Transitions

Right now I’m in this transitioning phase of my life. Wanna know how I feel about that? Well change in the first place hasn’t always been easy. It’s God’s way of shifting your perspective and enforcing His spirit upon you so that the spirit can steer the wheel instead of yourself. All this time I’ve been trying to take control of my life and you know what, things pretty much never work out the way I want them to.

Slowly I’ve been realizing His way has always been the best. I know this but acting upon it is a whole ‘nother story. Through my failures I’ve become (slightly) awakened. I know that He can use people who are weak like myself to lift others up. But at the same time I find that concept quite difficult to grasp. I don’t want people to view me differently or be that burden that I feel like I am when I start to open up myself. The wounds of the past, my history and insecurities revealed…

So right now I’m transitioning. I’m figuring things out and still trying to hear His voice. I encourage you to join me on this journey. Don’t be afraid to reach out. In fact, I’d love to hear from you. I know this blog is mainly my own therapy, a place for me to rant and reflect. I don’t want to be on this walk with Christ by myself anymore. Let’s walk together.

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Haunted

I’m going to share with you a really personal story about myself that I’ve only told a few people…not even my dad. Only my mom knows this about me as well as a few other trusted friends but it’s been pressing upon me recently and brought up more and more. It’s a raw side of me in this transitioning phase of being more honest and open. It might (or might not depending on how well you know me) explain why I am the way I am around strangers like the one I will talk about below and why it seems that I can be so open and yet so closed off at the same time. (I’m basically a walking and breathing paradox. I promise I want to get to know you, but it takes me time to be 100% free to express myself).

By nature, I’m a free spirit and pretty carefree (at least on most days…catch me on a day when I’m stressed and overwhelmed and I’ll try my best to appear sane – maybe I’ll fool you but if you’re my best friend C she catches me in like two seconds so thanks for keeping me down to earth)

This is my story. A few summers ago was when I met this stranger and I didn’t think much of it. I thought we were going to be friends. He was the same age as me and being innocent at that age I could’ve sworn there was no ill intent in him. It was summer of 2012 and I was on a trip going overseas on vacation. The next 8 hours on the plane were fine until he did something to me that sickened me to my stomach. To many people it may not seem like a big deal, but for me it was. I felt like I was being objectified against my own will and I didn’t like it one bit. My stomach was sick and the mental image of what happened was gross.

For the next few years I would beat myself up for it. I was haunted. Looking back, I now understand why it is that whenever a new one similar to him comes along, I don’t want anything to do with him. There were days when I was scared of being alone in the same room as guys similar to him (almost like an irrational psychological disorder)

Maybe this will be a surprise to some of you. Jesus calls us to love everyone but how can I love if I’m scared? How can I be around people like him or who remind me of the way I was treated? I can still a bit wary, protective and guarded around strangers or new faces like him.

I no longer want to hide the feeling of being haunted and fight it by myself. On bad days, there was a darkness within me that drove me insane, making me wonder what was wrong with me. It’s still a journey and that incident can still haunt me at times. Thankfully I’ve reflected enough and given up the darkness to Jesus. I don’t come off as guarded so almost every one of you may find this story surprising to you. Yeah. It still weirds me out too. It even surprised me that Jesus called me earlier this week to share such a small, simple story with others like myself who might’ve faced uncalled for harrassment at some point in their life and blamed themselves for the longest time.

The bottom line is harrassment is not okay and it’s not your fault. And it’s only through truth that you can be set free. We are lights and we are called to shine and share our story, no matter how big or small it is. Mine no longer haunts me as much. I just know everyone is affected differently and you’re not alone.

xo

A Cycle of Apathy No More

We always want what we can’t have. Here I’m sitting on my bed reflecting on my week. It’s Friday morning 8:18AM and I’m passed out from last night’s farewell dinner to a friend from church who’s leaving forever for Taiwan. So yes, I’m evaluating friendships, much the same way that a lovely friend in my life just did last night. And to her I want to say thank you for being in my life, even if I’m not very present or as much as I should be. I’m sorry you felt the way you did last night and I’m always praying for you. ❤ Much love.

To others in my life and anyone else reading this, I want to be held accountable for being true to myself. This was the first week in my entire school year that I was able to hang out with brothers and sisters in Christ on school days. The past two quarters have been filled with God knows what (we all know what I’d fill in the blank with, whether it’s ASUW, AKPSi, tutoring or school), in the end I’m still asking myself what am I living for?

Many times I’m someone when in the presence of others seeks to make other people feel good first and foremost. I bottle up most of my true emotions and will make a point to pretend to be happy if I’m feeling down just to make sure it doesn’t show on my face so I don’t seem like a negative person. So yeah call me crazy, call me whatever you want and if you catch me doing it, CALL ME OUT. I dare you and I’ll eventually thank you for it even if it’s awkward or painful. It’s really unhealthy, it drained me quite a bit emotionally, and really it just feels crappy. And whenever I do vent, I tend to feel a lot better. So I should remember that I need to vent more. (if I’ve vented to you before, I probably trust you haha)

In this season, I want to start fresh with seeking true, raw friendships. I already mentioned that. After all, we only get into things what we put into them. I love the people in my life, don’t get me wrong. God has blessed me abundantly with many circles of friends who I find appreciation/value in, in a number of ways. Some more than others but nonetheless, everyone(thing) in life is either a blessing or a lesson right?

