Christmas to me was—parties, drinks, presents, merry-making, heck-yeah.
This is my story of why I’ve changed, decided to accept Jesus, (remained a non-geek), and how Christmas has an entirely new meaning for me.
Continue reading “My story: How I went from totally disinterested to totally in love with God.”
The media has played a big part in influencing people on what is deemed to be ‘the norm’. Giving up on a tough and bad marriage is one of them. From Hollywood movies to Hong Kong soap operas, the message is this: If it’s causing great unhappiness to both parties and there’s no workable solution in sight, then the only solution is to get a divorce.
One of my heart’s burdens is the health and well-being of marriages. It breaks my heart to see marriages falling apart and in the process, dragging everything down with them. Families are torn apart. Children are having to learn how to live a ‘new normal life’ when nothing is normal about broken families – despite what the media is saying to us.
Look, I am not trying to make a suffering relationship sound easy. I am a product of a divorced family, as my parents divorced even before I went to kindergarten. Later in my adult life, I find myself living with the consequences of being in a second marriage relationship; my husband’s second marriage, my first. I have seen firsthand how my step-daughter suffered during her earlier childhood; being torn apart from her shuffling between her biological mother and father, who has sole custody of her. I have had power struggle with his ex-wife for imparting different and conflicting values into my step-daughter. I have screamed through bitter arguments with my husband. At this point, I have to say that while society dictates I call her ‘step-daughter’, in my heart, she is no different to me than a biological child. So it is only for the purpose of this article that I am using the term ‘step-daughter’.
“Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”- Ephesians 4:2-3
To cut a long story short, our earlier years together was close to being hell on earth as a new ‘blended’ family. It wasn’t until all of us came to know Christ, starting with my husband, then three years later, where I too decided to surrender my life to Him that He took our biggest mistake and made it right.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12
Both of you have to commit to the ‘No exit clause’ in your marriage from the beginning.
We had to learn through the most painful way how not to live life selfishly. We had to learn how to love unconditionally despite seeing how hopeless our relationship seemed to be. I am ever thankful for the lessons, horrible as they were. The hard lessons have taught us to close the exit door of our marriage. We decided that ‘there’s no exit clause’ in this marriage, and we are going to work it out, no matter what.
With our marriage being rooted in God and made stronger, we can give our daughter a stable growing up environment. She has seen the bad and ugly consequences of both husband and wife wanting their way and insisting that their expectations be met. As she is now maturing into a beautiful teen both from the inside and out; I thank God that she too is, growing her roots deeper in Christ. I can’t be any happier for her or love her enough!
By God’s power, I believe that the ‘generational curse’ of bad marriages and divorces from both sides of our family has been broken. It stops at our generation.
My last take on this – If you have yet to make the decision, please don’t give up on your marriage, please don’t get divorced. Get help, seek counselling, pray. Do whatever, but please don’t give up.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Eph. 6:10
It’s easy to love lovable’ people, anyone can do that! But it’s in the loving of people who have wronged us or caused harm to others, or simply just very different from us that my walk being a Christ follower is tested.
I’m chewing on this passage.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Ephesians 5:1-2 MSG)
You’ve answered some of my silliest littlest prayers like, ‘Dear God, help me enjoy the process of this dreaded grocery shopping and housekeeping.’
In my immature way, I wished and wished my prayer of letting my mom be with me for much longer be traded with the rest and be answered instead.
I wished that she has the chance now to enjoy a better daughter; since He made me a better person through the process of growing in Christ. We would have such a wonderful relationship now that I’ve learnt how to love.
But Your ways are a mystery. And it’s beyond my comprehension.
The only comfort and the most important one at that is I’m assured that mummy is safe with You in heaven. Two years free of earthly pain, suffering and sorrow.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I love how You love me enough to let me fall.
To allow me to slide down the ravines of life, again & again, trying to climb up on my own…injuring myself badly, only to finally be desperate enough to look up.
There You are. Your hands stretched out to me. Ever ready to pull me out. Your arm opens, every ready to hold me in them and embrace me. “You are safe, you are safe, hush child, shh… you are safe.”
