Crossroads

March 19, 2022

By Wang Xin, South Korea

I used to have a happy family, and my husband was really good to me. We opened a family restaurant that did pretty well. Our friends and relatives all admired us. But confusingly, I always felt so empty inside. Every day felt exactly the same as the last, like there was no meaning in life, but I had no idea what the right way to live was. Then in late 2010, I had a difficult labor and ended up hemorrhaging. The doctors said I was in critical condition. My mom, really scared, whispered into my ear, “Honey, pray to Almighty God!” I grabbed hold of that like a lifeline and called on Almighty God in my heart to save me. Before long, the bleeding stopped. I knew that God had given me a second chance at life, and I thanked Him from the heart. I started reading God’s words every day from then on and had gatherings and fellowship with brothers and sisters all the time. Over time, I learned that God created man and that everything man has comes from God. We have to have faith, worship God, and do a created being’s duty to find meaning in life. I took on a duty of spreading the gospel and every day felt really fulfilling. My family hadn’t accepted Almighty God, but they weren’t opposed to my faith.

In late 2012. The Communist Party was starting to go crazy with their suppression and arrests of members of The Church of Almighty God, and they were fabricating all sorts of rumors to slander the Church. Lots of radio stations and television stations were disseminating these lies. Starting then, my husband would pull a long face and sulk whenever I came back from a gathering. One day around lunchtime I went to the restaurant after a gathering and saw that sullen look on his face. As soon as he saw me, he grabbed me and dragged me over to the TV, and said, “Look at this God you believe in!” I saw that they were broadcasting all sorts of the Communist Party’s slanders and rumors about The Church of Almighty God, that were absolutely baseless and turned the truth on its head. I got really angry, and turned around and said to him, “The news is full of lies. These are just rumors made up by the Party. They hate God and fight against Him more than anything, and they’ve brutally persecuted religious beliefs ever since coming to power. How could you believe anything they say against the Church? We’ve seen plenty after being in business all these years, so it’s not like you don’t know what this government, what this party is like. The Communist Party has fabricated all sorts of false, unjust cases, and falsified reports. Not even bringing the Cultural Revolution into it, but just in more recent years, there was Tiananmen Square Incident, the brutal suppression of the Tibetan protests, etc. What they always do is start by making up lies, twisting the truth to make a group look bad and whip up outrage, and then comes a violent crackdown. It’s the same with The Church of Almighty God. This is the Party’s usual tactic for eradicating dissent. Besides, brothers and sisters have held gatherings in our home while you were there. You know that we just gather and read God’s words, fellowship on the truth, and sing hymns. Is it anything like what the Party is saying?” They were too thoroughly taken in by the Communist Party’s lies, so they were deaf to what I was saying. They kept berating me, saying I should just live a nice life instead of insisting on believing, and that if the government says you can’t have faith, then just give it up. My husband said if I kept going to gatherings, he’d smash up my electric scooter so I wouldn’t have any way to get there. He also wanted to keep me cooped up at home.

