pretty good March I guess

i have rather mixed feelings about how March went, or rather, since the last time I posted.

I am glad I am alive! I am glad God is good. 🙂

Been learning a lot about myself, people and finding some thrill in diving into the Bible.

Decided to embark on another potentially pricey travel trip this year for the sake of my own sanity, and to figure out stuff with God. On some level, it might not be wise, but I think it is necessary for me to find an undisturbed zone or place away from the hustle of Singapore. To reset my heart and my soul 🙂

I am learning to love what I have been given, and to rejoice in the small things, and to rise to bigger things. Rediscovering the power of prayer and feeling brave enough to pray with authority and respect. Also, I have a desire to move into bigger and greater things God has prepared. But… in that, there’s always the small things to fulfill, and I need to learn to do those faithfully. 🙂

isn’t there a right way to

find that someone?

aren’t there rules for the body to follow even when the heart cannot, or regardless of whether the heart wants to give in?

aren’t there things we must never ever give in to because it may cause misery and hurt and brokenness and irreparable damage to something so much deeper?

can’t we just hold it in and wait patiently?

can’t we just trust that the best will come and the best will be the one who does it right?

why do we allow ourselves to believe we deserve anything less than that?

or to believe that the person we supposedly love and who loves in return would deserve or require anything less than our best?

why do we continually choose speed and passion gratified over righteousness, hard-earned and hard-to-do respect and sweet patience?

why is there no value in ‘taking things slow’ and too much abuse in ‘let’s hang out and see where this goes.’?

why is waiting underrated while physical companionship and social status are over-glorified?

why do we rush into things and flee far far and away when our hearts get burnt in the quick fire?

why do we beg for things that aren’t for us? if you ever need to beg, that person is not worth it, and that person you want..is probably not the right person for you.

why do we merely settle for what’s available but not look forward to what God can bring to fruition, and trust in His timing?

why why why why is love so damn confusing and messy and burdensome, and why do we have such few examples to look up to?

what can we do? really, what can we do other than to go along with the tide?

what merit is there for us to go with the tide? what are we looking for, what do we want?

what are we made to enjoy?

still loved

i had so many thoughts but now that i open this page to record them… i find myself at a loss for words

 

this week has been one where life was so unfair to so many of us in some ways, but so good to us in others.

i felt so much for my friends when they lost their dad. i didn’t know what to say but just stayed around to help if needed. i didn’t want to crowd in on them further. i didn’t want them to entertain me with small talk and just chased them to bed and to do other stuff. it just hurt me to see them like that, even though we were not particularly close.

i felt a lot when i visited my friend’s church too. i started to see how privileged we were, and how readily we took everything for granted or as our own credit. how much do we really believe in one Church, one God? how far can i go to help them? when has it become competition – where sometimes i feel like we fight to be the best.. not for God, but between ourselves and for ourselves. i mean, what gain is there? what progress are we making? sometimes i feel like we focus on the wrong things.. and we chase the wrong things..if there is really a gap, why not we just move to fill it? we could.. we totally could.. no?

what is stopping us?

sometimes, i feel like i have to do certain things to be a better follower of Christ, and those things will only serve to turn some brothers and sisters against me. is there something wrong with all of us and our idea of what faith means? i do really wonder.

hungry for more

Student Camp 2016 is over.

I started out thinking I have no role and no place in this camp. Having went through almost every single committee, it seems as if I don’t really have a place to go anymore as a progression. I joined the logistics committee as a favour and a sign of support to a friend, and it’s probably the committee I feel most comfortable with. Old, comfortable people who love and appreciate me for who I am. It is really in this committee that I feel the most accepted and the most loved. And whatever we did, we did it together with laughter and joy and fatigue. I just signed up for logistics and for the worship team because I was offered and interested.

I never imagined I would be assigned the role of main medic for the camp. I fully thought that my friend Chelsea would have forgotten about it and just assigned me something seemingly normal like keymaster – whichhhh I wouldn’t mind doing though it can be burdensome, haha. But I am really really really thankful for the role of main medic. It allowed me to interact with students on a different level – one that I would never have expected, or craved, until now.

