In the Storm

Some time ago, I was talking to a friend about life and its challenges. Our discussion continued deep into the night, and when we finally went to bed, it was nearly three, but despite the general fuzziness that ruled my head at the time, I remember what she said.

And I quote:

“Sometimes, the way God works is… He doesn’t change anything about the situation and we battle on wondering what on earth He is doing and cry out for relief in the storm. And our prayer shouldn’t be, “God, take away the storm.” It should be, “God, let me see you IN the storm. Don’t take me out of it – draw me to you IN it.” And that’s what He does! He doesn’t take us out of the storm. Nothing might even change. Like literally nothing. But He changes US in the storm. Into someone we never imagined we could be. I mean, someone with the grace and strength that we could never create on our own… how can we possibly be gracious and strong in [such] situations…? How could they ever be anything but negative?  It’s literally impossible from the human perspective. Literally the only thing that can keep us going is when our hearts have been transformed IN the storm as we are completely and utterly broken before the Lord.”

I don’t know about you, but that spoke a lot to me. Each of us has experienced our fair share of trials and heartbreaks, and it’s no small feat to get through them.

I think back to times when bad things happened to my friends and family, times when I was betrayed by people my heart held dearest, times when misunderstandings turned things upside down, times when I lost people I loved.

And I think of now. I have friends going through the same things, experiencing the same pain, struggling with the same questions…

And I realize that truly, God has a higher plan for me. And for you, too, whether it seems believable or not. I know there were periods of my life when I felt I could no longer trust Him. Days, weeks, and months on end…

But as I take another step in this journey called Life, I have been shown through my friends that He put me through those tough times for a reason- so that I would be able to understand, empathize, and encourage.

Jeremiah 29:12-14 says, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord , “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord , “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

It just reminds me of how God uses hardships in life – yes, even those that make you feel like giving up on life – to turn us to Him, so that we may strengthen our relationship with Him, and that we may find Him a true friend and Father – the only One Who truly understands us and Who can help us through our fiercest storms.

So together, as we journey through life, let us not pray, “God, take me out of this storm.” Instead, let us turn to Him and pray, “God, let me find You IN this storm. Never let me go, because You made me. I am precious in Your sight, and I want to discover a whole new depth of my relationship with You.”

Together, let us look to Him, to find Him IN THE STORM.

Blessings,

Szen

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Dear Girl // Hang On

You know what it’s like when you’re sick and are recovering, only to fall sick again? You know what it feels like when it seems like you’ll never get well?

You know what it’s like to go through the deepest, darkest part of you life?

Yes?

You know what it’s like to think you overcame it– that things were getting better, only to find yourself crashing. again?

Yes? So do I.

When everything is a mess. when you don’t see a way out. When there’s nothing more to live for.

Yes?

When you become numb. When you silently cry out for help. When you realise you’re alone in this.

Yes?

When you have lost control of yourself. When there’s no more hope. When your heart bleeds so profusely you can barely feel anything else.

Yes?

I know. It hurts. a. lot.

And the greatest pain is in watching everyone else live a “normal” life while you are drowning– gasping for breath and pleading for help– but having to hide it all, knowing no one will understand.

Yes?

I feel you.

Dear girl, don’t give up. I know you’ve heard this a billion times, but I’m still going to say it.

Hang on. Hang on with every last bit of you. Don’t ever give up.

Saying “things’ll get better” doesn’t help– I know– so I won’t say that.

But know this, dear girl. There’s a soul out here who feels you. You are not alone. You are loved. Perhaps by no one else, but I love you.

You may have suffered at the hands of people– Christians– and have determined to hate this God who doesn’t even attempt to make things better. I don’t know what you’ve been through. If you’ve met a Christian and realised he/she was a hypocrite, I’m sorry.

I know I’m not perfect. I don’t do the slightest bit of justice to the Christian faith because of who I am.

But God still loves me. And He loves you. Wait. Don’t click that button to close this window.

I’ve questioned how He could love me despite me being the wreck I am. I’ve rejected Him– spurned Him– hated Him, even.

Yet, He is faithful. I can’t say how things will work out.

But He has brought me safe thus far.

Depression and anxiety are in no way pleasant. It’s torture. Torture to the farthest extent of the soul.

But, dear girl, don’t do anything else to yourself. This is a note to myself, too.

Don’t, dear girl. Don’t. Don’t do anything to yourself. Hang on. I love you. God does, too.

And here‘s something I’d like to share with you. 🙂 I love you, dear girl. Hang on.

Dear Girl // Because Life is Fragile

Life is fragile.

Life. Is. Fragile.

The word fragile swims in my mind. As I picture a pair of hands probing some mysterious crystal with the gentlest touch, I am brought back to that moment when I first read WOYS’ blog, “The Journey.” Perhaps I’ve never actually recorded this, but it was her blog– that artfully simple, yet strikingly honest form of expression– that inspired me to do the same. It doesn’t have to be fancy or anything– just a journal where I can express myself and just be me. Sometimes, comfort can be found in the simplest of things– pen and paper. I loved those subtle messages that I wove and sprinkled my poems generously with– it reminded me of a word’s worth– how much just a few alphabets can mean.

But I’m diverging. Life is fragile. It really is.

Life can go– just like that. Cancer, illness, suicide, murder, accidents– you name it. And sometimes, you just have to let it go.

It is that precious. It is that fragile.

Fragile enough to shatter with a thoughtless action.

Fragile enough to shatter with an ignorant look.

Fragile enough to shatter with words. Yes, words.

That’s why life needs to be handled with utmost care.

Don’t take it for-granted, dear girl.

Acknowledge and cherish the fact that you are alive for yet another day, no matter how painful it may be.

Life is fragile.

It can be gone.

Just like that.

Just another patient. Just another driver. Just another abortion. Just another suicide.

Life is fragile.

Don’t shatter another life by shattering your own. Don’t.

I know what it’s like– that unbearable agony that crushes you and rams you against the wall of hopelessness, leaving you gasping for air. Yes, I know. You see no way out.

But hang on a little longer, dear girl.

Because that little moment can mean a lot.

It will mean a lot to me.

Don’t do it. I love you.

Life is fragile.

I’m here for you. Go out there on the battlefield.

Go fight.

Go help build someone up.

Because life is fragile.