In 2010, my husband, who was the head minister of SeaTac Church, passed away for rebirth. All three of our children were adults at the time. I gave thanks that my husband, who had so many illnesses, was allowed by God to live this long and that our children were grown. After that, I resolved that I would live the rest of my life in America and later, I received the truth of the 6th head minister of the SeaTac Church.
I started to serve as the head minister with the support of my family and the church members. Then, in my second year as a minister, we were shown another knot. One of our American Yoboku who had been a member of our church for nearly 10 years passed away for rebirth at the age of 28.
He and my son were supposed to attend the Spiritual Development Course together, but my son attended alone. After that, he served as a live-in volunteer at Honjima Grand Church.
Then, in 2012, it was the year of the 110th Anniversary of Honjima Grand Church. Wishing to overcome the knots shown to us, many of us from SeaTac Church returned to Jiba and to Honjima for the Anniversary.
However, on the day after the Anniversary, something happened to my body. I was in so much pain that I could not get up. I could not even move my body. I was rushed to a hospital in Marugame City and all sorts of tests were done on me. Throughout this whole time, I was in so much pain and that I was starting to lose my consciousness. Later, I learned that the doctor had told my daughter that if the pain continues for 24 hours, it could endanger my life. Since it was shortly after the passing of her father, I can’t imagine how scared she must have felt.
Though I had escaped death, I was receiving crippling painkillers through the IV. I remained at the Ikoi no Ie Hospital in Jiba for further testing, unable to move. Still, they had no name for my disease.
During that time, many people came to administer the Sazuke to me. What came to my mind was my mother who gave birth to me. My biological mother passed away for rebirth when I was two years old and five months, my younger sister was only 5 months old. I am told that she passed away from chest pain due to acute rheumatism. After the passing of many years, I have become aware of my causality. As I look back and think about my parents’ thoughts on following the Path, I feel that I have received God the Parent’s Parental love.
Later, I was able to return to the United States somehow, but had difficulties in my daily life. After a year, I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. It is one of those systemic disorders with unknown causes. Many people become bed-ridden. A famous American singer, Lady Gaga, has put her appearances on hold indefinitely since December last year due to this disease.
In my case, I continuously had severe coughing and chronic pains. It happened to be the time when Instruction Three was first announced for the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama, so I made a spiritual resolution toward the Anniversary.
It has been six years since then, and my health condition has gotten better each year. I’m truly thankful for this great blessing of God the Parent.
Later, I also suffered from an acute glaucoma and almost lost my sight, but luckily, I was able to get an operation on the very day it was found. It was a close call. I will never forget the joy of how clearly I could see things when the eye dressing was removed two days later. I felt as though God the Parent taught me to “follow the voice of God.”
I received religious counseling from our Grand Church Head Minister and I understood that, through the illness of the head minister, God wanted the Yoboku connected to the church to mature. Then, the church started to change in that way. I felt that God the Parent had instructed us in an area where I, as the head minister, was not able to reach.
Rev. Yoshie, our former Grand Church Head Minister, taught me a part of a Divine Direction:
“What is painful is a knot, yet buds spout from knots. Have a spacious mind that allows you to accept your pain as a knot and a source of delight.” (Divine Directions March 5, 1894)
Rev. Yoshie then gave me these warm words, “Let us learn from the Divine Model of Oyasama and look for joy without getting discouraged.” The Divine Direction she taught me is one that I am not able to forget and is a source of nourishment for my mind.
As I look back on the 33 years since I came to America, I feel strongly that it is due to the hardships endured by our predecessors for the cause of overseas mission that we are being protected everyday and we are where we are today.
My three children are now all married. My eldest daughter and her husband, who reside in Kona, Hawaii, have been blessed with two children and live a life of faith. My son and his wife live here at SeaTac Church and serve the church. My second daughter lives in the neighborhood and helps me in many ways. All my sons- and daughter-in-law were born in the United States, but they all wear the service garments and perform the Service. I am thankful for that.
When I look back to eight years ago when my husband passed away for rebirth and I became the church head minister; the future seemed uncertain. When I think about that, I am truly grateful. I look forward to the future and am determined to serve my duties joyfully together with my church members
(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)