December 24, 2019

The Opportunity to Restore Love

Shin Se-hee from Seoul, Korea

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“Is God coming down?”

When I was a child, I mumbled to myself, looking at the sunlight emerge from the gray clouds and shine straight down on the ground. Though nobody taught me, I was convinced that God exists for sure. So I went to a Protestant church since I was in elementary school. After becoming a university student, I was eager in my religious life; I even played the guitar on the street to preach.

However, as time passed by, the sermons which were like cloud drifts in the air didn’t touch my heart at all. Whenever I did something for the church, I felt empty in the end. When I saw the secular life of the church members and how wrong the church did, I stopped going to church. I decided to put aside going to church and believe in God only in my heart.

About a month after I gave birth to my first child, a baby’s mother living upstairs often prepared meals for me, saying that it would not be easy to make meals by myself while taking care of a baby. At that time, I couldn’t get postnatal care properly because my mother was so busy. So it moved me so much. Personally, I didn’t like to give anybody any sort of inconvenience even in the slightest way, but I just felt comfortable around her. Without thinking that it might be a bother to her, I frequently visited her as if I was going to my own house and conversed with her.

At that time, I heard the words of the Bible such as the Sabbath day and the Passover from her for the first time. The prophecies of the Bible which were fulfilled exactly as prophesied were amazing and interesting. The Church of God which I came to know through her was different from other churches. The church members all looked nice in appearance. More than anything else, I was pleased with their only following the words of the Bible. Gladly, I received the blessing of a new life and gradually realized God’s will day after day by keeping God’s laws. I was happy to realize God the Father and Mother with my heart.

I sincerely hoped that my husband would also feel this happiness. However, it was only my wish. My husband was already displeased with my going to church anyway, and as he heard some wrong information about the Church of God from his coworker, he strongly opposed my faith. I felt sad because he got mad whenever I talked about the church though he used to be kind and warm.

Several years passed by since my husband and I had been in a tug-of-war. One day, my husband happened to feel apologetic to me about something. As a consolation maybe, he said he would go to church. Then he received the blessing of a new life. It was already a surprise that my husband, who was against my faith for a few years, came to church by his own will. And then he became a child of God! I couldn’t believe it though I witnessed it.

However, my husband did not come to Zion for more than a year. When I asked him to keep the service, he raised his voice, saying, “I’m so busy working. How can I go?” And when he said something disappointing even a little after that, I couldn’t hold my anger and said to myself narrow-mindedly, ‘I will never preach to him again!’

I knew that I should have preached with Mother’s heart, but it was difficult to practice the teaching at least toward my husband. If it were to another member, I would lower my mind. But to my husband, I put my pride up like my guard. It was because since we started dating, I had a strong fixed idea about him that he had to take care of me and love me. Moreover, I was more disappointed at the thought that my husband was not considerate of me though I was good at housekeeping and raised our children frugally.

After I realized I was wrong, I stopped being disappointed in him. Even in the situation that I would have talked back to him with a stern look, I calmed myself down and understood where he was coming from. He did not know God fully; so it was more important for him to take care of the family by working hard than keeping God’s laws. What I said from the wish for him to receive blessings might have sounded as if I had pushed him too hard. He could have supported the family more joyfully if he had done it in the blessing of God. I felt sorry towards him, regretting that I treated him emotively.

Since I started understanding him sincerely, he began to change. He said he would go to Zion and study the Bible. It had been difficult until he came to Zion, however, once he came and studied the Bible, he was amazed whenever he studied the truth.

My husband used to go to the Catholic Church since he was young. He said he was afraid of the statue of the Virgin Mary. And when he followed his friend to a Protestant church, he was horrified to see the cross. ‘Am I not a child of God? Why do those symbols of God scare me?’ As he felt uncomfortable because of those things, he could not go to church anymore. When he learned that worshiping the cross or the statue of Virgin Mary is idolatry, he felt very relieved and said he cleared up his doubts.

As his questions were answered one by one, he went to Zion more often. I was pleased to go to Zion for the service with him, and was thankful that his faith grew day by day. One day, after the service of the Sabbath day, he even apologized to me, “I’m sorry I have misunderstood you so far.” All my pains and wounds I had had up until that time disappeared as if the snow melted.

Once he had difficulty understanding the truth of God the Mother, but it was temporary. On the third day after he struggled until dawn with the Bible and the Truth Books to understand the truth clearly, he said with confidence in his eyes,

“Heavenly Mother is the true God!”

After that, my husband actively participated in everything related to Zion, saying that he would live a life of asking Mother for forgiveness just as Peter lived a life of repentance after he disowned Jesus three times. He joined the choir, and made a great effort to save souls.

First, he visited his parents’. My mother-in-law had been a Catholic for 40 years. Unlike me who could not even conceive of preaching to her, my husband visited her whenever he could afford his time and preached the word without hesitation. Being encouraged, I, too, put all my heart in leading her together with him. At first, she was indifferent, but before long, she received the blessing of a new life willingly, saying, “If you want it this much . . .” It really was like a dream. That day, my husband said that he understood why I was trying to lead him to Zion so badly. He said that he couldn’t help but preach to his mother because he loved her just as I wanted to give the best things to my loving one.

After hearing his words, there was someone that came to mind: It was my father. Though my husband preached with all his heart and soul to his mother, I didn’t do the same to my father. It was because I felt resentment against my father who gave my mother a hard time when they were younger, more than feeling sorry for him. Maybe because I still blamed him in my mind, when I preached to him, he rejected the truth stubbornly while my mother and my sisters received it obediently.

Raising two children, I realized how troubled and lonely my father must have been as the head of the household. It was around that time, he had lost his health. I couldn’t stay still when I finally understood him. I prayed that my father could receive the promise of eternal life before it was too late, and went to see him.

“Dad, let’s go to heaven together.”

These were the words that I had told him for years without changing a single word. However, I was never mournful like that day.

When the word, “okay,” came out from his mouth, I burst into tears. Everything could be done if I just changed my mind like turning over a sheet of paper. I only needed to love him, putting down all the hatred and resentment in my mind. Why had I regarded this as something impossible for such a long time?

On the day when my father received a new life, my father smiled like a child and I cried because I was so thankful.

Seeing the family being led to Zion, I could understand, even if it was just a little bit, about what kind of love God wanted. I was narrow-minded; I thought my family members should understand my temper because they were my family and loved me. I did not try to understand and accept them first. I only insisted on family obligation; when they did not reach my standard, I just felt frustrated and grew distressed. Love is understanding and considering others. However, I missed the greatest thing even though I thought I obeyed the words of God.

Now I can understand why God’s children must preach the gospel. For a long time, I had forgotten the meaning of family that becomes one in the name of love. The gospel is the process to restore the love. If I had not preached the gospel, I would’ve probably still been thinking that I was following the will of God rightly.

Though it took me a longer time, I am glad because I’ve realized at last. I am going to deliver the voice of God with love to the heavenly family members whom I should seek and take care of. I give thanks to God from the bottom of my heart for allowing me, a child who is still lacking in many ways, the opportunity to love through the gospel.

I want spread the gospel and love without rest until the day I go back to our heavenly home country. God loves this weak child! I, too, love You, Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother!

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