Wednesday, March 26, 2008

the end of winter

and now

I decided that Xanga died, finally, so here I am. I am moving the imprint of my very soul to this blogspot. Xanga stopped being about the words, so I called out. Besides that, I'm in a whole new phase of my life, which, I think, deserves a fresh start & new journal. Yes? Yes.

My old xanga will forever be open, however. Feel free to visit if you like:


As I look back on my writing from a mere two months ago, I'm amazed as to how it can possibly only have been two months since. And I'm amazed that I have already been in Seattle for sixth months. This marks my two-thirds of the way through the school year. A few more months and I fly back to Hong Kong.

I've been meaning to faithfully journal and keep track of my thoughts, because I know what a process this has been/is continuing to be. However life has been life, and that is my excuse for failing to write as much as I would have liked. I'm stunned by how far I've come. Stunned that it has happened in two months. I feel like I've grown in leaps and bounds.

"Good things take time, but great things happen all at once." I know that Rat Race might not be the most philosophical and intelligent movie to quote (although it seriously questions human greed and motivation), but seriously. It's so true. And now I have an answer to my previous question of waiting for God to unravel The Intricate Plan. I know it's not fully unravelled yet, and that's what's so exciting about living. I can't wait to see what He throws at me next, it's fun.

God never fails to amaze me with His impeccable timing and insight into exactly what I need and when I need it. My life, though others may not be able to so easily recognise it, is a testimony of God's provision and grace. I am so lucky to be where I am and to have what I have, even though I don't always appreciate it like I should (I daresay I never appreciate it as much as I should). I'm continually amazed at what is happening in my life. It's funny, but I suppose it shouldn't be surprising, how God is always one step ahead of me on everything. Maybe that's why He's so quiet sometimes. When I pray He's just sitting up there chuckling and all "just wait to see what I've got lined up for you next". Well guess what, God, I can't wait. Bring it on.

I'm through the bitterness and the anger. I feel like I wrestled them to the end, it is an exhausted subject. And finally I'm not only accepting this life, but I'm making the most of it. I'm engaging in it. I'm beginning to give, and in giving I'm beginning to receive infinitely more than I could have imagined ever getting out of this experience. It's ok, you can read that sentence again. I did.

So really I'm excited. I'm looking forward now.

Don't get me wrong, I am by no means saying that everything is perfect and that that is the only reason for my joy. Hellz no. I still struggle with pain and sorrow; I still reminisce x 97834782. But I'm refusing to dwell in it. Refusing to fuel those emotions, because it won't get me anywhere.

I'm actually excited.


This is taken from something I wrote for class.

The First:

"He will endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. He will be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth." Psalm 72:5-6

"In him and through him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3:12

As I was reading tonight, these verses stood out to me. And now it is you, and me, and this journal alone in the night, and now I realise how little solitude I've had these past four months.

Everything just seems like one massive blur. I did my IB exams, summer came and went, I left Hong Kong, I came to this country, and that was nearly four months ago. What exactly has filled that space?

I can't begin to describe the changes I'm going through, I'm in a different world. Yet all this time and I don't believe that I've sat down to simply reflect on what it has all meant, even though it has weighed heavily on my mind. I've definitely taken the time to bitch and moan about how hard it has been. I've also taken the time trying to persuade myself and everyone else of how great things will be.

There have been moments of elation and moments of misery. An odd blend of excitement and love at discovering the new mixed with lament of the old.What strikes me is how temporary everything has become - my parents moved back to Minnesota, my home is gone, and now I stand on shifting sands.

When ever I feel as if life is a joke and that I have become the punch line, I like to go and sit in Martin's "square" in front of the inscription of Matthew 28:19-20, "And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age". I take huge comfort in this passage, and it truly shows that while all else may be submitted to change, God is a constant. My constant.

