2018, I am ready.

I have reached out my hands and touched the flame of God. I am burning and waiting for the sign. He has come to impart boldness, sensitivity and strength.

2018, a season of letting go.

Recently, the Lord has been speaking bible stories into my heart, like it was a kind of reminder, a season that was new and birthing forth, from a small heart like mine, afraid of seeing my dreams, yet anticipating of the things that are coming forth. The season that if I fail to embrace it, it will soon go to pass, and I will miss the golden time. In the time that I sought after Him, it felt like the tugging of my heart was within this 2 choices:

(1) Abraham (Genesis 12-25)

Abraham, a man who was willing to let go of familiarity, customs, things he knew, his precious son, for a God-given destiny. Abraham, a man who was willing to go through separations for his Lord. Abraham, who inherited all the treasures of his generation. Abraham, a man who desire the Lord more than anything.

Or

(2) The rich young ruler. (Mark 10:17-27)

A man, who was unwillingly to let go of his possessions to chase after God. A man, who value possessions more than God. A man, who sought after world possessions, rather than God.

And in all His audible voice, He told me to choose for myself which way would I go. I have longed set my heart to be a pilgrim of this world, a citizen of heaven and a love slave of God, but that does not mean, it is easy to let go. In a certain environment, a certain job, it might have been seen that it was the right journey to go towards, but it does not mean its from God.

The certain desires in my heart, it seems good enough, but unease will form. And I know in my heart that God has chosen another path for me, and He had repeatedly told me this words,” Be brave” and “I will never let you falter away”. Even if it meant, facing nights of loneliness, of despair, of tears, I should still obey His very words. I have learnt that I was not called to give up. I am called to obey Him and whatever cost. And if it seems like I have hit a hard place in my life, don’t whine, just pray. To come to God in boldness, so I could bring the power of God down.

A trust like Abraham’s. To leave the things I am familiar with to set out on a whole pursuit of God. A faith’s like Abraham’s. To believe that all things will work together for my good, that the Lord will never leave me where I was. A sacrificial heart like Abraham’s. Knowing that the things laid down for the Lord will always be worth it.

The new century, the new age, what is common, and what is a social norm for the society. I may not have to physically leave home or my comfort, lay down my Isaac. But what exactly is the “Isaac” in my heart? The ‘Isaac’ in my heart is not a possession, but the understanding of people around me, the struggles and emotions seen by the few. That, over the course of 2017, while doing my best in recognizing the seasons of people’s life, being there for others, we could still be hurt by them. Will it be then, I lay down my ‘Isaac’ (my emotions) at the altar and choose to still love instead of hurting another with words we will regret?

Maybe, just maybe, the end times death of people caused by war were not physical, but of emotional death. When the new age death is losing attention on social media, is going down to a certain level for a recognition, owning things to show off to the world that you do not care about. John Green’s paper town says it best,

“Here’s what’s not beautiful about it: from here, you can’t see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. You can see how fake it all is. It’s not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It’s a paper town. I mean, look at it, Q: look at all those culs-de-sac, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I’ve lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.”

And I pray, in my 2018, the new season of letting go, my heart will thirst and hunger for more of the Godly things in life. That, in all the separation that I choose to go through for the Lord, all the paths I choose to take, though it might get lonely and quiet, it might get tough, that even when my familiar and comfortable world will shake because of what God is doing, the purification and cleansing, I will come out stronger, and purer for Him to use me.

And I pray that the people God will put around me, will give me the grace to fall, the understanding to be afraid, the embrace I need, when words fail me, when tears filled me, and when my heart is going to continue being broken by Him. And I pray that even when all people fail, God will give the grace to be understanding, the wisdom to know, the understanding to hear, and the hands to pick them up. If I can’t, then let it be from Your strength.

2018, I am ready.

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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.

 

His hands that never fails.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:28‬ ‭

Something in me that was broken, has always made me wonder, how did I not feel my mother’s love for me. That when I was busy seeking and pursuing love from other people who have been hurt, my mum has been waiting for me. When I was younger, I would have said that, yes I did grew up in a home of an abuse family, not so much in the domestic or physical abuse, but on the emotions part. We grew up in a society of comparisons and social stigmas of how a girl should be. Along with that, it came with the pressure of being not good enough, and struggles with being a human. To be a human being, not a human doing. And this struggles, along with my emotions, and strong willed, of being unable to understand why is there a code of conduct of how a girl should be, has caused grieve to my mum and even myself.

