“As wave is driven by wave
And each, pursued, pursues the wave ahead,
So time flies on and follows, flies, and follows,
Always, for ever and new. What was before
Is left behind; what never was is now;
And every passing moment is renewed.”
― Ovid, Metamorphoses
With the start of February, I’ve finally seem to settle into the new year.
January was a whirlwind of changes and adaptation, and also a classroom of difficult tutorials like Humility and Surrender. The tutorial lessons are still ongoing, but I feel a lot lighter now. The initial stress has passed away. Yeah, January was too busy. It felt as if I were a runner at the start of the (long-distance) marathon who foolishly started off with a sprint, not realising that in a marathon, it is stamina, not burst, that lasts the race.
three things that made me glad
- The ID Fellowship is growing from strength to strength. On the 23rd of January, we hit a record high in attendance and were all greatly encouraged. Glenda (2nd row, 2nd from left) and I have been taking turns to teach from the First Steps resource book that the church is using. The brothers and sisters seem to have been enjoying it, so praise the Lord. Also, can you see how young all of them are? All of them (except me) are in their lower years. I’m so grateful that there is continuity in the spiritual legacy. The Lord is good.
- Tzeyu‘s spiritual growth encourages me. In the month of January, I had a shepherding session with her amidst our busy preparation for the Market of Artisans, Artists and Designers (M.A.A.D.), she attended life group for the first time at Wan Yueh’s place, joined the ID Fellowship, and was also present at the church’s corporate prayer meet! Long sessions of one-way sharing doesn’t work for her; short, impactful, relevant nuggets hit home. Encouraging her to pray more. I am learning from her, as she is learning with her boyfriend, the importance of communicating intentions in advance. Thank God for teaching me through her, such that even my communication with Grace (my shepherd-mentor) and Kar Wai (my ministry-mentor) has shown small steps of improvement. Also, our conversations are getting deeper; we are more vulnerable to each other now. We share more random stories from our personal lives now. And I am learning how to listen. We’re also working together better now, and share dreams of the future collaboration…With Jesus truly at the centre, there is flow, and I pray that we will be aligned more and more each day.
- The thesis support group that the Lord has sent into my life in this season. Ordained to work in school daily on our thesis projects, we would be lying if it isn’t sometimes a bore or drudgery. It is tiresome to mull over the same project hour after hour, day after day. Worst of all, it is so trying of my personal faith. There are days when I doubted the worth of my project (and it didn’t help that crit 1 results were bad), and I found it hard to even take the next step, or speak with someone about it because I know that everyone has his/her foot stuck in a hole, similar or otherwise. But in such down times, I give thanks for a thesis supervisor who shares the same faith in Jesus Christ. His faith in Jesus, and the overflow of that faith into our projects matter so much. I was telling Karyn that “I must have faith in his faith for my project.” I will not fail, in Jesus’ name. He knows that, and that faith assures me when I’m afraid. With the thesis group mates around, things are a little more fun. I’m really thankful that we can have meals together, watch some dramas to destress together, go a little berserk together, and work hard together. We even took time out to celebrate Dom and Naroth’s birthdays! I could not have asked for better. Hans said that his thesis students are predestined; I believe it. And then when we help one another run some errands, sugar is added with words of encouragement and support. This was from Jia, who thanked me for being there for her, and who encouraged me to be vulnerable and open with her. I appreciate her gesture, and I will try to get to know her a little more, and be more trusting towards her. Sometimes I still cannot really talk with her well. She feels a little aggressive to me sometimes when all I want is some introversion.
three things that made me upset
- I felt indignant and misunderstood by some leaders. But at the same time I knew that their concerns were valid and true. And that God is sovereign over all. So, cry some, surrender a lot, humble even more, and move on. Thank God for the valuable lesson. God only disciplines those whom He loves. Similarly, if my leaders do not love me, they would not bother to correct me and commit to continue scaffolding my growth.
- Dad’s pride, frustration and hurts. It upset me that Dad was frustrated at his own lack and was despising himself. I recognised how much Dad and Mum actually really need salvation for their souls, and the healing that Jesus would bring. I declare that in the name of Jesus, that in this year of the Lord’s favour, my parents will accept the gift of salvation for their souls, and that Jesus can bind up their broken hearts, and heal every wound, amen.
- Being in the 25th percentile again. It made me learn that truly it was by grace, not by might, and the power of God that I was at the head not the tail last semester. That Dean’s list blessing was never the result of my own hard work, but rather the overflow of my insistent rest in His finished work at calvary. I must remember this, so that I will not start striving once more.
Now, I’m ready for February. The neat chunk of 4 by 7 rectangles. God, I want you MORE. I will walk with You, hand in hand, and hope with You.