What a Winding Path I Had Walked!
As a child of a cadre, I was raised carefully by my parents and lived a comfortable life. My mother told me that when I was very young, a fortune teller said that I would be blessed in the future according to my auspicious time of birth. So I believed in fate and also believed that there was an Old Man in the Sky. When I grew up, one time a classmate said to me, “There is a fortune teller here. What he says is fairly accurate. We may as well go there and do fortune telling.” So, we went to have our fortunes told. I’d like to know the profession of my future husband, whether my marriage would be happy, and what my future life would be like. Nonetheless, the fortune teller did not tell me the profession of my future husband. Instead, he told me that it would be better for me to marry a man two or four years older than me, that I would have a beautiful marriage in the future, and that there would not be much hardship ahead of me, which offered me reassurance and filled my heart with great pleasure. In the twinkling of an eye, I reached the marriage age. Instead of pairing off with a man two or four years older than me, I married one five years older.
After marriage, my husband and I lived a happy life, and his business thrived, making him the richest man among the locals. I thought: That fortune teller is really accurate. Though I did not marry someone two or four years apart in age, my marriage is pretty satisfying. Carried away by this happiness, I believed that I would grow old with my husband and live in bliss for the rest of my life. Just when I was immersed in happiness, however, something unfortunate came upon me. My husband had an affair due to constant business travel and actually asked for a divorce, which led to the collapse of my sweet family. Faced with the lavishly decorated house daily, I felt a void in my heart, and waves of desolation swept over me. I was afflicted with depression and pain, but could not find a person to pour out my heart. I longed deep down to meet a to deliver me from the abyss of misery.
At that time, I remembered those fortune tellers, who had abilities not possessed by ordinary men and must be capable of ridding me of this suffering and changing my life. I was eager to know the time—how long I had to wait before my husband returned to me. So, I went to have my fortune told. However, the fortune teller only said that my husband would not divorce me, without giving any further information about when he would have a change of heart, which left me disappointed somehow. But I was not discouraged, and went on to seek other fortune tellers everywhere in order to know the exact time this long and painful waiting could come to an end. I believed that there would always be someone who could help me out among so many fortune tellers. Nevertheless, every time I went holding out hope yet returned in disappointment. The repeated disappointments caused me to drop into a miserable abyss. I felt very puzzled: Why can’t those fortune tellers help me since they are so capable? Can’t they see me tormented in pain? Why do they not only not get me out of the misery but make me even more helpless and agonized? In the end, my husband still divorced me.
That failed marriage hit me hard. I did not want to stay there anymore, a place of heartbreak. I wished to make a fresh start. My former husband did not cherish me, but there would be someone who treasured me. Later, I was introduced to my present husband, who was six years older than me and worked in another province. After some time of contact, I found he was very thoughtful, and then we started a family. However, I failed again this time. My husband often lied to me and said he had to work overtime. He hung out in karaoke bars every day and even led a double life. In the face of all this, I felt so painful as if a needle had been stabbed into my heart, which was just about to heal. I cried all day long, and could not help but think: Why do I have to suffer so many hardships? Who can help me out of this suffering and retrieve the lost happiness?
In despair, I once again thought of those fortune tellers, who were assisted by some spirits. Since they could cast out demons, they must also be able to drive away the women around my husband. So, I pinned my hopes on them. Yet all my efforts ended up in vain after several twists and turns. The last fortune telling man said with a sigh, “You might as well receive Guanyin Bodhisattva into your home. She is a merciful god who delivers all beings from suffering. You may burn incense for her in the morning and evening and ask her to change the mind of your husband.” Thus, I received Guanyin Bodhisattva into my home and lit incense and kowtowed to her in the morning and evening in order to win my husband back. Later, my husband took home the god of wealth which he worshiped in his factory after discovering that I worshiped Guanyin. Each morning and evening, I had to burn incense for both Guanyin and the god of wealth, asking one to turn my husband around, and the other to bless his factory with a healthy profit. Moreover, I burned gold ingots folded out of paper for the two gods. As Guanyin was a vegan and the god of wealth preferred meat, I had to make vegetable dumplings for Guanyin and meat dumplings for the god of wealth on the first and fifteenth days of every lunar month, the busiest and most tiring days for me. Just like this, I did such things day in day out for the happiness of my family however tiring they were. But no matter how hard I tried to please the two gods, there was not the slightest change of my husband’s heart. At that time, I was perplexed: Is my heart not pious enough? Are the two gods unsatisfied with what I’ve done? If not, why does the heart of my husband remain unchanged? And why has his factory not yet made a good profit? Since they refuse to help me as gods, who can save me from the abyss of misery? What on earth should I do?
