January 3, 2020

With Love in Every Word

Gwon So-young from Suwon, Korea

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You have to walk a long way to reach the summit. Although it’s hard to walk up the steep path, if you keep on walking, you can feel the joy of standing on the top of the mountain. My journey of faith has been like climbing the mountain. The path was rough sometimes, but those rough paths made my soul healthier, and helped me enjoy more blessings and joy.

My mother believed in Buddhism, but I always liked the word “God” ever since I was young. I believed that heaven where God dwells must exist. So whenever a new school year began, the first thing I did was to find a Christian in the class and go to her church every Sunday.

While focusing on my marriage and children, I received the truth through a neighbor a month after I moved to Suwon. I was very thankful because God found me first when I just made up my mind to seek God since I quit my job to take care of my second baby.

My life couldn’t be better because I had a trustworthy husband, healthy children, and even God who would protect my family. I regarded my life of faith as the last puzzle piece for a happy life. However, my life of faith was faced with a crisis not long after I received the truth. My in-laws strongly opposed my going to church. My husband who didn’t say much about my faith began to stand against me, too. Since he told me not to even mention anything about church, it was difficult to keep service with peace of mind.

Although the situation seemed tough, I didn’t want to give up on the eternal happiness. To lead my whole family to salvation, I knew that I had to stand firm in God. All misunderstandings are to be solved, and the true heart is to be conveyed to others. Believing that, I kept service, studied the words, and kept my faith firm.

What comforted me during the days I spent in tears was the warm words of the members of Zion. They must’ve had their own difficulties whether small or big, but they took care of me first and comforted me. I was thankful and sorry at the same time.

Following the example of the members who were carrying out the mission of the gospel silently with thankfulness for the grace of salvation, I joined their preaching whenever I had a chance. I believed that God would turn the hearts of my family members if I tried hard to please God.

However, no matter how hard I preached, no one showed interest in the words. A year passed, and then almost two years passed. I lost all my confidence.

‘I guess I can’t do it. What’s wrong with me?’

While I was feeling discouraged, the members’ words of comfort and encouragement lifted up my spirit. I was groaning inwardly all alone, but then a sister told me her experience: She was anxious because she didn’t have any fruit for longer than I did, but she was finally able to meet a good soul after waiting for a long time, and her faith grew more mature through that process. Her story encouraged me a lot. Thinking that every moment is a process for my faith to become ripe, I gathered up my mind.

Not long after that, God led a beautiful soul to me. She was my neighbor who I had preached to a few times several months before. Although she listened to the words carefully, she rejected the blessing of salvation, saying that she wasn’t interested in church. But I still said hi to her whenever we bumped into each other. Then one day, I got a phone call from her. She said that she wanted to come to church.

She came to Zion with an open mind, and she kept her faith so godly that she even made me feel that we needed at least that much love and efforts to serve God. It was amazing to see how she accepted the truth so quickly. The only way to explain it was that it was God’s help.

When I felt the joy of bearing fruit, I became more eager to share the heavenly blessings with my family. I showed articles about our church on the newspapers or magazines to my husband, and I tried to preach to my parents and siblings over the phone or by visiting them whenever a holiday came. Although no one recognized my sincere heart, I didn’t give up. I couldn’t give up on them because they were the ones I loved the most.

After years of preaching to my family, they began to show changes. The first one to change was my younger sister who had opposed my faith more strongly than anybody else. She always said, “Even if all the teachings are correct, I can never admit the Second Coming Jesus.” However, while she was visiting us during her vacation, she listened to the words and received the promise of a new life. Blessings didn’t cease there. After she went back home, she learned the words from the members of the nearby Zion. In the beginning, her husband was either sleeping or playing on the computer during her study. But then at some point, he began to study the words even harder than my sister. He understood the words more easily than she did, and received the truth. After he accepted the truth, their faith grew together.

