Home and Away

my faith, my life, in a faraway land Livin', inspirin & lovin' it

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

A note of thanks

Having to struggle with finances is not something I had to face when I was younger. It's probably not an issue of age I'm getting at. Many of my peers are still carefree about this issue. But it has to be that my family is now heavily affected by the economic downturn that brings me to a realization that my parents could no longer shelter me as I had wished they could have.

I've always been known as straightforward, frank and sometimes even blunt. I'm quick to speak my mind which may not be good all the times. My financial situation has humbled me tremendously and I've learnt more to be an observer.

Throughout these couple of weeks, I've noticed the best and maybe the worst.. or rather, the not-so-good side of my friends. It's where the cliche 'a friend in need is a friend indeed' comes in.

It's the thoughts that counts and this entry is to thank friends who really put me so closely to their hearts during my most difficult times.

I wanna thank Charles who offered to lend me his Australian politics textbook for a semester so I could save the $58 needed to buy it. I would also like to extend gratitude to Eugene for offering me a place to stay at the end of the year.I wanna congratulated Melissa for the good position she is at with getting the exchange scholarship and her willingness to help me financially if she was really being blessed with that. I also wanna thank Regina for telling me that she would definitely help me if she had the money. I wanna thank Cherry for offering to send me money when she gets a job. And Joe for being willing to lend me a part of his savings for his travels next year. I also appreciate that Shu Hui has offered to lend me her SLR camera which I need for my exchange if she were to get a new one. And also to my housemate, Reno, who will most likely offer to provide the 'feed' when my barn runs out of corn. Not to forget Suet Syn who thanked me for encouraging her to go on an exchange.. it's encouraged me to know that I've encouraged her. And last but not least, friends who have been constantly praying for me... people I know of are Mel again, Kath, Eunice, Daniel and so on... If I forget anyone, you will know who you are. It's all written in my heart seriously, nobody's missed.

I thank God for this situation as it's made me appreciate friends around me even more. I'm convinced that I'm writing a success story and thank you all for playing a part in this.

Applause... Clap Clap Clap ;)

Sunday, July 18, 2004

the walk coming to an end

I've come to realize that it was probably His will that I found my 'pit' (Lin, 2004). The outburst of yesterday and this morning saw a horizon slowly emerging from my darkened world.

I couldn't find the right words to describe how I had felt... why I was frustrated and just wanna cry. I guess the closest I could get to explaining myself was that I just wanted to be a normal human being for a while. A normal human being who could openly express her fears, her worries, her sadness.

I'd been trying hard to be a 'saint' I guess. Trying not to worry, trying not to think about things. I spoke faith to people around me. I told myself, "It's ok, just keep walking" and believe that every negative thing that was being said to be was just lies. Yes they are. These are facts of the spiritual world I'm in. Believe, faith, grace, believe, faith, grace.

But I've forgotten that I was just a human. The more I try not to worry, the more I do. I'm like a girl in a 'big big world' like what many of my friends would describe me as. The difference is that they thought of me as strong while in fact, I was totally worn out and spiritually weakened. I was tired of bracing myself up everyday and saying it's okay to take five steps forward and be pushed back three. I probably made myself weaker trying so hard to be strong.

I cry out to Him everyday. Yes, I run to him. But again... humans... I feel like I wanna be hugged, be touched, be told it's all been taken care of... physically. I don't wanna feel like I'm talking to myself.

I was angry with God like any other daughters if they had felt their dads didn't give them a hand when they fell. And I was glad He understood all that.

This morning, I prep talked myself to get out of bed to go to church. I felt like He should have something to tell me. But like any child throwing a tantrum, I knew I wanted to see and talk to Him but I just wanted to be seen as though I couldn't care less anymore.

I rushed to the subway in time to catch the only train in the hour anyhow.

So well, He did try to 'coax' me on my way to church. The train stopped extra long at Roma Station interchange and He put a humming bird on the platform while I was looking out the window. It was a very cool-looking black and white bird. It hopped from left to right and right to left as if it was doing a hip-hop dance. It wasn't bothered about dancing in the public with people looking. I looked at it and thoughts just flooded my mind.

"If I could be as carefree as you" I thought.

And it was then, a verse from the book of Luke struck me. "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more values are you than the birds?" Tears welled up instantly and for many other moments during the journey as I thought about this.

But a stubborn child I was. I refused to talk to Him.

I finally reach the church. Was supposed to meet Regina at the lobby before entering the hall but she was nowhere to be seen (later I realized she was waiting for me at the other lobby). I could have still waited but I decided that I probably needed some time away from people I know. I wasn't sure what He was gonna tell me and I don't wanna burst out crying beside people I know of. I walked briskly to one of the front rows and sat with people I haven't meet before. I gave Reg a message to tell her I was already in but stopped short at telling her where I was sitting.

Indeed, He had something in store for me. In fact, I thought He probably prepared the whole service just for me. The songs He chose.. hey.. were all about shouldering the burden for me, that He cares.. that He loves me. I wept throughout.

Then Pastor Wayne preached on attitudes of Christians to fellow Christians.. wasn't exactly apt to how I was feeling but the example he used.. How God fed five thousand.. was a reminder of His abundance. I noted that and said 'okay...' I was starting to relent.