Your assurance. You are always here.
I love how You broke me into pieces, this child of Yours whom You’;ve created.
And with pain in Your heart, You watched me as I destroy my own life and crumbles.
Didn’t know who You are. Ridiculing You. Arrogantly declaring I have no need for You in my life. I denied You. I denied Your existance.
Yet. Patiently, You’ve waited for me to come home.
And boy. Did I run home. Did I run as hard as I could to Your arms. Crying, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry Father for all that I’ve done. I’m sorry. I ask for Your forgiveness even when You had forgiven every-single-thing-I’d-done-that-breaks-Your-heart.
Thank You Father. Thank you for breaking me. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for there is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
You are blessed when you get your inside world- your mind and heart – put right. Then, you can see God in the outside world.
Lord, I’m amazed by You, how You love me.
I am not a dead-knot ribbon. I can be un-knotted.
Let me loose, let me go.
Let me breathe, let me flow.
Let me leap, let me soar.
Let me go where I’ve never been before.
Eeps! I say.
Do You mean I have to go far away?
No, no, if I may.
Pretty please, let me stay.
Trust Me, you say?
Just let me soar where I am inside, I say.
Not needing a flight ticket to fly away.
Pretty please, let me stay.
Pretty please, let me stay.
Got home after a long day at work, barely put down my bag and my Whatsapp buzzes at 10:15 pm re work.
Increasingly I realised, with technology comes great responsibility… And a whole lot of interference if mismanaged.
I thought I could be having a bonding time with my daughter now. I could be catching up with my husband after a long day. I could be spending quiet time reading God’s words. Or I could be winding down with a book.
Do I reply the message re work that could possibly wait till tomorrow?
Or am I obligated to reply?
If I reply, I would have to put down whatever I am doing and attend to the message.
Does loving what you do means letting it interrupt other areas of your life?
How then, do you strike a balance?
If you choose to draw lines, will others understand or they think you are obliged to attend to them promptly?
Will they think lesser of you – performance, commitment, teamwork?
Think about it. With the availability, connectivity, accessibility… are we modern folks expected to respond to messages & email almost immediately?
Thing is, it’s not only other’s expectations but OURS who think that we NEED to type a quick reply NOW.
Where then is the space where we pace ourselves when our thoughts & work are constantly being interrupted?
Or are we acclimatise to multitasking so much that our brain is able to handle the stop-go dance?
Where indeed is that line that’s as hazy as the sky now.
Did my first Bible Study Fellowship daily bible study exercises on Genesis 16-17.
Reflecting on the Word, I learned that God’s timing can’t be understood, but His promise never changes.
My question is:
How long do we sit around and pray, doing nothing?
Immediately after asking that question, I also realized it’s wrong. PRAYING – is doing something if not the most important thing of all.
So, since prayer is so important, how should we pray then? What should we pray for?
And since God knows our heart, is it of any importance that our prayers to be accurate & correct for it to be ‘effective’?
Why are some people ‘prayer warriors’and why some shy away when asked to pray for people?
Am I going to be impatient, pray hard and mid-way through taking a peek through one eye to see if anything is happening, y-e-t?
Praying – is it a learnable skill?
A seemingly tiny action causes an impact on others.
A fellow cg (Cell group) member shared this song with us to encourage some of us who are going through some rough patches in our life.
I was inspired by it and shared it.
Little did I know, some hearts were touched, and one of the encouraging response I received is this :
This is so refreshing – not just the song but more so we remember each as colleagues that we are family. To pause and consider one another and encourage each other with an appropriate song that turns our thoughts and attention to the Lover of our souls who offers us hope, encouragement, inspiration and most of all, His great love and abounding grace.
May the Lord bless you for your thoughtfulness and sensitivity.
From wanting to encourage & inspire others, I am in return, blessed ten-folds.
A tiny step of action to love produces ripples of joy in others.
I’m glad I don’t have to be a ‘super Christian’ to do this. Amen.
Here’s the song that stirs my heart, especially this verse.
What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy