Using my mess to serve Others.

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

I always thought the things and mess I had to go through was because I didn’t know God. But recently, to my own amazement, I thank God for putting me through my mess. It was through all my mess that I was in a better position to serve others and meet the needs of others. It was also through this mess that I could become a testimony to God and all His works. Turning all my wounds into wisdom, so I could serve and love others in ways that not many people can.I realize the things we go through could be put to better use if we just trust in God, looking from His perspective. Instead of looking at our wounds, we could look from the way God look at it.

most people do not know was that I suffered from depression. There were unbearable days where I wanted to end my life as hope seems lost. Walking out into His light wasn’t easy. There were many times that I fell back into depression. One of those times that I lost someone I loved, I went back to hurting myself. Later on, when I walk into the light of Christ, I actually hid my past away due to embarrassment. However, in later times, I realized that when I looked from God’s perspective, He had actually placed me in a position to reach the needs of many teens who went through what I did. I was in a position where I could serve God, and bring His great love to others. It was from His perspective, that I was equipped and empowered to do what I was called to do. When I begin to see God, I was compelled to share my story from His great love. Therefore, positioning myself to serve others better.

The trials and ordeal that we went through, I think we all go through it for a reason. And one of the reasons was so we could be in a better position to relate and serve others. If I had not been through such trials and ordeals, I would not been able to relate and serve others. I would not have been able to understand what exactly do the person need. When we begin to position ourselves looking from God’s view, thats how we get to serve others.

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Daddy God, Jesus Christ.

A father shows the way, and leads the way. 

Today bears a much more significant value for me after a long time. Father’s day remind me of the love that my Father God have for me. On the cross, He called it FINISHED. Those many years that it didn’t have any value or meaning to me, I finally found the meaning of father’s day this year.

Growing up was a pain. I made wrong decisions. I strayed away. But Jesus, He had always held on to me. This Father’s day is of significant value, because I have Him. When I was lost and empty, it was His love that held on to me. I have chosen the wrong paths many times when growing up. And I hated myself over the years. But through this year, God came as a father to me.

When I was 7, I was being bullied in my school. Strangers who barely knew me, would walk to me and slap my face. Classmates who hardly knew me, would tear up my textbooks. It carried on in the later years. I was pushed off the stairs, and every single day, when I go home, I was just trying to hide my bruises. I always thought that I am weird, because I hated talking to people around me. Perhaps, thats why I was a target for bully. I spent many days in school crying, hiding myself in the toilet and finding ways to make friends yet to no avail. I had no one to turn too.

When I was 13, going through 6 years of bully, I decided it was enough. Its my turn to bully people around me instead. Even knowing the pressure it would caused to myself for hurting others, I did it anyways. However, every time after I hurt someone, I could not win the fight of guilt. I started slitting my wrists and causing serious hurt to myself. This led on till I was 15. Finally, the weight of this pressure was too heavy on me, and I attempted suicide twice. During this failed attempts, I fell into depression. I stopped talking for the longest period of time. And eventually, I couldn’t make friends.

When I was 18, I was hurt by people around me. I stopped listening. I stayed home. I refused to go out and face the world that were full of hypocrisy. People came and people left, and I was immune to all the hurt around me. Eventually I stopped feeling anything anymore. I couldn’t talk or I could not even make friends. I was damaged and left with holes in my heart.

When I was 21, one of the man whom I dearly love left me. His last words to me were, ” Jesus loves you”. And I broke down and I cried. Because even when I had nothing to offer and I was wandering around, Jesus Christ, You were here for me through it all.

My Daddy God, where would I have been without You. This year, when I held on to You, You opened doors after doors for me to love and serve You. You came to me clearer as a father figure. Daddy Jesus, thank You for all that You have done. I was nothing, but You said I could be something. You love this broken pieces of mine that no one could ever do. Happy Father’s day, Daddy God. Without Your love, I couldn’t have serve the next generation. Thank You for loving and forgiving me of everything. Thank You for saying I am enough. Even if I fall, I know that Daddy God would hold me up. I love You so much Daddy God. You redeem a soul that everyone said was beyond redemption. You healed a heart and as I grow up, I want to be more like You. Once again, Happy Father’s Day.

The Impact of Leadership.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

I think leadership is one of the core factors for the rise and fall of a ministry. The leadership will bring us to greater heights, or make us withdraw from His Kingdom. I have personally been under 2 leaderships. Both which I cannot define if they were good or bad. But somehow, this 2 leadership had a great impact on me. And this shows that what leadership can actually do to us.

