By Lin Min
Lin Min is a naturally sentimental person. Emotional dramas and romance novels saw her through her youth; the love stories within them deeply drew her in and stirring romantic tales often filled her mind—she couldn’t get them out of her head. From then on, the seeds of love were planted in naive Lin Min, and she hoped that after growing up she would find her own beautiful love story, “till death do us part.”
When Lin Min was 17 or 18 years old, one of the topics most discussed by other girls her age was what sort of person they wanted to find to spend their lives with. She was no exception. Her head was always filled with dreams of love and having a family, hoping to find her own knight in shining armor, looking forward to bathing in the sunshine with him, walking through shady groves hand in hand, talking about anything and everything by the side of a river, and building their own happy family. She imagined that they’d always support and be there for each other through thick and thin.
When Lin Min grew up and became old enough to get married, she did meet that knight in shining armor she had been hoping for; they walked into the marriage hall holding hands and made their vows to each other. She wanted to grow old with her husband. However, dreams are nothing but fantasies, not reality. She never imagined that her husband would betray her after just a few years of marriage, that he would forsake their wedding vows. Lin Min, filled with idyllic visions of what love is, just couldn’t accept the reality of his betrayal and left him without any hesitation. She was 30 years old. Looking back on this failure, Lin Min thought that she had been too young and inexperienced at the time, and she hadn’t been a good judge of people. She thought, “When I’m looking for another partner in the future I’ll find someone between the ages of 45 and 50. Someone a bit older will be more stable; they won’t be so capricious. Then the marriage will be a sure thing.” But things never go according to plan, and for various reasons she ended up marrying a man just one year older than her.
“I’m going to make you the happiest bride on earth. I don’t have much money, but I’ll look after you forever and never let you get hurt again….” This simple promise didn’t sound as flowery and compelling as what’s written in the novels, but it was a salve for Lin Min’s wounded soul. With tears in her eyes she thought to herself, “I’ve got to have a good life with him and never let him go. We’ll grow old hand in hand.”
So, Lin Min remarried and from then on, the only thing in her world was her husband and their vows. They lived in a tiny home under 40 square meters and just had a plate of pickled vegetables and two bowls of rice for every meal—their lives were hard. However, Lin Min felt really happy, really joyful. They had heart-to-hearts with each other and understood each other; they didn’t hide anything or lie about anything. They’d go shopping together to find daily necessities that fit their budget, they had lots of fun together in their little home, and deep in the night when all was quiet they’d talk about their shared dream of buying a house. They encouraged each other. One uncomplicated, tender day after another passed, and the year their daughter turned 12 they were finally able to buy a house that was 106 square meters, and their lives became even better. Her husband said to Lin Min, “Once we’ve got a bit more money we should go on a trip.” Lin Min was very pleased to hear this; beaming, her face overflowing with happiness, she nodded her head and said, “Yes! You’re interested in birds and I’m interested in dogs. We should each take our own pets on walks.” She looked forward to spending every day so happily in the future.
Just as Lin Min was lost in her dream of “till death do us part” and basking in that happy family, the unimaginable happened again.
In May 2015, Lin Min noticed that her husband started talking less, and that his words didn’t seem as genuine as they had before; he was oddly cold toward her. She felt really uneasy but forced herself not to imagine the worst. But after enduring a time of anxiety, she discovered that the thing she most feared had happened again—her husband was having an affair. She saw them walking out of a supermarket together and getting into a car. Her heart was shattered. In the days that followed Lin Min made all sorts of concessions and put everything into winning back her husband’s heart in order to save their family. When he went back home from time to time, Lin Min greeted him with a smile and reminded him of all the little things in their past, talked about the unforgettable wedding that they had planned, and about their plans to go traveling…. To communicate this better, she drew comics depicting the things they had done together as well as their current life and their future. Her drawings were full of her hope and desire to turn her husband’s heart around. She knew that her husband liked chess, so to appeal to one of his interests she bit the bullet and played chess with him.
