Many people told me that they liked the “ru.smiln” that I used as my email account, various IDs, and the blog URL here. Since my first name is Ru and last name initial is S, they thought it was quite clever as well. Actually I didn’t come up with it myself. It found me.
It was in the winter of 2005, my mood was very low those days – stressful work, hopeless dissertation, failed marriage, seriously sick father. Everyday was a struggle. One morning, I woke up and saw a grayish overcast sky, I was immediately filled with despair and didn’t want to go to work at all. But I did anyway because it was the right thing to do. I drove out and stopped at the first traffic light, and the plate of the car in front of me was ‘RU SMILN’. My heart was struck to the core and tears rolled down my face at once, even before my brain got a chance to react. I knew clearly it was God speaking to me, “smile, my child, just because you are mine”. If it were simply ‘SMILN’, I wouldn’t feel much, but my name was there staring at me! God came to cheer me up even without my praying for it. His eyes were upon me and knew how I felt. I cried all the way in the car that morning, and smiled through my tears at the same time. I made up my mind to let God see my smile no matter what happens, because I am an obedient child and I trust Him; I will also show my smile to the enemies – my God loves me so much, what can you do to defeat me?
Not until months later did I realize the car plate actually was ‘are you smiling’, not really my name RU. God worked in amazing ways to get His personal message across. And I started to use “ru.smiln” as a constant reminder of His love for me.
God carried me through that darkest period of my life and kept blessing me in many ways since then. As time went by, I gradually became content and proud. I took things for granted and didn’t put Him front and center in my life anymore, but His love never left me. My heart started to turn toward Him again recently. I was listening to old worship songs while driving last night, darkness all around me. As I prayed and sang to God, many scenes in the past flashed through my mind. His peace and love once again filled me. Fear not, for the joy of the Lord is my strength. In a world of uncertainty, God and His love alone is everlasting.