“When I have depression, it was hard for me to control myself. Thinking back, I thank the people who took care of me. But I feel that if you want to get out of depression, what you really need is courage,” said Hiromi Wada, a 28-year old Hong Kong actress and singer who found God in the midst of her suicidal attempt.
A girl whose contagious laughter reverberates from her soul, Hiromi started performing early at only 14 years old. Yet, behind her smiling face, Hiromi grew up struggling with low-self esteem due to the lack of affirmation by her mother.
“I’m actually a very stubborn person. But somehow, I gave people the impression that I am very innocent and that I can be easily persuaded to change my thoughts,” said Hiromi who often became a prime target for manipulation in the entertainment industry, for her vulnerable appearance.
“So, most of the time, I felt really hurtful because I was thinking to myself, ‘How do I respond to this person?’” said Hiromi, whose trust on people began to erode over the years.
Nevertheless, although she did not know God at that time, she persevered and believed that her talent would help her shine in the entertainment industry.
“I persevered because I love the performing arts. But I didn’t want to do anything against my values to be promoted into stardom. If I want to get up, I want my effort and talent to be the reasons of my success,” said Hiromi, who began to realize how fragile humans are.
“But no matter how stubborn you are and how much you persevere, there will come a day when you’ll reach exhaustion; you’ll lose all hope in this world when the people, even your good friends betray you. You’ll feel that there is no one to trust in this world,” said Hiromi.
After much disappointing experiences with people, she began to isolate herself at home. And with no hope and no purpose in life, Hiromi began hearing voices in her head with an unexplainable nauseating pressure, evident of a demonic attack.
But it was also during this time, she was exposed to God when she heard about how a friend at the last-stage of cancer was miraculously healed upon prayers by a group of Christian brothers and sisters.
“I felt so encouraged when I heard about my friend’s testimony because I thought, ‘Miracles can still happen in this world.’ So, I saw a way out from my depression,” said Hiromi.
However, she believed that it was actually her friend’s personal optimisim that healed her. “But actually, how much strength does a person has? For me, I cannot even control what will happen to me in the future.”
Hiromi did not think that such a miracle would happen to her. Sinking deeper into depression, she finally decided to commit suicide.
She began to understand that people under depression do not necessarily want to commit suicide. But because the mental torture is too great, taking one’s life appears to be an easy way to stop the torture.
“Normally, I would be fearful of many things. But at the moment I decided to commit suicde, there is a million times of strength for me to do it,” said Hiromi who recalled hearing the voice of a demon while she wanted to buy the sleeping pills to commit suicide.
“I actually talked to a person. I said, ‘I know you want me to die. Why don’t you just let me die?’ So, I asked this person to help me,” said Hiromi.
Typically, a pharmacist would not sell a large number of sleeping pills without prescription from the doctor. Yet, the pharmacist surprisingly sold Hiromi many sleeping pills, believing that she was buying them for long-term usage.
“After I bought the pills, I didn’t really care about the voices in my head anymore. As long as I could commit suicide, I would have accomplished my mission,” said Hiromi, who began calling her friends for one last time.
“I realized that when a person really wants to commit suicide, she (or he) will not want to tell anyone about her (or his) intention. Because for me, it was hard for me to leave my loved ones behind when I called them.
“I would act normally and call them, ‘Hey, what are you doing now?’ We would even talk about having lunch together. I would laugh over the phone. But I thank God because I chose taking sleeping pills as a way to die. I wanted to die comfortably,” said Hiromi.
But when she reached home with the pills, her mind launched into a battleground. Two voices fought in her head, like an angel over a demon. A voice spoke to her, “Don’t do that!” She became disturbed because she wanted to die peacefully. At that point, a gentle voice spoke to her, “Why don’t you try praying? God will help you.” Because Hiromi wanted peace, she prayed and a novel transcendent peace came upon her.
“But because I was so stubborn in completing the mission, I still wanted to commit suicide. And I didn’t know how it happened because I just fell asleep,” said Hiromi who did not sleep for days due to depression.
“So, now that I have believed in God, I realized that my mental illness was caused by depression. And I have a burden for people with the same problem,” said Hiromi.
She explained, “When you have depression, it’s like you are being pulled back by this claw that would not let you go. It’s very torturing. Although it’s not a physical bleeding that is caused by a cut, mental illness is worse to me. It tears you apart and sucks the energy out of you.”
“It makes you lose all meaning of life and will to live. I realized that the life of a human is indeed fragile. So now, I want to go and encourage people with how God led me out of depression.”
Hiromi shared how people with mental illness need to dig deep into the root of depression with the help of the Holy Spirit. Every time when she feels afraid, she would ask herself, “Why am I so scared?” When she is frustrated, she would ask herself, “What caused this anger?” As we ask ourselves, we will start to understand the root cause of our problem.
“Of course, it is God who told me. Actually, I have blind spots. There are things that I cannot see,” said Hiromi.
She added on a personal note, “I don’t know how the entertainment industry in Malaysia is like. But the industry in Hong Kong is considerably complicated.”
