15 things I’ve learned from going through the pain of my family upheaval.

Thanks to the WordPress 20 days writing prompts aka Everyday Inspiration, I’m finally writing about what I’ve learned from going through six months (and counting) of loss and pain.

Here are 15 things I’ve learned from going through pain:

  1. Pain is the mother of necessity in growth as a person.
  2. That really, I can’t control outcomes. I have zero arse control over many things…ok, everything.
  3. I’m not god.
  4. That crazy notion of ‘joy amidst suffering’—it’s real and possible.
  5. I hurt people, and I seriously need to say sorry.
  6. The years of repetitive hurts caused by others has hardened my heart.
  7. Depression is real, and it sucks big time.
  8. I have a choice to give my hand to God and let Him lift me up from my dungeon.

    Wrestling with God

    And not be like this. Puny me resisting the Big Guy’s help. Doodle credit: Chan Wai.

  9. My years of anger issue is a blinking symptom of something seriously wrong going inside of me.
  10. What happened even when we were a toddler, stays in the memory, even if we are not aware of it. And it can trigger hot buttons. I learned that from Elijah House.
  11. God’s word is true and not to be messed with.
  12. The liberation of letting go, and then through prayer, letting God work— the feeling is unbelievably comforting.
  13. Not to negate or rationalise away emotions.
  14. Emotion is the language of our heart, telling us what’s happening inside.
  15. God can heal the deepest hurts.

Bonus: Making a list is such fun. Try it!

Share your list with me?


20 days writing prompt series. Day two: Write a list

Why do I write?

Why do I write?

I write because it’s the song to my soul.

When I write, I feel every cell in me comes alive. I write—because that’s one of the greatest ways for me to hear myself.

And then I write because of you. The you who resonates not only with the content of my writing but the heart of it. The you who may pause and ponder in mid-sentence through the blog post. The you who just may need that bit of soul-lifting for the day. The you who may say, “someone gets me.”

Most importantly, I write because of Him. I write because He has given me the gift of writing.

I used to shy away from acknowledging this gift. But I’ve been correctly pointed out that—all good gifts come from God—and we are to be grateful. Not only that, we are to use it for good. So I write to give the glory back to God—for He gives me the joy of doing so.

Soli Deo gloria

 


20 days writing prompt series. Day one: I write because…

Discovering my life verse in the Bible

As I retired to bed, I just felt like wanting to read the Bible. So, I took my physical Bible. And not knowing what to read, I asked a simple question, ‘God, what should I read?’ Immediately I heard an answer. A book which begins with an ‘E’. So, I thought, Ephesians? Then it doesn’t feel like that’s the one. Ecclesiastes? Could be!

I quickly thumbed through the introduction of that book. Eugene Peterson brilliantly wrote the intro. And I knew this is what God wants me to read.

As I hungrily complete the last chapter—I came to the final word of that book, which is:

Fear God. Obey His commands.

Or, in the Message version:
Fear God. Do what he tells you.

I like the AMP version, though. Ecclesiastes 12:13

It gives clarity to the phrase ‘fear God’. It removes the unhealthy connotation which may be attached to the word, ‘fear’.

Worship Him. Show profound adoring awed respect. Wow.
Knowing that He is Almighty God. Therefore WORTHY to be worshiped in this manner. Wow.


Next, keep His Commandments.
Gulp.

Now, I know of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament of the Bible. But I also know of the Great Commandment, which to me, is the mother or rather father of all commandments. This is it.

To quote Matthew 22:35-40 AMP from the Bible:

One of them, a lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law], asked Jesus a question, to test Him: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly (adjective) seek (verb) the best or higher good for others].’
The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

To fear God (out of reverence for who He is), to obey His commands to love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind, and to love others as myself…

BAM! I think I’ve found my life verse.


Further references on the Great Commandment from Wikipedia

God speaks through the Bible

The most important lesson I learnt from Elijah House ‘Keys to Transformation Seminar’.

I’ve attended a two-day ‘Keys to Transformation Seminar’ at Elijah House. And this question posted to the attendees at the start of the seminar got my immediate attention—

Do you take God’s words lightly?

My instant response was, of course not!

But just take a look at this verse from the Bible:

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Matthew 7:1 NIV

Or, another translation in AMP

Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]

And I have the truth staring at me. I do take God’s words lightly!—because I do judge others.

