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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

my confession and sharing

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

I have always thought I was a Christian. I was taught to pray since I was a toddler, I've been to Sunday School, I've been to youth fellowship, I've been to bible study classes, I attend Sunday Service, I often serve as a pianist in church.

However, instead of growing up in Christ, I began to grow away from Christ. I stopped going to youth fellowship. I stopped attending bible study classes. During my first few months in college, I attended Christian Fellowship and cell group gatherings, but then I stopped. Praying and reading the bible had never been a part of my daily life. I used to pray daily when I was a kid, but then I stopped. This year, I even stopped going to church when I was not at my hometown. I lied to my dad, telling him that I did go to church. I lied to the church members in Nilai who bothered to ask, telling them that I went home every week. During the beginning of the year, I did attempt to read the bible daily, but gave up after a few days. 

Skipping church, it used to be such a big deal. I remember on the first day of college, I overslept and missed church for the first time in my life. I called my dad and cried on the phone. Some months later, one Sunday morning, I heard the alarm clock ringing and I slammed it off, and continued to sleep. Hours later, I woke up and realized that I'd missed church again. I apologized profusely to God, and went online to listen to Christian songs, prayed, and read one chapter of my bible. But after that... it just seemed to get easier and easier. I would hear the alarm clock ringing, switch it off, go back to sleep, wake up later, and tell myself "oh no i've missed church, sorry God". Reasons why I didn't want to go to Nilai's church: 
1. I didn't have any close friends. Coz I was so shy and quiet and practically rejected all conversations by giving a shy smile every time someone talked to me, then immediately looking back down on my phone or on the floor.
2. I hated it. Hated standing alone, sitting alone, felt stupid. Hated the fact that even though certain people would occasionally be kind enough talk to me, but I was just too weak to carry on the conversation.
3. Felt like a waste of space in the church van.
In short, none of these reasons are valid reasons, though they were certainly the cause of my falling down... I was that shy. Even in my hometown church. But I couldn't skip that, because then everyone would know.
Well, it just got worse and worse. This year, I only went to Nilai church when it was my turn to serve as a pianist. It didn't help too, when one night after prayer meeting (I was only there because Pastor had requested me to be the pianist), I was sitting in the front row playing with my phone, waiting for the others to go home so that I could go with them, but then when I turned round, the church van had already left, and I'd been left behind. Thankfully another nice girl fetched me back to my hostel, but I still minded. A lot. As I said, it got worse and worse. I didn't even bother to set an alarm clock on Sunday mornings after that. I would stay up on Saturday nights until 8am in the morning, and then go right to sleep. What's worse - I didn't even feel bad about it. I would just casually close my eyes and say "Sorry God" and go about doing my own things afterwards.

Hebrews 10: 24-25
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Yes, it had already become my habit. I used to tell myself, church-going is not that important, as long as I stay close to God by myself. But I didn't do that either. I was far, far away from God, as far as could be. Sinning like I didn't have a care in the world. Neglecting the Sabbath day. Lying. Thinking yellowish thoughts. Hating. Not praying. Bible lay forgotten in the drawer. Being a hypocrite. Never even thinking of leading people to Christ. But every time I went home, I still went to church, sang praises to God, prayed that I would change someday, somehow. But after that, I would go back to school, go through another "God-less" week, and miss church again.

I thought that my relationship with God would be getting better ever since I broke up with my non-Christian ex-boyfriend 2 years ago. I've said things like "I have God, I don't need anything more" to myself countless times during the months that I had just broken up with him. The thing is, I just said it. Didn't do anything about it. It was just to comfort myself. The reason I broke up with him wasn't even strictly because he was a non-Christian. Of course, I'd told him many times that I wanted to break up with him because he was a non-Christian, because we had different perspectives and he kept kissing me against my will. But I would always forgive him after one day. The actual reason for our final breakup in the end was because he made me jealous. I actually regretted breaking up with him after a few hours, and sent him a text requesting to be his girlfriend again. But thank God he rejected me, saying that it would be better to be friends first. And thus, this  very wrong, 2-month-long relationship was brought to an end, though it took me 2 years to truly let go of it.

