Posts tagged faith

My Life Story (4): Is it a “bomb” or “blessing”?

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I have undergone so many trials. Whenever something happened to me, it reminded
me of Job in the Bible. Job was a righteous, devout, faithful man. God allowed Satan
to afflict Job to test his faithfulness. As a result, many tragedies were visited upon
Job. In the end, however, God blessed Job with twice as much as he had had before
his trials began. One thing that sticks in my mind was that even though God put Job
in the hands of Satan, He stipulated one condition: that Satan must spare Job’s life.

Yes, Job’s life had to be spared. Then, after his trials were over, he could bear
witness for God and receive His double blessing. It was wonderful that it never
occurred to me to kill myself even when these trials came upon me, one after
another, nonstop. I knew clearly, as a mother, that I had no choice but to live. Yes,
sometimes it might have felt like a bomb exploding in my heart, breaking my heart
into pieces, but I had to live. So I went on with my life. Remaining alive, I was able to
experience results I had not anticipated and thus learn whether it had really been a
“bomb” or, rather, a “blessing” in disguise.

Let me tell you why I use the shocking word “bomb.” After my husband passed
away, I went to his office to clean out his things. I found a box in his bottom drawer.
It contained a ring and a picture of a girl. I was stunned by my discovery.

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Sitting there, I felt as though the earth had stopped turning. I felt numb. How I wished I were non-existent! How I wished I had not been born! “I wish… Oh, my goodness, I wish …” I did not know what to wish. My whole being was frozen. My thoughts were frozen. “Oh God, please help me….”

What I soon realized I wished for was that my late husband could come back to life, if only for five minutes, so I could ask him what was going on. Of course, it was impossible for him to come back, and then suddenly, awakening from my paralysis, I had an idea –the best way to get to the bottom of the mystery would be to ask my husband’s best friend for details.

I went all the way to Canada to see him, only to receive this reply: The girl was their high school classmate. He added that whoever came to the United States first would suffer. He implied that I came to the States first and married his friend, so I suffered. What a cruel thing to say! He was unkind, and he did not want to give me any details. No matter how desperately I wanted the truth, I could not get it. He had no empathy; my hope to get to the bottom of the issue vanished.

Returning to Boston, I knew I had no one but myself to rely on. I thought through the whole incident. Apparently, my husband had intended to propose to that girl, but I got here before her, so he married me instead. He never gave me any sign of having another girlfriend. He apparently knew I would have left him if I ever found out.

Why did it happen? After analyzing our interaction, I calmed down, and I could not blame him for what he had done. A month before he departed for the U.S. to begin graduate studies, we had been quarreling all the time. It was because my parents did not approve of our relationship. I felt pressure from my parents and passed it on to him. Maybe he could not take it anymore and tried to find a way out by finding a new girlfriend.

The past is past, and I told myself that I had to let go of this agony. I needed to deal with it so my children and I could get on with our lives. One Sunday I locked myself in my room and for the last time read his diary, which detailed our activities when we were together at the university. I read and read … I cried and cried. And then I burned it. I said good-bye to my husband, good-bye to my past. And I felt relieved.
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But still this bomb had exploded and broken my heart in pieces. If I had not had this marriage, I might have spared myself all these hardships. I felt sad and tried to escape my torments. At this time, we were looking to buy a house. I started to notice a change in my daughter following her father’s death. She told me I did not need a house with a family room. I asked her why. She told me it was because we were not a family. I suddenly realized that her schoolmates were teasing her because she did not have a father. I needed to come up with a solution.

At about this time, some friends from New York came to Boston and wanted to get together with me at a Taiwanese Association meeting. I had not been going to any social activities since my husband’s death. But to see my friends, I ended up joining their dinner party. There I met a man, Ming, who later became my husband. He was two years older than me. We had met earlier at the university in Taiwan. He then got his Ph.D. in Canada and was doing a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University at the time we met again in Boston. He was kind, considerate and had a big heart. He loved me very much and accepted my children as his own. I thank him for giving my children a loving, trusting and reliable father.