"Do you know God loves you? Do you know He loves you?" Pastor Wayne asked at the end of the service.

By then, I was already weeping non-stop. Kath's held me in her arms whispered into my ears, "Do you know how much it worries Him to see you like this? ". I could no longer be angry with my Father above. I just felt like He's pulled me into His arms again and told me that He knows how I feel and that He's sorry that I'm feeling this way but He loves me.

Faith is believing before seeing. The breakdown has allowed me a time to review my level of faith. I'm definitely feeling better than days before... at least I'm more childlike now...and I know my Father's in control.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Sorry Abba but I need a break..

Ever had the experience of thinking about all the problems you are dealing with and the possible hurdles you may encounter. Coupled by the bad, the sad, the past.. yes the past. All the emotions from these events come together. Woo... that's formidable I think. At least potent enough to keep my tears flowing.

It's one of those days.. actually one of those very few days when I allow myself to 'let loose'. Maybe I shouldn't. It makes me feel so vulnerable, with tears streaming down my face as I'm typing.

Life is so difficult for me that I've gotta rely on His grace everyday. Isn't this what everyone hopes for? His grace. Maybe not for me at this moment. I just feel so angry with myself for saying this and I know I don't mean it that way. But I just feel tired having to take baby steps everyday.. am I getting near? It seems so.. but it's getting more difficult too.. and it's still baby steps?!? When can I start to run? I know I'm impatient but I just feel so alone now. No one truly understands.

I played Pastor Prince's CD this afternoon. He said people don't feel God's presence all the time but it doesn't mean He's not with us. I know that! I guess I'm just choosing to shut myself from Him right now. I'm tired on relying on Grace. Call me unfaithful.. I just need a break.

He understands I'm sure.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Difficult walk

 
Decision two years ago,
made to follow Him.
Was all blissful and gay,
Now still is and even more.
But only realised the meaning to
follow Him is not easy.
It puts me at a crossroad,
everyday of my life.

It not an exchange of efforts,
but a choice for eternity.
Thus, everyday I choose to give up,
some pieces of the world.
They were dear to me,
and maybe even now, still.

I cry out everyday,
'How difficult it is,
to walk the road with You!'
But staying steadfast to my choice,
is something I will do.

Suffering is nothing,
knowing the happiness to come.
And the hurt I'm experiencing now,
is a reminder of abundance of grace abound.
I thank Him for the difficult walk,
for Life is being overcome,
when eternity is found.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Crossroads

Crossroads. How often do we find ourselves at a crossroad?

I was once again stirred watching Tom Hanks on 'Cast Away'.

How vulnerable are we human beings and how natural is it in us to just look for anyone else or any object to take our mind off something else that might affect us?

Chuck in the movie (casted by Tom Hanks) found himself on an isolated island after the Fed Ex plane he was on crash during a storm. After an initial struggle, Chuck finally got used to life on the island. He learnt to start a fire, spear fish from a distance and collect rain water for consumption. But these were not the things that kept him breathing. What kept him alive was a gold locket with his wife, Kelly's (casted by Helen Hunt) photo and Wilson (a 'Wilson' volleyball which was one of the few parcels that was washed ashore with him) and a parcel that he had kept sealed so that he could deliver it when he's saved.

Oh the other hand, Kelly had never believed Chuck was dead. But a funeral was still arranged and an empty coffin was buried. She was also told to go out with new guys to 'proof' that she has recovered. So she eventually remarried and had a daughter with her new husband.

Chuck eased in to life on the island but he's hardly given up thoughts of escaping and trying to make his way back. His chance came when a piece of steel was being washed ashore. He then made a raft in the fastest time while the wind was still blowing towards civilization. He tied Wilson to the raft and told him to 'sit back and let him to the rowing'. Wilson was his encouragement. And of course, Kelly's picture in the locket which he hung on his neck.

So Chuck braved through storms after storms with Wilson and Kelly in his mind. But one fine morning, The loosen rope caused Wilson to drift away from Chuck. Chuck was devastated at the discovery and tried to save the ball but failed. It was the scene where the object through he gave himself encouragement and advice, left him. He felt that he's let Wilson down, or really.. I thought it was that he thought he's lost his hopes to move on ... and he lied of the raft, not rowing for days and waiting for death.

But of course, as most stories go, Chuck was saved by a big tanker. It had been more than four years since he was being 'cast away'. But and of course, he had to face, yet another devastation of losing his wife to his 'death'.

Chuck's love for Kelly exhibited one of the best virtues in man- HONOR. It's because he honored the woman he loved that he has to let her go. How difficult is it when both parties love each other so deeply and yet have to be parted?

Kelly said "You are the man I love most in my life".

Chuck replied "You never know how upset I am to have to let you go".

Aaaawwwwwwwwwwwww.... How many crossroads do we have to be in each lifetime. How often do we have to make such life-changing decisions. And how often do we really realise that we are at a crossroad and have to make the right decisions?

The last scene of the movie showed Chuck on a crossroad at the outback after sending the parcel which kept him alive. He was looking at the maps and trying to figure out which direction he was to take now. No doubt it meant more than a journey on the road, Chuck was at a crossroad where he had to make the next decision which would affect the next part of his life. This is an idea from the movie which I've not realised from the last time I watched it.