It didn’t bother me too much at first. I thought they were just being taken in by those lies for the moment and they were angry out of concern for me, that it would all blow over in a few days. But things weren’t quite that simple. There were more and more lies being broadcast on TV and the internet attacking and defaming The Church of Almighty God, and there were lots of reports of believers being arrested. My family clamped down on me even more when they saw this. Trying to get me to give up my faith, my husband tore my book of God’s words, and broke the MP3 player I used to listen to hymns. He also repeated all of the Communist Party’s lies to our neighbors so I couldn’t share the gospel with them. They believed the lies, too, and treated me like a leper. My husband’s behavior was really shocking for me. He’d always been so kind to me—how could he change so much, so dramatically? After years of marriage, how could he be so devoid of understanding and respect? Time went on, and he was constantly on my case, even blaming every little thing that went wrong at home on my faith. When business slowed down he blamed my faith and he wouldn’t let me into the restaurant, saying I’d bring bad luck. His parents were always pulling long faces and berating me, and banging things around in anger. They kept me from going out, and the moment I took a step outside they were calling me, demanding to know where I was and who I was with. I was kept under their watch during that time. I couldn’t read God’s words or contact brothers and sisters. I didn’t have any personal freedom whatsoever. This was really trying for me, and I was wondering why having faith was so hard, why it was such a struggle, and when I wouldn’t have to live that way anymore. Sometimes I thought I could just stop going to gatherings and doing my duty for the meantime, but I felt that wouldn’t be in line with God’s will. In pain, I urgently said a prayer and asked God to guide me. A passage of God’s words occurred to me: “Today, most people do not have that knowledge. They believe that suffering is without value, they are renounced by the world, their home life is troubled, they are not beloved of God, and their prospects are bleak. The suffering of some people reaches an extreme, and their thoughts turn to death. This is not true love for God; such people are cowards, they have no perseverance, they are weak and powerless! … During these last days you must bear testimony to God. No matter how great your suffering, you should walk until the very end, and even at your last breath, still you must be faithful to God and at the mercy of God; only this is truly loving God, and only this is the strong and resounding testimony” (“Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I was really moved as I gave this some thought. I realized that it wasn’t God’s will to have me suffer, but to perfect my faith through this oppression and hardship so I would have the chance to bear witness for God. I couldn’t yield to Satan because I was afraid of suffering, but I had to have faith in God and stay on the path no matter how hard it was, and be a strong, resounding witness.

That day when I got home from a gathering, he really tore into me, yelling, “What are you doing preaching to restaurant guests? Everyone’s talking about you being a believer. How could you humiliate me like this? You’ve seen what they’re saying on TV. If you keep on like this, you’ll be arrested!” I saw he was just getting more and more agitated, so I didn’t say anything in response, but just went inside my room. What I saw there stunned me. He had ripped up my book of God’s words, and the floor was covered with paper. My father-in-law came over just then, and the moment he walked in, he said, “We wanted our son to get married to have a nice life. This family will be ruined if you’re arrested for your faith. Either give up your faith, or get a divorce right away.” Then he started saying blasphemous things. Seeing his face contorted with rage, I couldn’t hold my own anger back, and cut him off: “Dad! Since marrying into your family I’ve treated you with nothing but respect. I’ve never been angry or argued with you. If I’ve failed in my duty to this family, you have the right to reprimand me, but there’s nothing wrong with my faith and you shouldn’t stand in my way or blaspheme God.” Before I could finish he got a look on his face and shouted, “What’s wrong with having my say about your God? I don’t believe I can’t handle you.” He started tugging on my clothing, trying to drag me off to the police station, but I yanked myself free. Seeing how determined I was and that I wasn’t about to budge, he left in a huff. Right after that I heard a thud, and just as I was turning around, I saw my husband coming at me, and he smacked me right in the face, sending me flying to the ground. I was seeing stars, my ears were ringing, and my face was burning with pain. My mind was entirely blank. It really shocked me that he would do that. We’d been together for nearly ten years and we’d never even argued, but he hit me that day because of my faith. Looking at him, I felt like he was a stranger. As if he’d lost his mind, he forcefully dragged me up off the floor, pressed me up against the wall and said fiercely, “I’m telling you, we’re settling this today. Either you give up your faith, or we’re getting divorced right away. Tell me, will it be your God, or me? Do you want your faith, or this family?” While talking, he was maniacally banging me against the wall. Seeing that face I knew so well become so demonic, I responded calmly, “I choose my faith.” Enraged, he dragged me onto the bed and wrapped his hands tightly around my neck. I couldn’t breathe, and I wanted to get away, but he was too strong. There was no way I could fight him off. As I struggled to get any air, I became really afraid and thought, “I’m probably going to die this way today.” Just then, my three-year-old son suddenly woke up. He got up and started calling “Mom! Mom!” Seeing my husband choking me, he started to hit him and push him, and then desperately tried to burrow into my arms. Seeing this, my husband let go and said to me viciously, “If it hadn’t been for our son, you would have died at my hands today.”

