Saturday, February 16, 2013

From Guys-Focused Chaos to God-Focused Life

It's been more than a month since I posted my last blog. Many things could happen in a month, some may fall in love, some may lost someone, and some, may like me, just continually repeating each day, going to classes, doing school work, hanging out with friends, cramming for tests, until someone walks into your life and sparks your heart, and your life. Your heart is filled up with love, passion and excitement because of this one man, he is your love and your life, he is that soul-mate you've been looking for since your were a little girl---blue eyes, blonde hair, when he smiles, the whole world shines. You guys start to date, everything seems so beautiful, every corner of the city is filled up with love and romance. You guys are deeply in love, he kissed you, bended his knees, tells you that he loves you dearly and he wants to marry you. Of course you said yes, you have been waiting for this moment for so long. Your eyes are full of tears and everything else around you becomes glazing, all you can see is him. You guys get married and live happily after.

Does this sound familiar? Not only the scene that has been in almost all the Hollywood movies, also, it's also been in almost all the girls' dreams, admit it.

I said "almost all the girls", so yes, of course I am included.

As a Christian, I know that not only God's given me all I need, HE IS ALL I NEED. I try so hard to be that Proverbs 31 woman. I do not sleep around, I do not get drunk, I try to work hard, I try to smile all the time and love everybody around me, but in fact, the sinful seed in the deepest side of my heart, has never stopped screaming, desiring things that I don't have. The fact is, sometimes I feel that Jesus is NOT ENOUGH for me and I WANT MORE. It's Feb. 16th, two days after Valentine's day. When I say "I want more", you know what I am talking about, yes, a guy. Instead of trusting God and waiting for him to bring us the other half, many of us like to wonder around and get all frustrated about guys all the time.

"Why didn't he text me?"
"Was that a date?"
"Does he like me? Then Why doesn't he make a move?"
"I am pretty/skinny/tall/short enough for him?"
"Should I comment on his facebook?"
"Should I text him first or wait for him to text me first this time since I texted him last time?"

Ya, I know, we've all been there.

So the question is, since when, do we women need guys to be happy? What's so magical about guys that we just can't stop thinking up them? Well, I guess as human, we naturally crave being accompanied, God said "it is not good for human to be along.". Our broken hearts keeps us alive in this broken world and we are so broken that we want to find someone to fill up that emptiness. Somehow we believe that everything is going to be so perfect when that perfect guy shows up. Hollywood makes relationship sounds like it is full of romance, kisses and happiness, so when girls dream about relationship, that's all we can think of.

Ya, of course we want going on a date, holding hands, looking into each others' eyes through the warm candle light, kissing on the downtown street with music around like nobody is watching. The part we ignored is that those "perfect boys", they are broken too. Relationship is NOT all about love and kiss, there is more than that, tears, pain and the ultimate brokenness. And remind me who is that one person that will ALWAYS hold our hands, not just look into our eyes but able to look into our souls and hearts, gave up his own life for our freedom and happiness? That boy in your English class or the guy who always seats beside you at church? NO! It's JESUS!!

Jesus gave up his LIFE for US so WE are able to have the happiness and everlasting life. It is HIS BLOOD that made us WHITE LIKE SNOW. It is HIM that brings us JOY. It is HIM who promised us that He will ALWAYS be with us till the end of the age. It is in HIM, that we could just completely relax, be satisfied, and be joyful.

Romance is wonderful, but GOD, who created romance is GREATER. HE knows when is the best timing for us to date, and until then, HE will be preparing our hearts and their hearts, so when it is time, HE will deliver those guys to our life. We'll meet, we'll fall in love and when time gets hard, we'll learn to cooperate and comfort each other and continually walk towards God, our ultimate lover.

So girls, it's OKAY if that guy doesn't disappear and never talk to you again after your first date; it is OKAY that he broke up with you; it is OKAY that he never texts you back---because God has a plan for us and when it is time, HE will lead us finding each other and falling in love. He'd be delighted to hear us saying "I do" on the white carpet and to watch us walking together towards HIM. And it is going to be so beautiful and WORTH WAITING FOR.

