Sight 

I’m in a train cabin, standing. 

Two elderly men in white hair came in. Two vacant reserved seats. One offered to another, ” there, there is another seat for you” and gestured towards the end of the cabin to find that fellow stranger a seat. 

A girl about her early teens came in. The lady sitting in front of me stood up and gave up her seat. The girl looked at me and smiled before proceeding to remove her dirtied bag from her back and sat down in front of me. I looked away fearing the awkwardness. Again our eyes met, she smiled again. I smiled back. She looked at the elderly lady sitting beside her. The lady smiled back and the girl said hi. They exchanged a few words before both concentrated on their phones again. 

‘ Tiong Bahru ‘

The train stopped at the station. 

This man in his late 30s tried to wheel himself onto the train. His two front wheels (which are smaller in size) got caught between the gaps. The elderly I mentioned before stood up and was going to rush forward to offer help, only to find the man successfully going over the hurdle with a tiny jump he made with his body to get the wheels out of the space. 

People gave way to him. 

I’m in a train cabin filled with people I want to help. I’m in a train cabin where people are passing and going. I’m on a journey to meet my friend for lunch, but I’m also on a journey to discover where my heart lies. A utopia story of having to offer endless guidance to people when needed.

Words

These things that I am using now are incredibly powerful. They can mean so many different things, they can portray different emotions, they can even tell you possibly the personality of those behind their keyboards. 

Interesting how letters don’t mean much or in fact anything ; but when you put letters together, they mean something. When you then mix these letters around, they start to hold different meanings. Perhaps in my own imagination, I saw a parallel in the way people are, by means of communication or even physically being together. Like how letters are physically put together but still separated by spaces to make a meaning out of it, us humans have groups that segregate us into ‘words’. Communication seems to be the most complicated, personal and subjective means of ‘transport’. You might ask, ” Why inverted comma the ‘transport’ , or even use the word ‘transport’ , ” right? I’ll say communication brings people together, closer, or even further and more distant. But these play with the dimension of distances and length. Since we have measured relationships by such intrinsic ways, I found parallels and at the same time paradoxes. 

Communicating with someone creates a loop; (is that really traveling?) it requires a relationship to happen. Be it between strangers or best friends, communication barely goes in one direction. Communicating involves a form of traveling, more psychological and emotional actually. We empathise and listen to people, we travel into how their hearts feel, we travel essentially to their lives. Just imagine your friend sharing with you what he/she has done over the weekend; you move into that ‘space’ where it is as if you were them and experiencing it yourself. Truth to be, there will be some aspects lacking from being actually there and listening as a third party. But essentially you still move into their personal space and understand/perceive things the way they did. 

Words are the same ; I don’t think we can make sense of them if we do not understand them right? People are similar ; if we don’t hear and make sense of their words, we wouldn’t understand their intentions and what they are trying to convey as well.  

Words though, can be a double-edged sword. They can pierce through your heart and hurt you deeply , yet they have the same ability to turn you into the happiest human at a particular point in time. But the worst is: if words were left unspoken. 

Shannon L. Alder once said, “When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.” 

Words and letters tend to fascinate me ; how they can so effectively be used as means of communications yet they can have the uncanny notion to how they should be used and when they could be used. They are paradoxical themselves, holding meanings at times but not at others. Or perhaps people use words contradictingly. 

Words are complicated, yes. But they are so interesting to the extent that a world might exist just for them. I admit that I barely spend my time understanding them even if and when I am so curious myself. I just make use of them and regurgitate until one day when I felt the pinch and tasted my own medicine that words do hurt if you do not use them properly. I cannot deny that many times I breeze through words thinking I really understand them: but in actual fact, I don’t. Seems like the case for some people as well. I think I know them and when I really get to interact with them, I realise there were many things that differed from hearing and knowing a person through social media and their friends, compared to knowing and talking to them individually. Basic example of the classic “Do not judge a book by its cover”. Guess many people still miss this point. (Work-in-progress thought)

And finally a quote I leave for us to ponder on our actions and intentions :

Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.

– Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


Lessons

Learning with a motivation is always better than learning just for the exam.

I experienced that myself today. (Yes, I am slow I know)

Learning can be really fun; we even learned a dance to remember the myotomes and dermatomes for our exams. (Hmm.. maybe I could incorporate dance in remembering my heavy content)

Did you know the ability to distinguish letters from numbers that people write on your skin is also used as a test for your sensory abilities? There is even a name to it; Graphesthesia. Cool isn’t it?