Through this journey of caring for and nagging over my ‘patients’, I found myself wishing I could heal physical pain and injuries in an instant, and then wondering if I can have the abilities to heal more than just physical pain. Then, I realised what Jesus must have felt when people kept asking him to heal them. What’s the point of healing the physical body when the spiritual self is rotting away? What’s the point of asking for gifts and miracles and blessings when it does nothing to build your spiritual being?

In this camp, I got familiar with one thing – spiritual hunger. This immense need to seek AND FIND God. To know Him. To experience Him. To see a glimpse of Him, not His work, but really Him – in whatever form. As adaptable beings, we get used to many things – but I can’t get used to hunger, much less, spiritual hunger. I craved Him so much that I found myself sitting physically in silence and just allowing my soul to search and to thirst and to surrender and to cry out. I never really got the answers or saw the things I thought I wanted to see.

I poured out my heart and my soul into playing for God on the keyboard. Be it praise and worship night or just a ‘normal’ session, I just let go and played my heart out in the live session, and it felt great to connect with God through things other than words and sometimes, meaningless and politically correct Christian jargon, and to see God work through all of that – is simply amazing. It is stunning to see how God blesses people who want to connect with him.

For some reason, I cried really hard during the last praise and worship session. I don’t think it was out of fatigue, even though I was truly tired, but because I felt God giving me an answer I don’t really want to hear or didn’t want to admit, but it was also an answer that I needed.

It was a simple answer: to wait for Him, and to know that He is here with me and indeed, He will bring me higher than I have never been before. And yes, I will be liberated and I will be free.

Yeah, it’s not an answer that I would consider ‘satisfactory’ but who am I to rush God to match my time? I want to believe that I love Him enough to simply wait and anticipate the good things that are about to come my way.

Thank you God. Thank you.

Discipleship Week

Tuesday – Jiachen/Junyi, Jingxin

Thursday – Jingjing/Yanhui

Sunday – Alvin/Colby

Finally catching up with everyone’s lessons and catch-up after coming back. It will be a good and exciting week! Me hopes.

 

So glad to be making progress with everyone again!!!

I am determined to finish all the lessons!

 

Gotta go for my first shift now——-

 

oh ya had to add that i forgot my wallet

because we took a ride on daphne’s car to AMKSS, I was able to get there without my wallet. So after the facilitation, I realised that my wallet was not with me. Made a call to mummy to make sure it’s at home.

Jingxin ‘oh, good lor, then you can walk home from here yourself’

Evangeline ‘wa your friend uh’

Jingxin *grin

Me *glare

So… I just followed the boy around. He paid first for my bus fare then for my train fare. Haha. I enjoyed the fact that he did everything for me, hahaha. Putting the coins in and even buying my train ticket for me. I was very amused, for some reason.

DSC_0765.JPGGood heart matched with a good brain. Please use it well ahhhhhh.

always too many things to think about

I have been busy preparing for a music event. Churning out excels after excels, revisions after revisions. There’s this silent steady joy in my work because I enjoy solving problems and clearing up confusion and allowing people to see things in a clearer light.

But there are times where it gets really annoying. Times when I felt disrespected and slighted by how things were being handled. Times when I felt the need to be firm and to point out mistakes and discrepancies because it is important to the work, and then again because of the lack of sensitivity for the way I work (despite warnings), it makes things really uncomfortable for me to function.

Why is that when we want to draw lines firmly to protect ourselves from abuse and to stop people from twisting our words, we get cast into bad light?

I feel like it’s quite unfair.

It’s also unfair that irresponsible and insensitive people are allowed to run rampant or even trample over the hard work of others.

I have to keep telling myself that God has saved me from much more and I will just have to do my best to keep my cool and do my job the best way I can.

God’s love is great and it goes deeper still. Please help me hold on to that truth, and celebrate it with my life.

