The Words of the Yamane Family
When we first landed in Korea and were greeted by the smiling Korean family members, it was just the beginning of ten days that changed my life. Externally, the Fatherland was busy and beautiful, with mountains, rice fields, babies on their mothers' backs, and sights of the Orient which I had only expected to ever see in pictures.
Yet, being in the family with our True Parents, it didn't seem like I was in a far-away place. It seemed like it was the most natural place to be, because our Parents were home and were waiting for us to arrive -- all their children, from 83 nations.
We first stayed on Yoido Island, where the great rally was held in 1975. I walked there early in the morning and remembered how much I had wished I could have been there among the crowd that had gathered to hear Father speak at that time. I know it was a feeling that many would continue to have in the future, just wishing they could have shared every moment with Father while he was on earth. The Little Angels School was even more beautiful than I had ever dreamed. It was like a palace b lilt for our True Parents, nestled in a little park. Total love and beauty exuded from the walls and every piece of hand-made molding. I wish I could describe everything in absolute detail to bring the Blessing home to all my brothers and sisters around the world, but neither time, space nor ability will allow.
What I would like to share are a few personal highlights in my heart:
Father matched me right away to a very special Japanese brother named Keisuke Yamane. (I am an American, working in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.) Since Keisuke speaks some English, we could communicate after a while, once we had both overcome the quick ancestral jolt of an international match. We shared many deep experiences together during our time in Seoul, talking and praying about Father's desire and expectation for us as a couple and for our future family. We are both very happy.
We visited Chungpa Dong Church, the first headquarters in Seoul, which was the very place of Father's Holy Wedding in 1960. Such a precious experience. The day we went was Keisuke's spiritual birthday and also my physical birthday.
We stayed together with the Japanese family at Su Taek Ri (the Korean family's training center outside of Seoul, next to the Il Hwa factory) after the matching. It was beautiful to wake up early to Korean brothers singing holy songs and the national anthem. The air was crisp and clear in the morning calm, and I will never forget sitting by the pond at the holy ground, with brothers and sisters praying in unison in many languages. It was in harmony somehow, like birds singing.
With such precious moments, Heavenly Father had been preparing our hearts for the Holy Wine Ceremony, which was held early in the morning, one day before the Blessing. We really knew that Father had hand-picked us as each other's second messiah, and we shared a warm, deep and honest commitment of heart, which neither of us will ever forget -- especially during Father's prayer.
The Blessing day was truly a celebration of heaven and earth. I will never forget walking up the stairs, seeing Father in his crown and feeling the holy water fall right into my eyes. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so my body did both. The whole ceremony was like that. The deepest part will take a long time to settle in.
When the gift was being presented to True Parents, and the orchestra started playing, "There's No Place Like Home," we could feel from the bottom of our hearts that song had been written for that moment, at that time, at that place, with our Parents, in Korea.
Since we have only been married for less than one month, the happiness and gratitude I feel must be coming from a realm higher than myself. It can only be from God's loving heart. I feel He is happy to see us together. It is restoration of His ideal.
I have no concepts about my husband. We were born on opposite sides of the world and raised in cultures as different as night and day. His language is completely different from mine in both its inward and outward means of expression. To him, I am sure to be different from any woman he has ever met in his life.
Our slates are completely clean at this point. We are about to enter into a relationship which will unite not only two individuals, but nations -- past, present and future.
I can look at my husband's picture and ask Heavenly Father about him directly. Who is this person? What is in his heart? Can I really be his second messiah? Am I worthy to be his wife? It is a wonderful, secure feeling, knowing that God will always be there, especially since He seems to take particular interest in the relationships of the couples blessed by His True Son. Without God and True Parents, I don't think either one of us would really know where to begin.
Our first step was to be deeply honest with one another. No matter what the external circumstances seemed to be, we had to be willing to trust Father completely and accept our five percent portion of responsibility. Heavenly Father had been preparing for the moment of our matching, bringing us thousands of miles from home, yet it was up to us to decide how hard we would be willing to work. For the world, we would be representatives of our True Parents' hope for the establishment of a new race -- the love race. We knew it would not be easy to make what was "different" between us become something complementary.
My husband has a very deep heart, a mature faith and an open sincerity, which gave me confidence that without a doubt, together with God, we really could have the strength to overcome any obstacles. We had to accept the responsibility from then on always to be willing to lead a public life.
Though both my husband and I had been preparing ourselves for the possibility of accepting an international marriage, the reality, for me, had to be based on more than just a feeling of duty. We had really to break through some of our own personal walls of fear and hesitation before God's will. Our conversations seemed guided to touch the points that would transcend the racial and cultural boundaries and transcend our individual situations. Neither of us will ever forget how God worked in such a special, personal way to finally warm our hearts.
The preciousness of Heavenly Father's Blessing cannot even be com- pared to any concept I have ever held about "marriage." Before the family, my mind changed so often I couldn't imagine making an eternal commitment to one man. Without God, it just didn't make sense. Now, I feel peaceful inside because God is at the center. There is a new sense of freedom and also a new spiritual stability. Someone whom I love and trust very much has often said this before the Blessing, we are not really even member- of the Unification Church. Everything up to that point is just preparation. Our lives will begin now, as husband and wife, to restore the position of the true children of God.
Father has said that the love we are talking about in the Unification Church is not ordinary love; it is God's true love, which has the quality of being unique, unchanging, absolute and eternal. It is different from anything the world has ever known. As couples who have received the conditional Blessing, we must be different from any couples the world has ever known. We must become ambassadors of our True Parents to demonstrate God's love to the world.
My husband recently wrote to me that one of the most impressive things he remembers from Father's sermon in Korea was that we are all members of one tribe or nation, called the Third Israel. In that sense, our international marriage is not something special, but something quite normal. Only the love of True Parents could ever give rebirth to a dream and make it a reality.