vivienaomi is currently in Klang, Malaysia.
DID YOU KNOW? Secret Recipe Malaysia appears to have a Teatime Special. So it’s a free drink (selected coffee or teas) for every cake purchased. 🙂 They also have free AND reliable Wi-Fi.
And, yep, I am doing my work here.
Before I came here with my homies and kids and whatever, I had this huge bawling session in the hotel. We had a sermon I suppose, I am not sure what was probably the original point of the sermon. I guess it was supposed to be for us to reflect on our attitudes during lay service throughout the year. I haven’t been the top pupil, obviously. I pretty much agreed with most of what Rev Thong had mentioned, both the good and bad. However, some things in particular called out to me.
There was this part where he kept talking about how we don’t invest in young people. He said that our church has been so blessed to have so many youths who wanted to seek God, who wanted to love God, but maybe are so misguided about the best way to do it or simply don’t have people to guide them along. I didn’t always have a passion for youth but in recent years, I feel like maybe I could contribute a bit more to the church through the youth and student ministry, which I really tried to step up to. I wasn’t perfect, of course. Now I am about to enter my third year of being a cell group leader, and I am honestly hungry for ideas and ways to make them grow. I want to invest in the youth of our church but I also feel heartbroken because I am also a youth. One that wasn’t invested in. I had to look and seek my own mentors in hard, lost and confused times. And maybe I am not leading my royal princes and princesses well enough because I am just simply too damaged and too messed up and too deprived of growth myself. How can someone like me give them something I always wanted but never had for myself? I found myself being hung up on this during the sermon itself, I didn’t exactly feel emotional, just well, about as calm (though slightly depressed) that I usually am when I think of my journey growing up.
To some extent, I am thankful for the fact that there weren’t more stringent requirements for lay leadership in my church. If it were way more stringent, then I may not have chosen to take up the role in the first place. If I didn’t, I suppose I would have grown so much as a person and as a leader. In some ways, I am disappointed by the lack of standards set for our leaders because I feel some leaders may really be bringing more harm than help to their children and I really feel like they can either do way much more, or just simply letting go. Sometimes, letting go is doing more. But I guess, to each their own. Everyone has their own experience and relationship with God that I know nothing about, and I suppose we could continue praying and trusting in God’s strength and power over His church and His people. It is not by us and our work but by what He can do through us broken vessels.
So then, after the passionate and occasionally demeaning-sounding sermon, we rose to sing a song. I am not even going to mention the title of the song because I really didn’t care for it at all. I started tearing during the first verse, and well, it just evolved into outright bawling. I honestly have very little idea of why I cried, it just came in waves, and I just felt so heartbroken at that moment in time. The feeling of helplessness, of wanting to do and achieve something but been shown the red tape or given the objections without legitimate alternatives..
I kind of recovered from my crying, and told myself, ‘okay, please don’t be irrational and emotional about this. you need to pick yourself up and go out and do something. Go out there and minister to those under your care and stop crying like an utter weakling for no clear reason.’ And then, Rev Thong did some sorta altar call – a rededication to ministry work and a commitment to stay and change the church, and asked all those who were willing to renew themselves to come forward to be prayed for. Which led me to break down in tears again as I struggled about whether to go up.
I thought about everything that I wasn’t and was. The qualities in me that I probably wouldn’t want in my leader or in the leader of my biological children. I thought about the tough times I went through as a lay leader – the disappointments, the unreasonable times, the humiliation, the misunderstandings.
In the end, I went up. I felt like everything was super emotionally charged – which was nice and probably felt pretty good… but it was also pretty alarming to see the number of people up there and wondering if people really do change for the better at all. I mean, there’s only so much of a gap a lone sermon can fill. If it’s not something that has been on your mind for a while, or something you believe in, what can a simple sermon do? But then again, God works in me and through me – He can work through anyone and everyone.
But then again, that’s everyone’s own accountability to God. I just told myself firmly and repeatedly all the time I was up there –
‘Vivien, don’t let this die. you got to do it because it’s the right and honorable thing to do. not because you feel like committing to this today, but because you say you love God, you got to do it. You got to just hold everything in and do it. Whether you get the support you need as a person or as a leader, just do the right thing.’