Brownnosing and flattery are commonplace and even expected to get a role in the entertainment industry. But for Hiromi, even if she were to perform a deed or express an appreciation, she would have to do them from a sincere heart, void of the sole agenda to illicit return.
“So, my personality would not allow me to be insincere. I said to myself, ‘Fine, it’s okay. Maybe it’s better for me to comtemplate and think if there is something else I could venture into,’” said Hiromi.
Although Hiromi spent a few months in Australia at one point in time, she was surprised to find that the entertainment industry was still offering her jobs despite her exiting from the industry for a while.
“So, it seemed to me that God was telling me to enter the entertainment industry again. Even though I am not very active in socializing, I still get calls from the industry. This shows that God is paving the way for my entertainment career now in Hong Kong.
“So, I am not afraid when I don’t get projects, because I know and trust that God would give me the best. If I don’t get a project, I would say, ‘God, You must have something better for me,’” she added.
Even then, her faith did not come naturally but was also built during hard times. Hiromi recalled how God brought her to the desert whereby she had no income for three months, the first in her life. Struggling with her faith in God, she cried out to Him, “What do You want me to learn, God? I am very tired. Can you let me rest for a while?”
“God made me reach the the dead end of my entertainment career, where it felt like there was no hope anymore. I felt so tortured. I would cry until I laughed. I was not emotionally stable at that time.
“Yet, one day, I woke up and told myself, ‘I won’t do that to myself again.’ Suddenly, I felt a supernatural mega strength came upon me. Actually, I understood the concept of faith. But my heart could not accept it.
“So, God put me in a dead end and He asked me, ‘Have you done it? What are you losing? You have nothing to lose. You lost everything.’ I finally got the lesson. The faith in God suddenly changed my heart. When it ‘clicked,’ God began to bring everything to me,” said Hiromi.
She understood that her entertainment career from then onwards would be led in full dependence on God, and not through clever human schemes.
One thing led to the next and through her faith in Christ, she was introduced to her current manager outside of Hong Kong, Wen-Ji, who loves her like a dear sister.
“I had many managers but they didn’t feel like a family to me. I understand that we need to do business. But it is important for the artiste and manager to communicate. Sometimes artistes are treated like products. If this product is not good, then just find another product.
“Actually, as artistes, we have feelings too. There are also things we want to do. And many artistes hope to reach a place where they can decide on what they can do. Every one is just waiting for that moment,” said Hiromi, thanking Wen-Ji for basically loving her.
“Wen-Ji is really good. She is always asking me how I am feeling and how my day is. And I feel when a person respects me, I am okay with anything. Actually, that’s my personality – it’s not hard for me to trust people,” said Hiromi.
Yet, because of the negative experiences with a number of dishonest people in the industry, she learned to put up bars to protect herself.
“But I also thank God for the people who make me feel that they will love me no matter how much I changed. And when you feel their love, your bars will quickly come down. I will tend to completely trust a person.
“Although there are people who leave us in life, which is really hurtful, there are also those who stand behind us and closely support us. For me, I don’t know how to return their kindness except to do my best in work for them,” said Hiromi.
Entering into the entertainment scene again, Hiromi hopes to expand her career in singing and acting. She also hopes to sharpen her connection with people in the performing arts, by silently observing and understanding the background, personality, and motivation of people in a coffee shop, for example.
“In the past, I was quite oblivious with the people around me. I didn’t know how to discern. Whatever a person said, I would immediately trust. But God gave me a lot of training through the people who hurt me. I thank them for teaching me.
“And now, through a person’s eyes, I can tell about the state of a person’s heart. I realized a person’s words can never betray his or her heart. So, what we say about our eyes being the window to our soul, is true,” said Hiromi.
Also, as the daughter of God, Hiromi also learned to be grateful and contented with what God gave her, away from the constant pressure of comparison.
“We like to say, ‘If only I’m like her, then I will be happy.’ But then, why even have you in this world, in the first place? The truth is: you are the one and only unique creation of God. So, why don’t we focus on discovering ourselves, the treasures and talents buried in us?” said Hiromi.
“Also, for every job I do, I do not see how much money I’ll get or how big the project is. Well, of course, every artiste would charge a certain price. But we don’t always need to talk about money first. To me, it’s more important on whether the project is meaningful,” Hiromi added who would share her testimony with school and university students.
A person with childlike faith and cheerfulness, Hiromi Wada, beloved daughter of God, is fully restored to who God made her to be even after all the hurts she experienced. In her, no bitterness or unforgiveness are found. But God has fully restored her to complete innocence, beauty, and wisdom. In fact, her restoration is so evident in her countenance that one can feel the emanating love, joy, and peace from her. Her sheer presence in the entertainment industry brought glory to God!
“I believe that every one has a life caling in different areas. And I also hope that I know my calling in life too. People had been telling me that I have a contagious smile and laughter.
“I thought to myeslf, “Maybe I am given the gift of making people around me happy.’ So, when I am onstage, it’s not only for my sake, but for the people’s sake, to make them happy and enjoy the show. Ultimately, the show is not about me but other people,” said Hiromi.
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in Him.” (Psalm 40:2-3)
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