A love worth giving.

” You will never amount to much no matter where you serve in…”

As a non believer back then, who wanted to contribute a little bit more to the church I wanted to call home, this was not something I have expected to hear. And definitely not something that was easy to comprehend and be healed from.

Why then, did you attempt to show me God’s love if you do not believe in me?

I think many times in my walk with God in the later years, I was unable to fully heal from the damage that was placed on me even before I know Him. The ultimate Savior who paid the price for me to know Him. Who loves me and believes in me more than I did in myself. In the ministry that I passionately served in, I knew in my heart there was a stumbling block, right there.

” I see you are doing so many things for God. You signed up for almost everything available, and you are always there for people. What could ever bring you down?”

This exact question became the stumbling block in my heart. I needed to constantly remind myself that serving God, reaching out to people, going to Bible school, attending church weekly was not so I could prove to the ones who told me I could not amount to much. The constant probing in my heart that cripple me was, “are you serving with the right condition and attitude, or do you just have something you want to prove to the world?”

After knowing Christ for the past 3.5years, and serving in a ministry for the past 2.5years, there were still moments in life, that I wished it did not hurt to love Him, to be broken down to pieces, to learn to have a humble and contrite while serving. That my serving was unto Him, and not unto people. But without this brokenness, I would never have empathy for the people around me.

Going out into the world, to see the world, experience the world have taught me much more than any books could ever tell me. That in the bible, when it said love is still the greatest of it all (1 Corinthians 13:13), it really meant that love is the only thing that have the ability to change and move heart. The only one that can still choose to embrace people despite all the times they have failed you, disappoint you or hurt you.

Love is seeing God in every individuals you meet, and seeing Jesus in them because everyone is made in the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Love is putting aside our skin colors, culture, race and custom, so as to recognize that we are the citizen of heaven. Love has a new meaning to me now, that in all my encounters with people, I don’t love people for who they are, but He who lives in me. If God can send Himself down on the cross for me, a love filled with so much passion and pain, then who am I to withhold love to others.

That’s the thing about traveling. I found my refuge in it. Travel became my best friend and not only has it helped heal my heart which was once torn to pieces, it has also opened my eyes to new things and made me a better person. Not only for love relationship but it applies to every disappointment I faced in my life. A good Friend who left me, someone who passed on, a dream that died, stepping out to travel changes perspectives and seeing God in every Situation. It helped me love a little more.

The NLT bible best speaks of this verse 1 Corinthians 13:2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

If there is only one thing that I can be good at, then let me be the best at loving others. Humans expect something in return for anything and everything, they put into the world. Especially when it comes to relationships. These are dandelions. Stop loving only to feel love. This is not love. Love whole human just to love them. And don’t ask them to love you in return. Some you love may not love you in return. Some may take advantage of the love you give and you may still revoke it at any time.

But keep loving them.
Without expectations.
Give, as He has given.
Drink first then pour out freely.
Thats when we will discover a love worth giving.

 

The cost to follow.

Without God, we cannot.
Without us, He will not.
                                                                           Augustine

Freely receive, freely give.

Traveling has always played a huge role in my life, and recently the new found joy of heading out for missions, and spreading the gospel of Christ. To offer all that I have up to the altar, because all this possession was never mine to begin with. Being out in the field, as much as I can in the recent times, I realized that the major part of being able to go out there was because of the love I have freely receive by the people who is in my life who never fails to love, edify, give and bless me. They have given me courage to lose sight of the shore as I venture out into the ocean. The manifest of God’s love into my life is through their time and constant prayer.

Heading out to the mission field allow my heart to come alive. The devil has placed in me constant self doubts, self hate, and negative self image every time I am prepared to head out, which further assure me what I desire to do is actually is actually in God’s plan. Yet the price to pay for leaving and seeking God was not always easy. There were things that I was forced to let go, and things I had to give up, so as to not lose the chance to seek God first. There were times when I have to learn to let go, but not doing it until I have a battle with God. And like Jacob, perhaps the pain in the hip socket will be the thing that always remind us the faithfulness of God.

The cost to follow will never be easy, but what we have done for Christ will never be in vain. 4 years ago, when I became a Christian, I paid a price of being abandoned by people who I held dearly in my heart. People who left eventually when they could not understand. Yet, this was a price I was willing to pay, because till today, Christ has still been the best thing for me. There were moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have a feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well. Without sadness, there would be no joy. Without suffering, there would be no compassion.