I was different. I could not fit into the standards of my relatives, as someone who could sing and dance. I was not smart enough as compared to my cousins. I did not want to have a degree in something I did not love, just because it was important. I wanted to be me. I was not tall enough, not skinny enough, and to top it all, I was having some skin problems. And inferiority kicks in. But I was me. I was compassionate enough, kind enough, and filled with empathy for the people around me. And I love that side of me, writing, making cards, and handmade gifts for people I cared for. But this wasn’t a quality they were looking for. They said being smart is more important than being kind. And I lived my life defying that order that intelligence is better. 

Before I knew Christ, I could not accept the condemnations from people around me, and so I fell into depression. I was hurting myself so much that I knew that nothing else could hurt me. I slit my wrists, I cried in the night, I fought in school so much that my parents was asked to school on a regular basis. But little did I ever know, my mum was broken on the inside. I got a little older, and I decided to build walls around my heart, so nothing could hurt me. It was this time that I can no longer feel. My world caved in darkness, I had no friends, and I kept myself at home after school. I refused to talk, refused to listen and refused to heal. It went on for a long time, and I could no longer relate with people. I stopped turning up at my relative’s place. It got so bad that I could not even work in a group during my college years. And during this times, no matter what my mum did, I was unable to empathize anymore. Every argument with my parents led to bitterness and suicidal thoughts. I have murdered myself countless times in my heart.

I was wrecked, but God knew better. I went to church when I was 20 on Christmas Day, and I met God. Yet the me inside could not resonate with it. Why would someone give His life for me, and why should I allow His love to come inside of me, when I am not sure if He will leave again. So I hardened my heart for the whole year. Things did not change for the better at home, alongside with getting to know myself, and finding out who God is, I fought with my identity at home. I fought with my parents to break the social stigma of being a girl. And all this times, I made my mum cry, and brawl her eyes out by hurting myself in front of her. I stayed out late, so as to avoid seeing her. But my mum was faithfully waiting for me. When I was 23, even after attending bible school, there was a part of me which can never resonate with forgiveness. I could not forgive my mum for not attending the big events in my life, my birthdays and my graduation. And I decided to leave home after a big argument. A argument that led my mum to have sought help from a counselor from her break down. Yet the purpose of separation is to lead us to reconciliation. And through this separation, i found my identity, my walls broke down and we came to an understanding of one another. Everything was made beautiful in His time. God healed me, and He healed my mum.

And for the first time in my life, my family is planning a trip to travel together. God has given divine healing in our hurts and relationship. And to my mum, who have love unconditionally, served faithfully, give ungrudingly, and forgive endlessly, thank you. Thank you for removing the social stigmas from my life, and allowing me to be who I want to be in Christ. I may not earn the most money, be the smartest, prettiest and I might even make you angry, but my promise is that I will honor and love you. I was able to go for 5 missions in 6 months because you chose to allow me to stick to my heart desires and dreams. And this destiny that is unfolding right before my eyes has allowed me to be excited and anticipate His hands. Thank you for holding my hand and walking me into my destiny. I pray that this year God’s hands will move in your heart and life. Thank you mom. Happy Mother’s Day. You have shown me what love is. 

The time is now. (Esther)

I was born for a time such as this.

Esther 4:14-17 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.


Background: In the book of Esther, Esther was a Jew who lived in the time of Persia. She was brought to the palace when the King was looking for a new queen. Esther won the favor of the king, and became the queen. Haman wanted the Jews to perish, but Mordecai went to persuade Esther to stand up for her people. Esther got her people to pray and fast and stand in one accord together with her. Esther rose up to the time, and made her request to the king and saved the Jews.

Esther is a woman, like all of us here. I pray that whenever I read the story about Esther, I will know that as a woman, I can do great things for God. 

So, here is 3 things I learnt from Esther: 
#1 We need to know our position when we serve. (Esther 2:9,17)

Esther 2:9, And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem. 

Esther knew what she needs to do when she was in the palace. She needed to be at the top, to be able to be the queen. Similarly for us, we need to know our position when we serve, and do what we are good at. We must not be envious of who other people is. We are all made uniquely by God. Can you imagine what will happen if Esther was being envious of others?
In Ephesians 4:16 “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Esther knew her position in the palace, and she gave her best when she served. Similarly, we need to know our position, and work together with one another so that God’s glory can come upon us. When we do that, people will begin to see God’s love in us.

In Esther 2:17 “The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”

Esther won the favor of the king and people by knowing her position.

