Brave

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 § 3 Comments

I was the kid who couldn’t run fast enough or catch a ball or balance in roller skates. I didn’t try athletics or anything that would demand a ton of physical strength, because what’s the point? If you grew up believing you’re weak, you’d eventually live it. And so I led a life of a weakling, living in fear all my life. I was hesitant to try new things. I didn’t dare to be adventurous. I put myself in a box, thinking I was secure in it. Put another way, my life was boring.

But when you’re in Christ, you’d know that life with Him is rarely a bore. He would push you out of your comfort zone, taking you on adventurous trips you wouldn’t have otherwise chosen for yourself. You could only tug on Him and plead to spare you from this, because, “God, I’m afraid.” But that’s exactly why you have to get on it, because it’s when you’re afraid you completely rely on Him. After all, He knows what He’s doing, and you are left with a choice to obey or disobey.

I chose to obey when I sensed God calling me on an adventure. It’s totally out of my comfort zone, but I realized it was that one thing I’d been waiting — praying — for.

But no sooner had I said yes than I also realized that for me to finish this adventure, I had to be strong. That’s something I knew I wasn’t.

Fear easily found a foothold once again. Discouraging me. Paralyzing me.

And I’m tired of it. Tired of being afraid, scared. Tired of cowering. Of backing out. Of taking cautious little steps. Of being uncertain. Of finding the courage you couldn’t see.

***

When you’re facing a mountain, you have to find the strength in yourself to climb it. Otherwise, you’re going to be stuck where you are — and I’m speaking literally here as much as figuratively.

Just this weekend I joined a mountain adventure with wonderful, beautiful, passionate-for-Christ ladies. When I say mountain adventure, I mean passing through caves, trekking toward the summit, crossing a hanging cable bridge. My fearful self would have liked to back out, or at least would have used a lot of pep talk. This wasn’t what I was used to doing.

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But my fearful self surprisingly wasn’t around. I was able to hold myself together and put on some amount of boldness. I didn’t panic. Okay, maybe at some point I did, especially when I saw the cable bridge and considered my fear of heights.

But here’s the thing. I squeezed myself into the tiny spaces in the cave, climbed rocks, trekked in mostly muddy terrain, trod toward the summit, and balanced myself in a thin cable with a strength I didn’t know I have.

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I didn’t know I have it because I was too afraid to know. Because it’s the kind of strength you’d only learn of when you throw yourself into uncomfortable, unfamiliar situations. True enough, only when I freely embarked on a seemingly scary adventure did I find out that God had already deposited His strength in me. What’s there to be afraid of?

I have already given my strength to you.  You are strong. You have it in you.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

***

There’s confidence in awareness that when He gives you a task, God provides the strength you need to carry it out. But more importantly, there’s power when you allow God to unleash His strength in you.

So here I am today, a changed woman. It’s amazing how a weekend of adventure uncovered the brave and strong me. The past mindsets that have limited me and thwarted my potential are gone. God has parted the lies that have covered my heart for so long, revealing a fresh heart beating with His energy and strength.

Now I choose to live without fear.

I have come to terms with uncertainty.

I can take bold steps, confident that God has made the ground stable.

In the end, it all comes down to this: I am weak, but if God is living in me and God is strong, then I become strong.

Now that I realize how strong I am in Christ, I cannot begin to understand the magnitude of His work in and through me. So I say, “God, let’s get that adventure rolling.”

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

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(in)courage

Thursday, June 7, 2012 § 7 Comments

Later this day, my guest post for (in)courage will go live. (in)courage is a community of women with a passionate love for Christ. Women from many places and many backgrounds gather together in that beautiful, beach house-themed space to warm everyone’s heart with sincere, encouraging words.

I can’t remember how I found out about (in)courage, but I’m glad I did. No, I’m glad God led me to it. In all the times I visited the site, there’s always this incredible feeling that I’m not alone in my journey–that there’s a bunch of amazing women who share my struggles, understand my hormone-induced peculiarities, and have the same desires and dreams.

That even if they don’t know me, they know my story. They know what to say to salve my troubled and oftentimes confused heart. They know the words of my rejoicing. They know because my story is also their story.

If you’re a woman and you want to find a home for your heart, visit (in)courage. I’m thankful for my first visit. And look now, it’s my time to share.

See you at (in)courage.

What I learned about living by faith not by sight

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’m not the most patient person in the world. If I set my mind to something, I’ll do it without even a minute passing. If you tell me you’re going to do things for me, I expect you to do things right away.

That’s why when God gave me the words “fulfilled promises” and “conquering my Promised Land” at the start of 2011, which to me means a better writing career, a family of my own, and prosperity, among other things, I was sort of expecting they would come to pass within the year, or if not this year, in the years ahead, with 2011 as the time for God to lay the foundation.

