’s destiny, but no matter how hard I tried it was all to no avail. All I’d done was to make myself suffer, and I’d ended up bruised and battered. At that moment, I thought to myself: “Should I really just stop for a while and quietly reflect on my life so far? Should I hand over control of my destiny to God and submit to whatever He arranges for me? Where should I go from here? Where will my spirit finally find a safe harbor in which to shelter and rest?”
While I was still pondering over this my mother said to me: “Your sister and I have been trying to preach the gospel to you for the last few years, but you’ve been too busy making money and so haven’t bothered to seek or investigate the true way. But look what all your hustle and bustle has brought you: great pain and suffering and nothing to show for it. All this is the bitter fruit of straying from and betraying God but instead living under Satan’s domain and being corrupted by Satan. When we come before God and accept God’s salvation and when we know and obey God’s rule and live by His words, only then will we have a happy life. Let’s watch the gospel movie Caught the Last Train together. Dearest, we are now in the age of the last days and Almighty God’s work of the last days is God’s final stage of the work of saving mankind. What’s more, we are now into the final countdown, the last train is about to leave the station, so you’ve really got to make an effort to investigate all this.” After hearing that, I started to watch the movie earnestly. In the movie there was a lot of talk about God’s work, and I don’t know why but I was able to understand it all even though I’d never had much time for faith in God. What moved me most was listening to the protagonist describing the process of how he had gone from resisting God’s work to accepting the gospel. His reflections and knowledge really resonated with me, and moved me to shed tears of regret. I really felt that I was a rebellious child, just like the protagonist. God’s salvation came to me time and time again, but I had always refused God’s salvation of the last days and continued to trust only myself as I tasted all of the bitterness that the world offered to me. I’d never enjoyed a moment of peace and joy, and now I truly regretted that I hadn’t accepted God’s work of the last days at an earlier date. Watching the movie, I waked up to the truth, and I decided there and then that I would be on the last train, that I would rely on Almighty God and no longer rely on my own two hands to fight my way through. Because I now knew that I was a creature of God and that God was controlling every aspect of my life. Only God has the power to change my destiny and I’m now willing to come before God, and accept Almighty God as my Lord and as my God!
Not long after returning to Japan, I entered into the life of The Church of Almighty God. When I saw, in the church and from watching their various kinds of movies and videos, that there were already so many brothers and sisters in Japan and around the world, I was stunned. I really hadn’t expected to see that there were so many believers in Almighty God, and that many other nations such as Canada, the U.S.A., South Korea, etc. all had branches of The Church of Almighty God. The gospel of God’s kingdom was spreading to all four corners of the globe, and this knowledge made me even more certain that I’d gotten on board “the last train.” I was so grateful to God for giving me a number of opportunities to save me, and for bringing me back to God’s house, so that I could obtain the watering and supply of God’s words, enjoying the peace and joy that I had never had before. So I made up my mind that I would follow Almighty God without faltering.
Later, after leading a church life and reading God’s words for some time, I came to understand just how much effort goes into God’s salvation of each person. I also understood that all human suffering derives from Satan’s affliction. I read these words of God: “In the beginning, man had the breath of Jehovah, and was not the slightest bit disobedient, and had no evil in his heart. At that time, man was truly human. After being corrupted by Satan, man became a beast: His thoughts were filled with evil and filth, without good or holiness. Is this not Satan?” (“The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Most people live in the foul place of Satan, and suffer its derision; it teases them this way and that till they are half alive, enduring every vicissitude, every hardship in the human world. After toying with them, Satan puts an end to their destiny. And so people go through their whole lives in a daze of confusion, never once enjoying the good things that God has prepared for them, but instead being damaged by Satan and left in tatters. Today they have become so enervated and listless that they simply have no inclination to take notice of God’s work” (“Work and Entry (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading God’s words, I understood that the reason why people live so miserably is directly related to Satan’s corruption of mankind. Beginning in elementary school the teachers fill our heads with theories and philosophies such as atheism, materialism and evolution. Once we begin to make our way in the great vat of evil and darkness that is modern society, we absorb an even greater variety of satanic philosophies, which tell us that our world is fundamentally godless, that there has never been a Savior, that our destinies are in our own hands, that you must win your own happiness, that everyman for himself and the devil take the hindmost, and that money makes the world go round etc. After being poisoned and brainwashed by these evil ideas and ridiculous theories we no longer believe in the existence of God, and certainly don’t believe that God is in control of every single person’s destiny. We start to drift away from God, deny and betray God, and our dispositions become more and more arrogant. We stop listening to other people and rely only on our own abilities to struggle and fight for what we want. The end result is that we usually fail, exhaust ourselves, and end up with nothing. I thought of how my ex-husband wanted 200,000 RMB from me before he would hand over our daughter, and how my family urged me many times to believe in God and rely on God and trust that God would open up a way forward for me. But I considered relying on God to be too vague and that only relying on myself was realistic, and I was capable of earning the money and getting my daughter back. As a result, I not only ruined my health through exhaustion but also allowed myself to be cheated by my ex-husband multiple times. My life at that time was full of terrible suffering and bitterness. Wasn’t all this the result of my leaving God and relying on my own abilities to struggle against fate? If, in this dark and evil world, we go along with Satan’s lies then we’ll be corrupted by Satan to the point where we become something that is neither human nor demon. We won’t get a minute’s peace or joy, much less will we have any happiness.
