There was a point in my life when I so clearly remember someone coming up to me in the middle of my sharing to ask, “Why are you still like this? It has been so long already.” In reality, it had barely been a month after my dad’s passing.
Despite having known that he will leave us ever since he was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago, I was unable to accept reality when it happened and I was too heartbroken to pick up the pieces after he left. Growing up, our relationship as father and daughter was closer than most. He was the loving parent who placed me first above all, and the person who would do anything and everything for me. He was someone whom I depended on and trusted with my whole heart. When he departed last year, I remember it being a particularly difficult year to endure. Perhaps it was because many around me couldn’t comprehend the extent of my grief. Perhaps, it also made me realise how much my dad meant to me and thus, inflicting a deeper degree of pain in my heart.
…I never faltered and was able to overcome them all knowing that I have a Big God. However, I hit a wall with my dad’s death.
In the past, whenever I reflected on the ups and downs in my life, I always prided myself on being able to face them with a positive mindset, moving on quickly from my losses — from losing the car I had always dreamed of, getting robbed, to losing my five-figure income overnight, I never faltered and was able to overcome them all knowing that I have a Big God. However, I hit a wall with my dad’s death. If not for God, there were just too many an occasion where I felt like giving up altogether on life, to just jump off the condominium I was living in because I didn’t want to face tomorrow, not without him. Barely able to muster enough strength to face each passing day, I lived without purpose and direction. My business dwindled. Everything else felt like it was withering around me and I grew desolate.
During this time, I spent most of my days alone because I did not wish to talk to anyone. I travelled on my own to many places and while many learned of my travels from Facebook, not many knew the grieving that was going on the inside of me. I was taking a break from life to allow God to deal with my grieving. I was seeking His grace, just so I’d have enough to press on each day.
We just need to embrace every season as they come and trust that our God is a good God and that He will make everything work in His ways.
It was last year while I was in Vancouver that God spoke to me. It was autumn and the weather was gloomy and grey — as was the condition of my life. I was questioning myself inside out, “Why am I so weak when I have such a great God?”. Having forced myself to move on to no avail, I struggled to understand myself, even becoming upset with myself. It was during these dark moments that God reminded me of His presence. He said in Eccl 3:1, “To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven.” Verse 4 says, “A time to weep; And a time to laugh. A time to mourn; And a time to dance.” God gently and lovingly reminded me that I am weak and therefore, I needed Him in my life. I realised I didn’t have to rush through the season, only to embrace it. Just like autumn, the leaves fell off from the trees. After winter, they will return anew — a cycle that happens every year. But just like our lives, it’s not a process we can rush. We go through autumn and winter in our lives, and spring and summer will certainly follow. We just need to embrace every season as they come and trust that our God is a good God and that He will make everything work in His ways. Eccl 3:11 says, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.”
It was also during this season that Pastor Kevin launched the theme for our church; STRONGER. I knew, at that very moment, it was a confirmation from God. My breakthrough is coming and my new season has arrived. Pastor Kevin said “When we have problems, seek God, not people”, and it hit me right in the heart. All these while, I was always steady because I anchored my hopes and confidence in my dad, knowing that he had my back. When he was gone, I lost my pillar and began to carry the burdens with my own strength, constantly questioning and doubting myself. Similarly, when I was a younger Christian, the first person I would turn to when I had a problem was my mentor, Shirley Boon. It was a simple reflex to look for people for help. I sought people when I should have sought God. I was taught to control my emotions lest I be controlled by it. Ironically, it was my own battle with emotion that made me realise how weak I was. More than self-control, I needed to bring my emotions before God. As I journey on this walk with Him, I am learning to depend on Him more and more; leaning on others and even myself less and less.
More than self-control, I needed to bring my emotions before God.
Living in the fast pace of the city lifestyle, we are constantly rushing from one agenda to another, barely pausing to rest. It is in the experiencing God’s presence that we find rest, and more. In those very still moments with God, miracles happen, visions birth forth and healing take place.
When we choose to open our hearts, God whispers His secrets to us: His love is perfect, and it’s more than enough for us.