Friday, January 15, 2016

15/01/2016 Growing Pains

i forgot how much growth hurts and how it causes a deep, throbbing ache inside, and how much it unsettles everything i thought i knew.

because when i prayed for growth, i forgot that the most growth comes through pain and disappointment and failure.

so now-

i’m waiting for the winds to settle down so all the broken, unsettled, haphazard pieces can be picked up and rearranged once again.

because maybe. this internal turmoil is good for me. as it bangs against the walls of my bubble causing tiny breaks and microtears in its structure, as it stretches the fibres of what makes up my soul to allow for a greater expansion and remodelling for a renewed type of strength; as i am strained against different weights and forces so that i am able to withstand more -

if this is growth i will fight, and i will rest. i will strain, and i will allow myself to fall. i will push, and i will surrender - but i will not let go. because if this is growth, it is worth it.

Saturday, May 23, 2015


Just thinking. Of how much I actually desire approval. Approval of man, the people around me. Lets be honest: We want to be desired, even me - seen as desired, seen as popular, never offending anybody, be the nice person that never offends sensibilities, that whenever someone looks at they think: What a nice person. What a kind person. What a smart person. What a generous person. What an organised person. What a humble person. What a good person.

It's sickening to an extent. Because it can easily turn into chains that hold me down, a burden that weighs upon me - the burden of wanting to please everyone around me and needing to earn their approval. So tied down by the opinions of others that change so easily like the weather. Just a gust of wind from the mouths of another person, and someones perception of me will be so easily changed. And I know that if I try to attend to the whims and fancies of everyone's expectations around me, the one person that ends up getting knocked down and torn and tugged like a puppet all over the place will be me. It's not worth it, I know. It's a lifeless and miserable life to seek for the approval of fickle man. But even so, how long can the approval of others even last? How long till they change their minds and start to nitpick? That's human nature anyway. The way of the world. Then what happens when people despise me, try to bring me down? If I were to live my life trying to gain their approval... I would be crushed. And I would turn fickle as well, just like the people that I try to follow. Emotions changing one place to the next, changing opinions to conform to the people that I try to gain approval from.

There is a higher standard that I know deep in my heart calls to me. I was made to live in this world, but I was made to live for the Kingdom as well. The King, my Father. I desire to actually live a life that seeks the approval of the Only One that actually matters. Not fickle man. Because my God is constant, my God is Worthy of everything that I am. My God is.... He just Is. And He is the Standard that I desire. But it is so hard to fix my eyes on the One that only matters. So hard to grasp on to Him and keep choosing Him, over and over and over again. To look away from the world, from the conformity, from everything that screams at me to change my ways and words and thoughts and actions and demeanor to appeal to the people around me. But.... God has deigned us to BE the salt and light of the world. We were meant to bring Flavor, to bring Light - we can't blend in. We just can't. We were made to stand out.

And all this fear of man. Fear of what they would think of me. It's unreasonable. It's not what I was meant for. Once again - I am called to a higher standard. I am called to imitate Christ. And I am made for Him and Him alone, to please Him in all that I do, all that I am.

Sometimes (honestly, and I'm starting to learn to be more honest and open with myself and God, another subject for another time) I feel like crying because I am so far from where I want to be. So far from where I think God wants me to be. And the most ridiculous thing is that I know that He's still there. Still there. By my side. Still there to bring me through every failure and scrape and fall and bruise. And yet I still don't know why I keep putting the feelings of others above the feelings of this God who has never left my side. When He's still there. When He's worth it all.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

5 Months

First Semester is over. I want to reflect on how good God has been to me even during the times where I placed Him in the backseat because of my studies. The things that I constantly remind and repeat to myself would be:

Never think that you don't need God. Never say that you don't need Him.

Never think that your own efforts would be good enough. That your own strength in your work, your own hard work, is what will get you through everything. God is the One that grants me the wisdom to understand and study well, the one that gives me strength to go on when I feel so weak and the grace to live in freedom. I could never say that I don't need God. I could never say that my life would be perfectly fine and normal without Him. Such dangerous thoughts... To think that life would be okay without Him. To think that my own efforts would be enough to get me through life.

Wisdom comes from God. What He gives, He can take away.

