All things new

Unlike the metamorphosis of a butterfly that requires nothing of the caterpillar but to obey the wirings of its making and submit to its will to lay dormant within the cocoon for  7 – 14 days before emerging as a new creation, my metamorphosis is made up of multiple conscious decisions that must be acted out with much effort.

I am writing this piece on the iMac that I have finally been able to make space for, by making tough decisions to throw much of my past life away. I am a hoarder in rehabilitation, hoping to kick the habit before it consumes me and buries me under the objects that I could not bear to part with. I still have much to get rid of, but I have made significant progress, and it deserves to be celebrated.

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During this journey, I have found some tips from Marie Kondo to be helpful, especially the point about using joy as a selection criteria of what to keep. On top of that, my identity as a Child of God who has been adopted into an eternal inheritance demands that I no longer hold on to what’s behind, but run with perseverance the race set before me, fixing my eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Jesus, while He was on earth, said,

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.

Beyond the act of hoarding, in the final analysis, it is all about the heart condition, about making room for what really matters till the end of time.

The Ascent

The Ascent

Holding on to the open vision that God gave to me through a worship leader at church:

There are some of you who are like a hiker at the top of the mountain. There is a storm coming, but do not let your eyes be districted by the oncoming storm and worry what will happen. Instead, keep your gaze transfixed on Jesus so that you do not miss out on your mountaintop experience.

No wonder it didn’t feel like a valley-low period of time for me though I’ve been seemingly hit by something major in my life. The fact is that it is not. Just look at the incredible amount of favour I have been receiving! I cannot even comprehend it anymore.

Yet at the same time, there are nasty areas in my life that have come into my attention through people who love me enough to gently rebuke my ways and correct me (e.g. PJ). And the masses that these tips of the iceberg uncover are so huge and so deep I cannot overcome them on my own. I need my Saviour.

In these deepest moments of fragility, I taste and see the depths and sweetness of God’s grace. I cannot fathom how God has been loving me and pouring forth His grace and mercy boundless as the seas, over and over, over and over, abundantly, as much as I have need. His kindness leads me to repentance.

What next after repentance? The practical steps to actively change from my old ways of thoughts and actions remain as a challenge. Just as the challenge of scaling a mountain is incrementally steeper, every step of progress is going to take even more intention, determination, and a lot more of surrender to the Holy Spirit to conquer.

Isabel

8th March 2014. Saturday. 1300h.
A record of things of late.
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Yesterday I had lunch together with Hans, Jamie and Seth. Seth joined last minute, but I think it was a divine arrangement that he could join, because there was a lot of spirit impartation that we caught from our tutor who has gone before us.

It was fascinating to hear Hans’ story of how he had ended up in Industrial Design as a student; it sounded similar to mine in different ways, that it felt a little assuring, that it is okay that I had a start like this.

He told us that as Christians who are designers, the way we work sets us apart from how another designer who is not a believer works. We work from victory that Jesus has already won on the cross for us. We do not worry, we do not stress, we do not compromise, we trust in Him. He provides us the strength, ideas, and time, to do all we have to in that day. We live day by day, and God is good. He opens doors that none can close, and He closes doors that none can open. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, His ways higher than ours. He is sovereign.

Hans also shared with us that wisdom and desire are not mutually exclusive entities, but rather can come together as one. (“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” –Psalm 37:4) We know that we have been fearfully and wonderfully knitted in our mothers’ wombs, and He is the one who formed us. So we don’t have to be afraid of doing things that we like. We have the freedom to go ahead and pursue the ideas, as long as these desires are not evil ones.

Regarding the ideas that I have of writing a compilation of journey stories of local designers, and also setting up studio to do stuff and to hold conferences where people can come and hear of how these designers work, their works, and more importantly how the fingerprints of God are all over the place, and ‘it almost seems as though we could have an altar call at the end of the session’. Hans said: just do it. Sometimes you have to flow with it to know what to do.

Second person I’ve heard this from. Joan told me last month at prayer room when she prayed for me, she saw the word “faith”, which essentially means, just do it. I try to evade the hard work that it’ll take by wondering, but God, when is the right time? I think I have to just start. This May. Just start writing a little, pray a lot, talk to people, record their stories, arrange by recurring themes (perhaps), and step by small step, the Holy Spirit will guide. Yes, amen.

Hans did not do internships then as well! Haha, what a liberating assurance! I have work to do this summer nonetheless. Got to do up a good online catalog for litileprints, and sew all those backorders.
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Wednesday: I was at intercessors’ meet backstage at prayer room, and it was such a beautiful time. We saw visions, we prayed them to be, He was with us. And then He put His words in my mouth, in first person, where “I” = “God”. I deserved to die. I am scorched by His glory, for ever. To live life to the fullest, and bring those far away to Him, so that they too can receive the fullness for which Jesus has not died in vain to bring.

After the meeting, I soaked in God’s love for me within the purple seats, and I was free to weep. Everything released; I can’t put into words that which I wept for, but they were tears of release that brought peace. God knows how much I have been experiencing, and He loves me enough to just let me cry. And it brought comfort. I think it was a beautiful night. Father must think so too! His children gathering to pray and sing and delight in His presence as He delights in us.

Yuan Fang was with me this prayer room. Next month I will bring another girl for spirit activation/impartation and just modelling the way.
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Thursday: Lifegroup was flooded by God’s presence! It was amazing!!! We saw many visions, had words of revelation, prophesies, and Hannah saw fire burning in the house, and she said the Holy Spirit was on the sofa and He wanted to join us, so she let Him have her seat. I felt a hand on my head, and opened my eyes to the horror that it was not a person who touched me (by accident), but it was God. He also told me that I am filled with joy from Him, and I am to spread this unquenchable joy to many peoples around me, beyond my natural sphere of influence. He also said, that He is proud of me, and what I am doing. Wow, I was moved to tears! The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is proud of me. I must keep at it, and make Him prouder still.
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It’s been difficult to think about the future when I now know that we are living in the end of the end times, who knows how ‘end’. It makes me confused, like I no longer know if I should think about setting up family, getting into courtship etc, when I am not sure if there is time. But what I do know is that I want what I do to be counted for, to be able to withstand the test of fire, before the throne of Kings. I want the things that I do to have an eternal impact. And they are only made eternal, if I do these things (no matter how small) together with Him.

To conclude this lengthy post, I write the analogy story that Hans shared with us yesterday:
There was a designer who designed a beautiful house. But throughout the process, he did not enjoy himself. There was a lot of stress, anxiety, and negative feelings. In contrast, there was a little old lady who cleaned the place, and tidied the parts of the house, who knew that God gives her the strength to do all these menial work, and so she does the work with joy. At the end of the day, God delights in the little old lady more than He delights in the beautiful house. The process of working matters so much more, if not entirely, to God. He wants us to do our work together with Him. And this discovery and presence during the process is worth so much more than the output can quantify.

Isabel, my baptism name that was gifted by God Himself, means God’s Promise. And His Promise is His Presence. What more can I ask for? Please steward this presence and these gifts well. Be faithful.