Where I’ve survived.

My sins would have drive the nails in You. That rugged cross was my cross too. Yet, You still called me beautiful.

7 weeks in an entire foreign land, in New York City, has been nerve wrecking, filled with anxiety and fear, yet each day, I still feel like I am walking in a dream that God placed in my heart as a young girl. The dream to love and serve children who are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed, perplexed but not in despair. How amazing that appearances, or the way we dress does not matter as much than the lives I get to touched, little by little.

They told me that Disneyland is a place where dreams come true, the place where you live happily ever after. Yes, I am really happy, but I’ve come to realize that there’s something that give me a joy that this world can’t satisfy, being in Metro World Child. Walking in this dream is one filled with tears, self hatred, and being not good enough, yet at the same time, just a single smile from them, could have changed my life. When you learn to see beyond your own needs, and meet the needs of others.

Here, it’s when I have to say goodbye to my fear and insecurities, and believed that I was chosen for a time such as this. Here, it’s where I have to remove the words,” I’ve survived”, because the struggles I go through, hard as it may seems, could not be compared to the ones I have seen. The city where they don’t know when their next shower would be, when will be the last time they smile. Here, it’s when I realized despite my sad childhood, at least I know when my next meal would be. And it’s in this place where I realized that this children had a scarier childhood than I’ve had.

Break my heart for what break Yours, became one of the scariest prayer that one could pray. There’s too many things that break my heart in this city. And in seeing the desperate needs of this kid, my heart was compelled. Every single tear they cried, became so precious to God and to me. They did nothing wrong to deserve to be where they are. And if I have so much, why can’t I give it to those who have so little. Each day, I learnt to see each one I meet as someone made from the image of God and in His likeness.

Love is seeing the darkness in someone yet denying the impulse to jump ship. And my prayer is that I will use God’s love to manifest out of my life, to love and embrace every single person that I will meet. To love faithfully, fearlessly and boldly. Because all that I have, words could not be enough to comprehend.

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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 will heal me, and He will heal my mum.

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.

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. 

Brokenness, faith and obedience

Faith || Peter had to leave the ship and risk his life on the sea, in order to learn both his own weakness and the almighty power if His Lord, If Peter had not taken the risk, he would never have learnt the meaning of faith.

Its been 4 months of learning how to live by faith, and staying obedient to God’s word. When I first took up the role in my ministry, I set myself down, in front of God, and told Him that I had nothing in my hands, I was broken, torn apart, but Lord, if You can, use me. I will be Your empty Vessel. Wherever You called me, I would go.

In this 4 months, I had great struggles. I cried. I kneeled down in front of His altar, again and again. I questioned myself. I doubt myself. I asked myself times and times again, if God really chose me. Many times, I just wanted to hide in my cave, and not do anything. I didn’t felt worthy of the call by God. Many nights, I cried over and over again.

However, these were also the nights that I encountered God even more. His hands, gently scooping me up, assuring me that I was enough. In this 4 months, I did whatever I could. Even if I am not up to it, I stood out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t ready to be a Team Leader, was not ready to serve in more areas of Harvest Kidz. But as God called, I wanted to move in with it. And this 4 months, it has been one of my best year yet. I stood up to pray for the kids, I stood up to lead games in the bus. I pushed myself out of my hole, to fellowship, to make friends with people I barely knew.

The challenge of being obedient to God’s word and His call has not been easy. I struggled so much to listen to His every word. But one thing that I have learnt, through all this was that if we can’t see His hands, we got to trust His heart. He knows we can handle all that He called us too. Being obedient requires faith, and having faith requires obedient. In this 4 months, it felt like I had been in the ministry for 4 years. All my experience with God had left deep mark in my heart.

And I know above it all, God really loved me. He place people, leaders and so many nice friends in my life, to support me, to take my endless questions. And I thank God, for giving me all this. It was more than I deserved, but You chose me. Thank You Jesus. This will be the same thoughts that I have, setting myself at Your feet. Telling You over and over agin, if You are willing, use me.