Isn't pride such a dangerous thing? When you think that you've done it better, or thought things through better, or just anything that you think you're doing better than another. I'm realising that whatever wisdom I have, it comes from God. When I pray to God to give me wisdom, He does. And He doesn't give it so that I can lord it over others. Sometimes I honestly sigh in frustration when I see people act so... unwise. And I think, why can't they just be more wise about such things?! And God knocks me on the head. Would you not be as they are if you did not pray to Me for wisdom? Does not the wisdom that you have now, come from Me? And I am humbled. Repentant once again. There is a reason the wisdom was given, and not for self pride.

His faithfulness has held me throughout. As it will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

His grace and mercy and favour has shone on me. Ever evident during these 5 months from the moment I stepped foot into this university. When I first came, I was told there was no more rooms for me, but in the end I was given a room and a roommate that was the answer to my prayers. Got my laundry bag from the maintenance guy with zero fuss. Made so many good friends. Favour with lecturers. Favour with friends. So much mercy in His eyes that look upon me.

His Love. That never wavers. Although I do.

How do I deserve or even begin to understand the way He feels and thinks towards me? He is just... Too good to me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sometimes I'm afraid of prayer. Why? Because it means coming before God, no hiding. No more facades. No more disguises. It's coming to Him, exposed, dirtied, humble. Many times I've tried to hide while praying. It feels like... Like I'm hiding behind a wall and peeking out from the corner, and shouting to God what I want Him to hear. But Him being so much bigger, He can easily see over the wall to view all of me, but its just me that's hiding ridiculously and uselessly. I might as well come to Him with all my guilt and doubts bared for Him to see since He knows it all anyway. The only thing holding me back from Him, is me.

Sometimes I get afraid while praying. Why? Because it means trusting in Him. It means giving up control of the things I think I have in control. When I pray, Lord, teach me to trust in You. That's when I get really cautious and scared. Because I'm telling God to teach me, and I have no idea whats gonna come next or what He's gonna do in my life. God is so unexpected and His ways are so, so different. I can bet that whatever will come up in my life will be things that I've never even dreamt of happening. That's just the way God works, because His ways and thoughts are so much higher. And that's scary because it means I'm giving up control of my life, of what will happen next, it means that I'm allowing God to have His way in my life, whatever that may be. Whatever that may be.

I get cautious whenever I open my mouth to pray because I know God will work when we allow Him to, and not in the ways we expect. Cautious to the point that.. Maybe I do feel some fear of what God can do in my life. I mean if He wanted to destroy my life as a way to bring me to finally trust in Him, He could easily do that. And in my mind I realise that this is a pretty skewed perception of God.

God is good. Do I ignore the hundreds of verses regarding God's love, faithfulness and goodness? His very act of love that sent His sinless Son to suffer and die for me? Perfect love casts out all fear. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Perhaps I've been living away from perfect love for too long that fear has started to creep in. My first prayer will be for God to bring me back to Perfect Love.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015. Reflections.

God always pulls on my heartstrings and His Voice calls me Home each time. I just choose to close my heart and ears.

University has been intense. And time passes so fast. It's been more than 4 months I've been in this place, away from home. Learning how to navigate this concrete jungle, and coming to a realisation that concrete hearts live in concrete jungles. The greater the city, the more disconnected the heart. Everyone's looking out for themselves. Even me. It's selfish.

I'm coming to the end of my first semester. It'll be over by the beginning of February, then I'll be going back to my hometown for a month. Then 7 semesters more to go before graduation. It's crazy how fast time flies. It terrifies me.

The end of things are always a time of reflection for me. The end of 2014 has just passed, hasn't it? I began reflecting. To be honest I've stopped reflecting for a long time now because I knew deep inside that I wasn't satisfied with who I was and what I was. I pushed all questions and doubts about myself away from my head because I didn't want to face the fact that I wasn't happy with who I was. But the sudden realisation that time was passing way too fast and that I didn't want to wake up 5 years later burdened by the knowledge that I was still the same person I was 5 years ago, hit me like a ton of bricks. See, I don't believe in staying the same person. If you were the same person you were 5 years ago, doesn't that mean you haven't grown? Doesn't that mean that you've stopped trying to become better?

I faced the fact that I wasn't happy with myself at all. I didn't feel like I had grown much in the past 2 to 3 years. I was still the same person. Same thoughts, same heart, same stagnancy. I wasn't becoming better. I wasn't becoming worst either. I was just, stuck between two walls, walking back and forth, reading the same writings on the walls.