After that, I saw more of God’s words: “A person cannot choose the people or factors under whose edification and influence he or she grows up. One cannot choose what knowledge or skills one acquires, what habits one forms. One has no say in who one’s parents and relatives are, what kind of environment one grows up in; one’s relationships with the people, events, and things in one’s surroundings, and how they influence one’s development, are all beyond one’s control. Who decides these things, then? Who arranges them? Since people have no choice in the matter, since they cannot decide these things for themselves, and since they obviously do not take shape naturally, it goes without saying that the formation of all this rests in the hands of the Creator. Just as the Creator arranges the particular circumstances of every person’s birth, He also arranges the specific circumstances under which one grows up, needless to say. If a person’s birth brings changes to the people, events, and things around him or her, then that person’s growth and development will necessarily affect them as well. For example, some people are born into poor families, but grow up surrounded by wealth; others are born into affluent families but cause their families’ fortunes to decline, such that they grow up in poor environments. No one’s birth is governed by a fixed rule, and no one grows up under an inevitable, fixed set of circumstances. These are not things that a person can imagine or control; they are the products of one’s fate, and are determined by one’s fate. Of course, the bottom line is that they are predestined for a person’s fate by the Creator, they are determined by the Creator’s sovereignty over, and His plans for, that person’s fate” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Thank God! God’s words are spoken so practically. The fate of every living person is in God’s hands. The families of our births and circumstances of our growth to maturity, every part of our destiny in life, are all beyond our control. For example, when I thought that I’d found true love with my ex-husband and that we’d be happy together for a life time, and then, within a few short years, my life became unbearably painful and bitter because my ex-husband was prone to drinking, whoring, and gambling. After I divorced my ex-husband, and in order to get my daughter back, I’d devoted my whole being to making money, thinking that I could rely on my own diligence to improve my daughter’s destiny. I’d always been afraid that my daughter would inevitably be influenced by him, and so I wanted to give her a better home environment and a better education. I wanted her to be learned and cultured so that she’d be able to make something of herself when she grew up. But even though I’d agreed to my ex-husband’s unreasonable demands time and time again, I still hadn’t gotten my daughter back, much less had I improved the way she was developing into an adult. My daughter was now 15 years old, but she hadn’t picked up any of my ex-husband’s bad habits, and in fact was getting more sensible by the day. Reality had given me all the proof I needed to know that no one can change their own destiny, parents can’t change the destinies of their offspring, and the circumstances under which we live don’t play a deciding role either. The destiny of every living person is arranged and controlled by God. At the same time, I understood that only God understands people thoroughly and completely and only God knows what environments and situations people need most. Only God’s control and arrangements are the most suitable things for us. Once I recognized God’s arrangements and control in mankind’s fate, then it was like a weight was lifted from my heart. Whether I could get my daughter back, her future, and whether or not she’d be able to come and live in Japan were all in God’s hands. All I could do was hand my daughter over to God to let Him decide what to do with her.
I would never have expected that no sooner had I not relied on my own capabilities to deal with things anymore, but instead submitted to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, than the circumstances surrounding me also began to change. My daughter no longer hated me but became especially close to me: She stopped wanting money from me and began to show concern for my welfare; I also started chatting often with her and telling her how I really felt. On the occasions when I did give her money she would say: “I’m still a child, so don’t give me too much money as I don’t have enough self-discipline. When I’ve spent the money and need more I’ll tell you. Take care of your health, and don’t worry about me because I’m old enough to take care of myself.” To me, my daughter’s understanding attitude was the most fortunate thing I could have, and I knew that this was God warming me with His love. God knows that my daughter is the one thing I will always be concerned about, and I thank God for taking pity on me and looking out for me. And when I preached the gospel to my husband, and he saw the changes in my daughter and me, he came to understand God’s work of salvation of the last days, happily accepted it, and started his church life.
Now, due to God’s leadership and guidance, we lead happy and fortunate lives. I’m just so grateful to Almighty God for saving me!