Until then, give your HEART to HIM and focus on HIM alone.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Monday, January 7, 2013

SMILE, Because Jesus is on Your Side

Before I became Christian, I thought being positive means "always try to find the good side in the bad things" but then I realized that it is just not possibly sometimes. There were so many things happened in 2012, many lost their friends, family and property in the Sandy, many got extremely disappointed over presidential election, many cried over the death of those sweet little angels at Sandy Hook Elementary school...It is hard for us to see any goodness in these things with our own eyes. And it sounds crazy but I am thinking, maybe, I say maybe, it is actually a good thing that we are reminded again and over again how messed up this world is and how helpless and heart-broken we could be because then we could stop looking around and look up.

Before I became Christian, I thought everything has to be "just right" and I got very frustrated worrying about the possibilities of being "not just right". 
Am I going to get into that class if I am on the waiting list now? What if I cannot get in? What if he thinks what I just said was stupid? What if this is not the right major for me? What if I cannot graduate on time? What if I cannot find a job? What if I can never find the right guy to marry? I was surrounded by all these "What if...?"everyday, not noticing that I was not the one who is in control of these things at all.

 Let me share something with you guys...I was once a music education major before I switched my major. I switched not because I wanted to but because my professor told me that I was "not good enough to be a music teacher". I felt extremely upset and disappointed because for the whole time, I thought that was what I should do. I planned out every little details of what I'm going to do after graduating------here is the problem---I thought it is totally God's plan for me to be a music teacher but deep inside, I thought everything is in MY control and I could just get wherever I want to go if I do what I've planned out. It is all about "I" and "MY". So God flipped my plan and made me realizing that I was not the one who is in control at all. I started to trusting him rather than trusting myself, I prayed that God will comfort my heart and keep me encouraged after I was told "You are not good enough to..."

And guess what, God sent me a new professor to me last semester, who thinks I am actually a wonderful musician and I shouldn't be discouraged by some people's words. He told me that "It is not that you cannot play the violin, it is that you THINK you cannot play. It is ALL in your head, girl! Stop worrying and let it go, you could be a wonderful musician!" And with all his encouragement and help, at the end of last semester, I passed my audition for music education program and was told by the rest of the music faculties that "it was unbelievable how much you have improved". Although I ended up deciding not to switch back to music education major due to some personal reasons, it was such a comfort and encouragement to know I could actually do it. 

My new encouraging professor has been such a blessing and definitely an answer of my prayers. The whole experience has made me noticing that I am NOT the one who is in control and there is NO reason to worry about things because GOD has promised that HE has A PLAN for me and HE will hold my hand to walk through everything and anything, no matter it is lightness or darkness, rough places or level ground. I can finally be smiling and laughing while walking instead of worrying because I know the darkness will be lighted and rough places will become level ground with Jesus on my side.
Again, this might sound crazy for you but maybe, I say maybe, it is a good thing that your plan messed up, that you get frustrated that you feel like you are not in control, because then you could actually stop looking around and start looking up. 

2013, SMILE, because Jesus is on your side.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Eternity in the Temporariness

