Exactly two months ago, I was on a plane headed to Taipei, Taiwan. It would be my first time overseas and I was nervous and excited and definitely scared.
And now I’d like to share a little confession with you. All of my life, I believed that overseas missionary work wasn’t the thing for me. It was always a dream of mine to travel and experience new things but to live in a foreign country…that was a whole other story. Yeah, I’m a Cross-Cultural Business major…but a part of me still never believed that I could be overseas doing work for the Lord. That is, until now.
Two months ago, I went to Taiwan solely to fulfill my internship requirements for graduation. Before my trip, I was ready to just get my degree, settle down with my boyfriend, and serve the church here in the states. I wouldn’t be one of those missionaries who dropped everything and went overseas. No…I was more comfortable just staying here and sending people out. I just didn’t think that I fit in that situation or environment, especially with my introverted personality. I wanted to go on this trip so that God could confirm to me that being overseas wasn’t for me. I went already expecting Him to reveal and say that I wasn’t made to be overseas. I was telling people that I hoped God would speak to me during my time in Taiwan and that I would see if missionary work was for me or not but really, I had already decided in my mind that it wasn’t. So God took that selfishness in me and said, “Watch me work.”
Instead of hearing God say, “You’re right. Overseas work isn’t the thing for you,” I heard Him say, “I can use you in any place or situation.” Instead of making me long for the comfort of home in the states, He gave me a new place to call home…a new place to love. He showed me what faith and trust and hope really looked liked and now, I’m forever changed.
I’m teetering on many different decisions now. A part of me longs so much to be back in Taiwan now that I know that overseas work is something that I can do for the rest of my life. And another part of me is okay with staying in the states with the ones who have loved and supported me for so long here. Ahhh…I have so many feels…so many emotions running through me right now. I wish I knew the answer…I wish God would just tell me which one I should go for. But since I can’t fully know, I simply need to trust. And have faith that God will work out what He will.
I’m feeling discouraged over something so little. But really…people need to just get over it. You win some, you lose some. Quit being such sore losers. It’s not like our team is even bragging about our victory. I don’t understand why people are getting so defensive. And the things they say are just discouraging. It kinda sucks to have so many people not on your side. I know almost everyone is hoping that we lose tonight.
Okay. Vent over. Time to move on from this too. Can’t let it get to me. It’s just intramurals.
As you all know from my previous post here, I’ve been a very busy gal. I just did another fundraiser this past weekend which required me to be up until 3AM on a Sunday morning. And if you don’t know, I’m a woman who needs her sleep. So it was tough for me.
And then I come back to campus only to be burdened by the HSF Missions Committee eggroll fundraiser and all the preparations that need to be done for that as well as my homework load (because none of it got done over the weekend due to the fundraiser). I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmed and quite powerless. I had a paper due today that I hadn’t started, I had to run to the store after dinner to get more stuff for eggrolls, I had to prepare everything for eggroll prep tonight…the list seemed to never end. And after my 9am class, I was feeling pretty stressed about it all.
But I went back up to my terrace and showered. And while I showered, I prayed that the Lord would give me strength. I prayed for that joy that I once had…that joy and love and peace that once permeated to the very depths of my heart. I prayed for Him to meet me…and He did. Yes, under the pounding of warm water on my back, I prayed for the Lord of Lords to change my heart and make me a true bearer of His image in every part of my life.
And you know…the Lord…He never fails. Joy like none other filled my heart and I was at peace with all the craziness of life. I walked out of that shower and felt like I wanted to just go and love on people. I wanted to go to those who I know I’ve been neglecting lately and see how they were doing. And I know that’s the work of the Holy Spirit in me. That’s Jesus moving in me and saying, “Okay Baoseng…I will give you the desires of your heart…and I will fill you with my joy and my peace and my love.”
So this is my encouragement to you, friends: ”What joy, what joy for those whose hope is in the name of the Lord. What peace, what peace for those whose comfort is in Him alone.”