2 months ago, I met a guy called G. Angel in disguise. We were classmates; he added me on Facebook. We started to chat on Facebook everyday, even though we never talked much in class (his usual sentences were "Mable", "Hi", "Do you wanna eat together?", and "Bye"... mine were "Hi", "No", and "Bye"). But from our conversations on Facebook, I started to admire him more and more. He was very active in clubs and passionate about ideas for school events, but that wasn't exactly what attracted me. What attracted me was his great ability to love. He loved his ex-girlfriend so much, it was really touching. He had a very very close relationship with his mother. I was a bit jealous (because I no longer have my own mother), but at the same time I yearned to know more, I wanted to borrow a bit of his warmth for my own, it made me feel warm as well. He loved his friends and was always willing and ready to help them. I started to like this guy more and more.

When the semester was almost over, we met up and had some real conversations for the first time. Then we started to meet everyday. Phone calls. We got closer and closer. Good friends. Best friends. Brother and sister. Even though we had known each other for less than 2 months, but I felt that I'd known him for 10 years, because he had told me everything about himself. His past, his present, what he wants for his future. His ex-girlfriend, his friends, his family, his relatives, his interests, his ideas, his bad habits, his hopes and dreams. Everything. And the more I got to know him, the more I admired him. I have never admired a guy as much as him. He has been through so many painful things in life, and yet they have combined to make him a much stronger and better person, instead of breaking him completely. His maturity level and the amount of knowledge that he possesses is way beyond his age (he's one year older than me). He has a high level of curiosity, thus the amount of knowledge. He plays the guitar and the keyboard. To tell the truth, he isn't really that good in either of them, but it's the effort he put in to learn them that attracted me. His earnest face while figuring out the melody of a song on the keyboard or guitar is much more handsome than the lengzai in my class. Oh and I forgot to mention that he has such a lovely singing voice. But even without these musical talents, I would admire him just as much, for it's the inside of the heart that counts.

I do not dare to say that I have never loved a guy as much as I loved him, but I can truthfully say that he is the only guy that I could see and want to spend a future with. All the past guys in my life (more than 10 i should think) were different, I were only attracted to them for two reasons: either they were strikingly cool and handsome (to me la), or they had been chatting with me online everyday. I never admired any of them, and even looked down on a few of them (sorry ah). G was the only guy that I'd ever admired as much as this. And he was the only guy that made me feel so safe, he was fond of me and would care for me, both my physical and mental wellbeing, and this was before he even started to like me. He only treated me as a sister at that time.

Another thing that I liked so much about him was his frankness - he kept nothing from me, to the point that he was constantly reminding and updating me about his feelings to me - from "i don't like you in that sense, don't think too much ar", to "i only tell you all this because i treat you as my close friend, don't think too much", to "i only think of you as my little sister", to "i don't like you now, but i don't know about the future la, maybe, MAYBE i will like or want to chase you in the future, but not now", to "actually i kinda like you now", to "i like you, and i really hope that i'm able to make you like me someday". He even made me be as frank as him -.- , one night he kept pressing me to tell him my feelings to him, and that's how he came to know the fact that i'd been secretly liking him for a long time already, even before he liked me. Originally I didn't intend to tell him this, because I wasn't ready to accept him yet. I'll come to that later.

Yet another thing about him that made me feel that he's the right guy was that he could accept all my flaws. My tendency to become jealous. His ex was as prone to jealousy as I was, so he was already "trained" in handling such matters. He is the type of guy that will try his best to ensure that his girlfriend will not be jealous, because he doesn't want to make her sad in any way. My skin problems. My mouth ordour. My laziness. My shyness. My inability to think of topics or carry on a conversation. My weight. My awkwardness. My inability to cook. And all that.

One of the ways he showed his love to a person was by changing himself (as long as the changes are in a positive way). I never really told him to change anything. One night (and that was before he started to like me), he asked me if I minded if he drank beer. I said no. Then he asked "then do you mind if your boyfriend drinks beer?". I said "ya, a bit lo." And now he doesn't drink beer anymore. He used to actively employ the use of vulgar words, but now he doesn't do it anymore. He used to eat meat much more than he ate veggies, but now he eats a lot of veggies. He knows i'm worried about his body condition (won't talk about that here), so he went to the specialist for a body checkup, just to set my mind at ease.

He was also a guy who planned ahead, a guy that i know i can depend on, unlike most of the guys of my generation.