In spite of making every effort to win back her husband’s heart, he was completely unmoved and even went further. He started dressing more fashionably, wouldn’t return home for nights on end, and when he did occasionally stop by he was really cold with Lin Min. He even ended up bringing that woman back to their home. Lin Min collapsed psychologically—she completely broke down. She shouted herself hoarse at her husband: “How could you bring that woman into our home? You’re not allowed to bring her here anymore!”
He pointed his finger at Lin Min and shouted at her, enraged, “If you keep acting like this you can’t blame me for what I’ll do!” and then slammed the door and left. He walked off with that woman without a backward glance.
Seeing the two of them walk off side by side into the rainy night, Lin Min frantically ran out to the street, letting the rain fall all over her. In the dim street lighting she didn’t know which way to go and even thought of death. After two failed marriages, she had lost the courage to go on living. But then she thought of her daughter and her elderly parents. If she died, what would happen to them? If her daughter lost her father’s love and then lost her mother, how could she go on living? In her pain, Lin Min thought, “Living is so hard, but why is dying so hard?”
Lin Min wandered through the rain in a trance, letting the rain and the tears wash her face. Her heart was bleeding, and scene after scene from the past kept floating up in her mind: the wedding, their vows, their laughter, their hopes and dreams, plus the cartoons she had drawn that were full of her dreams. She thought of all of these sweet, warm memories. She had never imagined that what she would get would be her husband’s deceit and heartless injury. From the time she was small, Lin Min had harbored dreams of growing old with someone, and as she grew up and went through all sorts of vicissitudes, as her youth went by, she had never given up that pursuit, but why hadn’t that “beautiful” dream been realized? She stopped walking, not knowing where to go. She was exhausted.
She kept dragging her tired body along feeling like she was on her last legs, just barely getting through the days….
Just as Lin Min was mired in suffering and falling into despair, God’s warm and powerful words comforted her. This is what she read: “The Almighty has mercy on these people who have suffered deeply; at the same time, He is fed up with these people who lack consciousness, as He has had to wait too long for an answer from humanity. He wishes to seek, to seek your heart and your spirit, to bring you water and food and to awaken you, that you may no longer be thirsty and hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel something of the bleak desolation of this world, do not be lost, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival at any time. He is keeping watch by your side, waiting for you to turn back around” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). God’s words shone on Lin Min’s heart like a ray of sunshine, bringing warmth to her chilled heart. She thought of how she had been taking on all that suffering and stress alone since her husband’s infidelity; she’d been walking around like a zombie at her very last gasp, just wanting her life to be over with as soon as possible. Only then did she understand that God had always been by her side waiting for her to come into God’s house. She wasn’t remotely alone and with nothing to lean on—God is her eternal support. She read God’s words with tears in her eyes, feeling like an orphan returning to her mother’s embrace. She couldn’t help but become speechless and start crying, expressing her gratitude to God without words.
Lin Min started frequently attending gatherings after that, reading God’s words and singing hymns of praise to God with brothers and sisters. Her face was once again filled with smiles and her state of mind improved significantly.
