Spiritual Awakening: Where Is Happiness?
Wenzhong, South Korea
When I was young, my family was poor. My parents divorced each other in the year I turned five; I lived with my father and was looked after by my grandmother all along. So I didn’t know what the taste of mother’s love was, nor did I experience the happiness from mother’s care as my peers. When I was in elementary school, I had a stepmother, a North Korean. However, not long after, she was taken back to North Korea. At that time, owing to my poor family and being motherless, I used to be bullied by my classmates. They threw something at me in class, pushed me into the puddle on rainy days and said I was the motherless child.… I was down in the dumps: Why is my family so poor? Why I was motherless? Why do I have such a bitter life? When I was sixteen years old, my grandmother, who loved me best, had passed away. I cried my eyes out: Am I destined to live in misery all my life?
Once, I went to see my mother alone. It rained heavily that day. After I met her, I said, “Mom, why did you bear me but not bring me up and even never come to visit me? Other children have new clothes bought by their mothers, but I have nothing!” I cried as I spoke. However, my little request was just an extravagant wish, for my mother had established a new family and she drove me away ruthlessly. I walked sadly in the rain and sat beside the road, crying. My heart was full of grievance: Why don’t I have a happy family? Why can’t I get mother’s love or a little warmth of family?
When I was in my junior year of high school, no longer could I stand others discriminating against and bullying me. I was fed up with my hometown which was full of my painful memories. I wanted to get out of there to stand on my own feet. Maybe in this way I would not be painful. Thereupon, I took 600 yuan from my father secretly and left for Mutanchiang City for work. I, who just left school and came to this strange city alone, knew nothing about the outside world. So it was much too difficult for me to find a job I liked. I looked for several jobs one after another, but failed because of my poor conditions. Finally, I had no choice but to work in a restaurant. In those days, after a day’s work I always felt worn out. I often couldn’t sleep at night, weeping secretly under the sheets. I didn’t want to continue working here. But I was unwilling to return home, for I hadn’t accomplished anything. I would still be looked down upon by others if I turned back home. At last, I got through one month. When receiving my first pay, I was very pleased. Then I called my father to share my joy. He was also glad and then a little less worried about me. However, two months later, I fell down in a faint at work due to anaemia resulting from a lack of sleep and nourishment. Seeing I indeed couldn’t do the job, my boss helped me find a new one in a Korean restaurant. From then on, I was not as tired as before and gradually made some money. Nevertheless, facing the customers who came and went, I always felt empty and painful in my heart. Money did not make me happy.
Afterwards, my cousin phoned me to say that she had found a better job for me. Meanwhile, I also wanted to live in new surroundings. Therefore, I went to Beijing by train the next day. With her help, I got a job in a Korean clothes shop. Every day I wore various clothes like a model, which satisfied my vanity. I got swimming with the tide little by little, and regarded wearing famous brand clothes and enjoying the high quality of life as happiness and pleasure. But after a period of time, when getting everything I wanted, I couldn’t get a gleam of happiness. I often thought to myself: Are these really what I need? I gave up my studies and work hard in a strange city, so that I make up for the loss of mother’s love with superior material life. However, how come I feel more empty and painful in my heart when I’m rich in material life?
In early 2012, through the introduction of a friend, I met my boyfriend. He cared for and cherished me well, and was very thoughtful about me in everything, which made my wounded heart find something to lean on. I believed that he was my Mr. Right. In order to get married soon, we came to South Korea to make a living in 2013. I, yearning for a happy marriage, felt confident in our future. So, I tried my utmost to overcome any condition however harsh it was. And I worked hard to earn money from dawn to dusk. However, things went contrary to my wishes. After coming to South Korea, my boyfriend was not the same as before. He got hooked on playing network games, smoking and drinking the whole day, sinking so low that he could hardly free himself from them. I persuaded him and even quarreled with him, but to no avail. His former promises in our career, love and marriage were all empty. I no longer wanted to live in quarrels and held my breath that he would give me happiness! In despair, I decided to put an end to this relationship. At night, I wandered around the road alone, and kept asking myself: I have pinned all my hopes on him and maintained our relationship with all my heart, but he doesn’t bring me even a bit of happiness. Is there no happiness which belongs to me in the world?
Weary in body and mind, I felt lost and hopeless. The material satisfaction made me feel empty; love and marriage also brought me emptiness and misery. I could not help but repeatedly ask myself in the heart: What exactly is the happiness? Where on earth is it?
Later, I met a sister believing in God in the company. She told me a lot about believing in God, and played a hymn of Pure Love Without Blemish.” It says, “In love there are no conditions, no barriers, and no distance. In love there is no suspicion, no deceit, and no cunning. In love there is no distance and nothing impure.” I never heard such a song. I was much moved by the words in it. The love described in this hymn is so wonderful. Such is the true love. But in reality, the love between people is not so at all. Instead, it has become full of selfishness, full of deceit, and moreover, it will change at anytime and anywhere. The true love described by is so perfect. No one is able to speak such words. The sister also told me, “The reason why God can say these words is because He possesses such love. In for us, there is no selfishness, no conditions and no demands. He knows our difficulties, and He is also clear about our bitters and sufferings in our life. So He hopes that we all can come before Him and live in His blessings. …” Each sentence of her fellowship warmed my heart. After work, I went to the church with the sister. Another sister in the church played a song for me, “If I Were Not Saved by God”:“
“If I were not saved by God, I would still be drifting in the world,
struggling painfully in sin, living without any hope.