My days have been so packed. Especially my Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays because I have all five of my classes on those days. I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed with all that I need to do. I have classes & homework, work, HSF leadership positions (note that I have more than one position with the missions committee), and fundraising and preparing for my coming internship in the summer. My nights are always taken up by meetings, meetings, and more meetings. And it’s so exhausting.
I need me some Jesus time. I need to learn to say no to some things. I need to accept that I can’t control everything and have it all my way (<—a BIG problem of mine).
There’s a part of me that wants to hold on and keep holding on until I absolutely can’t do so anymore.
And then there’s that other part of me…that just wants to let go. Maybe this wasn’t meant to be. Maybe life did mean for us to cross paths to learn and grow from each other but that time is now over. Maybe it’s time to let go of this chapter of our lives and continue on with our separate stories. Maybe there’s something better out there for us and the only thing keeping us from it is each other.
Because I’m tired…and you’re tired…so what’s the point?
I believe in working up to the occasion…in knowing that every decision you make now influences and affects the future. I don’t believe that you can succeed when thrown into situations by “rising up to the occasion.” I believe in hard work and determination. I believe in smart planning and focus.
You can’t expect to be good at it later unless you practice it now.
I’m feeling very overwhelmed. So many emotions running through me that I can barely breathe by the weight of them. I don’t want tomorrow to come because tomorrow adds on to the stress. But I’m too late, aren’t I? Tomorrow’s already here.
I’m overwhelmed by school work, and the fear of not passing certain classes because of a lack of motivation to do work. I’m overwhelmed by work and it’s new pressures and responsibilities. I’m overwhelmed by my personal life. The wanting to be good and perfect, yet failing every time.
Having someone be disappointed in you is one of the worst feelings ever. I remember my little brother telling me about how those words, “I’m disappointed in you,” had hurt him so much. Now I understand. It’s like this gut wrenching, sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. It makes you feel shameful. It makes you feel like you’re not good enough.
If this is how it feels like to hear those words of disappointment, then I must be more careful how I use it and how often.
Picking up my heart and my stomach. Press onward, Baoseng. The mistakes of today do not define your tomorrow.
Why is it so easy for people to ruin my mood? Why can’t they learn to be watchful with their words? They may not seem like hurtful words to you but to me, they’re daggers to my soul. Father, teach me to truly love those who hurt me.
I’ll admit it…one of my struggles is being too judgmental of those who post up online every detail of their lives, whether on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. And yeah, I know…I’m a hypocrite for thinking this. Because I do it too, especially on here. So I got to thinking…why do I post these things up? Why do I, like so many others, feel the need to let the online community know about the things we are doing, feeling, seeing, etc.? And I think I know why I do it. I can’t say this is the same for everyone else, but for me, this is true. I write these Tumblr posts and Facebook statuses and I put up Instagram pictures because I want to be heard. Even if you only know just the inkling that I post, I want you, those who follow this blog or are friends with me on Facebook…I want you to know…to hear me. And maybe after hearing me, you can help me. I am nothing but a fallen sinner and I need encouragement and prayer just like everyone else. So I just want to say to you who are reading, thank you. It’s reassuring to know that I am heard.
Tonight, I’d like to share with you some “truth is” statements in my life. Just a few. I hope they won’t bore you.
Truth is, I hate studying. I’m just not good at it. I have this weird mindset that if I know the material, I know it. If I don’t, I don’t. And what usually comes into play is whether or not I go to all the classes and listen to the lectures and read the material. I don’t go into every exam not studying though. I do study…just very minimally.
Speaking of the things I hate, you know what else I hate? Me. Truth is, for the past 22 years of my life (okay…I probably didn’t start thinking this until I was like 11 but for emphasis, I say 22), I’ve looked in the mirror and have never been satisfied with the person looking back at me. Yes, the struggle is real, even for me. Under my make up and behind my cute outfits and styled hair still lies a girl who will never be able to measure up. Every day the struggle is there…the struggle to look at myself and find myself beautiful. I thought I was past this…but I guess I’m not. No matter what people say or think, in my heart and my eyes, I am not beautiful.