        Starbucks couldn't wait a second to change their pumpkin latte poster to the new Christmas drink one; TCU Christmas tree couldn't wait a second to be lighted again; those tree-shaped Chocolates, peppermint-flavored EVERYTHING couldn't wait a second to be put on the shelf, so I know, it's the end of the year again.
I was at RUF the other Wednesday night, while being so fulfilled with the Christmas joy, I felt a little bit weird...not sad, just weird. 
        It feels like yesterday when the first time I went to RUF, feeling all excited and curious. And it feels like yesterday when I started helping Ryan to organize the music team, I remember how frustrated I was when I had to schedule rehearsal time, when our team members can't show up to rehearsals and when our music doesn't sound good. Although I still recall how frustrated and sassy I was, although I gave myself a long break not to play in the music team for awhile, while I was singing Christmas carol at the RUF the other night, I kept having those flashback of us trying to make music together, of Caleb and I trying to figure out the chord, of Cuyler trying to comfort me from being over-frustrated. And suddenly, I had this feeling of losing something very important that I never knew I had until I lost them, and that one very special thing is called 'time'. A lot of us always tend to have a fear of losing certain things or people we have in our lives, we love them so much that we are so afraid of even thinking about not having them in our life. The more we care about these things, the more we are scared that we will lose control over these things and we will lose them. And the truth is, we are never the one who's in control, it could be comforting from time to time, but for the most part, we cannot stand not being in control over things. 'Time' is one of the great examples, no matter we are enjoying it or not, time is always flying, unlike sand in the palm, which at least stays for couple second, time does not pause, so while we are having this second, it's going away at the same time. So do we ever 'HAVE TIME'? How exactly do we lose something we never even truly owned? We never truly owned time, we just live in it. We're not missing 'time', we are just missing that old self who was living in that old time, we are just missing that one smile from that old him, we are just missing that one moment of happiness, excitement or whatever else you care.
It's sad but time itself really tells us one thing, which is nothing is eternal. Weather changes, cloud moves, sun rises up sets down, leaves turn from green to yellow and then fall, flowers bloom and fade, people are born and people die...BUT guess what, there is one eternal thing in the world--JESUS brought us the GOOD news---He is eternal and His love to us is EVERLASTING! WOW! Like none-stop? Yes, He's started to love us even way before we were born, and His love continues even when sins or when we try to turn away from him. We could just live our life to the fullest, don't have to worry about trying to pin anything down because we know that we have the most beautiful person who makes everything beautiful in our life who will NEVER EVER leave us. And one day, after we finish our time on the earth, He will come and take us home, that will not be the end of the story, it will just be another start of this love story. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Flavored vs Original

It's been 7 months since the last time I updated my blog. Have I really been that busy ? Or have I just been too distracted by everything else that's going on in my life and was not able to sit down, look at life itself and write my mind out? 

It's like flavored coffee, it got that strong and tempting smell that almost completely overpowered the smell of coffee itself. You found it so unusually and delicious and got so addicted to it and cannot wait to turn on your coffee machine and wait till the awesome scent fill up your whole kitchen.  But after awhile, you start noticing that there is nothing more in the flavored coffee but the added flavor itself, it becomes boring and you start missing the original coffee, you start missing how the bitterness slowly changes to sweetness and ended up remaining that unusually taste in your month. You start wanting to get rid of all the extra stuff and go back to the original.  

This might sound ridiculous to you but I found everything else in life is amazingly similar with a cup of coffee. I found myself get addicted to the extra stuff all the time, for example, a guy's handsomeness, money, grade, clothes, shoes etc, and I expect those things to bring me the happiness. But after awhile, I start noticing that without a kind, loving heart, the physical attractiveness becomes boring and empty; I start noticing that no matter how much money in my budget, I'm never satisfied; I start noticing that no matter what grade I got, I always wish it's higher; I start noticing no matter how much new clothes I bought, there are always something I really want from the newest fashion magazine; I start noticing, I want to shake off all these extra things and go back to the original. 

But what's the original? And is it even possibly for us to go back to the original? I honestly don't know. The only thing I know is that while I am sitting outside with cup of coffee this evening, listening to Teitur's music, watching the sky turned from pink to orange to yellow to green to gray to black, I can actually feel the energy of the universe that God created, it is always active, always changing, always moving. I spaced out for like 2 minutes and the sky has already changed 4 different colors, and no matter what I do, there is no way to change it back. It really makes me realize how small and powerless I am compare to the universe, compare to God. The sky changes from light to dark, it's a day, the sky keeps doing this circle for 365 times, it's a year, and another year, another 5 years, another 10 years, another 20,30,40,50,60 years…It's crazy to think that even after we die, this circle is still continuing,never pausing, never stopping. 

