When what God does doesn’t conform to our expectations, how should we get rid of the requests for God and achieve true obedience to Him? The author’s experience will inspire you.
Though I Have Acne, My Life Isn’t Uncertain
I made a fine plan for my college life.
In September 2013, I entered college with excitement. I was fully aware that this is an age where people only value a good face. At job interviews, applicants’ appearances are the focus of attention, and it is the same on the campaign for the class leaders. Everyone likes those with handsome and beautiful looks, who are extolled wherever they go. On people’s WeChat Moments and Weibo and in their QQ space, they all show beautiful pictures of themselves. I remembered I had seen before-and-after photographs of a college student attached to a piece of news, which showed how much prettier she was in the year of her graduation compared to when she first entered the university. I, being no exception, also cared much about physical attractiveness. So in order to have a fine job, a good partner, and a bright future, I set this determination on the first day I entered college: During the following four years, I must change myself into a new girl. I must make efforts to learn how to do makeup to improve my appearance, and thus shape myself into a charming person who has both talent and beauty.
The unexpected pimples destroyed my hope for life.
However, before I began to carry out my plan, it had been completely destroyed by the unexpected pimples on my face. So, from then on I had to start my life of fighting against pimples.
The thing was this: After the military training in college, I began to suffer from pimples. Some big pimples irregularly broke out on my forehead and cheeks, which made my skin painful and itchy. When they were popped, they would leave red scars. Thus my face looked mottled red and purple and shortly after, it changed beyond recognition. Because of this, I felt extreme sorrow and anxiety. I thought, “The college is full of talented people. If one only has a good mind, without an attractive appearance, he or she will still be eliminated from competitions, which can be seen from the fact that the leaders elected for the student council in our faculty are all handsome boys and pretty girls. But now, my face has been disfigured, so how can I show myself? How can I be qualified to compete with others?”
Once, my roommates were talking about the girlfriend of a boy in our class, “Not only is she that short, but her face is covered with pits. What does he see in her?” After hearing these words, I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart. Although I knew they didn’t target me, I still felt deeply embarrassed as if my own shortcoming was exposed. At that moment, I could only quietly resolve: I must cure the pimples on my face. However, even though I plucked up my courage to fight against the pimples, I was still discouraged from time to time. For instance, my teacher often said in class, “You girls should learn to put on makeup and dress up beautifully. This way, you can leave a favorable impression on others, and easily obtain a job. Look at such and such a student. Her clothing style and makeup are charming.” At these words, my classmates all reacted positively. But for me, I wanted nothing more than to just quickly disappear. I couldn’t help but cry out in my heart: Will my future really be ruined by pimples?
Gradually, I, a lively and cheerful girl, became isolated, self-abased and depressed. Especially when I found that my classmates’ skin was clear and fair, and in comparison, my own face was unbearable to look at, I felt an even greater sense of unspeakable sadness, and thus always wanted to change the skin of my face. And because of the pimples, I didn’t dare to go out and face society. Sometimes when I had to go out, I would wear a mouth mask all the way. In order to treat the pimples, I tried every possible means. For example, every night I spent an hour or two washing my face with warm water and then making a facial mask made from traditional Chinese medicine. After a term, on my desk and within my cabinet were all various products for curing pimples, which were all tried out on my face. But, what made me resentful was that traditional Chinese medicine, western medicine, various ointments, skin-care products, masks, and even beauty treatments were all in vain.
After the pimples appeared on my face, what I was most worried about was my job prospects. I thought, “I don’t even have the courage to go out and work as an intern due to my pimply face, so how can I find a job after graduation? At interviews, what companies first see are applicants’ appearances….” The more I thought, the more I felt my future was bleak, and the more anxious I was. Sometimes I even secretly bawled my eyes out in my dormitory. When all kinds of methods to cure my pimples failed, I lost all hope for my future life even more. I didn’t know when these pimples would disappear and whether I could find a job after graduation, much less did I know how I should fit into this society in which people care very much about physical attractiveness. The beautiful future life I desired became unobtainable for me and as a result I could only live aimlessly.
When I was lost in bewilderment, God’s words revealed the root of my problem.
