Accompanied by God’s Love in Studying Abroad
March 19, 2017 was the day when I flew to Australia to study. During the whole process from making preparation to successfully having all the paperwork done, God was leading me all along by my side. At the thought of this, I felt very grateful to God. But as the departure date drew nearer day by day, I became more and more afraid, and even was totally perplexed when thinking of these: It’s my first time to go abroad; without my parents’ company, I have to face a lot of challenges by myself such as getting my boarding pass, getting past the security checkpoint, checking in, going through the entry formalities, and so on; what’s more, my English is not good, which will make it hard for me to communicate with others.
In the past, I had been leading a life handed to me on a silver platter. With my parents taking care of all things for me, I had never been concerned about anything. They ferried me to and from school every day; my mom would wash and fold all my clothes, even my smelly socks. Thinking of these, I kept worrying: How can I live abroad? A couple of days before departure, I searched for a lot of information on the internet. When I learned that Chinese would be strictly examined when entering Australia, I couldn’t help worrying: What if the Customs examine my baggage? What if they refuse my entry? What if they find fault with me on purpose? During those days I was preoccupied with such troubles and even wanted to cancel my trip.
Later I told all my misgivings to my mom, after which we together read a passage of: “Man’s heart and spirit are held in the hand of God, everything of his life is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, whether living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear in accordance with God’s thoughts. Such is the way in which God presides over all things.” Then she fellowshiped to me: “God’s authority is unique, and all things are in His hands. In this matter you encounter, God’s intention is to let you learn to rely on Him and experience His word and then see His authority and faithfulness. No matter what difficulties we’ll encounter, we should know that God is right by our side, and that He will lead us as long as we rely on Him.” After reading God’s word and hearing the fellowship, I was relieved a lot in my heart, thinking: Yes. God is always with me by my side; I’m willing to rely on Him to experience this journey.
On the very day of my departure, thinking that I would part with my parents and face many difficulties alone, I suddenly felt lonely and helpless with tears of sadness streaming down my face. At that moment, I kept praying to God silently in my heart for guiding me and giving me confidence and strength. Later as the plane ascended steadily, I looked out of the window and felt I was farther and farther from my parents and then again tears began to well up in my eyes. Unable to refrain myself, I prayed to God repeatedly in my heart. Unexpectedly, after about half an hour, an elder sister sitting beside me actively talked to me in a gentle voice: “First time to go abroad? Don’t worry. When I went abroad for the first time, just like you, I was also loath to leave home and part with my parents. Yet you’ll be fine after adapting to the life abroad.” A few words of comfort and concern warmed my heart, relieving me of the loneliness and helplessness a lot. After that, she introduced the life and the studying environment in Australia to me in detail, during which we had a good talk. At that time, I clearly knew it was God who arranged this sister to comfort me, so I thanked Him very much in my heart.
As time slipped away quietly, we arrived in Australia. Before entering the country, we needed to fill out a disembarkation card, which was written in English. Not knowing how to fill it out, I got into trouble. Then that sister taught me patiently and asked me to contact her through WeChat when I met with difficulties in the future. After getting off the plane, we hadn’t walked very far when I saw the laptop in a person’s hand and suddenly realized that my laptop was still on the plane. At that moment, I got flustered. Knowing this, the sister offered to take care of my baggage and urged me to go back for my laptop quickly. Thanks to God’s protection, I finally recovered my laptop. After that, we needed to go through the entry formalities. Due to our different types of passports, we had to go into different entrances. Thinking of the strict examination I saw on the internet before and my ignorance about the entry formalities, I was again very nervous and afraid, unknowing what would happen next. So I quickly cried out to God for a way out in my heart. Unexpectedly, right after prayer, a staff came up to us, asking whether we were together. And the sister responded: “Yes.” Then the staff admitted us into the same entrance. Under God’s leadership, we passed the examination smoothly. Andis far more than this. Since I didn’t know where the school staff who came to pick me up were and my baggage was so heavy that I couldn’t carry it at all, I got into trouble again. At this time, once again the sister offered to help me carry the baggage and look for the staff of my school. All the way, she took care of everything while I was just following her. Yet later she actually said: “Everything goes so well this time; I’ve shuttled between Australia and China for many times, but things have never gone so well like today.” Hearing her words, I believed even more that all these were controlled and arranged by God, for He knew my immature life and difficulties and then arranged the sister to help me. Each time I had difficulties, He would make a way out for me and then all the difficulties were resolved easily. From this experience, I saw that all things are in God’s hands and had more confidence to face difficulties in the future.