When I was I XXX Church, I was under a leader who no doubt was great. But under her care, I did not grow or flourish well in His Kingdom. I am in no means of blaming her, because I might be the one who wasn’t ready to commit my life. However, many circumstances have led me to believe that she did not trust me enough to teach me or grow me, or rather, I did not feel the sense of security. Slowly by slowly, because of all the factors surrounding me, I left. I left heartbroken and I felt bad about myself. The feeling of me being not enough and unwanted was strong.

When I came over to City Harvest Church, I was placed under a leader named Eng Wee from Children Church. He was a leader who does not work in a conventional way. It scared the wits out of me. He always put me in situations that made me struggle and he did not end there. He will put surprises that gave me shock after shock. However, in this situation, I realize that I should lean on God’s presence, and hang on to God even more. He helped me to realize God’s love even more. He was a leader who cared, and even more so, understood the feelings of his member. He knew that throwing me into the ocean would suffocate me, before I even learn how to swim, but he never let me go. He was there to guide me.

Honestly, when he first thrown me into this deep sea, I was unhappy, and I blamed him for all the emotional breakdown that I had. But even with all this, he has shown me his care and concern, like a father does to his daughter, he never let go of me. He wanted me to experience and encounter God’s move in the ministry by myself. He is someone who is full of love and compassion. I might have err many times, but its his love that made me see God even more.

A leader who had done so much things for me, had impacted my life a lot. He put the confidence and hope in me, and it helped me see what I could offer. Even at times when I looked down on myself, I am not afraid of showing it. I know that a leader like this would help me up. And what impact did he leave on me? He helped me saw Jesus. He helped me see myself, where I belong and what I could do for Him. He left an impact that was not removable. He made me want to love like him, and be like him. He made me want to humble myself before God, and love God even more.

To my leader, if you saw this, please know that of all the things you have done, it could only mount up to this 7 words. Thank you for believing in me. I felt unworthy, but you showed me what I could be for Jesus. I was lacking, but you opened up doors that were closed. Thank you for the times you meet me just to answer my unending questions. For making sure I emerge as a conqueror. You made me believe in myself a little more. You left an impact on me.

Thank you.

The road of ministry.

Psalms 4:3
Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.

Everyone of us are called by God. The only difference is what we are called to do, where we are called to serve and the people we are serving with. And I think I have been very privilege to be in this teen cell and get to have really some good friends. But the road of serving God, and His ministry is never easy. Having a different calling and being set apart with people you love, could be hard at times.

Don’t ever get me wrong. I love my CG. However recently, I discovered that my calling was to serve Kids and children, and not teens. Being in the Children Church Ministry had been one of the most satisfying and rewarding moment for me. Even though I struggle a lot, seeing those smiles were what make serving easy. This discovery or rather knowing that God had shown me a different path, was hard.

When I just enter into the teens ministry one year ago, I always thought my calling was to serve teens. Perhaps based on my own past, I wanted to be in that gap and serve the teens. I wanted to be one of those who would fill the emptiness in the teen’s heart with simply just God’s love. And thats what I have been trying to do. However in the past five months, God has been constantly placing in my heart the burden for kids. He has been knocking in my heart, yet I refused to listen to it. It wasn’t until I started serving in Harvest Kidz, that I slowly discover my passion for the children. Every visitation that I did, God’s presence always fall on me. God spoke to me in tangible ways, and slowly my heart began to respond to the call of this ministry.

The road to this ministry was not easy. My passion was reaching out to street kids. Probably knowing how much this kids need God, really make me want to reach out to them. Even knowing my heart desires, this journey was tough. I always thought passion and the right attitude could lead me in to the journey. However when going through this journey, I stumbled and fell. Many nights, I woke up crying. I was helpless and in despair. This was the night that Jesus came, and filled my heart. And this were the night that I really encountered God.

Being someone who is pretty awkward with new faces, I wasn’t sure how do I make friends in the ministry and having no one who serve in the same ministry at my zone, the journey got harder. There were times that I was lost, with no one around me. The journey got quieter as I begin to serve more. Those time that I could not be around for my CG, someone had eventually replace the gap. And many times, when I look around, there wasn’t anyone left. These were the hardest night. But as I begin to tap into His presence, open up myself, I found strength to continue no matter how tough it gets.

One thing I have learnt from this entire journey till now, was knowing that even if the journey gets tough and lonely, God will always be here for me. God will never bring me up on this journey, and leave me as I am. He will make a way when there seems to be no way. And even in the darkest night, God will place stars around us, to brighten up our days. Even in days, our vision and others got different, God will never ever shortchanged us.

He brought me up the moon, when I was wandering in the clouds. He put stars beside me and said, wake up child, its your time to shine.

Whatever we are called to do, we should remember its unto God and not people. God will never ever forget us in His great plans. Whatever we are called to do, God called us for a reason. He made us different and He wants to put our strength into His good use. And when we remain faithful to this things, God will bless us. The road of ministry may get tougher, but one thing I am assured is that, no matter how tough this journey gets, I will keep walking because Jesus will hold my hand through it all.

