When I met my husband, I knew he was called to serve God at a young age. When we courted, I naively told him we could go serve in full time ministry once we married. However, when we got married, the hardship of marriage and life made me renounce my agreement. I felt so condemned and unworthy to serve God.
During those first few years of marriage, I experienced deep failure, injustice, rejection, and condemnation. As a teenager and young in my faith, I slipped into depression. Depression crippled me; I dropped out of college, didn’t work, and had no purpose. I remembered most days, I ate one meal daily and stayed in bed until late afternoon. Additionally, I clung onto my husband like a leech. I treated him like a god and looked to him for protection, happiness, and validation. But as a human, my husband failed to make me happy and I began to resent him. I refused to submit to my husband’s authority and leadership. I also began to resent God. I blamed Him for all the hurt and poor decisions in my life. I even got to the point where I hated God. All the while, I continued to serve in the church and was very “active” in many ministries. All the while, my young heart became very bitter and hateful.
After the birth of my first baby, I was diagnosed with Systematic Lupus Erythematosus. But the symptoms were tolerable and only caused minor aches. By 2009, we had been married 5.5 years, but our marriage was cold and dead. My relationship with my family in-law and my dad was very broken also. Later that year, after my older sister’s wedding, my body was under so much stress and tension that it gave out. I ended up in bed for one whole month. I was in so much pain that every movement caused pain. For that whole month, as I went in and out of the hospital, I hated God even more. I hung on to my self-righteousness and pride. Declaring that God was unjust to let me become sick after “faithfully” serving him. I boasted that I was very active in the church and did not deserve to be sick. Finally, after that month, I was admitted into the hospital and with all the steroid they gave me, the pain ceased. I left the hospital feeling better and didn’t give any regards to God.
My life continued as usual without God. But after a week, I was awakened in the middle of the night by pain shooting through my body again! I remember staring up at the ceiling and heard the voice of God in my heart say, “Dayouna, you have depended on yourself and your body all this time. But now, when you tell your body to get up and walk, it cannot.” At that moment, I knew God was calling me back. I surrendered out loud, “God, I will do anything you want me to do and go anywhere you want me to go.” As soon as I said that, I could feel the chains of un-forgiveness and bitterness fall off! I then, truly believed that I was no longer condemned and was a Beloved child of God. A flowing wave of Peace rushed over me, unlike anything I had ever experienced. The joy just over-flowed and songs of praise came flooding out of my heart. These songs poured out of my mouth before I could even think! All night long, I praised God and all the while, I could feel the evil presence shrieking at God, fighting for my soul! After hours of worshipping, I woke my husband up and told him that we needed to go into ministry and serve. It was a privilege to serve and be a small part of God’s Great Plan.
I remember a few weeks later, my husband and I stayed up sharing our hurts from our marriage. We were very honest and raw about our sins against one another. But by the power of the Holy Spirit, we both had forgiving hearts that allowed healing. As a result of us drawing near to God, we finally experienced how beautiful marriage was. God also healed the relationship with my dad and my family in law. I no longer hated them but wanted to love them. I also went back to school; earned my bachelor’s degree and finished MSP.
As I reflect on my life, I am reminded of just how wonderful and faithful God is. That He never once abandoned me, especially during the times when I ran from Him. That even though I was broken and in bondage to depression and unforgiveness, Jesus set me free! His Love was Perfect for an imperfect person like me.
Truly, God is Faithful to his Word in John 8:32 “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Dayouna (N. Kx. Swm Xeng) Yang
Dayouna and her husband (Kx. Swm Xeng) have been married for 16 years. They have 4 children; Faith, Caleb, Christian, and Evangeline. They served their first church at Clearwater Hmong Alliance Church as Senior Pastor for six years. Currenty, they live in Colorado as Kx. Swm Xeng serves at the Hmong District. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and Counseling. Currently, Dayouna is an ESL Teacher and pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Administration. In the past, she’s served with the local Alliance Women ministries, Discipleship, Missions, Youth, and Children’s Ministry.
In her free time, she enjoys crafting, watching history, and spending time with her family. Dayouna also loves traveling and visiting different countries with her husband.