At the beginning of my days in Australia, not adapting to the life here in many aspects, coupled with having no friends or relatives around me, I often felt so helpless that I would shed tears each time I had a video chat with my parents. However, a few days later, I contacted the local brothers and sisters and led a church life. Knowing that I was alone abroad and couldn’t take proper care of myself, the sister would particularly care about me every time I went to her place for a meeting as if I were her own daughter, which made me feel at home. Moreover, we fellowshiped God’s word and our knowledge of God together, shared our own experiences, supported and learned from each other. When I encountered difficulties and didn’t know how to resolve them, brothers and sisters would commune their actual experiences patiently according to God’s word to help me resolve difficulties. Gradually I no longer felt lonely but felt the warmth of a family.
Before long, since my university relocated to another place, I needed to move. But because I was unfamiliar with Australia, spoke poor English and was busy with my lessons, I couldn’t find a proper house for a long time, which troubled me a lot and made me very anxious. Faced with such a difficulty, I prayed to God: “O God! Now I have trouble in finding a house; I know the matter I encounter holds Your good intention; I beg You to make a way out for me so that I can learn how to seek and rely on You on this matter.” After that, during a break at school, I opened a website for finding houses and found a proper house. Then I contacted the landlord with the mentality to have a try. Beyond my expectation, I actually saw over the house in that afternoon. The house, with a kind landlord and low rent, was surrounded by a favorable environment and traffic network, so I immediately paid the deposit. From this experience, I again tasted God’s love. My classmates were busy going from place to place in search of a house all day long, but still failed to find a proper one for various reasons like inconvenient transportation, high rent, or a mean landlord, while I found a house easily by praying to God and relying on Him. Having such experiences, mybecame greater, for I felt that every time I sincerely cried out to God, He would always guide and lead me at my side, making a way out for me. So no matter what would happen to me in the future, I was willing to come before God to look to Him and rely on Him instead of living in difficulties.
Soon afterward, I was confronted with another difficulty—the language examination. As the two-month language course was coming to an end and the examination was approaching day by day, I became increasingly nervous. Considering my poor English and the difficult examination, I was quite unsure about the final result. If I didn’t pass the examination, I would have to return home. Thinking of these, I was very anxious and distressed with high pressure in my heart. In order to pass the examination, I studied hard till midnight every day, which made me very tired in the daytime. After a period of time, I was exhausted both physically and mentally. Finding I was in a poor state, sisters asked me what happened with concern and I poured out my misgivings and difficulties to them. Then a sister read several passages of God’s word to me, which said: “Since the creation of the world, I have begun to predestine and select this group of people—namely, you of today. Your temperament, caliber, appearance, and stature, your family into which you were born, your job, and your marriage—you in your entirety, even including the color of your hair and your skin, and your time of birth—were all arranged by My hands. I arranged by hand even the things you do and the people you meet every single day, not to mention the fact that bringing you into My presence today was actually done by My arrangement. Do not throw yourself into disorder; you should proceed calmly.” “There is a serious problem here, which is that people do many things in dependence on their experience and the rules they have understood, and on certain human imaginings. They can barely achieve the very best result, which comes through clearly understanding God’s will by looking up to Him and praying to Him, and then relying on His work and guidance. For this reason, I say that the greatest wisdom is to look up to God and rely on Him in all things.”
After listening to God’s word, I came to know that the entirety of me is controlled by God, and that even the things I do and the people I meet every single day are arranged by His hands, so is the examination. God asked me not to throw myself into disorder but to proceed calmly. Thinking back, I found that the reason why I felt so exhausted and anxious was that I didn’t trust God but relied on myself. God told me clearly that no matter what we will encounter or what environment we are in, the greatest wisdom is to look to Him and rely on Him. Having understood God’s will, I entrusted my examination to God and prayed: “O God! I don’t want to rely on myself to pass the examination; may You guide and lead me to experience Your work; no matter what the result is, I’m willing to obey Your work.” After the prayer, I felt very grounded and was no longer constrained by the result of the examination. So in the following days, when I ought to attend meetings, I got down to the meeting; when I ought to study, I worked hard. Meanwhile, I learned to look to God and rely on God when meeting with difficulties. As a result, every day I felt very relaxed and happy as well as liberated and free. Eventually I succeeded in passing the examination. Through this experience, I truly appreciated that looking to God and relying on God in everything is indeed the greatest wisdom.
In just a few months, I have gained so much: I’ve learned to look to God and rely on God in everything and tasted the happiness of doing so; I’ve truly experienced that God’s authority rules over everything and that He is leading and helping me at my side, using various people and things to make a way out for me; moreover, I feel God’s boundless love for me. Although I have just followed God for a little time with little knowledge of Him, I’m willing to seek the truth and experience more of His work to attain true knowledge of Him. All thanks be to God!