By Xiaojuan, United States
From the time I was young, I followed my parents in believing in the Lord. But at that time I didn’t have much knowledge of God, nor did I ever read the Bible. I just listened to my parents and followed them in praying and attending meetings. After I grew up, I alone came to the United States. Without my parents’ exhortations, I, who had little knowledge of God, busied myself with working and gradually put God at the back of my mind.
During my days in the United States, I worked in a Chinese restaurant, where the work was very hard and tiring. And as I was introverted and taciturn, I was constantly bullied by my co-workers and hence got a bellyful of grievance and depression. Each night when I lay in the bed, I was preoccupied with what had happened in the daytime and sometimes unable to fall asleep. As a result, I often felt listless and sleepy when working in the daytime and sometimes even forgot what the customers had ordered, which got me rebuked by both the customers and my boss. Because of this, my self-esteem was badly hurt and I was very grieved. And what added to my agony was the fact that my husband was obsessed with games and didn’t care about me at all. Having no one to pour out my distress to, I felt rather depressed and miserable. Consequently, my condition got worse and worse, to an extent that I was unable to fall asleep all night through and became more and more irritable, feeling that I was about to fall apart. When I was at my worst, I didn’t even bother to flare up or say a word.
During those days, I felt extremely helpless. Living like this was so painful that many times I thought of death. But at the thought of a preacher’s words I had heard, “People have souls, which are immortal. After death, the souls of us believers will go to heaven while those of the unbelievers will be cast into hell and be burned in the lake of fire and brimstone,” I was afraid I would suffer even more in hell after death. Meanwhile I also thought of my parents and daughter—how would they feel if I died? Therefore, for the sake of my family, I tried to pull myself together and live tenaciously, but the suffering of life was too hard for me to bear. As a result, I struggled painfully every day.
In order to cure my insomnia, I searched for various remedies on the internet and then tried both Chinese and Western medicine and even all kinds of folk remedies, but none of them worked. I still couldn’t fall asleep all night long. Gradually I lost hope for recovery. At that time, to have a good sleep was just an extravagant wish for me.
But it’s often the case that just when people are at their wit’s end God appears. When I was feeling the most helpless, there was an intense voice deep in my heart telling me, “Go back to New York and continue your faith in the Lord.” I believed it was the Lord who was leading me—although I had turned my back on Him and been away from Him for so many years, He didn’t abandon me but still silently guided me within. Realizing this, I was filled with gratitude to the Lord. So regardless of how my husband and mother-in-law advised me to convalesce in the local area before I could work, I still insisted on going back to New York to recuperate.
After returning to New York, I joined the local church and started praying and reading the Bible every day. I started from the Four New Testament Gospels, where I saw how the Lord made cripples walk, the blind see, how He resurrected Lazarus, who had been dead for four days, and how He fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. These miracles greatly astonished me. When I read the following words of the Lord, “And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Luke 11:9), and “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11), I felt reassured and found something to rely on. Especially when I came across these words of the Lord, “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33), I felt an incomparable warmth in my heart as if the Lord was speaking to me face to face. At that moment, I felt like I had finally returned home and couldn’t help shedding tears. The words “In the world you shall have tribulation,” and “in me you might have peace” deeply touched my heart and I felt they were so true. During those years without God, I had gone through a lot of sufferings. Now when I returned to the Lord’s side, I finally found peace and joy within. In the following days in New York, I no longer rushed about seeking for the remedies to my insomnia, nor did I have injections, take medicine or receive any other treatment, but the Lord knew my suffering and cured my disease miraculously without me realizing it.
The Lord Jesus said, “How think you? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray?” (Matthew 18:12). The Lord is faithful. When I strayed from Him, struggling alone in the world, and was almost devoured by Satan, He didn’t abandon me but still saved me from the abyss of the suffering and brought me, a lost sheep, back to His house, allowing me to walk on the bright path of life. I sincerely offer my thanks to the Lord for His salvation.