Completely offered to You

Photo credits: My beloved youth pastor

The bridge of “The Stand” never fails to find its way to my heart. And today, it was the chorus that struck me. 

What can I say? What can I do? But offer this heart, O God, completely to You.

God has given us everything. He gave us even His only Son to die for our sin (which is what prevents us from having a perfect relationship with God) so that we may have that perfect relationship  with Him again. Nothing that we can ever give will be able to be compared with what God has given. And that left me believing that the only thing that’s ever worth giving to God is myself, and giving it completely without restraint. 

If that’s the English song that describes how I feel towards God, then here’s the Chinese one —全然为你.

我生命气息全然为你,如同香膏倾倒 / 无悔地付出,只愿你心得满足 / 我生命气息全然为你,如同香膏倾倒 / 全心来献上,最深刻真挚的爱

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The monster that I can’t seem to have control over 

I don’t usually feel so much. I normally can figure out why I’m feeling what I’m feeling. But tonight, my emotions is just like the mess in the picture. I hate it that I can’t properly articulate my emotions. I hate it that I’m frustrated yet I can’t really figure out why I’m feeling so. I hate it that when I’m in such a state, there seems to be no one in that moment that can help me to get out of that emotional mess (well, other than God). But what happens when I can’t hear what God is trying to say to me? Tonight is one crazy night. Lord, please release me from this emotional roller coaster. 

I’m just average but it doesn’t matter

Rarely do I think much about life or the things in life, and today happened to be one of those rare days.

I was swimming and when I was taking a rest by the side of the pool, I caught myself thinking “I haven’t achieved much for the past 26 years…” I found my mind rewinding and thinking about what I’ve achieved the last 26 years. Or rather, I found myself thinking about the people around me who seem to have achieved more than what I have even though younger than me. My younger sister was once a National athlete, my friends are earning paycheques of more than $3.5k… And me? Working in a church youth ministry.

I don’t mean to say that there’s anything bad about my work (I love my job by the way), it’s just that it doesn’t seem to me that I’ve achieved anything big/great, or rather, significant.

Then I felt the Spirit tug at my heart and said “Does it really matter whether you achieve anything of that sort? Because it doesn’t really matter to me. What matters to me is you grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. What matters to me is you grow to love me and love people.”

If that’s what matters to You, Lord, then may those things also be what really matter to me and nothing else.

 

Life as a Recruiter

It’s been some time since I penned down my thoughts like this, and I’ve always wanted to start doing it again but the inertia is simply too high. Even as I am doing this right now, my fingers are typing away but my head keeps saying “stop”. I personally hate to write, and don’t think that I write well, but I am a firm believer of penning down thoughts and reflective moments, and don’t mind sharing it with people whom I don’t know, really, because I believe that everything can be a blessing and encouragement to someone that happens to read it.

So…yes. Life as a Recruiter. So after I left SportSG, an opportunity came by to work in a recruitment firm. Many things happened in the short stint of 6 months.. Many things that I never expected myself doing nor happening to me.

The number one thing that I never expected myself to do was: CUSTOMER SERVICE. Yes, you read it right – Customer Service. I still remember very clearly I said it when I was in Secondary school that I will NEVER EVER be in the customer servicing line. And little did I know that I’d be doing that some 10 years later. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every bit of the recruitment process, but the concept about customer service is something that I haven’t quite grasp. I mean I can be nice and all to the people that I meet everyday at work, I can be very professional, but I really don’t see why I need to provide “customer service” to them. I cannot stand myself whenever I hear myself trying to convince the candidates to take up the job that had been offered to them. I cannot stand myself when I have to try to appease the clients and candidates, when sometimes it’s obviously not my fault that certain things happen.

But of course, working in this line the past 6 months has been VERY HUMBLING. It’s a humbling experience for several reasons:
1) I get scolded by clients and candidates yet I cannot retaliate.
I don’t like getting scolded. Ok, who does anyway. But I think it’s definitely harder for people like me to get scolded and yet not retaliate because I grew up learning to defend and speak up for myself, if I am not in the wrong. So being scolded for not doing anything wrong was one thing that I cannot comprehend and accept.

2) Consultants who are relatively newer doing better than me. 
I have always been very competitive since young. Even with my own sister. I need not be the best among my peers, but I definitely cannot lose out to my juniors. Well, that’s me. So when I saw consultants who were more junior but did better than me, I felt a tinge of bitterness.

3) Everything in this job is ever-changing. 
I need order. I need a plan for everything, and everything has to go according to plan. So when I realised that nothing is constant in this job, I almost went crazy. I had to find my own order, but no, I couldn’t. When you think that you have managed the candidate well and are quite sure that he/she will take up the job at the end, you are wrong because nothing is within your control whether he/she decides to take up the job at the end of the day. Nothing was constant.

The above three things are my weaknesses; but now when I think back, I can only thank God for placing me in such a character-moulding environment. I hated being scolded by people for nothing, but Jesus experienced the same or even worse. I didn’t like losing to people younger than me, but I’ve learnt to rejoice and celebrate others. I cannot tolerate disorder, but what is consistent other than God? I’ve learnt to adapt and work around things, I’ve learnt to trust God even more in the past 6 months because He was my only constant when everything else was not.

