[This sister serves as a GFI translator (Korean).]
My testimony can be summed up with Jeremiah 31:3. Although I have a long history of rejection, now I realize that I have much longer history of God’s pursuing love: “I have loved you with an everlasting love (never diminishing in power), and how He pursued me with His boundless love, “therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” And He did that with a copy of Handbook to Happiness, and gave me “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah. 61:3).
Since I was a child, I had not known love and acceptance. My mother died when I was young. I Grew up with a stepmother who was abusive. Then, shortly after I got married, it seemed as though my husband was my stepmother reincarnated in a different earth suit, had an abusive marital relationship. My sad days seem to have had no end in sight. My life can be described as, “evil has been the days of the years of my life” (Gen. 47:9), and like the Israelites who were “afflicted” by their taskmasters who “made them serve with rigor” and “made their lives bitter with hard bondage” (Exodus1:11-14) . My harsh taskmaster, Satan–since “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood’ (Eph 6:12)–through the significant others in my life treated me harshly and destroyed me.
Then, a Korean friend of mine led me to Christ about thirty years ago. She shared the gospel: “…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried , and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3,4). I prayed the sinner’s prayer and appropriated the finished work of Christ for “the wages” of my sins by faith, and received Him as my personal Savior and was saved on that day. Revelation 1:5 reads, “…who loved us and washed us from our sins with His own blood.” As precious as it is, my life did not seem to change but I continued to eat the bread of sorrow for the next ten years or so until the Lord pursued me with the rest of the gospel contained in Handbook to Happiness.
Dr. Solomon came to the church I was attending in Ohio. He spoke one night but I thought he was boring and I almost fell asleep. There he gave us a copy of Handbook to Happiness. My husband found a job in Korea and we relocated. I had two young children and was pregnant with my youngest one at that time. I had to do some heavy duty packing but somehow Handbook to Happiness was packed. That was probably only book I owned beside my Bible. I read it once in Korea but it made no sense to me. A few years later, we decided to move back to the States. I had to do even more heavy duty packing with my bigger family. The copy of Handbook to Happiness was packed with my Bible again. Those two books were all I had owned. Who packed the book and why was it packed???
As soon as we came back to the States (about 20 years ago), it seemed as if rejection from the significant others around me was carpet bombing me, one incident after the other. I could not find a shelter which led me into deep depression; I was overwhelmed with a sense of sadness. I was experiencing some of the psychosomatic symptoms (p.31) like, migraine headaches and knot in my stomach, …a mess. I was truly, “weary, worn and sad.” One day, out of despair I picked up Handbook to Happiness and as I started reading, the Lord opened my eyes to what my problem was and also to His solution. Since then I no longer think that Dr. Solomon is boring!
He seemed to say that my problem was not the marital problem, nor my depression. Then, what was my problem? Dr. Solomon seemed to say it was me, the self-life. I was living out of my own resources and was unable to cope with rejections from the significant others. My own resources were being depleted and I was coming to an end of myself. That was it. Then, what was God’s solution? He seemed to say that it was the Christ-life (Gal 5:22-23), knowing Christ as my life with His fullness and all of “His riches” (Phil 4:19). As I read Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…,” this second half of the gospel made sense. I died with Him, was buried with Him. My past was ended there with all Satan ruined. RIP: My old self. And Christ lives in me. This is God’s, “great love with which He loved us…made us alive together with Christ…raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-6)–identification truth, our union with Christ, or “the division of spirit and soul”). This second half of the finished work of Christ was true of me from the moment of my salvation based on His death for my sins. My co-death with Him was inseparable from salvation and was finished at the cross, but identification was not experiential for me until I appropriated it by faith. Then, what do I do now? Exchange it! How? Through surrender and faith! I was led to pray “the selfer’s prayer” (p.42) and I made an absolute surrender of myself and my life.
Today, my real enemy remains the same: Satan. My problem remains the same: the self-life. God’s solution remains the same: the Christ-life. I continue to choose to exchange the self-life for the Christ-life in me.
A few years ago someone else rejected me. On this occasion, I struggled with the Devil’s fiery darts which burned me intensely. As I was struggling, the Holy Spirit came and rescued me (2 Cor. 2:14; 1 Cor 15:57; Rom 5:17). With this thought I was liberated: If he is going to reject anyone, he’d better do it to me and not to others. For I know Christ as my life with its fullness. “I am His fullness” (Eph. 1:23 / N. Harrison). Since I am God’s fullness, “the peace of God” flooded me with that thought.
This reminded of me of my children when they were young. One day, they started giggling and kicking me. They made a sign saying, “kick me” and taped it on my back. I wanted to make a sign, “kick me, not others” and tape it on my back for I am His fullness, and this will exude His life through me.
This is the beautiful abundant life He had promised in John 10:10: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Hallelujah!