I recently read an encouraging story in the World Tribune from the week of April 13, 2012. A woman, Nichiren Buddhist, and SGI member shared an extreme hardship she and her family experienced beginning in the summer of 2010. I will call her M. It all started when M’s husband decided to go on a trip with another family member to his native country. However, later that day the family member returned with terrible news about her husband. As it turned out, M’s husband was arrested by local police on charges of violating immigration laws. At first frightened, M considered what to do. Right away, she sat down in front of her Gohonzon and began to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. The next day, she took action by contacting a lawyer. Payment for the lawyer would be expensive and M nearly emptied her bank account to pay the lawyer’s starting fee. No matter, she continued to chant with hope that her husband would soon return and not be deported. However, the deportation could not be stopped in time, and her husband was forced to leave the U.S. To her surprise, the lawyer refunded M her money. Even still, M’s daily life became more challenging. She secured a full-time job so she could support her two daughters and continue paying the mortgage on their house. All the while, she put in hours of work preparing her husband’s case. However, she was unable to fully make ends meet and their house went into foreclosure. More struggles came her way. Her daughter fell ill and a water pipe broke flooding one of the rooms in their house. She continued her Buddhist practice and study. Then one day when everything seemed unbearable, she received advice from a senior in faith who told M that she would have to take 100 percent responsibility for transforming her life and destiny. M would not be able to blame other people for her circumstances. In essence she would have to do her human revolution. Using her Buddhist teachings to guide her, M realized that she would have to let go of all fear and commit with faith that she alone was the script writer for the drama of her life.
Nine months after her husband had been deported, there was a break in his case. M obtained a hardship waiver application. If she could prove that her family would experience extreme hardship in her husband’s absence, then permanent residence status could be granted, and he could return home. A month passed and her house went into foreclosure. A U.S. senator agreed to support her husband’s waiver application, but this still did not mean approval. M continued to chant placing complete faith in her Buddhist practice that her family would be protected. She also began to chant for a short sale on her house. More time passed and struggles continued. Now, she would need to find a new home for her and her family. One that would be pleasant, but affordable. She continued her practice chanting for approval of the hardship application, her husband’s safe return, a short sale, and a new place to live for her family.
Finally, after 16 long months M’s husband finally returned home. Her house made the short sale, and her family moved into a new place she had hoped for, one that was pleasant and yet still affordable. M says in her story that as she looked back, she realized that had she not experienced all the hardships during that year, she would not have been able to prove the hardship she needed to get her husband home safely. At the end of her story M writes, “This experience taught me how important it is to never give up, even when the situation seems impossible, or goes from bad to worse. I learned the importance of having 100 percent faith and confidence in the Gohonzon. Only then did I learn to be the scriptwriter of my life. “