When I cried out to Him, ” Help me”, His hands kept me from falling. This is the beautiful love of God.

The lenses in which we see ourselves.

“How you see yourself has a tremendous impact on your attitude. Poor self image and poor attitudes often walk hand in hand. Its hard to see anything in the world as positive if you see yourself as negative. Dwayne Dyer advises, ” Examine the labels you apply to yourself. Every label is a boundary or limit you will not let yourself cross.” If you are having trouble getting where you want to go, the problem may be inside you. If you don’t change your inward feelings about yourself, you will be unable to change your outward actions towards others.”

 Recently, I have been reading this book called, “The Difference Maker”. And this was one of the passage that stood out to me. For those who know me, they will know I grew up full of insecurities. Maybe its because the limited amount of time I had with my parents, and when growing up, my brother had all the attention I ever wanted. I felt unwanted and worthless to them. Perhaps, being in a traditional family, grandparents would prefer a boy. Being a girl at that point of time, I was caught up with many insecurities, that even led up to today. Afterwards, I had a sister who was 8 years younger than me. That left me with even more insecurities than before. All this might just be an led on to the worthless element in me.

Growing up, we were used to being compared with others. We were compared with anyone possibly in our lives. And knowing how we were never good enough possibly led us to the way I feel about myself. As a young girl then, being brought up by a helper, I gave up yearning attention. I led my own life, the way I thought I should live. The lenses in which I saw myself was the constant words,’ hopeless, worthless and never enough.” The lenses in which I saw myself were all the negative thoughts. And this thoughts have stayed on with me, even though I grew up. It had left a mark that was beyond healing till I met Jesus. In Him, I realize I was enough.

One thing that really struck me for the past week was, am I enough? Enough to take up the TL role, enough to take up the roles that Boss and the leaders have placed on me. Was I ready? The lack of confidence in myself caused me to have so many meltdown in camp. The lenses which I saw myself was negative thoughts. The word that kept ringing up was lacking. You are lacking. You don’t deserve to be a TL. And true enough, because this was the way I saw myself, I did not have the courage to pick up my thoughts and push myself further. I just broke down.

Eventually, camp Survival ended. And it was the start of Litmitless camp, and there I sat in one of those services, which asked me, what was the vision I had. I broke down, I cried. Because at that time, I saw how I was like to myself. I have been enough in Jesus. But to me, I wasn’t enough. I sat there, paralyzed in shock, because I know all of the things I have been through, was to make me stronger, but in that lenses that I wore, I was jaded. I cried because of the faith that I lacked, the blurry lenses that I wore, had been an obstacle to me. At that service, I removed my lenses, and I saw God. I saw my dreams, I saw my Vision.

The vision stood out to me, because all I wanted was to be an empty vessel for God. And I was an empty vessel for God. I wanted to stand in the gap for the kids, and in fact, I already did. But the lenses has caused me to look at my shame, my pain and eventually made me doubt myself. My deepest cry was for God to fill this empty and willing vessel for Him. For God to use me to stand in the gap for God and the children and teens who need God. Just as I thought God had forgotten about me, He ignited my heart once again in camp.

I texted boss immediately to get the confirmation I needed, or more so, the assurance. I think it did came as a shock to boss, because I have never asked him questions in this way before. But boss answered me in a way that came as a warming gesture, something that filled my heart with love and assurance. He saw a spark in me, in my eyes when I interact with the kids, the full potential I had, which he wanted to unleash it in camp. He didn’t want to work in the conventional way, but he wanted me to move in faith, for me to see how much more I could do. And most importantly, see God changes the life of others.

I was touched by the words of Boss, and in service, God love overwhelms me once again. Giving me a clearer vision of what Jesus had placed in my heart. I told God once again, that I was ready. The lenses in which I saw myself in the past was removed. I put it in my heart as a reminder, that I, Jolyn Yael Tan, am enough in God. I changed my lenses to the one that only saw Jesus.

Today, I can stand and clearly say this:

I, Jolyn Yael Tan, will stand in the gap for all the children and teens who need God. Wherever He call me, there I will go. To meet the need, and feed the need of this children. I will be an empty willing vessel for God to use me. To stand in the gap of the generation. To fill up the gap. When Jesus call me to move, I will go. I will tap into the Holy Spirit and move in the supernatural realm. I am enough in Christ. God had filled up this emptiness. Lord, I will stand for you. Give me this generation, for You.

Thank you Bosses, for every encouragements and love you have put in me. I will no longer be afraid, because I have learnt that I am enough in Christ. I am enough in Jesus. And I thank You God, for teaching me to put on the right lenses.Thank You Jesus.