The Words of the Wealer Family
When I drew a balance from the past seven years in the foreign mission, I had to admit that there were more painful than joyful moments. That conclusion rather amazed me, and I asked myself what had made me continue despite all the difficulties.
The independent nature of our mission and the loneliness in our work brought so many confrontations. We had only two options: either to connect deeply with brothers and sisters and with God, or to give up some day. There is no possibility of being lukewarm in the foreign mission, no mediocre "just hanging on for dear life." The challenges are too big, the responsibility too heavy, the disappointments too painful. Inevitably struggles arise.
I wondered what had made me survive all the ups and downs without giving in to despair. There was always something that kept me going.
In my darkest moments it was not primarily my faith in Divine Principle that saved my life. It was the love of a brother or sister whom I couldn't leave. If you have someone you love so much that you could not leave him, or someone who loves you so much that he would be too hurt if you would leave him -- that may save you when everything else fails. Sometimes awareness of the value of Divine Principle dwindles; our vision fades, and a dark feeling of emptiness and senselessness may override all we believe in. In such a moment a bond of love is very powerful.
When I was forced to leave my first mission country, my sense of failure was so strong. The familiar "nobody needs me" feeling crept in, and I considered giving up my mission completely. Then I thought of some people close to me; how would it affect them if I were to leave our church? Would it hurt them? Would they cry? I visualized my spiritual mother, who had invested so much into my rebirth; I thought about a spiritual daughter close to my heart and some others who truly are brother and sister to me. One by one, I imagined how they would feel if I were to leave. I realized they would really be hurt, and I just could not desert them. I call them my heartistic Abels. If I didn't have such bonds of sincere love in certain moments of my spiritual life, I would not be here today.
Last year I came to one of the lowest points in my whole church life. After a year of many difficulties and mistakes, I collapsed spiritually. Everything became a burden; everything was hopeless; people were bad... an endless list of complaints collected in my heart.
To break out of my pessimistic mood, I went to Europe for a few weeks to meet with my physical family and my fiancé's family. I observed them closely. They were only concerned with their own comfort, their vacation, their education, their children, their house... too small a world for me. It didn't attract me at all, even though at that moment our church didn't seem so wonderful to me either.
Afterwards, I returned to New York and participated in a 21-day training. The lectures didn't move my heart very much and could not rekindle the spark of faith in me. Many times during the lectures I just watched brothers and sisters instead of listening to the speaker, and I compared them to the people outside our church. I discovered something that touched me. People in our family try so sincerely to be good, try so hard to love each other, and honestly feel bad if they can't. I saw exactly what Father meant when at the beginning of his speech on True Parents' birthday he said, "You are beautiful people!" Normally you don't see people making such a sincere effort, trying to be better. I know we are not in the Kingdom of Heaven yet, and sometimes we are nasty to each other, or we don't love each other or take enough care of each other. But where in the world do people try so hard to be better?
In this 21-day training I listened to the testimony of an older sister who had lost her first child through miscarriage. She told us that when she was in the hospital, she was concerned only about not worrying God, trying to comfort Him and just being grateful. This moved me so much -- what a beautiful heart, in such a painful moment!
Thinking back on the attitudes of my physical family, I saw how special our brothers and sisters are. That day, my heart opened again and I thought, "I want to be with these people; they are so wonderful, and I want to be that way too." Then my life started over again, thanks to the beauty of brothers and sisters.
Of course, we grow the deepest roots in our life of faith through the personal relationship with God. If we could feel how hurt He would be if we would leave Him, we could never do so. But exactly that may become difficult in a dark moment. When our own pain overwhelms us, we cannot easily sense the pain of others. When things were really hard on me, I remembered that God was sad and worried about m, , but it was not powerful enough to pull me out of my struggle.
Then I thought of my ideal. Why did I join our church? Because I was not content with this world as it is or with this life. Could I ever accept that this life has to be dirty, sad, unfair and miserable? Could I live with the thought that there is no hope and that all efforts for improvement are wasted? Impossible. I could never deny my desire for a righteous, clean and kind world. Denying that ideal, refusing to allow that ideal within me, would mean refusing to live.
I must live for what I believe in, and our family is the best place where 1 can do it. Here are so many people who share the same vision, and, most importantly, our True Parents are the best example. Even if Father were not the Messiah, he has so much to teach us. He so deeply shares this ideal and fights with all his might to accomplish it. At the very least, he will always be the teacher of my ideal, and for that, I shall follow him faithfully.
God, in His concern for our spiritual lives, always searches for a way to touch our hearts in our most unresponsive moments. In each hardship He found something to lift me up again, and I love Him for never letting me go.