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By Wang Ting
I am short in stature, and this once upset me most greatly. When others’ funny looks and sarcasm came upon me, my self-esteem plummeted, and I could only live in my place agitated, suffering and struggling. Until one day, I encountered the omnipotent God. His words of life opened the mysteries that are unknown to man, guided me to shake off the shadow of being short, and lighted up my new life.
When I was young, because I was shorter than other children of my age, I was placed at the head of the file or in the front row in the classroom. Especially when our teachers asked us to write or do exercises on the blackboard, only when I stood on a small stool could I reach the blackboard. This brought about mockery from my classmates. I felt very ashamed, and envied those taller ones from the bottom of my heart. But I was proud and wasn’t convinced. I often thought: “Though I am less tall than you are now, I will be taller as I grow older.” And so as not to be looked down on me because of my height, I silently made a resolution: “I must surpass you in study.” So in class I listened attentively; outside of class while my classmates were talking, laughing and jesting, afraid of being laughed at, I never joined them but just buried myself in my study. Finally, my hard work paid off—my grades were outstanding, and my teachers and classmates thus paid special regard to me. But yet ridicule could not be escaped. My young heart withstanding such mockery, my personality was becoming solitary and unsociable, and I was unwilling to play with other children.
As time went by, I grew older, yet I didn’t grow much taller. Among all sisters, I was the shortest; such was the case among the girls in my age group in my village and even those a few years younger than me was taller than me. My short stature became a headache for me and so I often sighed silently. Every time when I heard my classmates discussing the subject of height, I would pretend not to have heard or find some things to do to cover up my sufferings.
There was one time when a tall middle-aged woman came to find my mother. As she saw me, she looked me up and down in complete amazement and said, “All your other sisters are very tall, why are you so short?” Hearing this sarcastic words, my face flushed bright red and I could not wait to find a place to hide away immediately. I felt overwhelmed and thought, “You are just tall. What’s the big deal? Your height entitles you to tease me? As the old saying goes, ‘As a tree lives for its bark, a man lives for his face.’ You know clearly I’m short, but still say like this. Aren’t you deliberately taunting me? Who don’t want to be tall?” I was eager for her to leave quickly and didn’t want to see her again. All day I did not feel good and the more I thought about it, the more distressed I was. So I accused my parents, saying, “I am so short and it’s all your fault. If I could be taller, even just one or two inches, I wouldn’t be taunted like this.”
Later on, I encountered my deskmate. She, who was nearly as the same height as me in primary school, had grown to 1.6 meters within several years. I envied her very much and at the same time was disheartened about my height.
After reaching adulthood, in order not to be a laughingstock to others or be looked down upon by them, I contacted people as little as possible. Whenever I went outside, I would wear high heels and only then could I get a little confidence back. Though wearing high heels was exhausting and my ankles even got sprained several times, I was willing to do so in order not to be looked that short. So high heels of various styles became my beloved things. When buying shoes, others focused on whether or not they were comfortable while I paid no attention to that but just focused on whether or not they could make me look taller and more beautiful. After a day’s walking, my feet were often swollen and even my shoes rubbed and gave me blisters, but I could do nothing but endure the pain with secret tears.
When I reached my marrying age, considering my degree and job, I originally planned to find a better partner, but because of my short stature, I had to compromise, lower my standards and marry my present husband. Unexpectedly, he resented me for my height too. In front of the others, he never walked side by side with me but just stayed ahead, because he thought that I was undeserving of him and embarrassed him. Following behind him, I felt extremely miserable. I kept sighing and thought, “I am so short. Before, when I was in my family, I was discriminated against by my villagers. Now, I am married but still avoided by my husband. Why is my life so hard?”
Just as I was afflicted by the torment, one of my own family told me about God’s gospel of last days. I saw these words of God, “Since the creation of the world I have begun to predestine and select this group of people, namely, you today. Your temperament, caliber, appearance, stature, family in which you were born, your job and your marriage, the entirety of you, even the color of your hair and your skin, and the time of your birth were all arranged by My hands. Even the things you do and the people you meet every single day are arranged by My hands, not to mention the fact that bringing you into My presence today is actually My arrangement. Do not throw yourself into disorder; you should proceed calmly.”
allowed me to recognize that whatever family we are born into, whatever kind of appearance we have, and what height we have are all predestined by God; that they cannot be chosen by us humans, nor can they be decided by our parents. Recalling these years, I always felt inferior and pained because of being thought less of by others for my short stature, so much so that I complained to my parents that my height was their fault, complained about others’ mockery, and complained about how my husband treated me and made me unable to raise my head among people. And I stayed away from other people and enclosed myself. Now I knew that my height and appearance are arranged by God, that despite my short stature, God didn’t turn His back on me but instead chose me and made me come before Him and allowed me to see His love for me. Because God’s words comforted me, my heart began to have a feeling of joy and the frustrations and pain of all those years decreased a lot.