And this last “truth is”…is not really a truth is. Because I can’t say it…not here. It’s something that can’t be written down because it means more when it’s said with words that come from my mouth. But the truth is…this “truth is”…not very many people know. Just a handful of people. And I’m sorry I can’t share it with you. But I had to write a little bit about it because it came up today…it came to the forefront of my mind today and has stuck there. And to know that it was joked about…ha…that makes it hurt even more. I don’t blame this person for joking about it; you had no idea it would hurt me so much. Because you don’t know me…you don’t know my past…you have no idea what I went through. So no one is at fault. But not being at fault doesn’t stop it from hurting.
I’m trying to find a way to end this but my mind’s running blanks. All I can say is thank you for hearing me out.
For most of my life, I’ve been a person of surety and confidence. Though never completely 100%, still enough to get me going…to push through whatever I need to push through.
But today…now…in this moment in time, I find myself stumped. I am no longer confident…no longer sure. And that scares me…a lot. I wish I knew the answers to the questions I’ve been asking but I don’t. I wish these feelings of anxiety and worry would leave but they won’t. I have so much to say yet no words come out. What’s happened to me? I don’t know if this is a part of growing up or not…this change that seems to be happening. Less to say, quiet submission…this isn’t the me I’m used to. I fear that in this process, I’ve lost myself. But is that even important? Does it matter who I was, am, or will be? Isn’t God the ultimate purpose? Isn’t my life supposed to mirror Him anyway? So why should it matter that I’m disconnected with myself, so long as I’m connected to Him?
Pray and pray, Baoseng. Trust that God will lead you to make the right decision, even if that means walking away.
The way we speak really has the power to encourage or discourage others. Word choice, tone of voice, face expression…it makes all the difference. Those words are the difference between leading someone closer to God or pushing them further away.
I understand why God places people who both encourage and discourage in my life. Many times, I want to simply push away and shut out the ones who discourage me. But I know God places them there to teach me to love. So I will fight on.
I hope one day I can become a person who encourages at every moment. Because I know the pain of discouragements and wish that no one be subject to that kind of hurt.
A few weeks ago, I learned how to crochet and from then, my crocheting projects have soared. Every time I pick up that hook and yarn, I think of mom.
Before I came to Toccoa for school, mom had picked up the hobby of crocheting. She started making crochet handles for towels so they can hang on oven and refrigerator handles. It was actually quite nifty. She wanted to raise some money for her and my dad and their impending trip to France. One day, she asked me to learn from her so I could help make more for the fundraising. But I declined the offer and mom made the rest of those towel handles alone.
I regret it a lot…not learning from her and helping her then. To think that one of the last things I could’ve done together with my mom, I openly refused to do…it tears me up inside. Especially now that I’m crocheting so much. If I could have the chance to do it over, I would. To be given the chance to sit with her and learn how to crochet from her rather than YouTube, I would take it. It’s so true…what they say. You never know what you have until it’s gone. Life’s too short and uncertain to take things and opportunities for granted.
Remembering mom more than ever in this season of my life.
I miss writing. I miss being inspired to write. I miss sitting down with my laptop spewing out words for hours on end. I miss creating worlds of my own where I’m in control. I miss having stories to tell.
I desperately needed to go to Walmart but I also desperately needed to fill my tank with gas so I decided to do both. Thankfully, the church that I do ministry at still provides us TFC students with gas money, and seeing how I’m the only one left still actively going during summer, I was given that money. When I was handed that envelope, I thought, “Nice. God’s totally providing. He knew how much I didn’t want to spend money on gas.” But little did I know that He entrusted me with that money for another purpose.
