By A’Jiao, Hong Kong
Jiao sat by the window looking at the divorce certificate in her hands with a sense of relief. Because of God’s grace and salvation, Jiao was finally free from her painful marriage. She gazed at the street outside the window, and everything that had happened between her and her ex-husband passed through her mind …
Jiao was just the same as so many other girls. When she was a teenager, she dreamed of growing up and finding a husband who would love her dearly. Especially when she read romance novels or watched screen idols on TV, and she saw the endless love between the main male and female characters, she would take the ideas of “love is supreme,” and “growing old together, hand-in-hand” as the ideals for her own future marriage, and she yearned to have a grand love. Only then, she thought, would her life not be lived in vain.
When she was ready to marry, she met Ming. Ming loved Jiao dearly, and Jiao considered Ming to be her partner for the rest of her life, and so they started a family together. After they were married, Ming cared for Jiao even more; he was tolerant of her faults and he always made allowances for her, and Jiao felt like the happiest woman in the world.
Just as Jiao was immersed in her happy marriage, one day she accidentally saw some overly affectionate messages on Ming’s cell phone that had been sent by another woman. Jiao asked Ming if he was having an affair, and Ming admitted it. This came as a bolt from the blue for Jiao, and she felt like her heart had been torn apart. She wanted to leave, but Ming begged and pleaded for her to give him another chance. Seeing Ming feeling so remorseful, Jiao’s heart softened, and she decided to forgive him.
Over the days that followed, Ming was just as considerate and caring as he had been at the beginning of their relationship and, especially after Jiao had given birth, Ming cared for her even more deeply. He also made many promises to Jiao: “I’m going to work hard to make money, so that you and our child will have a good life in the future.” Although he had betrayed her once before, Jiao felt that Ming still really loved her, and she told herself to keep their love strong!
But how long can love last before it expires? As time passed, the chafing of life gradually replaced their conjugal bliss. Ming was coming home from work later and later, and would sometimes not come home until two or three in the morning. His attitude toward Jiao also became more and more indifferent, and he would often row with her over trivial things. After an argument, they would both give each other the silent treatment. Jiao felt very pained, and she didn’t want this stalemate between them to go on. One time, Jiao asked Ming, “Why are you treating me more and more indifferently?” And Ming replied, “Our love has changed. I think it would be best if we separated….” Hearing him say this, Jiao’s heart felt hollow, and she just stood there, unable to stop her tears from falling.
A week later and it was Jiao and Ming’s seven-year anniversary. Jiao thought that Ming would think of all their time spent together and would have a change of heart but, unexpectedly, Ming informed her that he wanted a divorce!
This sudden blow left Jiao reeling, and Jiao’s elder sister also told her that Ming hadn’t actually loved her for quite some time, and that she had just been kept in the dark … Her sister’s words totally destroyed Jiao’s final thread of hope and, in her despair, Jiao took 90 sleeping pills. She was treated in time, but then she decided to jump off a building. She was miraculously saved once again but, as her injuries were so severe, there was a possibility that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. But when she saw Ming doing all he could to take care of her and that he felt wrought with self-blame, Jiao thought it had all been worth it.
The Shattered Mirror Can Never Be Fixed
As time went on, Jiao’s health slowly recovered, and she was able to walk on crutches. Her happy life, however, did not return as she wished. Ming was secretive about his movements and he lied about going on a business trip for a couple of days. While he was away, Jiao called him, but he didn’t answer. Then she called him again after withholding her own number. Ming answered and, after saying a few impatient words, he hung up on her. Jiao’s head became filled with pictures of Ming with another woman, and her heart hurt beyond her ability to control it. Ming returned on the third day and Jiao secretly looked inside his pockets. To her surprise, she found some condoms! Jiao’s heart was broken. She just couldn’t understand. She had given Ming all her heart for years—why did Ming have to treat her so cruelly? Jiao became filled with resentment for Ming, and she felt that her perfect family had become what it was today all because of him …
But no matter how hurt she felt, Jiao did not want to lose her family, and she wanted to provide her son with a family that was whole. In order to save her broken marriage, Jiao suppressed the pain in her heart, and she began to learn how to make the foods Ming loved, she made the cakes he liked, and she even sold her wedding jewelry and bought a gold bracelet that Ming liked. But Ming still persisted in his old ways, without a shred of self-restraint. One day, the observatory issued a warning for a force 10 typhoon. Jiao told Ming not to go out but to stay in with their son, but Ming insisted that he would go out. At lunchtime, Jiao couldn’t stop herself from stealing a look inside her husband’s pockets again, and once again she found condoms inside. She couldn’t suppress her emotions any longer and she violently smashed her bowl on the floor. Their five-year-old son began to cry loudly with fright, and Ming slapped Jiao. At that moment, Jiao felt completely broken, and sadness, anger and pain flooded her mind, and her tears flowed freely … She took up her crutches and walked out the door. She limped along the empty streets and cold rain poured down on her as the typhoon beat against her face and body. Jiao felt the cold seep into her and she couldn’t tell whether the water on her face was rain or her own tears. To Jiao at that moment, all that was left in the world was blackness and greyness …
