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Gospel Reader

Farewell to Those Days of Wrestling With Fate

143

Yixin

Farewell to Those Days of Wrestling With Fate

A rustic village fallen behind, my parents exhausted from their work, a life in financial straits … these gloomy memories were branded on to my young mind, they were my first impression of “fate.” After I started attending school, the first time I heard my teacher say that “You control your fate in your own hands,” I kept these words firmly in my mind. I believed that although I could not change the fact that I was born into poverty, I could still change my own fate through hard work. As a result, I exerted my full strength to wrestle with my “fate,” and gain a slice of heaven to call my own.

A Setback in My Studies

Just like generation after generation of countless students, my determination to study and get into college was the first step in changing my fate. To this end, I studied hard. When in class I listened attentively, when outside of class while other students were all out playing, I was still studying, often immersed in my books deep into the night. Due to my rigorous studying, my grades were always among the best. Every time that my teachers or classmates would cast gazes of admiration upon me it would reinforce my conviction that “I need to rely on my own two hands to carve out a place in the world for myself.” But the ways of the world are unpredictable. As I was striving for these beautiful ideals, my father suddenly fell ill. After being examined we found that he had cirrhosis, and that it had already progressed into the middle stages. My father grew swollen all over his body due to the illness, and not only was he not able to work, he also had to spend a lot of money on doctor visits. For a period of time all house work, as well as farm work on over 3 acres of land, fell on to my mother, and at the same time my mother also came down with a serious gynecological disease. One day my father told me, with a face laden with grief: “Daughter, right now our entire family is relying on just your mother for support. Her burden is very heavy. It costs a lot of money to send four kids to school to study for a year. We really don’t have any way to provide all of you with schooling. You are the oldest, so you should consider your brothers and sisters. Why don’t you stop going to school so that we can set aside this opportunity for your brothers and sisters?” After listening to my father’s words, I felt an overwhelming pain in my heart: I had always hoped to study hard and become an outstanding person, but if I acquiesced to my father’s wish that I give up on my studies, then wouldn’t all of my prospects and hopes just all of a sudden completely vanish?! My eyes were full of teardrops, and I felt a fit of sadness in my heart. I knew that my father had thought it over for a long time before saying these words, and looking at my sick mother, I could not bear to lay such a heavy burden down upon her. Confronted with my family’s impoverished financial situation, I had no choice but to compromise with the current situation and fight back the tears as I acquiesced to my father’s wishes.

Without having finished junior high school, I was young but I was full of ambition. Although I wasn’t able to finish my studies, I quickly set my sights on getting a temporary job to make money. I believed that through hard work I could still absolutely change my fate. Before too long, through a relative’s introduction, I went to the city to work at a textile factory. In order to make more money I worked as hard as I could. Where other people watched after two machines I watched after four, and when others took breaks I would go on working. The boss saw that I was reliable and capable, and within five months of working he increased my wages to as much as what workers who had been there for a long time working. My workmates all cast looks of envy upon me.

A Narrow Escape From Calamity

That year as I was feeling proud of my success and wanting to keep working hard, mother spread the gospel of Almighty God in the last days to me. Mother told me that God rules over and arranges all things, and that everyone’s fate is administered in God’s hands, but in my proud and arrogant mind there was only the belief that “You control your fate in your own hands,” and I simply did not listen to my mother’s words. In this instance, in my brief encounter with God’s salvation, I did not receive the gospel spread by my mother, rather I continued struggling and fighting in the world.