However, just when I was extremely miserable and helpless, God extended a hand to save me. During my summer vacation, I fortunately came to believe in God and began to read His words at home. Once, I saw God’s words saying, “One after another, all these trends carry an evil influence that continually degenerates man, causing them to continually lose conscience, humanity and reason, and that lowers their morals and their quality of character more and more, to the extent that we can even say the majority of people now have no integrity, no humanity, neither do they have any conscience, much less any reason. So what are these trends? You cannot see these trends with the naked eye. When the wind of a trend blows through, perhaps only a small number of people will become the trendsetters. They start off doing this kind of thing, accepting this kind of idea or this kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, in the midst of their unawareness, will still be continually infected, assimilated and attracted by this kind of trend, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it, and are all submerged in and controlled by it. For man who is not of sound body and mind, who never knows what is truth, who cannot tell the difference between positive and negative things, these kinds of trends one after another make them all willingly accept these trends, the life view and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them on how to approach life and the way to live that Satan ‘bestows’ on them. They have not the strength, neither do they have the ability, much less the awareness to resist” (“God Himself, the Unique VI”). Carefully pondering these words, I gradually realized that Satan’s deception and corruption were the source of my pain. Satan brings about the evil trends to make people focus on appearance and live within the trend of pursuing physical attractiveness. After accepting Satan’s viewpoints of “Cosmetic surgeries can change one’s fate” and “A beautiful appearance can decide everything,” in order to have good jobs and prospects, many people begin to wildly pursue having an attractive appearance. They do everything they can to make themselves more beautiful, and even risk their lives having plastic surgery, with the result that plenty of them have their faces disfigured, become disabled or die. I was also deeply fettered and harmed by this trend. When I first entered college, I began to plan how to improve my appearance. After the pimples destroyed my plan, I felt pained, upset, tortured, and inferior all day long. Sometimes even one word or an expression of others could hurt me and make me become depressed. What’s more, during my college years I was always concerned and worried about my work and future prospects, and feared that I would be eliminated by this age where people value a good-looking face. In order to clear up the pimples, I bought various medicines and tried all kinds of ways. And when they failed to work, I lived in even more pain and even wanted to shut myself off from the world and people. Now I finally understood that the reason why I had various troubles and sufferings was all because I was controlled by the evil trends arisen by Satan and because I was teased and harmed by Satan.
God’s words gave me hope in life.
After that, I saw more of God’s words, “Some people choose a good major in college and end up finding a satisfactory job after graduation, making a triumphant first stride in the journey of their lives. Some people learn and master many different skills and yet never find a job that suits them or find their position, much less have a career; at the outset of their life journey they find themselves thwarted at every turn, beset by troubles, their prospects dismal and their lives uncertain. … What occupation one pursues, what one does for a living, and how much wealth one amasses in life are not decided by one’s parents, one’s talents, one’s efforts or one’s ambitions, but are predetermined by the Creator” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). After finishing reading, I suddenly saw the light. I understood that the lives of everyone are controlled in God’s hands. What job every single person does isn’t decided by his or her appearance, but by God’s predetermination. Indeed, in real life there are such examples: Many people perform quite good at university and everything of them goes perfectly; however, when looking for work after graduation, they face setbacks at every turn. On the contrary, some other people are unremarkable in university, but after starting working, they do quite well and rise quickly. In addition, from objective facts it can be seen that it is not that someone who has an attractive appearance must have a good fate. Aren’t there many people who are good-looking who also die young or are ill-fated? And aren’t many people who appear average still successful in their careers and a cut above others? Therefore, what kind of job and what kind of future I would have weren’t decided by my physical attractiveness. Instead, all of this was in the Creator’s hands. I should put aside my anxiety and panic, and learn to obey God’s arrangements. Coming to this realization, I felt I became relaxed and liberated. And then when I began to relieve myself of the burdens in my heart and no longer felt anxious about the pimples, I neither suffered due to others’ words nor felt worried, anxious and upset about my job prospects. Every day I came before God to eat and drink and enjoy His words and calmly lived under His guidance. Gradually, I felt more and more light and free.
God’s words led me to escape from Satan’s entrapment and live out a true life.
After graduation, I submitted my resume through the Internet to apply for the position of a teacher in a tuition center. When going to the company for the interview, I saw that the young teachers there all dressed up beautifully and were very confident. At that time, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat nervous and afraid. I thought, “With such an appearance as mine, can I be employed?” Just when I was negative and down, I realized that was Satan teasing me and making me view things according to its viewpoints. So I quickly prayed silently to God and begged Him to quiet my heart. Meanwhile I thought of God’s words, “God’s authority and the fact of God’s sovereignty over human fate are independent of human will, do not change in accordance with man’s preferences and choices” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). From these words, I knew that whether the interview was a success or not and whether I could get the job was in God’s control. It couldn’t be changed by my will, nor was it decided by my appearance, nor was it in the hands of the leader of the company, because every thought and idea of man is in God’s hands. And God wanted me to obey His sovereignty. Having understood God’s will, I felt much calmer. After the interview, I was supposed to give a lecture. Then I did that as I prepared. Because God had led me to know that everything is under the predestination of God, and that I only need to do my best, during the lecture, my pressure eased a lot, and I talked in a steady voice. It was the first time that I felt so confident and enjoyed the heart’s deliverance. What was even more unexpected was that when I was willing to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, two days later, the company phoned to ask me to work there. At that news, I could not restrain my excitement and joy and meanwhile thanked God for allowing me to appreciate His sovereignty and authority from my experience.
After starting working, I saw most of the students there were well off, fashionably dressed, and were knowledgeable, and I became worried again, afraid that they would look down upon me and not listen to me because of my plain and pimply face. But the guidance of God’s words and the thought of the wonderful experience during my interview made me gradually feel light and liberated in my heart. Afterward, when I was no longer restricted by appearance, and instead practiced being an honest person, opened up and communicated with my students, and did my job with all my heart, I not only won the respect of my students, but also received the approval of the schoolmasters and my students’ parents. Through these experiences, I truly appreciated God’s sovereignty and also tasted the sweetness of obeying God and living by His words. Thanks to God guiding me, I finally walked out of the confusion and saw the brightness of life. All the glory be to God!
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