Living Faith // Trusting Him

It was past midnight. I should’ve been asleep. But I couldn’t shake that nagging thought. I kept thinking and thinking…

Have you ever wondered what to do when you know what is right, but simply can’t bring yourself to do it?

I’m not here to judge you. We’ve all been there. As a matter fact, I’m there myself, asking how– how should I handle this?

Some time ago, I was at a fellowship meeting with several families. Some of the children and youth headed to the park to carry out some activities. I didn’t know anything about it. They had planned everything without me. I saw it. And I was hurt, because we were such close friends. One of them invited me to join them, but I decided that if they planned without me, obviously I wasn’t needed, so I wouldn’t join them. In the end, however, I decided to go and see what they were doing.

When I got there, I was among three girls who were offered the opportunity to help one of our leaders with a task. Nursing my hurt, I used their unintentional exclusion of me to justify me grabbing that opportunity. My friends were very gracious in allowing me to help the leader without any protests. They even offered to help me out if I got tired later on. But me? I was selfish.

Halfway through the activity, a boy came running to tell us that we were in an off-limits area. Our leader started to hurry us up, saying that we had been warned and needed to wrap up before we got caught. I felt a twinge of guilt.

I knew it would only be right for me to speak up and say that we should leave immediately since we had been warned, and to leave the place myself if they refused to listen.

I knew it was right.

But I couldn’t do it.

I didn’t want to look like the “good girl” among them all. I didn’t want to fall out with them for being “legalistic.” I didn’t want to lose my place among them. I valued their “acceptance” of me, and I wasn’t ready to sacrifice my “position” as part of the group to do what I felt was right.

The next day, as my family dined together, one of us informed the rest of a work-related appointment that was to be held on a Sunday. It was the only day the relevant parties would be available, and because the meeting involved a major decision, this family member agreed to the meeting.

I thought about the matter for a few days. It’s a fine line between catering to others’ needs and compromising our own beliefs.

If the person explained his/her beliefs, and politely disagreed to holding the meeting on the Sabbath day, the business opportunity might have been lost, and the weeks of hard work would go to waste.

On the other hand, however, if this person were to say, “Okay. I don’t usually work on a Sunday, but since this is such a rare opportunity, I’ll meet up with you,” the other parties to look at Christians as hypocrites- people who don’t walk their talk, and are willing to compromise their beliefs just to gain something.

I don’t know about you, but it got me thinking about how, so often, we know deep inside what’s true or false, what’s right or wrong- but seldom act on it.

Living in faith requires trust to a good degree.

Suppose I were to lose my circle of friends because I lived my faith. It would require a lot of trust on my part to believe that God would continue to use me and provide me Godly friends.

Suppose the relative were to lose the prospect of being repaid after a series of insane workhorse. Would it be possible to trust God with such a big thing? The thing that would pay the bills and feed the family?

It requires TRUST.

Living in faith requires trust.

It’s not easy. It’s a thin line between not compromising and being a servant Christian who loves and provides for others.

But there is no thread so fine it cannot be seen in the sun.

In trying situations like these, let us hold that fine thread to the light of God’s wisdom and Word.

Yes, it’s all about living in faith.

But yes, it also requires trust, as cliche as that may sound.

Trust.

It’s perhaps the biggest figure of the equation, but we learn.

I’m here learning with you. Stay strong.

Trusting is tough. It’s all right. We struggle together.

And perhaps the most important thing to remember is that He won’t leave us where we’re at.

iwillneverleaveyounorforsakeyou

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Learning to Trust

trustme illshowyou

The past month has been a rough one. With assignments, presentations, celebrations, frustrations, and a generous sprinkling of troubles, I’m certainly grateful that I was able to find the time to write.

While I encountered a fair amount of challenges this month, there were also the memorable moments.

Like a toddler clutching my finger.

Like smiling into the eyes of a mischievous child.

Like watching a video with friends.

Like lunch with my best friend.

Like the satisfaction of drawing a bow across my violin strings.

Like hugging a loved one.

Like celebrating a group accomplishment.

Like giggling fits.

Like music flowing from the piano keys.

Like looking through old photos.

Like chatting with buddies.

Like the joy of seeing the enthusiasm and excellence of those who learn from an imperfect me.

Yes, it has been a memorable month, with the usual surprise ups and downs.

Very, very soon, I’ll be leaving for a mission trip. My first ever.

People have asked me, “Are you excited?” because my friends have been there, done it, and they love it.

But you know what? I’m apprehensive. Unsure of what to expect. Scared, even. I place my fears on being at a loss for what to do at airports. I place my fears on overpacking or underpacking. I place my fears on accidentally breaking team rules.

But really, I don’t even know what I’m afraid of.

“Half-half,” was my reply. Grammatically wrong, I know. And they were shocked.

“Why??? You should be jumping with impatience and anticipation!”

Am I different? Am I weird? Is something the matter with me?