My sister was later blessed with a duty to take care of some members. With her outgoing nature, she played as a matchmaker of faith between my mom and me, and helped with collapsing the barriers that were built up between us. I felt disappointed in my mom because she didn’t recognize my sincere mind, and my mom was also disappointed in me because I didn’t seem to care even though she was worried about me. However, through my sister’s efforts, the barrier in our hearts collapsed. Seeing how my sister’s couple tried to live upright in faith, my mom got rid of her fixed ideas about our church. She finally received the truth, and so did my father and brother.

It was also truly God’s grace that my husband who didn’t even let me talk about church turned his heart. Although he seemed that he hated our church, his heart opened little by little, seeing our brothers and sisters of Zion full of love and our children growing upright in Zion. Still, I was worried that he might not receive the truth, but he willingly received the truth when I asked him, “Let’s go to church together.” Then he kept service regularly. I was able to feel that God accomplishes everything when the time comes. Indeed, hardships and sufferings make our faith grow mature. If my life of faith only had been smooth, I wouldn’t have fully understood how precious our truth is. If I had born fruit easily from the beginning, I would’ve taken it for granted and not given thanks for it. As I went through those things, I was able to preach the gospel harder and keep my hope for my family.

As the blessings that God has prepared are so great and beyond measure, I could’ve planted love in more people and led them to salvation, but it was my fault that I couldn’t do it. I often hurt the members’ feelings and created misunderstandings because I was straightforward and blunt when I talked. At first, I thought it was their fault for misunderstanding me. However, as time passed, I realized that it was my fault for not being considerate of them enough.

When I had many issues, what really comforted me was the appropriate words that members gave me. Understanding the hearts of the members was the way to be considerate of them, but I often looked at them only from my point of view. Most misunderstandings came from my habit of going straight to the main point, thinking, ‘They will understand what I mean. They must think the same as I do.’ The environments we grew up in and the ways of thinking were all different, but I thought that we all had the same thought since we were brothers and sisters of Zion. It was a big misunderstanding.

Now I try to understand the other person’s viewpoint and to talk in his point of view. When thoughtless words come out of my mouth, I no longer think, ‘It’s okay since I am this kind of person.’ Instead, I try to correct myself, thinking, ‘I am Mother’s daughter. So I have to humble myself.’

God is giving me more blessings than the efforts I make. A young mother I met a few months ago didn’t want to listen to the words because her husband didn’t like church. However, her heart opened wide thanks to the unchanging love and kindness of the members, and she received the truth. Recently, many people who used to have misunderstandings about our church are coming to Zion, getting rid of their fixed ideas.

Many people say that they like God’s love contained in the words, and Mother’s love that the members deliver to them. As stars shine more brightly when it is darker, I guess the love of Mother is delivered to them more deeply since everybody is in hardships while making a living nowadays. This year is the year of jubilee. As we are all trying hard to deliver love to people with the same mind to please Mother and with the same Holy Spirit, love seems to be delivered to more and more people.

People who are thirsty for love are flowing into Zion, but I’m worried that I might fail to deliver Mother’s love fully to the souls. All the members of Zion are being reborn through love; so I don’t want to stay the same, holding on to my old self. If I keep looking back on myself, fixing all my wrongdoings and being reborn through the perfect love, I believe that my in-laws will also find God’s love in me and receive God.

I still need to walk more to reach the top, the heavenly home. If I still have a path to walk, it means I still have more blessings to receive and time to repent and change. I want to do my best to carry out my mission so that I won’t have any regrets when I reach the top.

When I look back on my path, I’m overwhelmed with thanks. The feeling that I will have when I reach the top, the kingdom of heaven, is beyond imagination. Even if I’m faced with different hardships, I will never give up because I know that the blessing of the kingdom of heaven will be given only to those who finish the race.

The One who will lead me with love, holding my hand, until I finish the race, is Mother. I know that Mother has been enduring the life of sacrifice with prayers of tears every day for me. Looking at our Heavenly Mother, who is blocking severe storms and leading me to the way of blessing, I will finish this race of the gospel.

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