If I were not saved by God, I would still be trampled by the devils,
enjoying the pleasures of sin, not knowing where is the path of human life.
If I were not saved by God, I would not be blessed today, much less know the value or the meaning of man’s living.
If I were not saved by God, I would still believe in vagueness
and live in emptiness, not knowing to whom I should be faithful.
I have finally understood God’s loving hand leads me forward.
So I have not lost my way but stepped onto the bright journey.
I have finally understood God’s earnest intentions towards man.
Years of misunderstandings are cleared up. I’m willing to offer up my body and heart for God …”
Then we heard another one “For Whom Man Should Live.” After I heard these two songs, tears covered my face. The songs described me: These years, I had been struggling hard. For the purpose of enjoying a happy life, I did all I could to make money. But comfortable material life failed to fill the void in my heart. Owning these, not only did I not get any happiness, but I also often complained about the injustices of fate. And all my efforts at family, marriage and love were repaid with nothing but hurts and pains. If I had not come to God’s family today, I would still live in emptiness and suffering and seek the so-called happiness, without aim or direction.
Afterwards, the sister read
… 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.” My heart was moved by God’s words. It seemed that God said to me, “Child, come home! Don’t go on wandering. Stop fighting by yourself. Come back!” At the moment, I felt loved and supported in my heart, and also felt peaceful and warm. Thus, on that day in May, 2016, I accepted the of Almighty God.
The following day, after night shift, I went to the church on my own initiative. I saw many brothers and sisters there. Each of them wore a smile, and they seemed to enjoy the barely-concealed happiness. Their enthusiasm and sincerity made me feel free and released. When I opened my heart to communicate with them about my inner thoughts, they read God’s word to help me. Just then, it gave me the warm nest feeling. Besides, I saw that regardless of what happened to them in their lives, they all sought God’s words to communicate a solution, and that after knowing God’s intention from His words, they could see everything clearly as well as know what they should do to satisfy Him. It was good for me to share their experiences. Especially, when we sang the hymns of praising God, everyone was particularly glad, which let my long-restrained heart experience the joy of God’s presence. I seemed to forget all my grief, living in happiness under the leading of God’s words. From then on, I often went to the church and had a great attachment to the church life.
One day, on my way to the church, seeing these tall buildings around, I thought: Before, I ate and dressed well, but I never felt happy. Now, although I have neither too much money nor mansion nor good car, yet I am happier than those who own these, for I have found Almighty God. I am the happiest one in the world. Walking on the road, I was pleased and very proud. Even when looking at the trees and flowers on the roadside, I couldn’t express how delighted I was, feeling that all these created by God were so lovely. I used to grumble at my lack of mother’s love and at injustice of destiny. But these things had passed away. I had let go of them and had no complaints in my heart. It is God who saved me from the darkness and sufferings, so that I saw the light and hope of life.
Later, I saw the words in the Fellowship and Preaching About Life Entering In, “What is happiness? If people can practice the truth and obey God, enjoyment will then arise within them. After having joy, comfort, and enjoyment in their hearts, aren’t they happy? The happiness relates to a feeling of delight and enjoyment in the heart, and a sensation of true peace. This is the happiness. If man doesn’t have these feelings in his heart, then he will have no happiness. When you obey God, you can see whether there is peace and pleasure in you. With loving God in your heart and living for satisfying Him, you can see whether or not you are joyful and comfortable in spirit? As long as you bear love for God and are able to obey Him, the feeling of happiness will arise. You need to understand this. Is the happiness from well-off life or money? Does it come from the world? … When someone has money, does he feel happy? No, he doesn’t. After someone married a good wife or a good husband, do they have happiness? No, their happiness disappears in a few days, like a flash in the pan. After that, they still are empty in spirit. Therefore, where is the true happiness from? From God. God bestows you happiness, happy you are; God gives you pleasure, pleased you are. But, how can we get them from God? It is by pursuing the truths and having the true love for God in heart, which is the source of happiness. And it is crucial to love God with our hearts. … If you love God with your heart, He will live in your hearts, and give you a place to rest in His heart, being with you forever; If not, God will not be with you, and you cannot enjoy Him. So, if you want to become a person truly obedient to God, then you must spare no effort to pursue the truths. After man attains the true knowledge of God by pursuing the truths, the love for God is born in his heart. Finally, when you achieve the supreme love of God and obedience unto death, then you will completely gain God—obtaining the presence of God forever. It will let you experience the enjoyment by having God in your heart and the presence of God forever. It is the way of happiness, isn’t it? It is the source of the happiness. No one in the world is able to see through where on earth the happiness of mystery is and how exactly can get it. So, only by pursuing to know God can man get the happiness.”
Only now do I understand what the true happiness is: The happiness doesn’t mean owning too much wealth, nor wearing gorgeous and fashionable clothes nor enjoying high quality of material life, much less marrying a good man. These cannot truly bring me happiness, but only satisfy me temporarily. It is only God’s salvation and love for me that move me the deepest. God leads me to find warmth in His family and gives me a true pleasure in spirit. These feelings are what I have never experienced before. Thank Almighty God for bringing me to His family. I think: Henceforth, I can give up everything except God. I don’t care for others’ looking down on me. I am willing to follow Almighty God to the end at all events.