How it all changed
What kept us from being together was, of course, religion. He said he believed in Jesus, but he didn't dare to tell his family, he seldom prayed, hadn't read the bible for a long time, and had never gone to church. He used to attend bible study about 5 years ago, so had a certain amount of bible knowledge. He said that he hoped that, even if he wasn't saved, that his parents would have the chance of salvation. He had hoped that his ex-girlfriend would try to spread the gospel to his mother, but she let him down. He hopes that I can do it.

That was what started it. I suddenly realized that I had been a "Christian" for 20 years, and never even attempted to spread the gospel to any of my friends. Reasons: I didn't know how to start, and I was afraid of saying it wrong. Because my bible knowledge is so inadequate. I only know a few more well-known bible verses, and that's because i've been hearing them in church so frequently, or they've been written in songs.

The prodigal daughter returned home
That's when I started reading the Bible. I started with the book of Matthew, 5 chapters a day, and am now at the book of John. The more I read, the more guilty I felt. It was the first time that I realized how lousy a Christian I was. I had followed none of God's instructions. I wasn't worthy to be called a follower of Christ, because, well, I wasn't. I had done nothing for Him. I hadn't changed anything at all. I was still living my old life.

I decided to change. I am now, finally, after more than 19 years, spending my quiet time with God each day, praying and studying his Word. (Oh and miraculously, so is G, I can't remember exactly what I told him though, but he has also decided to seek and love God, and we will be going to church together next week. )

And it's amazing how my life has changed. Ok for now, it's only on the inner side la, I'm still as zi bi and shy as ever on the outside. But still. I can feel that it's different. As I've mentioned before, before this, I have for a few times attempted to make a habit of reading the Bible daily. But after a few days, it always became a burden. I would spend less and less time on praying and reading the bible. But this time, the amount of quiet time I spend lengthens day by day. It has become a time of peace and pleasure, instead of just a daily routine that I force myself to go through.

I am also thinking before I act. No longer ignoring my friends who find me on Facebook. Learning to wash Daddy's plate after dinner of my own accord (coz he's the one who cooked it, actually i should have done this long ago but i dunno why it took me so long). Looking at each individual more affectionately. Every time the yellow thoughts strike, I pray to God to cleanse my thoughts. Every time emoness arises, I bring my problems to God instead of telling them to G. Learning to pray for other people. And also, I'm trying to control my temper. Even if I have to let it out, I won't let it out on Facebook. But I will try to control it so that I won't have to let it out, anywhere.

But I know that I'm still far from the girl God wants me to be. I pray that I will soon become that girl, before the time is too late. But the new life has begun; after all these years, I finally feel it. I am finally changed. I have this joy in me. The joy that can't be replaced by anyone except God, the empty space in my heart that is finally filled. I feel joy because I am so loved by a great God, joy because I have the ability to know him, to study his Word, to long after him. Joy because He has finally brought me back to Him. Joy because Jesus, Son of God, had been crucified and bore my sins for me on the cross, unworthy as I am... what more could I ask for? Why should I still long after earthly things? I used to think this "peace and joy" that people felt was just psychological effects, I didn't understand it, but now I do. You need to really experience it for yourself to know how it's like.

My perspective about prayer has also changed. They used to tell me that God listens to our prayers, and answers them with either "Yes", "No", or "Wait". I used to think that - why pray, then? It doesn't change a thing. But then Jesus also said that, if we have enough faith, we can move mountains. Does that mean that if we have enough faith, there would be no "No" for an answer? Then why are prayers still unanswered?

James 4:3
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

The purpose of our prayers should be to glorify God. Not for our own glory. If we really had enough faith, that means that we really love God, if we really love God, then we would want to glorify His name.

Ok, maybe if Mummy had woken up after her brain had been pronounced dead, it would be a miracle. It would certainly glorify His name. But God doesn't have to work through great miracles.

Because of Mummy's passing, both Daddy and Ah Gong had started to attend church. Daddy has changed so much and is serving so actively and passionately. Except for special days like Christmas and New Year, I'd never seen him come to church since young, but now he loves God so much, reads the bible so frequently, buys so many Christian books so that he can learn more from them. He has totally changed. Because of Mummy's passing, a Daddy that I once disliked so much (for absolutely no reason at all) has become a Daddy that I admire so much. He loves me so much even though I was so rude and hurtful to him for 14 years. I can honestly say that I have yet to find a man that treats and looks after his daughters better than Daddy treats me and my sisters.