He left, and I thought back over what had just happened. It was so chilling. My faith encroached upon his personal interests, so, shockingly, he was ready to raise a hand, to choke me to death. Isn’t that demonic? The more he hit me, the more I saw what kind of person he was and the more I wanted to follow God till the end. My mother-in-law came to see me the next day and said right as she walked in, “Could you just stop believing in God? I know that having faith is a good thing, but it means the Party will arrest you and do terrible things to you. What do you say?” I said, “Mom, you know how difficult my childbirth was, and the doctors said it was critical. It was Almighty God who saved both me and my son. Why do you think I’m keeping my faith even if I do get arrested? Because Almighty God is the one true God who created all things, and He’s the Savior who’s come back to save mankind. Disasters are getting bigger and bigger, and only God can save people. I am walking with God, and if I am arrested and suffer, it will be temporary. That would be better than going to hell with Satan.” She responded, “I understand what you’re saying, but as a woman, you have to take care of your child and consider your husband. Your son is so little. Could you really bear to toss him aside just like that?” Hearing her say this, I really felt like crying, but no tears came. I thought, “Is it me tossing him aside? It’s the Communist Party arresting and persecuting believers. It’s your son, believing the Party’s lies and insisting on a divorce and tearing this family apart. How can you blame this on my faith?” But looking at her, with a full head of white hair and a pained look on her face, and thinking about my son being taken away from his mom at such a young age, I felt more and more miserable. I started to weaken a bit. I silently called out to God, asking Him to guide me. A passage of His words came to mind: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men and the interference of men. Behind every step of work that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I thought about God’s words, and saw that on the surface, everything that was happening looked like it was people standing in my way, but Satan’s tricks were behind it all. Satan was using my family to impede me, to disturb me, using my feelings for my son and family members to threaten me, trying to get me to betray God and lose my chance at salvation. I knew I couldn’t fall for Satan’s tricks, but I had to have faith in God, stand witness, and humiliate Satan. And so, I said to my mother-in-law, “Man was created by God, so we should have faith and worship Him. Besides, my life was given by God, so no matter what happens, I will follow God till the end. Don’t waste your energy trying to convince me otherwise.” She shook her head, then turned around and walked off.

That night my husband found out I was still reading God’s words and got really angry. He said, “You still have the nerve to do this? Don’t you know that this will get you thrown in jail? Don’t you care if you live or die? If you don’t care that’s fine, but leave me and our child out of it. If I’d known you’d become a believer, I never would have married you in the first place!” Then he shoved me out the front door and said hatefully, “If you keep on with this God stuff, you are no longer welcome in my home!” Then he slammed the door shut and locked it. Seeing my husband being so heartless and hearing my son calling for me, distraught, my heart was about to break. It was late, after 2 a.m., and I didn’t have any money on me. I wondered if that time I really was leaving home, and leaving my son for good. I didn’t know what to do, and I felt so incredibly forlorn as I thought about it. I realized I had my phone on me, so I called my mom. The moment I heard the sound of her voice, the tears just poured freely down my face, and the pain and grievances I’d been stifling for so long all came welling up. Holding back the sound of her own crying, she said, “Honey, calm down. He wouldn’t take you this far and then abandon you. Just believe in Him and lean on Him.” With my mom comforting and encouraging me, telling me to believe in God and trust Him, I felt my faith return. The next day, cold and hungry, I was wandering aimlessly through the streets when I happened to bump into a sister. She took me back to her house and read me a couple passages of God’s words to help me understand what I was going through. Almighty God says, “In a dark society such as this, where the demons are merciless and inhumane, how could the king of devils, who kills people without batting an eye, tolerate the existence of a God who is lovely, kind, and also holy? How could it applaud and cheer the arrival of God? These lackeys! They repay kindness with hate, they have long since disdained God, they abuse God, they are savage in the extreme, they have not the slightest regard for God, they plunder and pillage, they have lost all conscience, they go against all conscience, and they tempt the innocent into senselessness. Forefathers of the ancient? Beloved leaders? They all oppose God! Their meddling has left all beneath heaven in a state of darkness and chaos! Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin! … Why put up such an impenetrable obstacle to the work of God? Why employ various tricks to deceive God’s folk? Where is the true freedom and the legitimate rights and interests? Where is the fairness? Where is the comfort? Where is the warmth? Why use deceitful schemes to trick God’s people? Why use force to suppress the coming of God? Why not allow God to freely roam upon the earth that He created? Why hound God until He has nowhere to rest His head?” (“Work and Entry (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “God is going to awaken these people, heavily burdened with suffering, to rouse them till they are fully awake, and to make them walk out of the fog and reject the great red dragon. They will wake from their dream, recognize the substance of the great red dragon, become able to give their whole heart to God, rise up from the oppression of the dark forces, stand up in the East of the world, and become proof of God’s victory. Only in this way will God gain glory” (“Work and Entry (6)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words helped me understand that God has become flesh and come to earth in the last days, working and expressing the truth in order to cleanse and save man. The Communist Party is afraid that everyone will accept the truth and follow God, then be saved by Him, and they’ll be free of the Party’s control and harm. That’s why they madly suppress and arrest believers, and create all sorts of lies to condemn and slander The Church of Almighty God, deceiving and inciting the people, getting them to deny and resist God along with them. It’s detestable! My family was only treating me that way because they’d been fooled by the Communist Party. The Party uses all these lies to pull the wool over people’s eyes so that everyone will fight against God with them, and then end up in hell, punished. That was Satan’s ruse. At that point it became crystal clear to me that the Communist Party is just a pack of demons that fights God, harms people, and swallows them whole. I knew I couldn’t fall for their tricks, and no matter what my family did to me, I could never betray God, but I had to keep following Him and doing my duty.