To all my friends who are hurting or suffering somewhere in their hearts or their lives tonight, may God heal your precious hearts and be your peace and strength. Nothing is impossible for Him.

baby cell

Thank God for my baby cell.

Thank God for Alvin, Jingjing, Yanhui, Junyi, Jiachen, Gerald and Supeng.

Words alone cannot describe how blessed I have been by these kids. And how I wish I could see them grow up to be wonderful, God-fearing Christians that speak life and love into the people they meet. It’s amazing how God created each and every one of them the way they are. One huge reason why I wish I was attached to someone who is crazy about God and discipling is so that I can provide more for them. You could probably even feel me being slightly apologetic about it. My partner can mentor and disciple them, especially especially the boys. If I were married, I could easily open up my place and have them over all the time.

Free? Drop by! Come talk to me. Let’s talk about the Bible, let’s talk about God, let’s talk about what you think He has been teaching you. I want to hear all about it. Please drop by. When are you coming by again? What new things are you up to?

Sometimes I wonder, if God loves us this way x 232957837582 ?? Because you know what, it really hurts. It’s super sweet and super bitter and super fragile to hold in your hands. Almost like water running through your fingers into a basin that allows that same water to leak out slowly, drop by drop. You can see the droplets, but you can’t mend the crack.

And sometimes, I fear I cannot let go. I feel like getting another basin to catch the leaking water. What’s the point of giving them to me only for a while, when I want to keep them forever?

But they are not mine to keep. I got to remember that.

Before things change, enjoy the moment and the love, and thank God immensely for the times He has given us.

idk why i cried like a baby

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.

Well, so.

 

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.’

So yep.

some nights

there are some nights where I feel like I could stay up and chat with God all night. And this is one of those nights.

But I can’t stay up because I have keys duty tomorrow. So, off to bed soon!

I have been reading Brian Houston’s ‘Live, Love, Lead’ and it has been pretty amazing. I liked Hillsong but it was only recently through JingXin that I really got to appreciate who Hillsong worships and what they stand for when they do music. As time went along, they really became my inspiration. That they could break down barriers with music, and allow people to experience and see God through music. And in our church, there’s always this question about how to worship, where I often think people forget that worship can be done with our everything – how we live our lives, how we love others, the kind of attitude we bring to working environments and others who come into contact with us. I am really very very imperfect in this respect but I can say I have come a long way since I first started this journey for real, and I am headed in the right direction, albeit in small baby steps.

With the upsetting incidents I have been dealing with in my current service areas, I felt like I was pushed to my limits and I did break down a few times. But God really carried me through and helped me to do the right thing. On top of that, ‘Live, Love, Lead’ came to me at a very appropriate time. Even though JingXin apologises for passing the book and CD late because he wanted to finish the book first (along with a very sweet card :)), I couldn’t help but feel that the timing was just perfect. It came at a time where I was hurting beyond measure, and I felt like God was being so unfair to me. I didn’t wallow in self-pity but I really felt agony that was one of a kind. I haven’t felt that unhappy for a long time. But yet, I can feel God slowly working His way through my heart as I continued to pray and ask Him for that peace and love that He gives so freely and abundantly, and also as I read ‘Live, Love, Lead’. I would have these questions and these thoughts, and brushing them aside temporarily, I would go to the book, and find my answers right there! It is not as if I planned it, or expected it, or sneakily choosing relevant chapters. I just read the guy’s life as he wrote in his book, and wow, did it speak to me.

God is really good. He hears us and He loves us. So sick right? I know. I can’t believe it sometimes either, but it’s true. How can a God like that, love and die for someone like me? I don’t understand and I don’t think I ever will.

I just started on a new book for my spiritual journal today and feeling all kinds of happy. 🙂 Can’t wait to see the next day. As Zhongyun said today, she feels differently when she looks at every sunset and sunrise, and is excited at what new things God will bring to the new day. I guess for me, I am just reminded of how constant God is. Even while I am such an unstable, fickle-minded person, God never changes. ❤