As I pulled out of the driveway and onto the road, I contemplated on whether I should go to the gas station first or second. I had enough to get me to Walmart. But as I pulled to a stoplight, I saw a little holdup on the road I usually go on to go to Walmart so I decided, gas first. I knew a Exxon was coming up and the gas there is usually pretty cheap too.
I drive into the gas station and notice that there’s only one other car there. I didn’t think much of it though and pulled in one pump away from the other car. I’m minding my own business like how I usually do, getting my money ready and everything. Right as I close my car door, I hear a woman call out to me. “Excuse me, miss.” I stop and turn and this woman is walking toward me. Her husband and child is in the only other car there with me. She says, “We’re completely out of gas and don’t have money to buy more. Do you happen to have any extra change to help us? Anything will work.” And as she says this, I hear her child crying in the background.
It’s funny how when you’re put in situations like this, God immediately comes to the forefront. A chance to showcase the love of Christ to a complete stranger. Honestly though, my thoughts were kind of all over the place during those few minutes that I interacted with this woman. I thought of God, of Jesus, of my need for gas, of my impending trip to Walmart, of the money I held in my hands. Should I give only a few dollars? All of it? Is it right to give away the money I had so graciously received from my loving church? The Holy Spirit compelled me to give so I handed her the biggest bill in my wallet, a $20 bill and said to her the only words that my jumbled up mind could muster, “God bless.” She took the bill, thanked me and said, “No, God bless you.”
Thank you, God for an opportunity to be blessed by an angel in disguise today. I will never forget it. :)
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”—Thomas Merton : No Man Is An Island
“Following Christ isn’t something that can be done half-heartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are.”—Francis Chan (via littlethingsaboutgod)
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. I guess that’s what summer does to me, seeing how I’m currently unemployed and just home babysitting a niece who falls asleep in two hour intervals.
But I’ve been thinking about life and when I think about life, I can’t help but to also think about mom. My mother who bore me, who fed me and sheltered me…my mother who loved me…I remember her often these days. And I realize now how very strong my mom was. To have had to share the man that she loved with the work of the Lord…to spend nights alone because he’d be away. I remember when my little brother and I were still young, we’d sleep with my mom in my parents’ bedroom on nights when dad was away. Oh, how I yearn for those days to come back to me.
To have had to deal with a daughter like me…only my mom would be able to do it. I’m here with my niece…thinking about motherhood and the beauty of it…and then that beauty is shattered when I think about how I treated my mom while growing up. I would be completely devastated if my future daughter treated me the way that I treated my mom. And quite honestly, that frightens me. I know I talk a lot about how I want to be a mother some day but when I really think about it, it’s a scary thing.
But I’m not writing this blog to speak of my fears and regrets. I’m writing this to say, “Onward.” Though I am not fully ready nor equipped, I believe that it is only by God’s grace and love that my mother was able to pull through, so there lies my hope as well.
I love you, mom. It’s funny how so many years ago, I vowed to never be like you yet here I am, walking down a path so similar to yours. I guess the saying’s true: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I need to organize my thoughts somewhere because they’re all over the place today, so what better place to do so than here? So please, continue reading if you’d like to hear the rants and ramblings of Baoseng. :)
“There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing. (They hang there, the stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz.) And as I lay there, it occurred to me that God is up there somewhere. Of course, I had always known He was, but this time I felt it, I realized it, the way a person realizes they are hungry or thirsty. The knowledge of God seeped out of my brain and into my heart. I imagined Him looking down on this earth, half angry because His beloved mankind had cheated on Him, had committed adultery, and yet hopelessly in love with her, drunk with love for her.”—Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz (via cattmampbell)
"When he has brought out all of his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice." -John 10:4
Hearing the voice of God…knowing the voice of God…is it really possible? Does God still speak to us today? When I think about this question, I amuse myself by thinking of all the different tones God’s voice could have. And then I think about what other people think God’s voice would sound like. Low and bass toned? High-pitched? Just something fun to think about.