So ya, we cannot pin life down, we can't stop the sky turning color, we can't help the flowers blooming or stop the leaves from falling, so why do we even attempt to take control? Why do we even try to focus on anything else but life itself? We don't we just put a big smile on, wake up every morning full of joy, enjoy the present and behold till the day Jesus comes and take us home? 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Blessings On This Blessed Day

This is the second Easter for me and it's been wonderful. Got to celebrate this GREATEST event with my church family; got to spend some time working some 3rd graders to help them know more about Jesus's resurrection through games; got to have a great Easter feast with some of my RUF friends, etc. 

 When I was working with those 3rd graders, I got to know this little girl called Logan. She has the cutest smile that will just delight your heart. Have you ever had the feeling that when you see someone, you just immediately get the feeling that there is this special connect between you and that person? You just feel that you are called to talk to that person and get to know him/her. Thats how I felt when I saw Logan although she's only 9 years old. I was trying to figure out why I felt that way and I guess it might because she just reminds me so much of how I was back to my early ages. And I know that she probably feel the same way, 
she kept turning around and looking and smiling 
at me.  We had some random conversations later on, I  asked her where does she goes to school and things like that. There is nothing too serious. And then we started to play this little game that all the kids have to write troubles on the balloons and then break them. She came to me, smiled at me, showed me her balloons, it said "making good friends." I smiled at her and told her that she will make a lot of good friends because she is such a sweet girl.  And I also told her that she's already gotten the best friend she could ever had,God's son, the friend who died for her! At that point, thats all I could think of really. When such a cute little angel look at you, tell you that she doesnt have any friend and it made her sad, what else could you tell her? 
Then we started doing this little prayer things.Two people have to sit in front of each other and hold their hands. Then they'll start to introduce themselves to each other and tell the other person if have any prayer request as adults would call. It happens that Logan doesnt have a partner to this with so I sat with her. She hold my hand tightly and started to introduce herself to me. After that, suddenly, she became really serious, her face turns red and you can almost sense the nerve in her voice. I asked her if she is okay and she answered me "I do want to tell you something about my grandma." She told me that she's been living with her grandma and they are very very close to each other. "Like thiiiiis close!" She put to fingers really close to each other, tried to show me how close they are. And then she told me that her grandma is really really sick, she cannot walk or eat by herself. When she told me that, she does not look like a little 3rd grader girl at all, her eyes were full of tears and her voice were shaking. I tried to comfort her, told her that everything will be alright and we should keep praying for her grandma and God will have the best plan for her.
I tried to calm myself down because I was really shocked, not only by this little girl who trusted me so much and completely opened up her heart to me, but also by God,who planed out this whole thing to reach out and to comfort this little girl through me on this Easter day. 
When this little girls leaves, she asked me come out with her and introduced her mom to me. She smiled at me and then smiled at her mom, said "Mom, this is Chloe."  And that, is the sweetest voice I have ever heard.

 This is a very interesting kid as well. He was so shy at first, sitting by himself,wont talk to anyone. I invited him to sit with me but he refused right away. But 2 mins later, he came sat next to me,said "Okay I'll sit with you". Later on, he even started playing with me, hide behind me and tried to tickle me. And in the end, he asked me "Did you take a picture of me? You should." Sometimes some kids just need a bit more attention to know that they are liked and wanted so that they could walk out that comfort zone. :)
Kids getting ready for answering the questions.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A-Three-Hour Pilgrimage