Recalling, the nursing home I used to work at  (I miss them so much) , I experienced with my eyes that the therapists tested for sensation with stroke patients using this ‘Graphesthesia’ method. It was really intriguing to me; and in my lecture notes it actually said that this is a less-practiced test. Hmm .. seems like that’s not the case here! I guess there isn’t any definition to what kind of tests can be done. There is an endless list; our bodies are so complicated yet detailed that I actually don’t think any scientist can unravel the full ‘formula’ (I would say) of the human body. Every individual is different, even twins. How can one ever replicate another human, or even use the same treatment method for another individual if all of us are different. I figured perhaps no treatment is universal in its optimal state, since everyone’s bodies have its own preference.

“Pain is subjective” , yes it is. There isn’t anything known as ‘pain signals’ , there are only nociceptors that are sent to the brain, and your brain interprets and decides if that is considered ‘pain’. Hence the former. Personal thought: Our bodies and mind are languages of their own, incomprehensible to any outsider or even us humans. Perhaps it’s one of the languages God created that is sacred to His creation.

// not related paragraph //

My dad gave me an English name long time ago, and I have been using it since I’ve been in uni. I once read somewhere that your identity is in your name, and I was worried about the effects of my changed name. Seems like it wasn’t much of a difference though. What are the possibilities that your identity goes with your name? Name = identity? Partially I’d say. I’ve been called in many ways; Meifei, Meifs, Faye, Fei .. but do they make any difference? Do you think your identity is determined by how people call you? Leave your thoughts if you have anything to comment or share!

Also, I realised I need to up my language game. I find myself missing out on English phrases/slang that cuts short the limit to my understanding sometimes. Reading should help right? Hope I get the time to read more. (Only during my holidays I suppose)

A quote I leave for you today :

A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.      

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

Signing off with love!

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I do miss them dearly, hope they are all coping fine ! 🙂

Perfect Home

Really, people instinctively sense that we belong to a perfect home somewhere, but we know that we are not there, no matter how rich we are, how comfortable we live, how close we are to our dreams, or how many friends we have. We still feel empty.

Something I cannot fathom at this point; nobody ever feels.. home, no matter where they go or where they are. When you want to be rich and you have more money than you ever imagined with a big house and car, you feel in fact, emptier than you were before. But when you were striving and working your ass off to get money and live a comfortable life, you feel empty because all you do is work and work. There seems to be no point where you find perfection; no point where you find a home that you will be truly satisfied with.

Was this part of God’s punishment when Adam and Eve left the garden?

God knows us, doesn’t He? He knows us inside out to fill the gaps and provide answers when we need. So why are we still feeling empty? My guess: We are so distracted by the outside world that we forget to take a break and look at the world on the inside, our heart, where Jesus has been calling out to us again and again. Many of us can say with our lips that we love God, that He is Our Saviour, Our Shepherd. But how many of us truly feels it in us? As someone who serves the church ministry, I cannot deny the fact that there are times in which I feel empty. I feel like a robot, or just someone with a physical body that is present to show others. But I don’t necessarily feel Jesus on the inside. As I’m writing this, I have this image and feeling that I am tipping over something. I have no idea what it is but hey, I’m jotting it down.

God being the Creator, knows us more than any scientist/doctor would know of a human being. If He had created us individually, He would know every single detailed answer to our questions. And so, why do we feel empty even when we have achieved our goals? That’s because we didn’t open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to our Father. We didn’t pay attention to Him when He is giving us answers to things that we can never find on this earth.

Because this is not our home. Our perfect home is with God, with every purity created and embraced by our Father.

The sinful world we live in is nastier than any of us can imagine. It is a pit-hole that we will never get out off if we do not listen to the instructions of God above, who can see the way out of that dark place.

I guess I don’t have any point I want to get across like my other posts, but I just wanted to share my thoughts and have a ‘thought-vomitting’ session here. Honestly I don’t even know if anyone reads these posts but that isn’t the point; but please feel free to share your thoughts if you have read this. I am still searching for an answer as to why it seems like we can never find a perfect home here, even if we know God is with us in this world. It’s always nice discussing about our Father as we try to understand Him and bring ourselves closer to Him.

“Use me.”

Reflected and thought about it.

I used to be shy and fearful to share with my friends, especially my Christian friends that I am not born in a family of believers, I am not born in a family that goes to church.

But today I want to declare loudly in the name of Jesus with a proud yet humble heart that I am blessed in the most amazing ways!

