Was reminded of how Jesus loves me during service today. Unreservedly. He knew that I may never acknowledge Him, yet He chose to die for me.
This has been a lesson for me since last year. To love, to love, to love – that’s what God has been teaching me through the example that Christ led. Along the way, I probably thought that okay, learnt this, and I forgot to look at it again when circumstance turned around recently. Been trying to not get so invested again, lest I go through another bout of pain. In fact, I kept the pain as a reminder to be on guard. Funny thing was, when the reminder came, it wasn’t even during the sermon but just part of the service chair’s speech.
And this line from JPCC’s None Like You resonated with me as well: For God You are my strong foundation. Something clicked as we sang that line. I suddenly recalled what one of the speakers shared during a finance talk held in church. He shared that he saved up a million dollars in CPF, and because it’s secured (and reaping him high interest rates), he can invest the rest of his money with greater confidence. Even if he should lose his investment, he knows that he has the amount in his CPF to tide him through retirement. In a weird way (weird is an understatement I know), what CPF provides for him is like the strong foundation that we have in God – if we do it right by having God as our anchor.
Love boldly, invest all you can in people. That’s what I got out of it. Interestingly, I’ve always looked upon the time I spend with people as an investment in their lives since I was 12. Not so much the part of getting back something from them, but the part of giving unto their lives. The fruits, I guess, will be refreshment from the time spent with them.
It also somewhat answers a question I had amidst the struggle I had a few months back – how am I to love people while bearing in mind that they will fail me and only God is faithful. If they should fail you, so be it. Deal with the pain, but know that you’ve not lost everything you have, because your strong foundation is in God. Love again.
Tough lesson to swallow, to be honest.
So it was time for us to walk in. Took my high chair, picked up my guitar. Preview came on and we bent over so that we would not block the audience’s view.
Just 10 minutes before, someone pointed out that I was still not getting it right. I didn’t have time to get it right.
We kept our heads down. While waiting for Preview to end, I felt something rising from within. That’s anxiety, I think.
Get out of it, come on, get out of it. Breathe, what’s next, what shall I do to get out of this…
Suddenly, I got shaken out of it. Wilson whispered and tried to calm me down. It’s just that one song. Well, I don’t know what he noticed since I wasn’t even sure what had seized me, but I guess something showed.
That’s the first time I’ve ever experienced that. It felt like something inside was close to breaking down unless I quickly snapped out of it. I didn’t find the way to, but thankfully I got shaken out of it.
They came on stage, decided to swap the songs around. That song was going to come first instead. Took a glance at Wilson, took a deep breath, let’s do it.
They said it was a good job. I don’t know if it really was, but thankful for how God brought me through the session. That was the smoothest I had played through since Friday.
What an experience.
- Been staying in the office way past office hours (till 7ish kinda thing), which is against the principle I set out for myself when I first started working. But did this because it’s easier to crutch home when the trains are not so crowded. As a result, I had the opportunity to spend extended time with O as we both stayed back in the office after work hours the past few days. Thankful for the time together, though I still can’t quite put a finger to what makes her special in this organisation. But just, feeling glad :)
- Had an engaging conversation with an Uber driver this morning. So engaging that I got off the car happily and forgot to pay. I got in touch with Uber to rectify that mistake, so yes.
- When I left office today, the rain was just getting heavier. As I tried my best to hobble down the steps (with a guitar on my back, and thinking to myself I’d better not fall) so that I could get to the shelter as quickly as possible (I minded my guitar getting wet more than me getting wet actually), I suddenly sensed a presence behind me and the rain drops were gone. Well, it wasn’t a divine cloud that sheltered me and me alone, but still quite divine. A gentleman came up from behind and held an umbrella over my head. As I turned around, he told me to take my time lest I fall again. Thank God for the kindness showered upon me these days.
- For all the outstretched hands, the seats offered, the eyes that watched to make sure I will be supported should I need help, thank You for people who cared.
- Was at an impromptu worship practice for Sunday just now. Impromptu in the sense that I took over another brother just last evening. Yep, had issues with my sense of rhythm, again. But thankful for Wilson who was there as the cajon player. He broke down what others termed as “by feel” into numbers that I could visualise. He counted very patiently alongside me as I tried to catch the rhythm. Immensely thankful that he was there. I think whenever I play in a band, my favourite musician is the drummer. Simply because I rely so much on them; their presence really really boosts my confidence in playing so much more. It helped that Wilson’s a drum teacher too haha nurturing much.
- Got a GrabHitch just now, praise God! Second GrabHitch ride I’ve actually managed to get.
- More than getting a GrabHitch, it was the driver that made the trip and the night so much better. We had a chat and found out that 1, he’s been hitching people from our church 2, he’s a Christian too 3, he attends the church right in front of my house 4, he’s somewhat my neighbour actually. At the end of the trip, he carried my guitar up to my doorsteps for me. And for what was originally a $12 trip, he only accepted the $10 note from me. All these people whom God has provided along the way these days really make me feel like this world is a better place than I had thought. Heart melts really.
