Beyond Measure

Been talking to a friend over text these few days about his job search. The process isn’t just physically demanding, requiring time and attention. It is also one that can be rather emotionally challenging while waiting for a reply. And after some time, there is this wonder if the reason we are not receiving that invitation to an interview or getting a job offer is because we are not good enough. We are not wanted.

He’s not the only friend who has talked to me about this. Another friend admitted her struggles with this the other day as well.

We are worth a lot more than we think. A lot more than our circumstance tells us. A lot more than anyone has made us feel. A lot more than anyone has ever said to us. A lot more than this even.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

One thing is true: God deemed us worth enough to be exchanged for, with His Son’s life.

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Beyond Measure

Boat ride

Saw the status update the past few times but chose to overlook them. Because this friend might not appreciate the idea of me dropping a text to check in anyway. Could be a bother even, maybe.

Saw it last night again. Was reminded of it today while I was looking into the distance as the boat moved forward. I brushed it off with that same thought.

Just then, I got reminded what God had taught me about love. My responsibility is simply to give love. Whether the person reciprocates or not, that’s beyond my control and, it doesn’t, it shouldn’t matter. Choose to love anyway, even if it goes unappreciated. Because that’s how I’m first loved by Jesus Christ, my King.

You are loved.

Boat ride

Secret Santa

When you give out of love instead of an obligation, a budget doesn’t seem to work very well. Was given a budget of $30 for tonight’s gift exchange. Planned weeks ago on what I would give to my first ever close friend – pretty much within the budget.

Wanted to gift her with a new experience that she would probably enjoy. But days after I made the decision, she decided to help whoever-it-is by adding in a wishlist, that was totally different from what I would want to give. Decided to go ahead with a surprise gift anyway, and designed a personal invitation/voucher this morning. Which, I think is quite a miracle considering my lack of artistic talent and reluctance to do this if given a choice. But on a second thought, just a moment ago, didn’t want her to go home tonight without a gift when everyone else has something in their hands, so I got her something else. 

While grabbing the gift, I knew I’m exceeding my budget by 100%. Yet, it didn’t take me too long to decide to get it anyway. 

She’s definitely worth more than $30. And I’m just thankful to have another chance at giving to her – I was her secret santa 2 years ago too lol I laughed when I saw her name again this time.

During lunch with the LG today, we talked about giving angpaos at weddings. Someone had asked if they would give an amount to cover the cost. Another person said he wouldn’t, because he gives everyone the same amount. For me, my principle is to give with a sincere heart.

Secret Santa

Nothing

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

(1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

When was the last time I’ve gone the extra mile to love people?

Nothing

Faith

A friend asked about the purpose of baptism in a group chat just the other day. To my surprise, these Christian guys whom I last remembered as playful boys gave convincing replies. I was bought over by what they presented as well. Apparently, they had thought long and hard over it.

That made me question my faith. Where am I on this journey? I don’t think I’m anywhere close to talking about it in such a manner. How well do I actually know my Bible? Not much, really.

Thankful that I have Christian friends outside my own church though. They help me to see beyond the bubble called “my church” and spurs me on, each in their own ways.

On another note, I need to learn to present truths to others with gentleness and not so in their face. I do love, but let love be communicated outwards the way it exists within.

Faith

Love again

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.

Love again

Touch(ed)

This has been on my mind since Friday, partly because I told myself I got to write it down.

Previously, I talked about a colleague who added a human touch to this organisation. It’s not just the “secret-telling”, but… I can’t really put it in words how she makes us feel. Reb was with us for 10 days, she said it on her own accord as well that this colleague is special in the way that she relates and makes you feel comfortable. There’s just something in her.

When we had our skating lesson, I thought the way she watched out for us had to do with her part-time occupation as the kids’ skating coach. Yesterday, though, was my first time relating with her in the office ever since I injured my ankle last Wednesday and then went for a 1-week MC (or rather work from home), and the experience helped me know this person a little more.

After lunch,

O:
How have you been getting to work?
Me: Oh J have been sending me to work.

And because J just flew off for the weekend after dropping me off at the office on Friday morning, she asked,

O: Then how are you coming to work on Mon?
Me:
Good question, I haven’t thought so far ahead.

I mean, I’ve been having to think ahead about how I’m going to get around each and every place for the day, how I’m going to get food with crutches in my hands, etc. and it’s too much to think about if I have to plan several days in advance.

O: Do you want to cab on Mon? We can share a cab! I come over and find you at your house?

感动有没有! J also made me feel that way with the daily picking up and sending home. And ya, this colleague made me feel quite touched as well. The thing is, we are not close; somewhat far from close too (just wanted to use this oxymoron). Yet, she’s willing to spend, to make that effort for me.

I didn’t react too strongly to that, or rather I just didn’t express that 感动 la haha but yeah, it’s something that left somewhat a deep impression. Something that keeps me thinking about it.

It’s a… hmm genuine care and gentleness? It’s nothing that she has to show, but it felt like something from within. It’s… her. And when that reaches out to you, it does something to your heart as well.

I can’t really express this well, but mm, what a special and wonderful creation of God. I hope you come to know God. The tender loving care that He has given you would draw people into His love.

Touch(ed)