Afterwards, I had to let go of a toxic relationship which led to betrayal, and hurts. Yet the comfort of letting go back then was know that Jesus has intertwined. The comfort of walking out then and healing from the broken relationship is that God has saved me from even more heartbreaks. It took months to heal, and even days when there was too much uncertainty in walking out. But eventually His big hands have covered me, and there’s joy in just traveling, seeing the world and sharing His love. And some day, this special guy will come through my serving, holding the same verse as me.

Romans 1:1 Paul, a bondservant (love slave) of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle (an envoy of God’s word), set apart (separated from comfort, lifestyle, sin, failure and pride), for the gospel (call) of God.

Many are called by God, yet only few are chosen. The ones who are set apart are the people who are willing to rise and be separated for Jesus. To be chosen, we need to consecrate our lives, and there is a price to pay. Abraham had to be separated from:

  1. Home country; our comfort.
  2. Father; our custom.
  3.  Nephew Lot; worldly.
  4. Ishmael; mistakes.
  5. Isaac; pride.

The cost to pursue God lies in seeking Him first. And till today, giving freely whether it is possessions, time, and love for the cause of God is something I have never forgotten to do so. Before I am working adult, I am first a child of God. While growing up, people have said that I am different. I do not fit in anywhere but I think it is okay to be different now. I do not have everything, but all I have will always be found at the altar. The spirit of the world has come, but it has nothing on me. And like Romans 1:1 has said, one day, I want to stand in front of the throne, and be someone like Paul, who has given up everything to seek Him first. My priority in life has always been Jesus. He is no fool to give what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose. Christ is my reward, always.

 

 

Love like fire.

“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.”

The word that has been burning in my heart so much daily is this word, love. It carries so much meaning, considering that it is just a word. Without feelings, the word could never have its meaning. I have always wondered why do we love, and how do I love someone, that would make the word come alive. Love, seemingly so small, yet its the most sought after feeling in the world. How do I love like Jesus? And how do I have that love that will burn so deeply for people? And eventually, how do I love you (my future half)? How do I love without any terms and conditions, and how do I love with a fire burning so deep? How do I love when I am hurting on the inside too?

For all the toil, stress and struggles, it is a labor of love. Even in the heaviest moment, the journey would have been fueled with delight, not by duty. Love will break through the darkest night to find us and bring us back home. Real love makes no disclaimer in the fine prints. It has no escape clauses or money back guarantees. It is faithful, vulnerable and all consuming – flowing willingly and totally from our hearts, lips and lives.

Love gives of itself whether it is convenient or inconvenient. It operates on the joyful height – but also in the valley of the shadow. It overcomes pain and overturns obstacles. It keeps its promises even when it hurts. Love gives imaginatively and outrageously. It surrenders itself generously, never begrudgingly, when there is much at stake, love will give it all. Love comes with no conditions attached. where you find love, right there alongside it, you will encounter faithfulness. Love does not cheat, nor does it quickly leave when the going gets tough.

Love is never easy, and not always sweet smelling. My heart beats for the very reason because Jesus lives in me. The compelling love factor in me was bore forth because of the Savior who died for me on the cross. The one who became the scapegoat of my sin. It is through His love that I know, love comes with no terms and condition. Love is free, yet love requires faithfulness. My promise to my family and friends, that no matter what I do, my love for you guys will be like Jesus. I am not perfect, and am in progress to be more like Him. My love, will come with no terms and condition attached. I feel a lot for people around me, and my emotions might give way at times. But, I will be faithful to the things that I have. The God-given gifts that is in my life, has always been people who had been ready to accept me and love me still. All the love that I have received, has compelled me to give even more. And in the midst of busyness, I will never forget to shower some love to those who have loved me. If Jesus, Your heart was for people, then make me more like You.

And to you, my promise to you. I will not do detached. I won’t play hard to get or act cool for the sake of appearing elusive. If I like you, I am all in. If you have my attention, then it’s because I genuinely care for you. I will love you with all I have. Like how Jesus loves the church, His bride. I will love you, ever faithfully. There are times when the going gets hard. Love is not a sweet smelling rose. It requires sacrifice. And I would sacrifice myself for you. I may not be able to shout my love for you throughout the day, may not be able to turn up at your workplace with your favorite coffee, every time you require me too, but I will love you in my own little ways. Whether you see it or not. I would buy your favorite dessert for you, and get a little drink when you are tired. I would be there if you need me too, to listen and to hear you out. Even in the night, I would get up just to be there to love and support you. I will be silent if thats what makes you better. And I will go away, if you want me too. Most importantly, you will be in my constant prayer. You will hear me interceding with the Lord, for me, and for us. And that’s my promise towards you.

