Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I haven’t been blogging for the entire month of December because well, it has been really busy. And I am truly sorry that the good and bad times passed so quickly.
Well, work has not been very optimistic. I am just too immensely lazy to explain the entire situation here. If I did, I am pretty sure everyone would be too immensely lazy to read or understand it anyway. So let’s save the pain for something else of more worth. Over time, I have accepted that I may lose my job and need to look for something else, but the worry and anxiety about the huge uncertainty has slipped away into the back of my consciousness. I have stopped thinking so much about strategies and options and plans. It will work out alright. I am leaving it to God.
Then there was the church’s youth camp. Just thinking about this and trying to recall what happened during the camp and in the course of preparing for it.. sends shivers down my spine. I can’t even begin to explain what a painful journey it has been for me preparing for the camp and how many friendships were in the risk of being destroyed because I had some very strong opinions about how youth should be mentored and how organisation/planning needed to be done. Looking back, I am glad that I didn’t quit when things got bad and uncomfortable. Actually, now that it is all over and I look back, I see God’s hand in everything. What I thought was bad at that time, well, it still seems bad now (and I don’t ever want to experience that pain of not being able to worship again), but I now see why the bad incidents worked out for the better. If it weren’t for all those painful things, I wouldn’t have appreciated the goodness that came out of it. God was simply amazing, and I think he really saw our hearts for Him. The hearts that struggled to stay as one so that we can serve Him, the hearts who fought each other because we felt that there was a better way of serving Him, the hearts that refused to give in to each other sometimes because we wanted to worship and serve Him the best way we know how even if it somehow clashes with others, the hearts that were lost, hurt and confused in this whole mess but still choosing to continue because of Him.. it was no easy feat. I am not proud of myself and the team for achieving this distance and still call each other confidently – siblings in Christ, because I know the magic did not lie with us, it was Him.
We pathetic beings couldn’t even play a song properly if not for Him. You may understand how I feel if you serve in your church’s music ministry too, or just ever played a song in worship to God. Without Him, there will be no reason for me to do music, in whatever form.
And then there was the birthday, which was all sorts of sweet and amazing. I never said this to many people. But things happened a few years back, plus growing up.. I kinda lost my taste for birthday celebrations, and never really thought much of birthdays, whether my own or others. I only celebrate birthdays because I think it means something to that person, and I want to well, erm, show my appreciation for those people. When I was younger, birthdays were all the rage, and I had expectations for how I wanted to spend my birthday. It is a special day and how to spend it – that’s my decision, and all plans should be made on my terms. Gradually, of course, I didn’t care at all about birthdays, and I don’t really expect people to celebrate for me either.
I kinda decided if I treated it like any other day, then there would be no room for disappointment. If no one cared, I don’t have to feel the pain. If I ‘forgot’, then I don’t have to feel hurt if everyone else forgot too. If people did, then well, I would really feel super loved, and my spirits can be lifted right up to the sky. Though I guess in a way, I slowly grew up thinking and believing I am not worth any appreciation or celebrating. Thanks to a few groups of people over the years, but oh well.
Since coming back into ministry a year ago, birthdays in general became important again. I started writing down birthdays of people I love in my calendar again. And I took efforts to celebrate with them, some kind of feeble… I will do better next year! On the other hand, my own birthday remained hidden as a potential source of disappointment and perhaps shame. But coming back to church really changed so much.
In 2013, the entire camp celebrated it with me. From the campers to the leaders to the subcommittees to the main committee members to my siblings, they all knew and well, hid it from me, and then burst into celebration when I had to signal the opening of the campfire in the evening. In 2014, no weird camp in Dec (Thank God!!!). I just planned it like any other day like I would have in 2012 and before. Somehow ended up giving tuition, volunteering at Salvation Army and meeting the Ninja mentors for a meal. My tutee wished me happy birthday, the SA volunteers sang me a humble birthday song at Starbucks, and I kinda stupidly thought that was the end of it. Who knew my two juniors in the mentors team went to invite a bunch of random people to come surprise at Starbucks? I already mentioned this in an Instagram post – so I shan’t elaborate more. Just, well, thanks everyone. I am shocked that you found it worth the effort, the time and all that traveling. I would have thought, for a person like me, it would be a complete waste of time.
Christmas. It was just a few days after my birthday. Nothing really really special happened. By special, I mean something of eternal significance. But! It was my first Christmas as CGL, and it was really sweet to spend Christmas Eve on ice cream with all my cell boys. We were at first part of the entire group just making a fool out of themselves with the photo booth station at the side hall. Some of us have expressed our wishes to go for supper or leave, but no one was moving. I was really craving ice cream, so after playing along for a while, I decided to leave. And, my cell boys were just so nice and supportive they just went off with me. I never told them, but I thought that was one of the sweetest things people could do for me – when I don’t want to be in the crowd, it doesn’t always mean I want to be alone, and I am always elated when people I love offer to share that bubble with me away from the mess, even if it’s for a while. One of those things in life I wouldn’t trade.
I made cards, and I received cards. I honestly didn’t really expect to receive anything either. Like, I really never thought I would be worth writing to. Yeah.. I don’t know why I am weird like that. I am shocked to realise I mean something to someone. Which prompted me to tell one of my juniors – I really really need to go think about my spiritual gifts, something is going on here and I cannot comprehend any of it. If there is something I am doing right and people are blessed by it, I want to know what it is and how to give more of that – not to receive appreciation but in service to God. So yep.
Weddings. I am too lazy to go into this now. But congrats to Jiamian/Lisa, Beale/Peiwen. I am so happy for the four of you, in ways I can’t really describe. So, please be happy and may the Lord always be at the center of your individual lives, your marriage and the family you will create. 🙂
I will blog about countdown soon. That’s a long story with a few reflections I guess.
But it has been a good bittersweet December. 🙂