With friendships, that’s tough for me. I’ve recently found it harder to open up to people than before even when given the opportunity because it seems that everyone already has a “mental picture” of who the other is. And it just seems that you need to live up to the “world’s expectations” of who you’re meant to be. But like I mentioned before, it’s good to be weird, to be different and to express yourself. MY GOAL I guess, if you can even call it that, is to be comfortable in my own skin and to find joy in every circumstance. Joy comes from Jesus and happiness is temporal. Joy is when you put Jesus first, others next and yourself last. We’re all a little selfish, and I’ll admit I can be, even if I don’t try to. If you always seek Jesus and seek joy, then you’ll be joyful no matter the circumstance.

It doesn’t matter if things aren’t going our way or if we’re under great stress. It doesn’t matter if even the friendships that should be strong haven’t been the way you want them to be. None of that matters, none of the things we hold onto so tightly as long as we put Him first – all else that’s done with our own power is in vain.

I hope that I can be a blessing in your life and that we’ll grow closer through Him in this new season of life.

Here’s to to friendship, to being a more honest version of myself, and to being more vulnerable.

xoxo

Contentment

A few days ago, I was thinking a lot about not wanting to just be “fine” anymore. I was wondering why it was that whenever people asked me how I was doing, I could never bring myself to truly say I was content and mean it. I want to be able to rest in the presence of The Lord and not be weary or restless. I’ve been making adjustments to my habits and this quarter I don’t know where He’s leading me but I feel a calling from Him alright. I know He’s been slowly removing whatever hindrances stopped me in the past year from truly chasing after Him in every moment.

Jesus, please transform me so I can be a light to your kingdom.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” – Psalm 23:1

This verse is so true, in that while the world tells us we need this or that to be happy, honestly, I think that’s untrue on so many levels. Even though it may seem that wealth, success, or other things this world deems good aren’t inherently bad, having them as our sole pursuit in our life can blind us from what is most important, the pursuit of our Savior.

I’m filled with joy that I finally realize this after months and months of being blind. My eyes are open once again. Thank you Jesus.

Identity

As promised, I said I would write a post on identity soon. So here goes. I’ve always been a Christian since as long as I can remember. I grew up in a Christian home, blah blah blah… all that jazz. But my faith in Jesus hasn’t always been strong. In fact, it tends to oscillate like one of those cosine/sine graphs haha. Thankfully He is gracious. God is so, so good all the time! He always pulls me back toward Him even though I’m like a lost sheep trying to go on my own path like 99% of the time.

Identity isn’t my favorite topic. Know why? It just seems my “identity” is always changing. Whenever I’m with a different crowd/circle of friends, it seems that I fit right in. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to fit in. It’s natural in our human instinct to want to feel a sense of belonging. We all want to be accepted, right? Wrong. I’m slowly realizing that it’s okay to be different. In fact, it’s good to be different. If everyone was the same, life would be so boring. It’s the uniqueness of each individual in my life that makes it so rewarding to get to know each and every one of you. I pray that I wouldn’t be ashamed to embrace my weirdness and quirks, and let them show. And that I wouldn’t be scared to shout to God my praises, my temptations and my worries. It’s just that my Christian walk has for so long really been an individual path. I don’t tend to openly share with others how I’m really doing. When people ask, I don’t really want to be a burden. But I’m continually reminded that there are genuine brothers/sisters in Christ who truly care for me.

Tonight after small group, a brother and sister offered to pray for me even though they had other places to be. I can’t tell you how grateful I was, being a child of God with such wavering faith. And as for my identity? I’m a child of God with a Father above who is the same today, yesterday, and forever. It’s amazing to be reminded of that each day, and I hope to continue to be as much of a blessing to anyone reading this as people have been to me.

Spring

The season of newness. In this new month and new quarter (wow I can’t believe it’s April – I swear it was just September yesterday and the leaves were starting to change color and I was getting lost on my first day of college), I have some goals that I’ve set for myself and want to share with you all to keep myself accountable! I know you shouldn’t use a new quarter as your excuse to change but I see change as being a gradual process of God molding you into His beautiful image. It certainly doesn’t happen over night, it isn’t painless, BUT if your heart is right He will help you with what needs to be changed.

There’s a darkness in my heart sometimes and I never really understood what it was. Part of it comes with being fearful of getting too close to someone and another part of it comes from grabbing and reaching for everything in this world around me. Many times in the beginning, I seem to feel going my own way is “fine.” What took me quite a while to realize, however, was that I don’t want to be just “fine.” I want to be content and joyful with all that He’s given me.

That’s when Jesus reminded me in critical moments that I had no peace inside of me. There were definite times in these last two quarters when I just wanted to give up my faith, when I was ashamed of being perceived as a Christian because being His testimony isn’t easy and because wanting that to be my identity when I struggle so hard with identity was a humbling process. Being Christ’s ambassador to the world when I’m such a flawed and unloving person doesn’t give me the right to preach His love I thought. At least I didn’t think I was at that point.

But then Jesus continually reminds us that He is the way, the truth and the life. I’m not the way. My parents are not the way. My friends aren’t the way. HE IS! It’s only through Him and His death on the cross and resurrection that we can die with Him and become new again.

So in this new quarter, with that said here are my *spiritual* goals and please keep me accountable:

1. To love Jesus with all my soul, heart, mind and strength (does this sound familiar? #aacflargegroup)

2. To place others before myself and allow myself to be more vulnerable to opening up about who I really am (still a struggle)

3. To pray continually

4. To love others and be a joyful spirit (I believe joy and happiness are 2 very different things – will talk about this some other time)

5. And most of all, to laugh it off and not take life too seriously (ok this isn’t too spiritual but it’s a reasonable goal nonetheless)

Let me hear your thoughts on what’s motivating you this quarter! Let’s finish the year strong.

xo