  I chose to stay on campus for spring bring so that I could "relax and get some work done" but the reality is that instead of being "relaxed and productive", I have been extremely lazy and surprisingly,tired.  Going bed late,waking up late,laying on my bed and watching movies all day long. I was sitting in front of the window, watching a TV show, and then I was so bored that I had to stop and ask myself "self, what are you doing really?". And then I noticed that even I cannot answer myself. It's like my whole body is empty but I dont know how to fill it up by myself. Then I start staring at my window or rather, staring at the outside world through my window. I told myself, it's time for a short trip. :)
  I left around 3pm today, it was really nice outside. I was walking under the trees, feeling the warmness of the sunshine that coming through from the space between the tree leaves.  It's crazy to think how we walk in this beautiful campus, this beautiful world everyday but never stop and see how beautiful they are. We ignore the natural beauty that God brought us because we are so busy at everything. We are so busy running from one class to another, rushing to work, getting ready to the date that we've been looking forward, and then when we get a little bit older, we will get busier, dealing with our job, trying to pay all our checks, rushing to the supermarket and then home,preparing food for our kids...Rachel said she thinks I am weird but most of the time, it's old people who actually appreciate the beauty of the nature. I say that's because after spending their whole life trying to get that thing they want, they finally figured what's the most important and whats not and then they finally could sit down and look at their surroundings. But are we really going to wait till we are even too old to walk? Are we really going to wait till that long to start appreciate the beautiful nature God's created?
I was getting quite close to where I wanted to go and there are two sides of the roads in front me. I accidentally picked the wrong side so that I ended up standing in this narrow way, watching those cars whizzing by me. Then I saw this dead animal laying right in front me, its body has been so destroyed that I couldnt even tell what animal it is, or it was. I freaked out, honestly, I have never felt that I am that close to death before. It's like this second I am standing here but next second, I might be hit by one of those cars. Thank God, I havent walked that far so I ran back and picked the right away. After I ran back from that road, I was thinking that we are all living in this "college Eden" where we dont have that much things to worry about except our grades,relationships,financial problems,etc,that we almost forget that there is a really world out there where people get sick, people die.  So when we get a chance to actually live, we should live it fully. While I am writing this, I am thinking that choosing from those two sides of the road are like choosing believing in Christ or not. They dont look that different at first, but the choose is, one is towards light and hope while the other one is towards darkness and death. When you notice that you've picked the wrong way, would you turn and run back to his arms or keep walking?  If you havent realize that you've picked the wrong way, dont you notice that you are standing in the darkness and the light you believe you are seeing will eventually disappear? And if you see your friends are picking the wrong way, would you grab their hands and taking them back?
I saw a beautiful lake after I walked a bit further and I could finally calm down from being that close to death.  See, even if you are going through the darkness of your life, you'll be able to see the light soon because wherever he is, wherever the light is.
On the way home, I saw an African American man who looks like a homeless man, waiting for bus right in front me. I had to admit that I was being such a fool because I was actually really scared when I saw this guy since he is the stereotype of "the guy we need to stay away from"----tall,big,wearing really dirty clothes, waiting for bus. ( I have to say that I've always found stereotype really stupid but when it came to myself, I noticed that I am a fool like everybody else after all) I would have chose to avoid walking passing him  but there is no other way. So when I walked passing him, I almost hold my breathe, and get ready to run. But I still have that curiosity in me that I looked at his face while I was about to pass him. Surprising, we made an eye-contace and he nod at me with a big smile on his face. It was a beautiful smile, full of friendliness and kindness. It's that kinda of smile that made my day. I smile back and kept smiling even after I've passed him. Smile is one of the most beautiful gifts that God's given us to let us show others our joy and give others joy at the same time. You could drive the most expensive cars, wear the prettiest clothes and the most perfect make-up, you may come from the richest family but the truth is, none of those could bring real joy to people who are around you. But you could wear the cheapest, the dirtiest cloth; you may not even have a car; you may havent gotten to shower for days because you dont have the money to pay for the water, like the guy I saw today, but you could be the most beautiful person in the world with the love of our Lord. And when you smile, although the smile itself even doesnt worth a penny, you could delight others' life because it is God's given gift. None of us are naturally beautiful, we are beautiful because of HIS love.  
            I got home safely after hours. I call it a pilgrimage because God's shown me more than I could ever imagine in this three hours. Friends, spend sometime to be with God alone. See what he has to show you and listen to what he has to say to you. Remember, God is not only in heaven, he is EVERYWHERE.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The First Blog EVER!!