Through my contact and living the church life with my brothers and sisters, I found that they were enthusiastic about and full of love for me and never revealed any degradation or contempt. As long as there were things I did not understand, they always were very patient in fellowshiping God’s words with me and wouldn’t stop until I understood. Also, they told me that in the interactions with each other, brothers and sisters all treat others justly based on the word of God, and they encouraged me to fellowship more, and open up about whatever thoughts I had so that we could seek the truth to resolve the problem together. This truly made me feel the love from God. I, who was inferior, finally found the courage to raise my head and speak.
God’s words cured the pain in my heart. Then I thought, “My short stature is predestined by God. So why did I feel inferior?” One day, I read this passage of God’s words: “Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at ‘institutes of higher learning.’ The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him.”
What God’s words revealed made me understand that we live in a filthy world that has been corrupted by Satan, that the cultural knowledge and traditional ceremony accepted by us were all influenced and infected by the philosophy of Satan. Our views on life and values have been seriously distorted. We have no truth, so we do not know what is good and what is evil, and we will use Satan’s viewpoint of “people need face like a tree needs its bark” to judge things to be good or evil, beautiful or ugly. Not only do we compare ourselves to others, seek to distinguish ourselves and to make others look highly upon us and admire us in our job and career, but even our appearance that we are born with are judged. The tall and good-looking are welcome and looked upon while the short and ordinary are disparaged and rejected and thus suffer harm and pain. I thought of how because of my short stature, I was unable to show off in front of others or take the stage, others took digs at me and even my husband looked down upon me. All this gave me a sense of inferiority and I lost my hope in life. Then to protect my self-respect, I shut myself off from everyone and didn’t dare to go out, as if I had done something shameful. My sense of inferiority reached a certain point that I felt my life had no meaning. I also thought of how there were many people just like me, all of whom are discriminated against by society because of their height and appearance, lead a difficult life that they even lose the courage to live. Thus, I came to know that what living by Satan’s philosophies and views brought us was only harm. Only by accepting the guidance of God’s word can we possess the right outlook on life and values, break free of Satan’s prison and harm and live a free and liberated life.
Once, I went to visit one of my colleagues at her home just when she was arranging her clothes in the closet. She said thoughtlessly, “Because of my physique, finding a dress in my size is easy and I’ll look good in whatever I choose. Considering your height, it seems that finding one in your size is difficult. Maybe every pair of pants you buy needs some alterations….” Though she didn’t really intend what she said, I took her words to heart and felt somewhat awkward because what she said was true. I am short, so finding the right size is indeed difficult and I look bad in anything. If this had happened before I believed in God, I would have heavy hearts and even not want to go out anymore because of my inferiority. But at that moment I realized that my wanting to do that way was a desire to protect my own face, so I hurried to pray to God, begging Him to keep me from being toyed with by Satan.
After returning home, I read these words: “In the thoughts of God, He intended to give each and every appearance, and all sorts of functions and uses, to the various living things He created, and so none of the things God made were cut from the same mold. From their exterior to their internal composition, from their living habits to the location that they occupy—each is different. … In short, when it comes to all things, man should defer to the authority of the Creator, which is to say, defer to the order appointed by the Creator to all things; this is the wisest attitude. Only an attitude of searching for, and obedience to, the original intentions of the Creator is the true acceptance and certainty of the authority of the Creator. It is good with God, so what reason does man have to find fault?” True. God’s words are spoken very well. God has created everything differently, and whether good-looking or ugly, they all have their individual uses, and within them lies God’s wisdom. Just as among billions of people, there are no identical persons; no matter whether man is tall or short, fat or thin, and good-looking or ugly, everyone is special. They all come from wise hands of the Creator, and in God’s eyes, they are all good. I am no exception. Despite my short stature, I clothe myself, eat, sleep and dwell normally, and I live and work normally. In God’s eyes, I am good; God is not biased against me. So instead of complaining about God, I should submit to God’s rule and arrangements, and play my role. This was the direction of life I should pursue. God’s words unchained my heart and I calmly accepted my height. I thought, “Even though I am short, I will still worship God and glorify God.”
From then on, under the guidance of God’s words, regardless of the circumstances that I spoke or did things in, I was no longer constrained by my short stature, nor did I feel lonely or inferior, but instead I got along so well with others and felt so liberated. God’s words have driven my vexation and I finally can raise my head and conduct myself. Now I am actively preaching the gospel and bearing witness to God, so that more people can be released from Satan’s bondage, say farewell to their painful lives, find a true home for their souls and pursue the most meaningful life.