I've always found it kinda difficult to comprehend why Mummy had to pass away just when I was at the peak of the stage of my rebellion, before I had a chance to tame down and apologize to her... We were quarreling so much towards the end. And it was all so sudden. She was still happy and all on Christmas, then on the 5th of January she suddenly passed away.

I still remember being slightly impatient at her forgetfulness towards the end. You can't imagine how I detest myself for that now. But what would it have been like if she were still here? I would probably still be as rebellious as ever. Quarreling and hating until now.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

As I said, I've been bringing my emoness and worries to God in prayer. There was one big thing I've been worrying about, however it's more about myself, a more selfish worry.

I've never really stood firm about anything since I was a kid, because I'm kinda weak and lazy to think much, so I always follow the flow and accept almost all of what anyone tells me. But one thing that I've always been insistent about for 20 years, that is, I don't want to have children. There are so many reasons, and I'm going to list most of them out.

1. I'm scared of pregnancy. I've been frequently vomiting when I was a kid, and even though I haven't vomited for the past 8 years, I'm really really scared of vomiting. I would rather be beaten up 10 times than vomit once.
2. I'm scared of childbirth. Everything is going to be so agonizingly painful.
3. I'm scared of postchildbirth. The pain isn't going to end right after giving birth to the child. There will be many inconveniences and recovery will take such a long time.
4. Heard that it hurts a lot even to feed milk.
5. I'm lazy. Having a baby means sleepless nights.
6. I've never taken care of a baby before, never even held one. I don't know how to talk to them, carry them, change diapers, feed them milk, burp them... so many things I don't know.
7. I won't know how to handle emergencies, and am really afraid that my baby will die in my own arms.
8. I don't know how to teach. Scared that my child won't ever learn how to talk.
9. I don't know how to play with babies. At all.
10. I want to give my baby the childhood that I got - the songs, the happiness, the lullabies, the early storybook reading, the early piano learning. So that my child will grow up with fluent english and know how to play the piano. But I suck at explaining things. How am i going to explain to my child all the difficult words in a storybook, like how Mummy did so well last time?
11. Most important of all, i want my child to grow up with a firm faith in God, to teach my child to love God since young, to long after Him, to spread His word to others. BUT I DUNNO HOW TO DO IT. Coz I suck so much at explaining, as I said. How am I going to explain what is God?

K la that's all I can think of at a moment. The point is, G likes kids. Ordinarily, I would have told him firmly that I don't want kids at all, like how I told YMY last time. But this time it's different. Because it's G, not YMY.

I was very upset over this on the night that G asked me what time I would like to have kids, because I was really so afraid of having kids. But I didn't tell him this, I told God. And I was comforted. He let me know that even if I suck as a mom, my kids will still have a great great Father in heaven, and G as their father. And grandpas and grandmom and aunts and uncle. G is the type of person that I can depend on. That is, if i really end up with him la. So on the very next day i found myself daydreaming about a family with G and our kids growing up together with God between us. It was a very beautiful picture, and I hope it will come true someday. For now, I am just waiting for him to grow up, and will only accept him when he is spiritually mature.

But even if I cannot be with G in the future, I know that I will not be as broken as last time. Definitely not because I love G less than YMY, but because, now, I have Christ in my life, and there is no greater joy and comfort than knowing that.

1 comment:

Cupcake Princess said...

I cried when I read this. :'(

I feel so thankful, that somehow you have passed this phase. I sort of guessed part of it. But didn't dare to ask or mention anything.

I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you, for the pain, for the emptiness, as your sister. But I went through this, ALL of this, when I was around your age as well.

It's just, I didn't really have the courage to write it all down in my blog too. Also, I couldn't put things in words, as well as you put them.

I was broken once, so broken, and sometimes am still broken. Underneath the smiles, the confidence, the sunny appearance, I am often scared, lonely, and troubled inside. But then, perhaps it's the fact that I never really accepted my weaknesses, never really loved myself, for being myself.

But our Father in heaven gave up on me, not once. I failed Him again, and again.

But yes... "Because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."(Proverbs 3:12)

The good Shepard comes looking for His lost sheep and He brings us back to Him. It may take long, we may wander far, and not know how to go back to His pasture...but Hope is never lost.

The real joy and appreciation of life can only come, when we find joy in seeking the Lord. All other things can change on earth, but His love prevails, through the very end.

Peace and security can only come from God alone too. Not through men, not through our family, not through our friends...I'm still struggling hard, to accept myself, to live for shine for Him. But then, I know now, we are never alone.