No.

I don’t know what I’m afraid of, but I do know this. I’m unprepared. Inadequate. Unqualified.

Recently, I read a blog by a wonderful sister, and this caught my eye:

God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.

That’s a comforting thought for me.

As I think back to times past, I notice that it is in times like this- when I realise that I cannot do something, that I don’t have the ability to do something, that I am running low on fuel (or practice :$ )- that I turn to God and cry out to Him for mercy, strength, and grace.

And strangely, it is in those times that miraculous things happen. It doesn’t always happen, and when it does, it’s not always in the way I expect. But if I look at those times, and I look at where I am now…

You know what? I think God’s trying to tell me, “Hey, girl, don’t try to do this on your own. Trust Me. I have your back. Trust Me and let Me do the work. You do your best. I’ll do the rest.”

trustme

Writing this post, I realise that this and a few of my previous posts all relate to trust. Is God teaching me a lesson in trusting Him? Maybe… 🙂

Much love,

Szen.

A Painful Lesson

#2
I remember yesterdays like
Intermittent dewdrops of sweet honey.
I remember them like
Teardrops running down my cheeks.

I remember yesterdays like
An autumn breeze, and gold leaves askew.
I remember them like
An unrelenting fog, clouding my vision.

I remember yesterdays like
A child among the playful, lapping waves.
I remember them like
The angry ocean’s saltine spray mingling with my own.

I remember yesterdays like
Clear blue skies, and cotton poufs of stories.
I remember them like
Dark, gloomy nights, and thunder rolling in my ears.

I remember yesterdays like
Swaying fronds of delicate fern.
I remember them like
Evil tendrils of vine that curl around my neck.

I remember yesterdays like
Footprints in the sand, untouched by the sea.
I remember them like
A mess of sand, a reminder of when two friends fought.

I remember yesterdays like
Windswept hair, and tinkling laughter.
I remember them like
Wild tresses, tousled in the wake of a sleepless night.

I remember yesterdays like
An antique musical box- a refreshing melody to my ears.
I remember them like
A forgotten relic, damaged in the fray, but held dear in my heart.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

sunset girls

When I was eleven, my friend and I became special friends. We had known each other for years, just that- well, it was a normal relationship. We admired each other, and enjoyed each other’s company, and that was it.

For months, a friend had tried to damage our friendship by gossiping about us behind our backs. But both of us were aware of it and determined that nothing would keep us apart.

We shared the same interests, the same hobbies, the same passions.

We could talk to each other for hours about anything and everything.

But at the end of the next year, something DID separate us. 

Just a simple dispute. A simple misunderstanding about a missing item.

And our friendship ended there. 

We stopped speaking to each other. Stopped texting. Stopped emailing. Stopped sending letters. 

Well, maybe not exactly. But it was always one-sided. At first, she continued to reply my emails with short, snappy ones. Two months after our disagreement, she sent me a happy birthday email.

And of course, I replied. But she didn’t.

She never replied one single email or letter after that.

Up to this day, I still don’t know why.

I’ve never seen her since, even though I used to meet her a few times each week.

That was three years ago.

And to this day, when I think of her, tears still well up in my eyes. My lip still quivers. I still feel the pain as acutely as when it first happened.

Today is her birthday. 

She loved blue. 

So many things remind of her. She was such a big part of my life that everything somehow eventually links back to memories of her.

Today is her birthday.

Happy birthday, my dear friend. I still love you.

While that broken relationship still pains me, there is still something I can thank God for.

I was extremely attached to her. I knew she wasn’t the best influence for me, but, um. She was a Christian, anyhow. Maybe if I compromised some things and pushed my parents’ boundaries for me, things would work out?

But no. I refused to let her go, so God forced me to, I guess.

And, let me tell you this. It hurts. A lot.

For countless nights after that, I lay in bed crying and thinking of her. Yes, even after more than a year. 

But letting her go freed me from myself. 

I had decided I would be faithful to her. No one else would be my special friend.

But things didn’t work out. So, my heart was freed from my own loyalty to her. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. She still holds her special place in my heart. But now, I’ve realised the lie I believed in, and I opened my heart to allow God to lead the right friends to me.

And sure enough, the next year, He did. 

2014, in that tent? I was talking with the girl who is now my best friend. We were talking about letting our treasures go- in our cases, our friends. 

Neither of us knew it then, but that “break-up” with my special friend- God had a purpose in it. 

It’s a lesson for me to remember. When things don’t go the right way, I need to trust that He has something in mind. Yes, it’s easier said than done. But it’s happened countless times. When a dream was shattered, He built me a greater surprise. When a door was slammed shut, He showed me other doorways.

But that’s another story, for another day. 🙂

Here‘s something I’d like to share with you- something that gave me strength when I didn’t even have enough to ask God for more. ^^

Blessings, and a big hug from my corner of the world!

Szen