I’m blessed because I am in a tough situation, I am blessed because i am born in a family that doesn’t recognise Jesus as their Saviour. I am blessed to be learning about Jesus while I’m growing up, I’m blessed my family is not well-off because we receive blessings not materialistically but through our hearts.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:3-12‬ ‭NIV

We often say we feel blessed or we’re blessed when we get the things we want, or when we achieve something materialistic/of this world. Many times we make this same mistake! But reflecting, I feel that yes, we learn to feel blessed in times of trouble, for with trouble can we then see how strong our faith is and how much we trust Him!! (i felt that this was really important especially since I know I might not be going through a very smooth and pleasant journey the next few months, but I wish that this message will be here to remind myself again when I need it. And I pray this message (although I know its really long), will reach out to the hearts of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. ✨

“What will you do with it?”

“Will you use it for yourself?”

“Will you use it to help?”

“Will you hold it close for comfort?”

“Will you share it?”

So many tough choices yet so few easy answers.

Hence my prayer today is that I learn to understand my true blessing. It’s not my grades. It’s not my achievements. It’s not about how much I will earn when I graduate, nor is it my standard of living.

No.

My blessing is this; I know a God who gives hope to the hopeless. I know a God who loves the unlovable. I know a God who comforts the sorrowful. And I know a God who has planted this same power within me. Within all of us.

And for this blessing, may our response always be,

“Use me.”

(adapted from The One Thing Christians should stop saying)

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Chemical X

It’s been long since I last wrote.

I’m falling, I’m falling to my knees. At Your feet I surrender. I’m falling..

How many of us act the way we say? Or actually really believe when we say we do?

Many times people forget what they promised; people forget. A promise isn’t as simple as it sounds. A promise is a concoction of commitment, trust, belief and strength.

Can someone possibly forget what they believe in? Or when they don’t practice what they believe in? Would you forget that you once believed santa was real? (no wait, santa is not real???) 

What are the symptoms? Do they slowly lack belief? Sometimes I wonder what people mean when they say they ‘no longer feel God’, did they forget how to listen to God’s voice and the Holy Spirit? Do you forget how your daddy sounds like? I don’t think you do! Someone told me, when your dad  calls you and you pick up the phone, you can recognise his voice even without him telling you he’s your dad. But that happens with tens and hundreds of calls over the years when you grow up. It’s with the practice of repeatedly hearing your daddy’s voice on the phone to know he’s talking to you. Same for God’s; you dont literally hear His voice, but you have to practice to discern the Holy Spirit leading you. (I thought this analogy was really interesting) Nothing actually comes with a snap of the fingers, it takes time, commitment and training to master something. 

A human promise combines commitment, trust, belief and strength. When we make promises to people around us, or anyone per se, we are committing something to that relationship, harnessing trust, strengthening belief and build reliance. But many times, they fail (don’t they?). Many times people break their promises and people don’t carry out what they promised. They become empty promises. But there’s one promise that never goes wrong; God’s promise to His people. Out of the things of the world; bringing salvation with His One and Only begotten Son, Jesus! 

There’s something special about this Great Promise. Here’s chemical X; Christ. God’s promise never fails because He is holy, He gave us Christ. Human promises fail because of our sinful nature, but God’s promise is different. And I can verify that. I see God’s work in everyone around me, be it something they’ve prayed for in the last month, or something they’ve prayed for the past few years every night. God’s promise is not slack, it doesn’t ever disappoint nor fail you. All you have to do is have faith, believe in Him and know that He’s there with you. 

“You are here, and my soul will praise Your name! Singing Holy is Your name!” – Closer than you know by Hillsong

I hope that one day my family will believe in this Holy Father, that we may all find peace in Him. I have faith, God is working.

My Grace is sufficient for you

It has been absolutely exhausting. So many things to grasp, so many issues to handle, yet so little time. 

But at the same time, in the midst of all these chaos, I can find stillness. And that’s great news isn’t it? In a rainy weather where the beads of raindrops  burst into the panels of the window, I alike found solitude in these palpating sounds. 

“Pitter patter pitter patter”.

Yes it is chaotic with different sizes of beadlike raindrops hitting onto the window and trickling down to join others of its kind in an unexpected pattern, but there is some form of peace there. The tranquil yet undisturbed rush of the water flowing down like a stream catches my heart. 

Where the calmness of a heavy downpour is found on the inside; a roof over our heads to shield us from the beatings of the rain; a protection over our heads guards us as if saying “Don’t worry, I got you away from the storms”. Alike, Jesus does it the same way. In the midst of the chaotic environment we live in, we can find solace in God’s arms. Where warmth, calmness and comfort can be found. 