- Dennis’ encouragement that made this night a little better. I was feeling quite :( actually. I felt that everyone was just waiting for me to get it during practice just now. Then came Dennis’ text to say that he has heard the songs and know that it’s difficult to catch those songs given the limited time I had. Thankful.
Was in the Northeast Centre today, somewhat because of its wheelchair friendliness. The moment I sat down in the service hall, Christopher came over and we had a little catch up. He asked, “How have you been?” To which I replied, “Quite good, because I had a 7 days MC and could work from home, so I had more time to rest.”
And during worship, two things came to mind.
The first was yesterday’s thought process at the traditional Chinese medicine clinic. The past few times I had a sprain and visited a TCM clinic, I would bear with the pain and smile and say, I’m okay. Yesterday, I totally shot up when they applied pressure on different parts of my leg, and I was shouting in agony, “ttt…ttt.ttttt…疼！疼！疼！” The doctor (CY’s mom actually) even asked me, “真的有那么疼吗？” 有！
Ya I said that. But when they were applying pressure on my legs, or when they did acupuncture on it, I tried my best to bear with the pain. It was very tempting to ask if we could take a break because I was in such pain that I had to grab my jeans and my hair to stop myself from moving about. But I told myself not to call for a break, and let them do what they needed to. It’s painful but it’s just for a short while and my leg will get better. I got through the 1 hour with that. At the end of the 1 hour, I was asked to try standing and walking. I couldn’t walk probably because I haven’t walked for 10 days, but I could stand without feeling as much pain as before! My leg got significantly better!
When I got home, it occurred to me that that’s pretty much like the pruning process that God puts us through, isn’t it? The past year has been a struggle to be honest. It got to the point that I got so tired and wanted to pull out of ministries and even community – like yeah, up till the week before I injured my ankle. I told some of my friends that sometimes I had wished God would take me home because I don’t know how long more I would last the race.
I wish I could press the pause button as and when I wanted, but I couldn’t. If I said I would surrender and trust, then pray, pray that I would learn to be still in God in the midst of the pruning.
The victory is sweet though. I don’t know if I’m entirely out of it, like finally, but I know God has been reassuring me of His presence, of Him still being in control. I’ve been immensely touched during worship and sermon for reasons I don’t understand. I feel drawn and captivated by Him once again. I have found freedom from my sins as well; this freedom is sweet.
The second thing that came to my mind during worship was that perhaps, this injury didn’t happen at a bad time, at all. I kept thinking it’s a bad timing to be injured. It’s a period when I’m rushing an annual report for my client and it’s a period where I have to be on ground pretty much. It forced everything to slow down as I spent the bulk of my time sofa-ridden almost everyday from 6 Sep till 13 Sep. But it suddenly occurred to me that God was trying to stop me in my tracks. At the rate I was going, I was close to breaking down. He had to force me to stop.
During those few days of not being able to move much, I had time to sit on the bed and have my quiet time. I could take time to simply, take time. I had home-cooked food almost everyday. I slept early, I woke up when my body felt recharged. Hence the reply to Christopher, I’ve been feeling quite good.
Immensely grateful for a God who loves me so so much. May I never lose the wonder of the cross.
Is God trying to break the 3-weeks rhythm by giving me some motivation to be there for service tomorrow? Feels like the whole world is hunting me down when I don’t know how they got alerted.
One day I had two leaders asking me to meet them. And suddenly two friends from church asked to meet just now, though I believe those are unlikely to be related to my state of being.
So yeah, agreed to meet for breakfast tomorrow morning. To which I responded by saying to her, “I’m waking up just for you okay.”
So God, is this You? What will You be saying to me through your service tomorrow?
Met up with an old friend last night. Can’t believe the last time we met was likely Chinese New Year in 2016, when her bird bit my finger. Note to self: Never attempt to handle a smart thingy without first knowing its temperament.
Totally didn’t know what she’s doing in life even though she’s been working for 2 years already. Was good to catch up over dinner. She still giggles the same way she did the first time we met when we were 12.
As we stood before the train doors on our way home, she suddenly asked, “You met up with A recently?”
Me: No la, just wished her happy birthday and she replied, so there was a kind of conversation going on.
C: Oh… cos she replied…
Me: Ya man! She replied!!
C: I don’t even know where her number went.
Me: Aiya, when you change phone, don’t you just copy and paste numbers over? It should be in there what.
C: But she abandoned us!
I was quite surprised to hear that. I had never heard that coming from her. And I always thought that I was that one weirdo who minded it because 1) I was close to A, 2) I was resistant to change and 3) that was the first major change in my life. Guess a change in leadership was quite a trauma for young little Sec 3s afterall.
Didn’t wish to dwell on that topic longer because I love this leader and she’s someone I look up to a lot. So I asked her if she still has the tortoise that the cell group gave to her. I remember to this day how the tortoise came as a parent-child pair but the cell group decided that we should separate them (oops). The huge one went to C and the tiny one went to A.
What great reminiscence. I still carry the keychain A gave us too.
It would be wonderful if 6 of us could come together again and see how each one of us has grown. It’s been 10 years since we had cell together.