And thats how I choose love.

A letter to me.

Hey you. The future Jolyn.

A letter to the 10 years old me.
You are so young back then. So full of insecurities and so full of troubles. Your heart was filled with hatred of the world, hatred for the future. You hated the world so much that you asked God why did he create the world, and let it be filled with sorrows and pain. You blamed the whole world, except yourself. You live in the self centeredness of life. You constantly got bullied at school. And many times, no one was there to rescue you. You cried, you were stranded but you stood strong. Look at where you are now. However, I do not hate you. I am happy the way I am now. Because of what I have been through, I learn to be strong and find happiness in the midst of trouble. I learnt to rely on God and myself. Thank you so much.

A letter to the 14 years old me.
You were only 14. Yet you didn’t have a sense of belonging anywhere. You sought after relationship to proved that you were loved. You joined the wrong clique, and you thought you found friends. But in the end, you realized they were using you. You were always forgotten. No matter how much you gave, you were left alone. But thank you for going through this for me. Because of this, I learn to appreciate people around me now. I learned to love and also to appreciate and be thankful. Thank you so much for the pain that you been through. You taught me that relationships are 2 sided and helped me found a home.

A letter to the 16 years old me.
You went through broken friendship. You built up so much walls. You isolate yourself from the world. You stopped making friends. You decided being alone was enough. You decided that friendship was just trouble. You build up tall walls, so no one could ever get to you. You hurt yourself in ways no 16 years old would. You slit your wrist, you wanted to die. But thank you, thank you for going through all this hurt and pain so that you know how to value friendship. Thank you for going through this, so that you understand the importance of love. Thank you for going through this, so that you can now understand and love people more than before.

A letter to the 19 years old me.
You thought you found love in this place. You were put to a test, and you failed. People talk about forever, and you believed in that forever. You were so gullible to believe everything, everyone said. And you found yourself in the brokenness of everything. You started to think about what is forever, you started to think who you could trust. You went through the test of time. The broken dreams. But thank you, thank you for going through all this. Because now, you learned to discern right from wrong. Lies from truth. Thank you for going through this, because you learn how to trust and no longer over promise people. You know how to differentiate between lies and truth. You learned how to protect your heart.

A letter to the 21 year old and future me..
You, yes you. You now learn and been through all the lessons God have prepared for you. And hey, look where are you now. Everything seems tough, but you went through it all. You have grown so much stronger. Thank you for going all that you need too. For all the lessons that you have been through, you are so much stronger now. To the people who have sown in your life, appreciate and give more to them. For they are a blessing. You now know that forever do not happen. But you do hope that it will last a long long time. But above it all, guard your heart. Do not let it get as hurt as it should. You are stronger. Stronger than you seem. Be thankful, and be grateful. Grateful to the people who have loved you.

In the 4 months, many people have sown in your life, many people left too. But those who left, forget them. Treasure those who stayed. Love those who lift you higher. Be thankful for them. Be thankful for those who were there. Those who helped you settle in at City Harvest. Those who constantly assure you and believe in you. They matter more. Those who left, let them leave. Build the dreams of those who lift you higher, help them be the leader they want to. Love them. Convictions in your heart to build a whole new generation. Change yourself and  you change the world. Say thank you to those who loved you. To others a heart of love, and to yourself, a heart of steel. Burdened in your heart for a new generation. Carry the baton and run towards God. Worship in Him, and depart to serve. Be more like Jesus. Like how He came to serve, serve others.

Be thankful. Thankful for the leaders who sown. There might be no forever. But we will be together for a long time. Love, love them. Because they took time to listen to you when you needed them. Trust them, because they had to open themselves to you so as to make you trust them. Give, give them because they gave you their time and God’s love and prayers. Despite everything. They remembered you. Give, because they gave you time. A part of their lives they could never get back. Remember this. Because when busyness overwhelms, and life gets too mundane, remember your humble beginning. Remember that all this were made for you to grow. And know that, of all the things you have been through, you loved life better now.

Love,
Jolyn (2014)

Thank you to the leaders of N530. KS Zone. City Harvest Church.
Thank you Pastor Kenneth, Vivien, Grace and Angeline.