These past few weeks has taught me many things, and there is never a time when I wasn’t struggling. I struggle with school, struggle with my future ambitions, struggle with myself and even struggling with God. In a time where most of what I have seemed too overwhelming, I remember that I have God to run to. 

My boyfriend and I paused our daily night devotions because we got busy with exams and school. But last week we resumed, and last night a perfect sentence reached out to my heart. 

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NKJV‬

When I read this, my heart was touched to do as told. Today, I had my anatomy and physiology test. It’s a mere 10% but I was so anxious I thought I couldn’t sleep properly and would wake up a few times to check the time. I couldn’t wait to get up and revise before there’s no time. But sleep struck me and I knocked out. In fact, I was late in the morning and had to rush out without revising for my last chapter. I panicked (because I’m the kind of person that needs to finish studying before going in). Knowing myself, I prayed that God will remind me of how Great his love is and how sufficient His grace will be! As I walked to school (more like briskwalking actually), I suddenly got reminded of how God placed me where I am today. And that is already a miracle itself! The only thought that ran in my head from then was: “God has not failed you, and He will not fail you this time or anytime in the future.” Our God is faithful and I dearly pray for all of us to see that. 

As usual, I say a little prayer to God before the paper starts. Usually I would pray for wisdom, clarity and focus to let me reap the seeds I sow from my studying. But today, I did something different. I merely (but surely) thanked God for placing me where I am, and allowing me to sit in the auditorium, particularly at that seat. I thanked God for the simplest things, and I felt peace. Anxiety, worrisome me was gone. Taken away. All I felt was assurance that God will not fail and God loves us. 

Encouraging, isn’t it? So I urge you friends, pray today that no matter how tough things are, our Father knows it all. He knows how much we want something, He know when is the best time to have that one thing.  

Because when you really go on your knees and pray, you will realise how many things God and the Holy Spirit has been speaking to you but we just couldn’t hear them. 

Act of Kindness

Today as I was rushing to end work early so I could visit my sick boyfriend, I was indeed very reluctant to stay back longer at work. Work was supposed to end at 5.30pm, but when it was 5pm my colleagues asked me to help them with some manual labour. I was reluctant firstly because I was sitting comfortably in the office where the aircon was. Secondly, I was prepared to excuse myself at 5.15pm or thereof so I could get to his place earlier. I was extremely worried for him and all I could think of was to get to his house as soon as possible.
Didn’t know why and how, but I agreed to help them. I said no to my simple comfort and resisted staying in the office. We went down to the car park, where it was hot and stuffy. I couldn’t exactly convince myself to be contented because I felt more like I was obliged to go with them. We amended wheelchairs and labelled them and transported them upstairs to the rehabilitation corner I worked at. Though I had little heart that accompanied my actions, I was glad I did it in the end because I saw the smiles on the nurses’ faces that they now have newer functioning wheelchairs.
Back to the office, I was in a state of a rush and wanted to grab my bag and leave. However, the new physiotherapist was kind enough to provide me numbers of her friends that do musculoskeletal physiotherapy for my hip. How could I reject? I thanked her and finished up a few more money props that we were making and grabbed my bag and bid the rest goodbye.
Here comes the amazing part of how God put kindness in me.
I was brisk walking out to leave the compound but saw an old man wheeling himself on the wheelchair, struggling to leave. I told myself, I really wanted to leave because I was rushing but I couldn’t just leave an old man outside. What if he pushes himself all the way out to the road? So God urged me and I talked to him, brought him back into the compound. Thank God I spotted him because the nurses didn’t know he was left alone outside. I was very glad with myself that I managed to sacrifice a little of my time to help him and it taught me not to be selfish. More importantly, I was very glad with God that He used me to let myself see what it means to put others before yourself. Today, I am reminded again that Jesus puts everyone before Himself, so that we can be saved and forgiven in our Father’s eyes.

I really needed this reminder.

Light

How do you know if you’ve came out of the darkness?

Are you comfortable with the light that you start to build small dark kingdoms in them? I have. I switched off the light. I was stubborn, I was full of myself. I thought I could live without the light. Oh how wrong I was! We need the light, we crave for the light, we love to be in the light!

Yesterday I executed one of the most difficult things in my life. I never knew I had that much courage to do it. But God did. He put into my heart the desire to share my story to the youths for His purpose. On my part, all I had to do was share my story and dance for God. The rest of the work is done by God Himself. Oh how wonderful are His works!! I couldn’t have done this alone, God only put me through this because I am with Him. I refused to do it if He was going to let me do it by myself, and I know He didnt. 