After that, Ming began acting even more selfishly and recklessly, and would often only come home after midnight, or would simply not come home at all. Jiao endured the pain in her heart and she languished through each passing day. Each night, when it got late, seeing only her and her son in such a big home, Jiao would feel an unparalleled sense of grief and desolation, and all she could do was numb herself with drink …
The Dawn Comes
By fortuitous chance, Jiao one day met the Christian Min. Min had had the same unfortunate things happening to her as Jiao, but because of God’s salvation, Min had come through all the pain. One time, Jiao asked Min, “Why does mankind live in such pain?” Min then read Jiao two passages of God’s words: “Adam and Eve created by God in the beginning were holy people, which is to say, whilst in the Garden of Eden they were holy, untainted with filth. They were also faithful to Jehovah, and knew nothing of the betrayal of Jehovah. This is because they were without the disturbance of the influence of Satan, were without Satan’s poison, and were the purest of all mankind. They lived in the Garden of Eden, undefiled by any filth, unpossessed by the flesh, and in reverence of Jehovah. Later, when they were tempted by Satan, they had the poison of the serpent, and the desire to betray Jehovah, and they lived under the influence of Satan. In the beginning, they were holy and revered Jehovah; only like this were they human. Later on, after they were tempted by Satan, they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and lived under the influence of Satan. They were gradually corrupted by Satan, and lost the original image of man” (“The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment”). “After Satan’s corruption, man became more and more degenerate, the illnesses of man were deepened, and their suffering became more and more severe. Man felt more and more the emptiness, the tragedy and the inability to go on living of the world, and they felt less and less hope for the world. So this suffering was brought on man by Satan, and it only came after man had been corrupted by Satan and man’s flesh became degenerate” (“The Meaning of God’s Experiencing the Pain of the World”).
Min gave fellowship to Jiao, saying: “In the beginning, God created our ancestors, Adam and Eve, then He set them in the Garden of Eden. Mankind at that point had not been corrupted by Satan, and they were obedient and reverential toward God; they had no evil or corruption in their hearts, and in their life within the Garden of Eden, they had God’s care, protection and blessing, and they were exceedingly happy and at peace. Afterward, they were seduced and corrupted by Satan into betraying God, and thus sin was born into the world. Slowly over time, mankind began to shun God and live in sin, to cling to physical pleasure, indulge in physical lusts and pursue evil trends. Because of Satan’s corruption, mankind became more and more arrogant, wicked, selfish and deceitful, and people’s interactions with each other became filled with lies and deception, and they used and betrayed one another. Now, people are one way in front of others and another way behind their backs, and they vie and fight with each other for their own personal interests. Even husbands and wives use and betray one another, utterly heedless of their partner’s feelings, and they’ve lost the most basic conscience, reason, morality and dignity. Living in such a wicked and corrupt world and having been corrupted so much by Satan that we resemble neither man nor ghost, is it possible not to be in pain? God knows that we, mankind, have been corrupted and harmed by Satan and that we live in a state of pain and helplessness. Therefore, He has incarnated upon the earth, and He expresses the truth to save us and to enable us to understand the truth, and to enable us to see down to the root cause of all evil and corruption in the world, and to see clearly the means and methods that Satan employs to corrupt us. At the same time, God shows us the way and the direction we must follow to be free of pain. When we come before God and read His words, and we understand the truth and see through to the essence of problems, we then find the correct goal to pursue, and we naturally become freed from pain.” After listening to Min’s fellowship, Jiao finally understood that the reason why mankind lived in so much pain was because of the corruption of Satan. Mankind was becoming more and more wicked and degenerate, and had lost both conscience and humanity. Jiao felt that what Min had said made sense, and she wished very much to hear Min talk about belief in God.
Min read Jiao another passage of God’s words: “The Almighty has mercy on these people who have suffered deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has had to wait too long to get 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., the Watcher, will embrace your arrival at any time” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). As she listened to God’s words, Jiao’s heart was warmed by God’s love. She thought about how, after Ming’s betrayal, she had endured all that pain and lived a terrible life, and had come close to even losing her life twice, just so as to keep her marriage going. Only now did she know that God had always been keeping watch by her side, watching over and protecting her, aware that she was living in pain under Satan’s power. God had guided her each step of the way and had enabled her to return to God’s side. Jiao’s heart was filled with gratitude to God, and she felt so moved that tears slipped down her cheeks …
Jiao joyfully accepted God’s work of the last days, and she would often read God’s words together with her brothers and sisters, and they would fellowship about their own experiences and understanding and sing songs in praise of God. All this brought light into Jiao’s cripplingly lonely life and, gradually, her face began to shine with a smile that had long been absent. But every time she returned home, she would think of Ming’s apathy toward her and his betrayal, and she would be unable to stop herself from feeling pain in the deeps of her heart. Furthermore, something which Jiao couldn’t figure out was how Ming, who had used to love her so much, had become someone who was still so familiar to her, and yet was such a stranger.