2. We need to recognize the season of our people (Esther 4:14-16, Esther 5-6)
Esther 4:14-16 “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!””
Like how Esther recognized the season her people were in, and she stood with them. We need to learn to hear our people and have a greater heart to empathize with our people. 
So what do I need to hear?
H – heart: we need to hear the things on their hearts that has been weighing them down.

E – experiences: Everyone goes through different experiences in life, and we need to hear the things that people have gone through in the life.

A – agonized: We always think that we understand the pain in someone’s life, but we never really do. It’s like giving birth. I may have given birth before, but I will never know the kind of pain you have gone through, because we are not them.

R – rejoice: we need to learn to celebrate others.

I am chosen by God today to serve the next generation. Do not despise what we are doing because the children will be the leader of tomorrow. The ceilings we are building today are the floor for the next generation. Help can always arise from another place if we fail to hear the cry of our people, but we need to know that God has personally chosen each of us here today, to make a difference by learning to hear the cries our people.

Lastly,

3. We need to stand in one accord with our leaders. (Esther 4:15)

Esther 4:15-17 “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.”

When Esther ask the people of the Jews to fast and pray, they did. Sometimes, we might not see the purpose of doing what our leaders ask us to do. During those times, can we still stand in one accord with our leaders?

We need to know and believe that our leaders are God’s appointed. At the walls of Jericho, the people might not understand why Joshua march around it 7 times, but they stood with him. It is during those times that we have to ask ourselves are we able to stand in one accord with the dreams and vision that God has placed in our leader. Lets me enlarge my heart today, and trust that God has placed them above me for a reason.

She loved.

I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.

When school started, I told myself to put my self out on the line, to know people, and to love people. To everyone else, be a listener, hear their dreams, fight with them, and live it with them. Hear every stories that I get too, and more importantly, be a friend. And that was one of the toughest job that I have ever done, and been through. I did not exactly know how to love another. I have been so guarded, so hurt, so depressed, that most of the times, relating to others require a huge amount of faith from me. It’s never easy to let down my guards and tell myself that I am going to be safe. But everything that I have today, I fought for it. I fight each day, trying to be better, not for anyone else, but me. Walking into a big crowd with unknown people always scare me, that at times, the unknown silence fall right into me. 

I don’t need a big pulpit, nor the limelight. I was happy being me, doing the unseen things, and living my life the way I thought to be right. I fought hard to be here, and I love the way I am. Even though there were times that I failed, God did not. He sustained me, and gave me the courage to fight on. Even when walking to an unknown. There were many times that I hated the girl in the mirror, but every battle that I fought, I made sure to come out stronger and better. To know that the person in me, was more than who I am. It is the Lord working in my heart, the Lord who said I was enough. 

Over the past 6 months, I have heard many stories, I stood with many people for their dreams. And it blessed my heart each time I could be a blessing to the people around me. And that’s what is important. Elevating the dreams of others, standing in agreement and living out their life with them. It has always been enough for me to be able to give a little portion of my life to someone whom I know will appreciate it. I have clearly put my heart out on the line, living out the verse 1 Corinthians 9:22 and trusting that healing and mending would come upon me. And God always did come true for me. And I thank God that His love have overwhelmed my heart, that I can have it outpouring to the life of others. 

At the end of the day, all I want is to hear You say well done. Just a smile from You would suffice. 

Crossing Oceans.

What is exactly loving others?

I do not know how to love halfway, or partially. For me, loving someone is crossing oceans for people who might not even cross a puddle for you. Love, to me comes with no return and no expectancy. It is giving off yourself sacrificially. I do not know anything about playing it cool, I would have rather been kind a thousand times, and get hurt, then never to try at all. I would rather love and get hurt than to never love at all.  I would have gone down on bended knees, again and again, just to learn to serve His people, with all my heart. Love is ultimately more than a feeling. It is a choice you make every single day when you wake up in the morning, of being nice. Everyone is somehow fighting a battle, and being nice is the best I can offer.

Yet, stepping out of the comfort zone, requires an extreme huge part of me. The part that I have to forget myself. The self that was so used to people walking out on me, and so guarded that it does not come easy. There are days that I do wish I was better, somedays that I wished I was not that weak, not that needy of my own personal space and time. Even at the attempt of wanting to give my best, there were times that my carnal nature would fail me. Hanging out with people requires an effort that was never easy for me. And I never understood how did people make it sound so easy that I am not trying. Because I have never stopped trying since the day I smiled to someone.