It turned out, it wasn’t this year. That was fine with me, but only for a time. When I looked at my circumstances and saw that things remained just like they were when the year started, I concluded that God wasn’t working. I began to nudge God a lot harder, and I grew more troubled when I felt he wasn’t even hearing my prayers.

I knew these were lies, the enemy’s work to dampen my faith. But without physical evidence for my “fulfilled promises” and “Promised Land,” it was so easy for me to succumb to these lies. With my permission, these lies immediately took residence in my heart and unleashed their poisoning powers.

Suddenly, there was a tug of war in my heart. One part wanted to believe in the faithfulness and truthfulness of the Promise-Giver. One part wanted and prayed for evidence, for reasons to believe.

Faced with the facts of my situation, I was losing the battle. Day by day. Instead of earnestly seeking God, I ended up accusing him. “You don’t care,” I whined, almost childishly.

But even at the height of my doubt, God remained faithful. He was never intimidated by my doubting remarks and accusing questions. He reminded me that just how faithfully he kept his covenant with Abraham and blessed him with a son even though it looked humanly impossible, God could and would always be willing to fulfill his promises to me although my present situation depicts otherwise.

It took a lot of Bible verses and reminders of God’s faithfulness to convince me that God was indeed interested in my affairs, and now I realize that wanting physical evidence for his promises as a condition for me to believe was faulty. I wasn’t operating with faith. I was operating with pure human logic. Human logic is not entirely bad, but it often clashes with faith because it always needs explanations and evidence.

Friends, faith means believing even though the eyes couldn’t see any proof. It means believing even though it defies human reasoning. It means believing for things before they come to being. What we need is to take facts as they are, but approach them with eyes of faith and a heart full of hope.

If at the start of the year you believed for something and it didn’t materialize, remember that what he wants from us is just to believe—believe that he knows his plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), that not one of his good promises will fail (Joshua 23:14), and that if we put our hope in him we will not be disappointed (Isaiah 49:23). With or without evidence for his promises, we should continue trusting his wisdom and faithfulness. And whether we acknowledge it or not, God is working on our behalf. God’s Word has several assurances of his faithfulness, and these are enough to make us believe.

Truth is, God is already at work in me. Only his works are sometimes invisible to my human eyes. At other times, my human eyes choose to ignore God’s works because my brain sends signals that they aren’t what my brain is expecting. Yet God is silently doing the groundwork and orchestrating events according to his blueprint, which he created long before I graced the earth.

It might take a while for me to reach my Promised Land and receive the fullness of my inheritance, but God will take me there at his appointed time. For now, he wants me to activate my faith as I patiently wait and prepare myself for settlement in my Promised Land. Waiting and faith are married to each other. We can’t gracefully wait without faith. And our faith gives us power to wait a little longer.

So today, I pray to be like Abraham, who knew the facts of his old age and his wife Sarah’s barrenness and yet, without unwavering in his faith, believed God for a son through whom God would fulfill his promise. Today, I pray that as I end 2011 and move to another phase of my life, I’ll continue to live out what “living by faith, not by sight” really means.

And I believe 2012 is going to be a grand year! On many levels! This I claim.

Stable

Monday, December 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Here’s what I realized: Wherever I am at the moment and wherever I will be in the future, there’s one thing that will remain forever true. It’s all about God. From the beginning, it’s always about Him, never about me. My life is His, and this should be used for His glory and purpose alone. Even in this season, when I feel an uncomfortable stirring in my heart, His purpose should remain.

Now is the perfect time to trust. My future He holds, so wherever He leads me and whatever He wants me to do, I will obey, because I know in my heart His plans can always be trusted. He Himself can be trusted.

I still don’t know exactly what my new season will look like, what it will demand from me, how it will change the course of my life. But I’m certain that this will bring me to a point of sweeter intimacy with God. Now I’m charging confusion and anxiety to step aside, and allowing faith, trust, and hope to fully take command.

Ta-da!

Sunday, March 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

It took me so long to finally put together another blog — this time, a personal blog. My first blog, which was originally intended to host some of my mini-essays, is still up but sadly looks abandoned. Believe me, I started that blog with a clear intention of regularly updating it. But the demands of work put my personal writing to a halt.

As you know, regularly writing mini-essays is time-consuming, so I decided to create a blog just for random thoughts, quick realizations, and interesting stories. I won’t burden you with long posts, that’s for sure. But in case I do, please bear with me. It’s very rare that I get talkative, which is why every time that happens, I let the mood flow into paper, er, computer screen.

This is exciting! I’ve never been more open than this, so sharing myself and my stories is something I look forward to. I have good hopes. And I’m hoping this blog won’t die on me.

So to you my dear readers I say, welcome aboard! Allow me to share with you my journey. And now, let’s get this started. 🙂

 

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