Just when I was painful and desperate and had nowhere else to turn, a woman from my hometown preached the to me and asked me to believe in God. She told me that there is only one true God, and that only the One who created the heavens and earth and all things, and presides over the fate of mankind is the true God, who is commonly known as the Old Man in the Sky. Then she read some words from God to me. says, “Mankind does not know who is the Sovereign of all things in the universe, much less does he know the beginning and future of mankind. Mankind merely lives, perforce, amidst this law. None can escape it and none can change it, for among all things and in the heavens there is but One from everlasting to everlasting who holds sovereignty over everything. He is the One who has never been beheld by man, the One whom mankind has never known, in whose existence mankind has never believed, yet He is the One who breathed the breath into mankind’s ancestors and gave life to mankind. He is the One who supplies and nourishes mankind for its existence, and guides mankind up to the present day. Moreover, He and He alone is whom mankind depends on for its survival. He holds sovereignty over all things and rules all living beings beneath the universe. He commands the four seasons, and it is He who calls forth wind, frost, snow, and rain. He gives mankind sunshine and brings the coming of night. It was He who laid out the heavens and earth, providing man with mountains, lakes and rivers and all the living things within them. His deed is everywhere, His power is everywhere, His wisdom is everywhere, and His authority is everywhere. … Only He knows man’s past, present and future, and only He can determine the fate of mankind” (“Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst the Management of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). She fellowshiped with me, “The true God can create the heavens and earth and all things, provide for mankind unceasingly, and allow them to enjoy everything He has created for them, like sunshine, rain and dew, air, and everything else essential for their existence. But those who pretend to be God don’t have such power, so none of them dare to say that he created all things and mankind. Only God can say such words. The idols, like the Buddha, Guanyin, the god of wealth, are all made by man. They are dead things and don’t possess life at all. Let’s think about the following questions: Does a statue have a mouth which allows it to speak? Or hands which allow it to gesture? Or eyes which let it see? Or a brain which enables it to think? Or legs which let it walk? Just like a saying ‘A clay idol fording a river—hardly able to save itself,’ these dead things cannot even protect themselves, how can they protect man who created them? As for the fortune tellers and sorcerers, though they appear ‘powerful,’ they’re actually playing the tricks of Satan to fool man. Satan wants man to worship it like God, so it forcefully attaches itself to some people and things. These people then act as the tools of evil spirits, healing the sick and driving out demons, stirring up disorder among man. In fact, it is a trick of one devil bringing you trouble followed by another to solve it. A devil makes a fool of you first, and then a sorcerer will come to your rescue, like healing your illness. Only in this way can people be convinced….”
While listening to her fellowship, I reflected upon one scene after another over these years, which were so absurd and ridiculous. I had always regarded each of those fortune tellers as the true God, and turned to them to predict my future or solve the difficulties in my life. However, they not only did not solve my problems, but plunged me into despair time and again. I worshiped Guanyin Bodhisattva and the god of wealth at home and served them well every day, but nothing had ever changed except for me being pushed to the brink of collapse step by step. Then, she fellowshiped with me in detail on the truth of how to discern the true God from false gods. Only then did I come to my senses. It turned out that I had been worshiping false gods along the way of searching for the true God all these years. What a winding path I had walked! But I still thanked God for bringing me back to His house.
Starting from then, I began to have meetings formally. In my church I felt the warmth of a family. I, together with my brothers and sisters, sang hymns to praise God and read in the meetings, feeling more fulfilled and less pain than I used to be. One day, I saw God’s words, “From the time of creation, I began the predestination and selection of this group of people—of you, this group today. Your disposition, caliber, appearance, stature, the family in which you were born, your work, marriage—your everything, even the color of your hair, your skin, and your date of birth—these are all arranged by My hand. Whatever you do and whoever you meet each day are also subject to My arrangement, to say nothing of bringing you before Me today, which is even more the subject of My arrangement. Do not cause upset for yourself, but proceed calmly” (“The Seventy-fourth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading God’s words, my heart suddenly brightened. Only then did I finally understand that God has long ago predestined everyone’s fate. What my family will be like and how far I can go with my husband rest in God’s hands. That I used to live such a tiring life results precisely from my unawareness of the fact that God rules over my fate. So, I just took too many winding roads. However, I am willing to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements in the future and regard Him as the Ruler of my life. To be the glory!
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