  It's been so long since the last time I tried to write something for myself and for those that I love,not for class. It's been long enough that I almost forgot how much I've loved to write. People say that it's really hard to give up on a habit. I say it's true and untrue. If I try, I can actually still remember how much I've loved to write at high school. My mom used to put the computer in the living room just in case I got distracted so that I always study till midnight and then sneaked out of my room to turn the computer on. In order not to let my parents notice me, I had to keep the light off. And then I'll continue the story I had been writing back then. I loved the feeling of writing novels, it's like I am the outsider and the insider at the same time. I could be the outsider, build up relationship between that girl and that boy and watch them fall in love, the love that's as sweet as honey, and then make them break up so that the story ends up becoming a love sorrow, or "bitter sweet" as some people would call it. I could also be an insider, I imagine I am the character that I am writing, I experience all the sweet and sorrow as I am them. In the darkest, my soul was so free that I could see it come out of my body and dance around me. Okay that sounds quite freaky, I agree. Anyways, all I am trying to say is that writing has always been one of my habits. And then I stopped writing. I didnt stop it in a suddenly, otherwise I'd have already noticed it. I just started to write less and less so that finally there was one day, I stopped writing. So my habit of writing became a habit of not to write at all.  Until...Until the other day, I was writing for my favorite class, Understanding of Religion by Dr.Middleton, the topic was "A Grave That You'd Like To Visit". I was so interested in the topic that I could not stop writing it. And then this old feeling, this special joy coming out, I suddenly remembered how much I've loved writing. It's like a kid suddenly found his old lost toy; it's like an old lady suddenly found the engaged ring that she's lost for a long time---the joy of getting back the things you've lost,oh that joy!!

  You would think that I'd start writing right away after that but I didnt. Because "I dont have time to"---that same boring , common excuse. 

  What really made me want to start this blog to write again is, well, I should have said "who" instead of "what"---anyways, who really made me want to start writing again? God did. Since the day I started seeking God, I have had so many amazing or rather magical stories happened to me. I've tried to tell share stories to my friends, believers and non-believers but I can never describe the story as well as I wish it could be. Also, the dangerous of being a story-teller rather than a story-writer is that one day when you want to look back and read those stories you've told people, you dont even have anything to read because you dont have any of them written down. I got really scared and I asked myself, what if I get really really old one day that I couldnt remember anything or what if I suddenly lost all my memories? Would I still be able to remember those love marks that God's given me?  Like tonight, I wrote some emails to couple members from the International Christian fellowship at my hometown, asked them for their permission to attend their worship this summer. I was really worried if they'd give me the permission since our government has pretty strict policies with religions. What really surprises me is that one of them responded me, told me that I am welcomed to join them and also, told me that both of his wife and him are from Fort Worth ,where Im living in currently. It's such a blessing for me because I didnt have any Christian friends back home and I found it extremely hard to keep my faith strong without being with my Christian sisters and brothers and attending church. And I got to know someone who is not only a Christian but also a Texan!!When I read that, I almost screamed out loud and I actually shout out loud---"Oh My Gosh God is real!!! He is real!!!"(thank God my roommates are out for spring break).  So I think it would be great to write this down so that I could share it with others, believers and non-believers and maybe, maybe someone would actually read it and think thats exactly what she or he needs. It's also a great reminder for myself, like how those Israelites immediately started doubting God after God freed them from being slaves, I always keep forgetting those great works God's done in my life and those blessing he's been giving me and start doubting him once awhile. So having those writing down could really keep reminding what God's done in my life and how grateful I should be.