(For a clearer context of this verse, consider to read this article by Wayne Stiles ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged—what Jesus meant’, then come back to continue reading this post)


That caused me to be worried, and I’d better be…

What other words from God have I taken lightly?

Those words which I’ve read and understood in my mind, but I didn’t ask God to help me live it out.

I worry not because of a fear of being punished, or of blindly sticking to religious laws. I worry because it shows a lack of my honour for God.

I worry because God’s words are truth, and I’m defying His words!

A shift happened—now when I read the Bible, I have a renewed interest in what God is saying to me through His words. The Bible became personal. And rich.

‘Do you take God’s words lightly?’ became my wake up call in my journey of knowing God.

 

 

 

Eight great things I discovered about Elijah House.

Excerpt from my previous post: There’s a ministering course which I wanted to go to receive inner healing for all these knots and mess, which I’ve been trying so hard to untangle but failed.


And so I’ve attended Elijah House ‘Keys to Transformation seminar’. I’m delighted to share my discoveries about Elijah House, and also, inner healing.

  1. It’s for every Christian at any stage in their walk with Christ.
  2. It’s not designed to be a place for those with deep, personal problems and are only seeking help for themselves.
  3. Inner healing is not a single nor one-time process. It is also not something to repair or fix us. God intends to raise us anew in Him. Therefore our old selves have to ‘die’ so that the new selves can be born.
  4. It’s not a behaviour changing program where the attempts are to change how our mind thinks. It goes deep and deals a lot with our emotions and the actual conditions of our heart.
  5. It enables students to recognise the root causes of their problems. Often without knowing the root cause, the same problem will recur in different scenarios.
  6. Gain knowledge through the live teaching and video, and the revelation by the Holy Spirit to understand the reason why we are what and how we are. For me, it’s a great feeling to understand logically (through the enabling of the Holy Spirit) why I’m struggling with the same issues.
  7. Learn how to minister to others by observing how the facilitators minister in small groups.
  8. There are opportunities to be ministered to to experience personal healing through small group prayer ministry.

    As I’ve said, it’s for every Christian at any stage in their walk with Christ. To me, what I’ve discovered about myself; the acceptance of responsibilities for my wrong responses to issues, and most importantly a heightened empathy towards others (for example, hurt people, hurt people) is a start to my walking in freedom with Christ.

    Find out more about Elijah House here and Elijah House Malaysia here.

     

     

     

The Lord gives strength to the weary

Ran out of steam by running on my own strength. The invitation from the Lord has always been open to me, to go to Him. I didn’t take it seriously, not fully, anyway.

How does it feels like to drop everything at His cross, and follow His lead?


I was presented with this verse, right smack at the beginning of the war movie, Hacksaw Ridge; a true story of an American army medic, Desmond Doss, whose beliefs convicted him to not kill, nor use a rifle…even in the war.

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power . Isaiah 40: 31 AMP

Here I am waiting, abide in me, I pray
Here I am longing for You
Hide me in Your love, bring me to my knees
May I know Jesus more and more

God, I want to know You more. I need to know You more. I want it to be real in my heart. Lord, I want that kind of conviction to depend on the unshakable You.


They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 NIV

Come live in me all my life, take over
Come breathe in me, I will rise on eagle’s wings

Lord, help me to have that kind of faith to let You take the lead in my life.
calligraphy: grief

365 days calligraphy challenge: follow your heart

‘I want to swim again’

said my late mum to her oncologist when at her stage-4 cancer, he asked what is it that she wants to do (to encourage her). Fight she did, but she never got the chance to go into the pool ever again.

What is it that you want to do even if it’s just a simple thing—but you are giving yourself excuses not to?

Or, are you questioning ‘does it matter to do what I’m doing?’

I question myself many times about my role in the church office. I question my blogging; writing about God. I question myself even over this 365 daily word thingy. Does it matter? Will it make a difference to other people?
Hubs told me, ‘Even if you do it, you may not know in your lifetime whether it will matter. But if you don’t do it, you will NEVER know and will live with this niggling thought. Maybe even at your death bed; regret.’

So.
Swim.

#day3 #dailyword #dailycalligraphy #noregrets #makeadifference #365