In all effort, my life mission and verse still remain steadfast as 1 Corinthians 9:22. That in all times, I still want to be all things to all man, so by some means, they could see You. Those battles that I fought inside, should have remained in me, and not shown to anyone else. Today, when I stood back for the introvert time, Your presence overwhelmed my heart once again. Your presence never cease to amaze me. And here I stand, in awe and wonder of who You are. Every single time, when I need You, You come like a rushing wind, settling in my needy heart. And that is enough for me.

Truth is, I never exactly needed anyone. I only needed God, and having simple people in my life. For me, I was complicated enough in my own thoughts, and it does not come easy for me to relate to any others. Yet there were days when I drowned in the questions of my own head, God has never failed to put people in my life, for me. And in my heart, I knew God must have known it from the start, who was here to stay.

Sometimes, I still wished I was better. Not for anyone, but You.

 

My life as a sacrifice.

” Not my will, but Yours be done”.

As often as it seems that I write about my dreams and visions, there was a price that I had to pay for sustaining my dreams. Everyone else has different dreams, and as often as it seems, my own dreams scare me. Not in a way that would intimidate me, but in a way of having put down by others around me. Whether it was people I love, or the disappointments I left for forsaking the dreams that had been planned out by my leaders. Yet, through it all, my prayer to God each and every time, is as simple as telling Him that I want to be used by Him. And above all else, not my will, but His be done. And clearly I know, that each time the unsettlement in my heart has already told me that this is not from God. 

Before coming to bible school, I held on steadfast to my dreams of serving in Children Church. I hanged on thinking that this is the desires I have in me to go full time. I love children church, it helped me found who I am, and what I was called to do. Yet the desires of my heart was not to stay here. I’ve been running and holding, applauding with the vision of this church, yet my heart did not find the peace that I needed, it did not resonate. And sometimes, it scares me to be different from my peers. So I shove it away. Yet in this 5 months here, God has revealed, again and again that maybe, just maybe this isn’t my call. What if God has already set me apart right from the beginning. What if I was called to be different. And what made it harder at times was knowing that perhaps this journey might be a long, lonesome journey. A journey that I have to fight alone.

But neither silver nor gold, nor any worldly goods could keep me away from His hands and His grace, nothing in this world could satisfy my longing to be near to Him, searching for Him that even though I know the path ahead may be hard, but God will sustain me, and He will be enough for me. Being broken and broken over again to know that through it all, His love is the one that matters to me. While walking through the dark surrounded with noises, there was that one voice that I was searching for. And there and there, You came and spoke to me, in a way that I’ve never known. You knocked on my heart, calling out to me, to listen to You and not get moved away. Your presence flood my heart in this darkness, and I, I could hardly speak. How am I worthy to feel Your love in such a manner. 

I became cautious with my heart, and even the dreams You have placed in me. Waiting on the one thing that matters. No matter how much I wanted to fall in love, the barricades to this was the dream that You have placed in me. I’m not willing to trade my dreams from You for a relationship that cannot be sustained. So, while searching for the dream, working and running towards it, I can only trust, trust that through it all, You will send someone who run the same vision with me, to be at least the support I need. Someone who doesn’t play games with me, but the simple hearted man who loves God, and loves people. And till then, my heart will never be ready to accept anyone in.

Someone asked me this over the week, about why am I feeling less about myself than I should have. And why am I questioning if I am doing enough. This answer was not an answer that I could have given so  easily. Loving others and running their vision with them may be easy, but it’s a conscious effort and decision every day that I have to choose love. Even when it is hard, and almost to the point of impossible, I prayed for capacity. Not so as to please man, but if to love is to see the face of God, then how can in love anything less than my best. The way Jesus chose love, was to be big hearted. And Jesus loves people, and if I want to be close to Jesus, I have to love people. And anything less than my best would not have been enough to please my King. A price or sacrifice that I am willing to pay over and over again by lowering myself in front of Christ, on those blended knees, being a fool for Him, and just loving His people and be vulnerable to others. It’s never that I feel lowly or not confident, but if being on top of man, makes me unable to serve them fully, then Lord, help me to be on blended knees again and again to serve Your people. I would have chose to bear this cross over again, just to be close to Him. 

I live my life deemed not worthy enough to serve my King. But again, how is it that my King would still choose to die for one of me, that He would lay Himself down for a me that is not capable enough. But if You can and You will, then use me. Use me, so that I owe no one anything but love, and let Your love manifest through my life to others around. This cross that I bear is worth it in exchange to the the infinite value of my King. A finite me, used by the most infinite King. My life is a constant daily pursuit of pressing deeper into Your word, and Your love. And again and again, break me, and keep breaking me. Elevate me only when I am deemed worthy to be used by You.