One day, Lin Min saw the words of God that said, “So what type of knowledge does corrupt people? Corrupting knowledge is knowledge that is intermingled with Satan’s viewpoints and thoughts. Satan seeks to inculcate these viewpoints and thoughts into humanity through the medium of knowledge. For example, in an article, there is nothing wrong with the written words in themselves. The problem lies with the viewpoints and intent of the author when they wrote the article, as well as the content of their thoughts. These are things of the spirit, and they are able to corrupt people. For example, if you were watching a television show, what sort of things in it could change people’s view? Would what the performers said, the words themselves, be able to corrupt people? (No.) What sort of things would corrupt people? It would be the core thoughts and content of the show, which would represent the director’s views. The information carried in these views could sway people’s hearts and minds. Is that not so?” (“God Himself, the Unique V”). Lin Min understood through what was revealed in God’s words that Satan uses novels and dramas to craft stories of love that don’t exist in real life in order to mislead people, and it inculcates people with ideas of love like “Till death do us part,” “Love is supreme,” and “The lovers finally get married.” People lack the truth as well as the ability to discern between positive and negative things. After reading novels and watching romantic dramas and accepting those ideas, people start to venerate romantic love and become steeped in an illusion of perfect love. They aspire to having intense love affairs, even feeling that experiencing love that never fades even until death, that two people staying together until the very end is the best possible thing. A lot of people fall into the trap that Satan has set up for them this way, and they’re duped and controlled by the illusion of perfect love. But when people give it their all and still can’t get that love that’s spoken of, they live in more and more pain and helplessness, and lose all sense of meaning in their lives. Lin Min thought of how she had been drawn in by all the romantic love stories from the dramas and novels she had read growing up, how she had wholeheartedly hoped to experience true love and grow old with her partner. She was even willing to devote her entire life to pursuing that. The failure of her first marriage didn’t wake her up, so she continued to seek a love that wouldn’t fade for a lifetime. She put everything into it, but never imagined that ultimately all she’d get in return would be the same heartless betray and heart-wrenching pain as before. She still wouldn’t give up, though; she tried to win her husband’s heart back by making every concession as well as becoming more thoughtful and considerate of him, but he wasn’t remotely appreciative of that. When their marriage fell apart, Lin Min felt like she had lost everything and she had nothing to live for, so she wanted to put an end to her suffering through death. And now if it hadn’t been for what was revealed through God’s words, Lin Min absolutely wouldn’t have been able to see how her pain was caused by being controlled and harmed by mistaken satanic thinking. In the past, Lin Min thought of reading those novels and watching those romantic dramas as a hobby and a way to spice up a boring life; she never imagined that they were hiding Satan’s tricks to corrupt, deceive, and harm people. Satan fools and mortally wounds people by feeding them dreams that can never be realized so that they put everything into pursuing them, leaving them in unbearable pain.
After undergoing such ups and downs in life, Lin Min experienced that there is no true love between human beings, but just fleshly relationships and making use of each other. When people are poor there may be some deeper understanding between them, but if they gain both fame and fortune people tend to do away with the old and seek out the new. They betray each other, and things like “vows,” “promises,” “undying love,” “everlasting and unchanging,” and “till death do us part” become deceitful lies. People do not possess the truth; they cannot see through Satan’s tricks but can only be deceived and corrupted by Satan’s erroneous thinking, and the more they pursue this kind of empty love, the more they live in suffering.
Later, Lin Min read another passage of God’s words, “I am in the heavens, and I am amongst My creation. I am keeping watch; I am waiting; I am at your side…. His hands are warm and strong; His footsteps are light; His voice is soft and graceful; His form passes and turns, embracing all of mankind; His countenance is beautiful and gentle. He has never left, never vanished. Day and night, He is mankind’s constant companion, never to leave their side” (“God Himself, the Unique II”). Lin Min was deeply moved as she pondered God’s words. She thought back on her own experiences and felt that God had always been waiting by her side, with her through every stage in her life. When she was hurt and in despair, even wanting to end her very life, God comforted and guided her with His words, assuaging her pain and giving her hope to keep on living. When Lin Min was living in pain and couldn’t escape from the fog of her husband’s betrayal, God used His words to reveal Satan’s tactics and methods for corrupting human beings so that she could recognize the root of her suffering and see through Satan’s tricks. Then she was able to see the fallacy of the concepts of “Till death do us part” and “Love is supreme.” At this point, Lin Min really understood that only God is love, God is most responsible for our lives, and that there is no love between human beings, that there are no true feelings. If we cannot come before God, read His words and understand the truth, we’ll only be deceived and harmed by Satan’s erroneous thinking; we’ll never see through its tricks, but will just flounder in a sea of suffering, always living within pain. Lin Min could feel God’s true love and salvation for her, and she couldn’t stop herself from offering up a prayer of gratitude to Him: “Oh God, I want to part with my past life of depravity and delusions and from now on seek the truth, living out a life of meaning. Thanks be to God! Amen!”