And there’s one last thing that I want to testify:
I had a pay cut when I came here – close to $500 decrease. But God is so good. At the end of the 6 months when I calculated my average monthly pay (there’s commission in this job), it is almost EXACTLY the same as what I was getting in SportSG! If I could turn back time, I would choose to do this again. My avg monthly pay is SLIGHTLY lesser than what I got in SportSG, but the experience that I’ve gotten is certainly way more than i could’ve imagined 🙂

Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statues and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in hem, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel. (1 Kings 6:12-13 ESV)

Our Last Goodbye to 老婆婆…

On the 11th April, I was in school. I received news that she’s almost losing her breath.. I really wanted to go visit her for the last time.. I just wanted to share the gospel before she leaves.. I got people to pray for her, and to God be the glory that during the period of praying, He kept her alive; in fact, very alive until evening.. There’s was definitely enough time for someone to have shared the Good News with her, but I don’t know if she heard the gospel… I heard from relatives that during that period, she even talked to each of her 11 + 2 children (1 passed away, 1 couldn’t be reach) and was even able to tell them accordingly what she wants for her funeral.. It’s true.. And I went to sleep in hall, still praying within my Spirit that she’s ok. It was almost 1 am when I went to bed. 

On the 12th April, I was woken up by the alarm at about 9am. Immediately, I went to check my phone. 1 message recevied. ‘laopopo passed away at 1.49am last night..’ I was shocked. Images of time spent with her flashed back.. Fear engulfed me as I thought of the wake.. I was afraid. Afraid that what happened to Mum at grandpa’s wake would happen again. Afraid that I won’t know how to react to the ritual.. Afraid. What made it worse was Aunt saying that she won’t be going back for the wake… “I am more than a conqueror in Christ who gives me strength.” I held on to this promise for the next few days…

On the same day, I dragged myself to the usual place that I study — meeting room. I was supposed to meet EunL but decided not to because I know I wasn’t in the right condition to. I went to the meeting room, in hope that there would be people around so that I won’t have to be alone, but no, there wasn’t. I put down my stuff, and I tried to start studying. I couldn’t. Tears started to flow uncontrollably.. JasC came in so I tried to hide my puffy eyes but still, she saw me crying. Thank God for sending her at that moment, if not, I believe it would have been worse. 

On the 14th April, Mum, sis and I took a budget flight to Ipoh, after which we took a cab to Ayer Tawar. The flight was terrible.. The turbulence was so bad, I thought the place would crash any moment. I really kept praying in my heart for journey mercy.. It’s true… At the same time, I trusted my life in God’s hands. 

We reached Ayer Tawar at about 5.30pm. The moment we stepped out of the cab, I was lost. Not physically but mentally. It felt like there was alot of things going on.. But there wasn’t really much.. “过来过来,要跪下来爬过去拜老婆婆…” At that moment, I really wanted to cry already.. But I held myself back because I needed to be strong for my mum, whom I know is really upset. I walked to her coffin and saw her lying peacefully inside. My heart broke and thoughts started to flow again as I looked at her.. I really wanted to talk to her for that last time.. 

We went to change into the clothes that we had to wear for the wake; the white shirt and black pants. And the next moment, the ritual started. It was crazy.. It went on from about 6pm till nearly 12am.. It’s true.. 

There were alot of thoughts in my head when I went through the ritual with the rest. But one thing I know for sure is that: I follow the ritual not because I believe in what they believe. I do it only because I respect 老婆婆. And I don’t want to create a situation where if I don’t do it, people get stumbled and think that I am not filial and disrespectful. So if you ask me why as a Christian I still did that, that’s what I will tell you. 

I went to 五舅公’s house to sleep that night.

On the 15th April, we woke up at about 9am. Hanged around at his place for a little longer till about 12pm before we went to over to the wake again. At 老婆婆’s house in the afternoon, we played mahjong, took photos, ate and chatted till about 5.30pm, and the rituals start again. Again, it ended about 12am. Went to shower, eat supper at 十字路, then went back again to play mahjong through the night. It’s the last night of the wake already and we’ve all decided to stay awake throughout..

On the 16th April, by about 8am, almost everyone was already awake. We were all getting ready for the last ritual before 老婆婆 was buried. Before we moved off, we did some phototaking with 老婆婆 for the last time. We walked the route that 老婆婆 used to love to take; it’s about 2km, before getting on the bus to the cemetery. Everytime the coffin is being lifted, we were to face in the direction away from the coffin. I don’t know why but they said it’s not good to see the coffin being lifted.. Well.. So I just followed to appease them. I really wanted to witness the whole process of the coffin being buried, but we were made to leave in a haste. So we left for 小舅公’s house to put 老婆婆’s 灵位 there. After that, we went back to 老婆婆’s house to eat, clear up, and settle stuff before everyone parted. 

Ah chai jiu jiu drove us to KL, and we took a coach from there to Singapore. Reached at about 2am, took a cab home and slept at about 3am. 

Well, this doesn’t seem like it’s very interesting to read but it’s really all for memory sake, and who knows? Perhaps next time I can come back to this post to tell my kids about my 老婆婆. (: 

In Loving Memory of Dearest 老婆婆…

Passed on: 12th April 2012, 0149hrs
Dates of wake: 12th April to 16th April 2012 (Thurs to Mon)
Place: Sitiawan, Ayer Tawar