Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Through It All (2014)

I give thanks to God for this year.

God who is sovereign, God who is faithful, God who is good, through it all.

It's been a tough year for many. So much has happened on a global scale, to our nation Malaysia, in our community, etc. And even now, on the last day of the year we hear of many who struggle with losses, with tragedies, with floods, and so much more. Lost planes, lost lives, lost homes, lost loves and lost hopes. :'( I can only imagine the pain and grief they feel and go through. 

The things I have gone through this year cannot compare to the many hardships of others as mentioned, but personally it was still a struggle for me. Somehow, the painful parts of 2014 stay seared in my mind as compared to the many good moments I am thankful for. 

Yet, this gives me much encouragement:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sister, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. - James 1:2-4
That the struggles and the trials are there for a reason, have their own purpose and is not in vain. As we come to the end of another year, I read back on journal entries and I know I struggled and stumbled through many parts of the year, but I am where I am today and who I am today by His grace and faithfulness. My life is a work in progress. It has not ended yet and new chapters and phases are still being written.

Last picture of 2014.
I thank God for loved ones who have supported and encouraged me through the different periods. Family, friends, strangers. People who were there long periods, or through one or two projects, or just a day or less, people who I knew I could turn to, people who were there by chance, people who came in just at the right moment, all kinds of people. Thankful for the people who pick me up, who pray for me, who walk with me, who do life with me. I appreciate it and I treasure you, though I may not always show it.

I thank God for Ernest who helps me grow, who journeys with me through the ups and downs, who is patient and kind even in my most irrational states. And indeed, we are growing and learning in this relationship. It's not always smooth, not always ideal. not always lovey-dovey and sweet, it is painful sometimes, it is hard and confusing sometimes too, but it is worth it. And I will choose to love, day by day, year by year, I will choose to love always.

Bidding farewell to UM and her days
I finished my days in university this year. I miss them. I miss the life and the people. But I know life is always changing and we move on into new terrains of life. Life is an adventure, an expedition, and an exploration. Everyday something new. One thing I really thank God for in university was my PKV family and the many experiences brought through the christian fellowship there. The camps we attended, the inspiring people who spoke to us, the avenues to reach out, the growing together, and so much more.

Also, FES. I thank God for them. FES camps always left an impact, always brought up reminders, and always awakened me to something new. Well, SWEEP is something to thank God for since it indirectly led to Ernest and I :P And my hopes to "find a husband here (at camp)" came to pass! Hooray :D

Yet 2014, is where university ends for me. I am a graduate now. And I am thankful for all that I have learned and experienced throughout my days here.

I went through a waiting phase. Where I grew impatient and lost and confused. It was disheartening. It was scary. But I had to trust God even when I couldn't see what was in front of me. I am currently working with little kids and it brings me great joy but also wears me out physically. Those little balls of energy. D: But I am learning to love and enjoy what I do, and wait for when God brings me wherever He may call me to. The recent trip to Cambodia with my church group has re-sparked the desire and passion to teach the people who are poorest and in need of education. It makes me want to do more and be more. It makes me pray, "God, prepare me for your work. Teach me, train me, send me."

And as we enter 2015, I still wait for that. But I wait knowing and assured He has the best plans and He has the right timings.

He is with me through it all.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Blessed Christmas

A picture speaks a thousand words, they say.

Here's my picture :)

Because of God's love, we are saved by His grace.
Because of God's love, we can love others.

Because He loves the world, He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Because in Him, we have hope and we have love.

These children reminded me and pointed me back to this love of God.
And I pray that my life may point them back to His love too.

Blessed Christmas.

Love came down to save us.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish
but have eternal life."
John 3:16

Battambang, Cambodia 
December 2014