I believe that God does still speak to us today. And this verse in John 10 still speaks truth—we hear God’s voice and follow because we know his voice. I didn’t think it was possible. Growing up, I always complained to God how I could never know for sure if what I was doing was pleasing to him. I just wanted him to speak in verbal words and in an audible voice. But now I understand. He’s been speaking, I just haven’t been listening.
Listening doesn’t only consist of being silent though. Listening for the voice of God consists of being in His Word, talking to him in prayer (as ironic as that may sound), and having a deep and intimate relationship with him. I’ve come to realize that the moments where I feel the most at a loss of what to do with my life are the moments where I neglect my time with God. The moments when I feel like he isn’t speaking are the moments when I’ve turned my back on him, thinking that I know what I’m doing and I don’t need him.
I find that when I’m constantly seeking God and remembering God, I can hear his voice and I know it. It’s amazing, really. I used to think it impossible to hear God’s voice but now I see that it’s really quite simple. All it takes is a heart that yearns for him…a life that fears the Lord, as Dr. Hildenbrand would say. I feel like it may be different for everyone…how one hears the voice of God. I hear it in the conviction in my heart. The Holy Spirit knows exactly how to move me to hear God’s voice in the things I’m doing, thinking, and saying. I believe the Holy Spirit is our best accountability partner.
Recently, I’ve been having a lot of those Spirit-led convictions. It’s funny because I’d say, “I don’t want to do this or that…I shouldn’t be the one apologizing…I don’t want to do it.” But right as the words leave my lips, I know in my heart that that’s exactly what I need to do. If I say that I shouldn’t be the one apologizing, then I know even more that I really should apologize. When I say I don’t want to forgive someone, I know I need to forgive that much more.
That’s how God speaks to me. I hear his voice through having close communion with the King.
I am training you in steadiness. Too many things interrupt your awareness of Me. I know that you live in a world of sight and sound, but you must not be a slave to those stimuli. Awareness of Me can continue in all circumstances, no matter what happens. This is the steadiness I desire for you.
Don’t let unexpected events throw you off course. Rather, respond calmly and confidently, remembering that I am with you. As soon as something grabs your attention, talk with Me about it. Thus I share your joys and your problems; I help you cope with whatever is before you. This is how I live in you and work through you. This is the way of Peace.
(Psalm 112:7; Isaiah 41:10)
My room mate shared this with me from her Jesus Calling book. I’m writing it here so I can keep it handy whenever I need the reminder. I hope it encourages you too. :)
Recently I’ve been reminded of how this world is fallen. We live in a fallen world with fallen people all searching for a hope that can sustain them. Even when we think we have it all together, God steps in and reminds us that no, this world will not bring us joy or rest like the one He has saved for us in Heaven.
We are human. We are sinful in nature. We need Jesus.
My prayer for all of us, including myself, is that every time we recognize how fallen we are, we yearn to exemplify Christ that much more. Every time we hurt or are hurt, we cause suffering or are suffering…we put on the person of Christ and fight on with love and peace.
Father, grant us hearts that want You and only You.
We were having a party at church. It wasn’t a church I recognized but it felt familiar…it felt like home. And while the service for this party went on, I saw her walking outside. I remember the feeling of joy that rushed inside of me when I recognized her “Darth Vader” hair and the trusty tote bag she carried around for dad every time we went to church parties. I dropped everything and went outside to see her. She was walking away from me and I saw that the closer I got to her, the quicker she disappeared. I panicked. In an attempt to keep her there…to hold on to her, I made a grab for her. But my hands caught nothing but air and the tote bag that was once hanging on her shoulder.
I didn’t want to wake up this morning. Because I know that if I wake up, it becomes more real that she’s not here. At least in my dreams I can search for her and have some inkling of hope that she’ll be there.