He called up some relatives and friends from my hometown, and then they called me and passed the phone around, grilling me in turn. My brother said, “You can do anything at such a young age. It has to be believing in God? You’re a housewife, so having kids and taking care of the family is your responsibility. Why bother with belief in God? If you do, the Party will arrest you and throw you in jail. We’re just regular people—how can we possibly fight it?” My aunt took the phone and said, “Have you lost your mind? A perfectly good home shouldn’t be broken up by your faith. Don’t you care about your family? You are being incredibly hardheaded!” Another aunt yelled at me, “You haven’t been married all that long and your son is still so little. If you end up in prison, what will happen to him? Just take my advice—this is for your own good.” Then my older brother grabbed the phone and added, “If you insist on this, he’s going to divorce you, and don’t even think about coming back home. We’ll cut off ties with you!” Even my 80-year-old grandma said, crying into the phone, “You can’t do this. What if you’re arrested? Listen to me. We want the best for you.” After hanging up, I felt really awful. There were so many things I wanted to say to them. You say it’s for my own good, but is that really the case? I would have died a long time ago if Almighty God hadn’t saved me, so would I even be here today? Who is really breaking up this perfectly good home? Who is really tearing apart this family? It’s the Communist Party, not me. The Communist Party arrests and persecutes believers, but instead of hating the Party, they stand on its side, oppressing me and trying to get me to betray God, even threatening to cut off all ties and disown me. How could they not know right from wrong? Did they really want the best for me? What kind of family were they? My life was bestowed by God, so what was wrong with me doing my duty to repay God’s love? What was wrong with having faith and taking the right path in life? For a few days, my family called me and harangued me nonstop. I really was in agony, so I was urgently praying to God and asking Him to watch over my heart. In the end, I kept going to gatherings and doing my duty.