I'm tired of that. Tired of looking at the same walls. Tired of hearing the same voices echo back over and over again.

I'm turning 20 this year. I'll be a young adult this year. My physical age is growing but my soul isn't expanding to fill in those gaps. That's exactly what describes how I feel right now. That the years are stacking up but my heart is growing smaller. That makes me deeply, deeply unhappy. My heart aches, it is an enclosed pond where drought has dried up much of the water, and the water that remains has become stagnant. Hack away at the boundaries of this cracked and dusty pond, break through the caked up mud and mold me into new rivers and streams. I want to grow. That's my goal for 2015.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1:17

As I laid on the stone paved ground and stared up at the sky peeping through the leaves, I couldn't help but be reminded how blessed I am by God. Every good thing in my life comes from Him, and it is beautiful.

Serene thoughts at a friends apartment place. Such a beautiful place!

I walked around old town with a few friends yesterday. Perhaps the second time I've ever done it since all the robbery stories are enough to put me off ever walking around there alone. Look at the slabs of margarine! It's actually a very lovely and traditional place. 

 All the textures and colours and smells. An interesting part of our walk was when we saw a handwritten sign saying "Klinik Voon" hanging above a door that opened to a pair of wooden stairs. The stairs lead up to an area which opened up to three rooms. The left room was the clinic consultation place, the centre had an extremely old sign saying "DANGER : X-RAY" hanging above it, and the room on the right was closed with a radioactive sign posted on it. All the signs and doors were practically vintage! It looked, frankly, pretty dodgy and scary.... It was as if we had just entered 1960's Malaysia.

We daringly  walked up silently and took a peep through the wooden stair railings to look into the consultation room. There was an old man sitting at a table near the window, reading the newspapers. A creaky fan blew wind towards him, indicated by the slight movement of the papers. There was a counter near the door which I suppose was where the nurse would sit behind and get prescribed medicines from the shelves attached to the wall (if there were a nurse there). Even the counters and chairs and tables and shelves were ancient looking! A stuffed, worn-out sofa sat near the table, looking as though it had seen better days. The only thing modern about that place were the medicine boxes, shiny and glossy in all their pharmaceutical glory.

To me, it was a treasure to see. I wish I had thought to take pictures!

 When I am distraught...

 Sort-of scrambled eggs with sort-of grilled tomatoes and herbs.

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

29/06 Thoughts

A few thoughts occurred to me today. I believe many people don't believe in the realness of God because they've never pursued Him. They don't know Him because they've never tried to.

Sometimes we expect God to do everything for us. We say, "Oh, if God really loved me, if He really wanted me to know Him, if He wanted me to believe in Him, then He would....". Then He would come down in a crash of thunder and lightning, a loud voice booming from Heaven? Then He would part the clouds and before our eyes we would see a triple rainbow? Then He would literally, just literally, appear before our very eyes and tell us, show us, that He is real?

The thing is, God can do all those things. Why not? He has appeared to believers before their very eyes and He has spoken to so many of His people in an audible voice. Then why not Jesus just do that to all the unbelievers and make them believe He exists?

I also believe that it's because God is an ever-patient God with a love that is so abundant and everlasting and a grace that extends beyond all boundaries. It causes Him to want us to come to Him freely and willingly, instead of being 'forced' to believe that He exists.

Relationship is always a two-way thing. And God has done His part by sending His Son to die on the cross for us that we may come to Him freely. And God is always doing His part by constantly pursuing us and our hearts, sending so many opportunities for us to give our hearts to Him. He always extends His loving hands towards us for us to grasp.

It's us that don't do our parts in this relationship. It's us that don't respond, that don't run after His heart, that don't seek Him. It's us that ignores His outstretched arms in search of another saviour.

It's a conviction for me as well. How many times have I said to Him, "If You want me to know You so much, if You want me to love you with all I've got, then You should make me want to read the Bible. You should make me want to love You and desire You and seek You." Like a spoilt brat, crossing my arms and demanding that He give me what I want! And what relationship would that be without selfless sacrifice, pure love, and a willingness to give back all of me just as He has given me all of Him?

It's a revelation for me. That I am in a beautiful, intimate relationship with God my Saviour. And just as He always does His part, so I must do mine. By pursuing His heart and running towards Him. I want to capture His heart with all of my love and everything that I have. He is my Treasure.

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." James 4:8

".... Serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek Him, he will be found by you..." 1 Chronicles 28:9