This relates back to the Psalm passage I quoted. Because God is eternal, and He is in everything, making all things beautiful. I want, instead of misery, to recognise this beauty, to be able to rejoice in it, marvel at this gift. It truly is a miracle that God has extended His hand to me, answered my prayers, and in the midst of my complaints and angst, maintained an extended hand. It is utterly amazing. My life must be worth something to Him, that where I would squander it, He would redeem it, and revive the dead in me (even as I kick and scream). How lucky I am, to have such a loving God.

I also (without having said so, though I'm saying it now) have sworn to myself to be honest (or to "approach God with freedom and confidence" as is written in good ol' Ephesians). I want to be real about what I'm going through. Up until about a week ago I'd been denying to admit to myself how badly I hurt. But I realised that in recognising and acknowledging that pain, I begin the healing process. I suppose I am grieving my loss, my home, my old life. But above all I know that God's plans are to prosper me and not to harm me, and I have full trust in my creator.

The Second:

Submission. This is something I need to have peace with. In the third or so week of my life here at SPU, there was a guest speaker at Group who delivered a message on God's calling for one's life, and being taken out of one's comfort zone. His message resonated so deeply within me and my life that I completely broke down. It was humiliating. I believe completely that it is God's will that I am here, and I am willing. However, coming to terms with this seems to me a whole different matter. In my recently adopted attitude of an honest approach to my true feelings and experiences, I feel that I have begun to come to grips with my life, but I know that I still have much further to go.

I feel that now I'm here I'm expecting a radical change and growth spurt within myself, yet I don't believe that God intends it to simply happen while I sit here. I know that He will provide the opportunities for me to grow and mature, and so the task is to wait for God's timing for now. To wait. Sit and wait and let go of my anxiety and expectations. To allow God to unravel His plans for my life.

A question featured in Spiritual Classics on submission is "Was there a time in my life when I was resentful against my own life circumstances and may have questioned God's providence? How did I deal with that?"

Yes. I still feel resentment. Anger. Confusion. Pain. I don't know what I am doing here, I often ask God that question (in a more angry way). Many times I feel as though I can't take it anymore, yet thus far God has given me the grace to continue. I struggle with it everyday - my hatred at being here and yet knowing that it is for my own good and that somehow I must deal with it.

Acceptance. Much, much easier said than done. Honestly, I really don't want to accept that this is my new reality. I don't want to move on from everything I've known. In a way I feel that this many be due in part to a fear that I might lose my sense of identity if Hong Kong is in my past - it has certainly moulded me and shaped me into everything I am.
I must practice Acceptance. I will try.

The Third:
"The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair" Relient K
God gives us what we don't deserve and doesn't give us what we do deserve.

Grace is what sets Christianity apart from other religions. Many people think 'how could God become incarnate to die for our sins? That's so ungodly.' And I know it might sound awful, but I think 'how couldn't He?' I believe that humans are inherently good. I think. I haven't fully decided on that one yet. However it is impossible for us to lead a perfect life worthy of heaven. No one (save Jesus.. pun!) has ever done it. We all inevitably fall into sin. How could a loving God with the full knowledge of our susceptibility to sin leave us to our own fate? He had to save us.

He had to be compassionate. He had to care enough to reach out and help us, because He made us the way that we are. He knows our vulnerabilities and how prone we are to give in. He knows we can't do it on our own.

I don't understand how people can believe in earning their way into heaven through good deeds and righteousness. It can't be done. We're only human. God understands this, and Jesus' death is the ultimate proclamation of love. That even though we really aren't worth it, God sacrificed His son for us because we are helpless.

This is how I know that God understands me. He knows I'm going to sin, but He cares so much that He took care of that thousands of years ago.

I don't like the idea of a detached and distant God, who will not relate to His people. Why would a God worth believing in create us if not to relate to/with us?
Who is he that can deny such a gift.
God is fully involved in every aspect of our lives, if we let Him be, and He lays the choice before us.
I do not want a God who denies me in my humanity.
I want a God who can love me in my lowest of lows.