Prepare our hearts

Had a conversation with the boss about religion the other day. She’s not a believer but got one or two things right. One of it was this: Christians attend service week in and week out without preparing to receive. They turn up in church waiting to see if something strikes a chord. If they are moved that day, good for them. If they aren’t, they just step out of the church like nothing happened.

Hence the questions: Why do we go at length to prepare our hearts for conference yet do nothing to prepare ourselves for service? Why do we prepare ourselves for mission’s trip but not for service? And then we wonder why we experience God so much more powerfully on a mission’s trip as compared to leading our daily lives here. Instead of God being “biased”, I think it has a lot to do with our hearts’ posture, isn’t that the case?

For the third consecutive week, the struggle continues. Why am I waking up on a Sunday morning? What am I waking up for? I don’t know how long more I can keep on going with this struggle. No idea when will be the day I decide I’m out of steam, out of strength, to go on with this.

Prepare my heart next Saturday night, and let’s see.

Prepare our hearts

Between 7th and 8th Storeys

C: Where ya now?

Me:
I’m hiding from the crowd between level 7 and 8

Felt horrible when I sat in the midst of the people partying in the hall. After I finished my dinner, I had the thought of going off, but then that would mean leaving C to be alone when she arrived. 

As I headed towards the lift and was close to ditching her just like that, I walked past the stairwell and saw someone sitting there. Brilliant! That shall be my hiding place too. So I picked the next corner in the stairwell, which was unfortunately exposed to some people. But well, better than being in the midst of the crowd. So I sat there and scrolled through social media, waiting for someone familiar to arrive. Guess that’s my pit stop.

Symptoms of introvertion magnified tonight. Felt overwhelmed by the sights and sounds all around me. Was easily frustrated, didn’t want to look up at anyone, and was hoping no one unfamiliar came over to talk. Like Lwee, I was caught in a dilemma between coming here and heading home to exercise. I came and I wondered why.

Between 7th and 8th Storeys

In Control

Realised yesterday that my recent downness could be an effect of a disrupted rest over the past 2 weeks. Yeah, I’m someone who knocks out and sleeps through the night, but lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to… nothing. Initially I thought it was the heat, then exercising too late at night, and eventually I realised it just kept happening each night.

Was at home yesterday and felt utterly down since the morning. Because I had an argument with my mom over the state of the house hur. Cell group mate asked how did I spend my day yesterday, and I replied, “Quarrelling with my mom.” Quarelled till I shut myself in my room, got angry at what she said, thought about leaving the house, thought about the imperfections of the church, etc.

That came in too early. When I realised years ago that I sink into negativity late at night, I would go to sleep if I had nothing occupying my time (e.g. assignments). But when I sank that low yesterday, it was too early, too much time for the day to go by, too many opportunities for me to sink even lower.

Came home from lunch and did my Quiet Time and, there was this sleepiness that came upon me. “Go and sleep, take a rest.” And so I did.

I woke up. Yes, what’s up now? The first thought that came was this – God is sovereign still, everything is in control, I’m not alone in these. That was reassuring, and changed my outlook the moment I left the bed.

That was also when I realised that I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by whatever that’s going on in life. The conflict, the Christians, the family, the company. It’s almost as though I forgot that God is holding all these in His hands.

I lift my hands to heaven
Here my heart surrendered
I tell my soul again
You are Lord of all
Though the seas are raging
You will speak and tame them
In You I find my rest
You are in control

In Control

“Not good enough”

Don’t belittle where you are. It’s important because it matters to Him.

As much as I’ve been trying to rationalise it that way, I can’t deny that there’s this small little voice that tells me it’s because I’m not good enough. Whenever someone asked, I felt as though I had. to come up with an excuse for their decision, and for myself. Shook it off once, shook it off twice, I can’t remember how many times I did that. But today, perhaps I need to be honest with myself – you’re not convinced.

Talked to a close friend about taking a break because I seem to have forgotten why I’m doing what I’m doing. And I think I should. To take time to rethink rather than just keep on doing. Since, anyway, I can’t commit – be it in time and effort, or in my heart.

It’s true though, I’m not good enough. It’s not about making myself good enough – though yes there should be a spirit of excellence still. It’s about, first, be fine with not being good enough. Why do I have to be good enough in this aspect anyway? Or perhaps, why do I have to be good enough for anyone, anyway? 

He qualified.

“Not good enough”

Just for You

Last Saturday, I had half the mind of letting my body have the say the next morning, and maybe drop a uh-oh text to say, “I overslept.” I reached home close to midnight and by the time I washed up it was very late anyway. 

I woke up half an hour later than I would have intended to, however. There’s no way I could convince God with this excuse. So I got myself out of bed and gave myself 15 minutes to get myself out of the house. Surprisingly, I reached well on time – 10 minutes before service started – despite having left the house late.

Community is not enticing. I have no motivation to turn up. But just one. One reason. For God’s sake.

Well, amidst all these struggles, one good thing that came out of it was that I can say, I turned up for You, God. With more certainty than when the struggles weren’t real.

Just for You

On Cue

Sharing with the LG about how the sermon applies to our lives. Before sharing, I was thinking about what to share, and I remembered the conversation I had with God. So I started my mental preparation – do not crumble, tell the story matter-of-factly. 

It was my turn:

I was just telling God, “You don’t like that hor. I tried whatever I could.” It felt like God pangseh-ed me each time He called me to do something, and then the outcome remained the same. So I asked Him, “Where were You all these while?” And He replied, “In your tears, in your struggles.”

And my tear was quite on cue. It came down when I said “tears”. Totally not cool with that. Within me I was just feeling shucks why did I, please don’t mind me at all, because I’m really done with that. Hoping that my LGmates don’t come and counsel me on that because I’m past it alright; don’t even remind me.

Perhaps it’s just how God is so real that it touched me. I woke up this morning like nothing had happened, other than feeling a tinge of regret for tearing while telling the story.

On Cue