Finding Hope in Life
(Minghui.org) Ursula lives in southern Germany. She has a wonderful family: a caring husband and three healthy, sensible children. However, she often tells her friends, “It was not like this before. I actually had nothing at all.”
A Living Death
Ursula got a strange disease when she was 14. She felt tired and became groggy frequently. She wanted to sleep all the time, and her attention and memory kept dropping. Though she slept many hours, it was of poor quality, and she kept having random dreams.
Her health problem allowed her only to take part-time jobs after graduating from college. Even those jobs were short-term. She got married quickly and soon had her first baby. Caring for the baby became the motivation for her to get up in the morning, even though it was a struggle.
“Out of responsibility, I forced myself to get up to cook and do laundry,” Ursula said. “My husband helped me with the housework after he got home from work. But I felt sorry that I wasn't able to do more. Three years later we had our second child. We had our third one three years later. Without them, I might have just kept sleeping day and night. I didn't get any joy out of watching them grow, however. Every little thing was a big burden to me.
“I didn't know what the point in living was. I just struggled to get up, struggled to do what I must do, and then went to sleep. I was breathing, eating, and drinking, but I had not really 'lived.' I often cried desperately when I was by myself and wondered when the end would come.”
Giving Up Hope
Her last visit to a doctor was when she was 21. Coming out of the doctor's office, she felt nothing but despair. No doctor could cure her disease.
She didn't want to take medicine either, as she wanted to “maintain a clear head” on her own instead of “letting others and medicine control her.” She later tried many different ways of regaining health, including therapy and spiritual practices. Her husband stayed with her through all of this. But things eventually turned into a cycle of trying a treatment, giving up, trying another one, and giving up again.
The last try was a therapy class in Switzerland, which cost her 16,000 euros and nearly depleted her family’s savings.
“I completely gave up after that. I was totally desperate. I thought of ending my life several times,” said Ursula.
A Turning Point
Ursula's younger brother, who lives in South America, visits Germany every two years. He rarely interacted with her. But he invited Ursula over for dinner in 2007 when he visited Germany.
“I told him about all my suffering. He listened to me talk about my miserable life the whole time. I kept venting to him about my pain and despair. Then he stood up and went to his car. He brought in a book and handed it to me. 'You are in such a bad shape. Try to read this book.' I didn't want to take it. I didn't think any book could solve my problem.
“He said that after I read this book, I'll come to know why Jesus had said to turn the other cheek when being slapped. I turned my head to look at him. We were raised in Christianity, so I was curious what that meant. But he didn't explain any further. Then I decided to read this book, Zhuan Falun.”
After opening the book, Ursula couldn't stop reading. Every sentence in the book seemed to strike a chord with her. A few hours passed without a sound. In the total quietness, she felt a strong force pulling her forward as if she were flying. She felt a word rise up from her heart: Hope. It was an authentically warm, strong, and peaceful sensation.
“I knew this was what I had been looking for. Cultivating Falun Dafa could make a person complete. I had kept looking for a cultivation method, and I had always appreciated divine stories where a person would rise to another realm after enduring many hardships. I have never doubted the existence of the divine, but I felt I could not proceed by reading religious teachings. After reading Zhuan Falun, my heart was telling me that I could truly proceed to where I've always wanted to be.”
Three months after reading the book, Ursula decided to start the practice, to strive for “where she always wanted to be.” That was the meaning of her life. She started doing the Dafa exercises as well.
Her “True Life”
Her motivation to get up changed from her children and housework to reading this book. Whenever her husband came home, he would see her reading the book. She gradually felt that she had more strength, slept better, could handle more housework. She even started smiling again.
“I started my true life at the age of 44. I began to really experience my existence and what life encompasses. It is so wonderful! I can make decisions and choose things freely now. For example, I couldn't go to the cafe with friends before because I didn't know if my body's condition would permit me to go. Now I can control myself. This is a completely different world from what I had before.”
She started volunteering at her local kindergarten and library. The crafts that she made were popular at the Christmas market. Her home began to fill with laughter.
Her children eventually grew up to have their own children.
“I didn't have any joy as a mother when I raised my kids. But as a grandma, I found out how joyful being a mother is when I held my grandchildren and kissed them. If it weren’t for Falun Dafa, I wouldn't have the opportunity to experience all of this and have a real life. Life is so wonderful!”