I went on in this way for several years, and my life started to stabilize. Not only did I have a little savings for myself, I was also frequently able to give a little to my family. I felt that so long as I continued working hard then I would certainly have bright and boundless prospects. As I was lost in the tide of pursuing wealth and the pleasures of the flesh, an unexpected car accident smashed my entire life plan. I laid unconscious in a hospital bed for three days and three nights, and after I awoke I couldn’t say anything. I was just like a mute. It was only after the doctor let me get out of bed to move around a little that I realized that due to the seriousness of my injury I could not move the entire left side of my body. There was no way that I could accept this reality, I was only twenty years old! If from now on I was to always be paralyzed in bed like this, then wouldn’t my splendid youth be ruined? My beautiful life had not even started, and could it really be coming to an end? I was grieved and heart-broken, I wanted to cry but shed no tears, and I did not know how to face the future. … At this time, my mother came to my side to console me. She told me, “Daughter, it was because God protects you that you were able to wake up! Don’t you know? The doctor said that even if you were able to wake up you would be a vegetable. As soon as your father and I heard this our hearts grew cold. For the past several days I’ve been constantly praying to God, delivering you into God’s hands, willing to submit to God’s sovereignty. Thank God! Look at you, now you have awoken. This is God taking pity on you. It is God’s gracious will that this car accident fell upon you! Although we have suffered some pain in the flesh, isn’t it through facing this kind of situation that we are able to turn away from the world and turn toward God? Daughter, you must start believing in God with me right away!” As I saw mother hold back tears while she spread the gospel to me, my heart finally felt stirred. Mother said that while I was unconscious she was constantly praying to God. Regardless of whether or not it was possible for me to wake up, in either case she was willing to submit to God’s orchestration and arrangement. She didn’t actually expect that I would wake up. As I was listening to all of this, I felt that God really was great! Although I had refused His salvation, He had not given up on me. When calamity fell upon me, His protections were by my side all along. He took pity on me and protected me, and He saved me from death. I could not help but start to feel some appreciation toward God. Because of God’s care and protection my body recovered extremely fast, and I was discharged from the hospital one month ahead of schedule.

Persisting to Go About Things the Wrong Way

Although I had enjoyed God’s love and mercy, I still did not understand the true significance of believing in God, so I did not treat having faith in God as a serious matter. It wasn’t until after my body had recovered some that mother suggested that I find a job close to home to eke out a living, and that she hoped that I would spend more of my spare time on practicing my faith in God. But I was not willing to live this kind of life. I waited until my leg injury healed completely and then left home without hesitation to work a temporary job. During this job I had a relationship with a boy, and after courting each other for a period of time, he asked me to marry him, promising me that he would love me for the rest of our lives. I thought about how my studies had been obstructed over the years, how part way through I also suffered a car accident, and how after these efforts I still wasn’t able to change my fate. So this time I placed my hope of changing my fate onto this marriage. If I married a man who was willing to promise to love me for my whole life, then the latter part of my life would certainly be happy and blissful. I carried this vision of a beautiful life with me into the marriage hall. But unexpectedly, once I was married, it completely wasn’t how I imagined it would be. My husband would often quarrel with me because of trifling matters, and my mother-in-law was also tepid toward me, and would even instigate my husband to quarrel with me. … I lived in suffering with no one to console me. What’s more, the family I was married off to lived far away, so there was nobody around me that I could find to open up to. Under this feeling of helplessness, all I could do was go off again and look for a temporary job. Due to my husband and I living in two different locations, it wasn’t long until we felt like strangers. After five years of marriage my husband brought up getting a divorce, telling me that he had already met another woman that he liked more. When I heard him say this, my mind felt completely empty, and I thought to myself, “What do I do? Everyone says that divorce to a woman is the same as being half alive, so how should I live the latter part of my life?” As I signed my divorce certificate, I was by myself carrying luggage onto a train to head back home, and I started to cry uncontrollably. I had a deep sense of the pain people experience while living in this world, and I had an even greater sense of the unprecedented solitude that faced me. It was such a big world but there was no place where I could stay. I felt quite desolate. I really wanted to kill myself to end it all. But then I thought about my parents who were growing older with each passing day, and I felt a sense of hesitation: If I died, what would my parents’ grief do to them! It was out of the question. I could not die in that way. I must wipe my tears dry, bite the bullet and continue living.