So is it a bomb? Or is it a blessing in disguise? I am grateful that I did not surrender to all my trials and give up my life. I gave myself a chance to see whether it was a bomb or a blessing. Just like Job, who lived to receive a double blessing from God. I thank my late husband who gave me a present – a box with a ring and a girl’s picture. He helped me to get out of my own box and let go of him so I could have a life of my own for my children and myself.

From Bondage to the Miracle of Life

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I want to bang a drum and ring a bell … to set off fireworks. I want to shout out loud
to the world that I am writing a book, and that I am confident I will finish it this coming
year.

To some readers, writing a book may not seem like such a big deal – perhaps even a
piece of cake. But for me it is huge and unbelievable. Let me put it another way – an
impossibility. Ever since my first conversation with God twelve years ago, I knew He
wanted me to put all His messages relevant to my life experience into a book so I
could help others. Having been a biology major whose work was in the field of
science, I knew this would not be easy because I lack the writing skills and
imagination that most authors have. Yet I know that God never jokes about
anything, and it does not matter what I think. His command will be done. It’s just
that simple.

Still I am amazed by the audacity that has led me to proclaim to the whole universe
that I am publishing a book. I have this urge to do it, and I cannot seem to suppress
it. Since the beginning of last September, I have felt I’ve been riding a roller coaster.
Things around me started going very fast … out of control. For example, the number
of subscribers to my English-language blog, www.loveneverending.com, have
doubled. I established it on May 20, 2010, and the number of subscribers grew
steadily to around 140. Yet, after posting “The World of Wisteria” in September
2013, I was surprised to see the numbers jump tremendously. Subscribers seemed
to just pour into my site. I would get five subscribers a day for a while and then two
or three more each day. I had no clue as to what was happening.

The same goes for my acting. A week ago, my agent told me to go to an audition
immediately. An hour after the audition she told me I’d been booked for the show.
I went to do the shooting right away – the very next two days. Nothing like this had
ever happened before. Actually, this TV episode will not air until February, but the
director tried to complete shooting early. This sense of acceleration spread to other
things too. All I could feel was that there was an unseen force pushing the wheels
forward.

For example, I was thrilled to find I could complete the writing of three articles
(“When Tomorrow Starts Without Me,” Parts 1-3) in a relatively short time. I even
finished them and posted them on my English-language blog before posting them
on my Chinese blog as I customarily do. This is quite unusual. It gave me a special
feeling – as if something extraordinary would happen. Maybe the unthinkable –
writing a book – will become a reality after all these years.

Meanwhile, I am reminded of the story of Moses and Red Sea. God brought Israel
out of bondage in Egypt with a miracle – He parted the Red Sea, opening up dry
land for the Israelites to escape the pursuing Egyptians. Going into the Promised
Land, the priests had to have faith to cross the Jordan River. As soon as the priests’
feet touched the water, the river ceased to flow, the water started piling up, and the
children of Israel could cross over. (Joshua 3:15-17) If priests had not had faith or if
they had shown any hesitation, the water would not have parted, and the people of
Israel would not have been able to enter the Promised Land.

I saw a lot of similarities between the Israelites and me. Time after time He brought
me out of a bondage that had long kept me from growing and reaching my potential.
He led me out of a profession I had held ever since graduating from the university
and into totally different fields – public relations, acting, dancing and writing. Just
as He set Israel free from slavery and bondage in Egypt, He freed me too, making it
possible for me to see countless opportunities and unimagined potential.

Today, when I think about the faith of the priests who stepped into the Jordan River
and led Israel into the land of milk and honey, I think I get it. I finally understand
why I have the urge to announce that I will write a book. It is faith manifested in
action. Without such faith, there would be no story of God’s people entering the land
of Canaan – the Promised Land. It took forty years for God to build their faith. For
me, it has been twelve long years since my first conversation with God. This biblical
story helped strengthen my faith. With all the events that have taken place in recent
months, I finally summoned the courage to take action – to announce my intention
to write a book. Maybe the miracle of making the impossible possible will follow.

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