I had to share my testimony twice and dance twice. I would’ve thought both would feel the same, be the same. Or the second time would be less nerve-wrecking and heart-throbbing. But I was wrong. God does give you surprises, many many surprises. On that morning that I had to perform, I was told I have to use the original track and not the one I edited (which is shorter). So that meant I had to choreograph another close to 2minutes to end the dance. The performance was in an hour from that time and I was clueless as to what movements I could use and what tone and how I displayed myself. I know God heard my worries. Many people came to me and prayed for me, that even if I was nervous and unsure, I will be dancing for God and with Him. During the first sharing, I couldn’t feel my legs. They were shaking and they were the most unstable pair of pillars for my body at that point. I thought, ‘Oh God, please help my legs get a grip. I can’t dance with these jellies!’ I shared, and I felt assured. Honestly, I was skeptical about how the youths would’ve reacted. I was afraid they wouldn’t buy my story. But why was I afraid? I searched my heart and found the answer: I was really afraid because I actually didn’t have faith that God will move in their hearts, not because I was afraid I couldn’t deliver the message properly. God proves us wrong again and again. He shows us how much more He can do. I saw it, I felt it. 

Now comes the dance, the dance that I had no idea how I would be moving in the later section. After actually dancing the parts I choreographed before, I just let it go. It honestly just felt like the times I would dance freestyle in my studio without anyone watching. Only difference: Everyone was watching me. 

I danced for God, not for man. I’m in Dance Ministry because I want to minister to others through God and I know they saw my heart for God. Didn’t matter if my legs weren’t high enough, didn’t matter if I didn’t do more turns or sustained my leg longer. I was moving for God, I was dancing with Him. 

Then comes the second time. I would’ve thought it was easier, since I’ve done it before. But no, God showed me otherwise. It was so difficult. In the middle of sharing my testimony, something moved me to feel the pain again. I broke into tears as I felt the torture I used to feel, but thereafter I felt a hug from God. I felt Him moving in me, telling me, ‘its okay, all of those have past, all that matters is I am with you now‘. I cried as I danced, because I felt His love and I want to dance for Him. I may not have known what steps I actually did or how stupid I would have looked like in the eyes of a professional/skilled dancer, the only thing I knew was that my body breezed through the air around me in  pure joy that I was entrusted with from Him. 

Sharing a testimony and performing a dance without knowing your choreography was tough enough. Yet at the second venue, the flooring on stage was rough and not dancer-friendly. Much less the space; it was small, the carpet was rolled up and protruding out, ‘How do I dance on that floor?’ I had my fair share of worries. But I was moved beyond words when after I ended my dance, a girl behind me passed me a note. She told me that she saw hope through me, she saw a shining light for God through me! How wonderful and amazing is our God? She saw no hope but it was timely and it gave her hope. God gave her hope through me. 

I never knew and I never thought my testimony would have such an impact but God is miraculous, He is enough. He is able. 

Nothing I could have done without Jesus, without His mercy. And I pray everyone sees His grace, His mercy and His love. 

If I can, I would definitely and non-hesitantly share this testimony that I used to be ashamed of to others. People need to know how amazing our God is. We need to openly profess His name. Let’s not get complacent in the light and continuously seek Him and seek the light that gives us life!

Thank You Jesus!

Simplicity

A simple gesture can mean nothing to someone but the same gesture can mean the world to another. 

It has been amazing working at Peacehaven Nursing Home. I have never felt such warmth and coziness in such a place. It does keep my amusement in suspense, “Is this just the getting-to-know people and environment part? Will these ‘smiley faces’ part from their faces as time goes by?” One month has passed, and the smiles on their faces are ever so bright. It was as if Mr Sun himself came down to paint their faces. It was amazing. 

What kept me even more excited to continue this job in the future is the way my heart felt about them: the nurses, clients, residents, visitors. I used to be skeptical about eventually finding a job I love, without finding one tiny thing that I would despise about. But this job proved me wrong: Not only am I satisfied, but the small little things like distance and not-so-high pay doesn’t even bother me at all. It made me wonder, ‘Why was I bothered by unimportant things that could have a stake at my true happiness?’ This kind of happiness that I am feeling doesn’t come from the world, nor do they come from materialistic concepts. They come genuinely from the heart, from God. 

And so I saw this catchphrase, ‘Heart to God, Hand to Man.’ This resonates in me because I came here to serve these elderly and to serve the Lord. I pray that as I learn to give others more than I give to myself, I can also start to learn about myself; to comprehend and discover who I really am. 

Because right now I cannot seem to fathom at this point whether I truly know myself.