My husband gave me a divorce agreement he had drawn up himself and said, “If you’re keeping your faith, let’s get a divorce. You won’t be allowed to see our son after we separate. If you’re willing to stop believing in Almighty God, I’ll act as if nothing ever happened.” I picked it up and took a look. I would be left with none of our assets, no part of our business, no part of our property, and he would have custody of our son. I would be walking away empty-handed. But if I didn’t agree to the divorce, he would turn my mom and me into the police, reporting on us as believers in Almighty God. I saw he had planned all of this long before, secretly transferring everything we owned, so when we got a divorce we wouldn’t have any shared assets. Looking at the divorce agreement in my hands, I was thrown into a crisis once again. If I signed that paper, that would mean I was leaving that home and couldn’t see my son again. He was so little—I couldn’t bear to part with him. I was in utter agony. I desperately called out to God, asking Him to guide me so that I could stand strong. Then, I thought of this from God’s words: “While undergoing trials, it is normal for people to be weak, or to have negativity within them, or to lack clarity on God’s will or their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, just like Job. … In your experience, no matter what refinement you undergo through God’s words, what God requires of mankind, in brief, is their faith and their love for Him. What He perfects by working in this way is people’s faith, love, and aspirations” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment. You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and you should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful” (“The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words from God comforted and encouraged me, and they gave me a path of practice. I realized that my husband threatening me with divorce was something that God was allowing to happen. I thought of when Job was being tested. Everything he owned was taken from him and all his children died overnight. He was sitting in a pile of ashes, covered with boils. Even his wife rejected him and his friends mocked him and judged him. But in the face of all this suffering, he still praised God, saying, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). Only that is true faith. As for me, I had vowed solemnly, resolutely telling God that no matter what, I would follow Him till the end. But faced with my husband’s threat of divorce, I was stuck in negativity and weakness. That wasn’t genuine faith in God. I also thought about how, ever since he’d heard the Party’s lies, not only had he ripped up my book of God’s words, but he’d been violent with me, nearly leaving me dead. Afraid of being implicated because of my faith, now he not only wanted to get a divorce, but leave me without a penny and keep me away from my son. He was going to turn me in if I didn’t agree. What kind of husband was that? Wasn’t he more like a demon? I remembered something God said: “Believers and unbelievers are not compatible; rather, they are opposed to one another” (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I saw that my husband was threatening me with divorce because he’d listened to the Communist Party and he hated God. So although we were husband and wife, he was following the Party, on a path to hell that’s anti-God. I was on the path of following God to gain the truth and eternal life. Believers and unbelievers are on different paths. I knew I couldn’t let him hold me back anymore. The more he oppressed me, the more determined I was to follow God, stand witness, and shame Satan. So I said to him, I agree to the divorce.

Until the day we went to the Civil Affairs Bureau to finalize the divorce, I couldn’t help but feel some anxiety over being left with nothing after the divorce. How would I get by after that? Thinking about how incredibly hard I’d worked for the sake of our home and our business over the years, only to end up with nothing, it was really hard to come to terms with. Then I thought of God’s words: “For My sake, are you able to forgo considering, planning, or preparing for your future path of survival?” (“A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). This question from God really put me to shame. Everyone says that hardship tests sincerity, and when I encountered a bit of difficulty I just thought about my personal interests. Was that true faith in God? I was entirely in God’s hands, so I was determined to give myself to Him entirely and stop worrying about my way out. I was willing to submit to His arrangements. After we’d signed all the papers, I asked him, “Why were you bound and determined to get a divorce?” He said, “My cousin told me that the government has issued confidential documents saying that believers in Almighty God are high-priority criminals, and that any Party member found to have a believer in their family will be immediately kicked out of the Party, any civil servants will be fired, their children won’t get into university, their parents’ pensions will be cancelled, and their family assets will be confiscated. It used to be that a criminal’s family was implicated for nine generations, and now all the relatives of a believer in Almighty God are implicated. That’s why I need to let go of you to protect everyone else. Otherwise, my older brother will be kicked out of the Party.” I was so angry to hear him say that. God has come to save mankind, which is such a wonderful thing and a blessing for all of humanity. But the Communist Party is madly fighting against God and hates God. It’s using every despicable means to interrupt and destroy God’s work, and it will stop at nothing. They’re a pack of murderous, cold-blooded demons! I really saw the true face of the great red dragon and was no longer fooled by it. I resolved to do my duty well to repay God’s love and bring shame to Satan. After that, I left my home and continued doing my duty of spreading the gospel. Thanks be to God!

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