triumphs at my cost

For the longest time, I was idealistic.

But that is an euphemism for naivety. My brother bluntly told me once that he thinks I live in an universe of my own.

Though it’s exaggerated, I know what he means.

Airy, dream-like, almost ethereal.

*

I had ideals. Ideals impossible in this fallen world of sin.

God had to pull them down, one by one.

He did, this year.

By the mistreatment and the eventual break.

By working life, which officially marked the start of adulthood.

*

Were not the ideals wholesome and innocent?

That I should be loved, cherished, treasured by one who claims to do so?

That I should not have to go out and fend for myself in the corporate world, and be trampled for my lack of assertiveness and dominance?

But these are still my own ideas.

And any ideas that stand in opposition to God’s
are ideas stemming from self-will.

*

Thy will,
not my ideals,
be done.

My ideas were
shattered.

Yet I am not.

I survived,
and emerged stronger,
having come face to face with reality.

I can laugh the more joyfully,
smile the more steadily
because whatever comes my way
in God’s Providence,
I’m ready.

*

There are none of my ideals that God’s future for me must conform to anymore.

And that is good, for His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.

Buy a HDB flat/condo at the age of 35 to live with my pet dog for company? Sure.

Be wife to a wealthy businessman and mother to seven children? Sure.

Die, poor and lonely, in a remote third world village whilst doing missions? Sure.

Just as long as it’s God’s Will,
My soul is assured of the victory.

And the will of God becomes so dear to him that he loves it best when it triumphs at his cost.
(Stepping Heavenwards)

honourable calling

Work is not secular. In my eyes, there is no separation between “secular work” and “the Lord’s work”. While we usually term the ministry in the church the latter (and I have no objections to that), I feel it is too narrow to think that only our service in the church is God’s work.

My entire being is to be a living sacrifice for the LORD and it is not restricted to the few hours of choir practice I attend. Everything is to be done for God. This is so scary – because it calls us to raise our standards for our specific callings and quit substandard work. And yet, it’s so intensely meaningful isn’t it? (‘: the fact that God receives each little action done to Him with a smile.

Which is why I’m so happy today.

My colleague gave me some pointers on how to improve as a teacher a few days ago. She said I knew my content excellently, but needed to be more personable and engage my students more.

I was trepid. Can I do so? Will the students judge me or hate me? (All these irrational fears playing in the background)

I was trepid. So I prayed then. “Lord, help me to teach well, with a desire to truly guide the students to understand and learn. I want to teach not just to get the task over and done with, but to have a heart for these students.”

He did answer.

A new student surprised me by giving me a snack she bought from Japan (so sweet of her! <3)

My students in the new class really responded actively and asked alot of questions to clarify their doubts. Whenever they leave with a smile and a thank-you, my heart swells.

True, I may not be serving God “full-time” now, but I am. I must serve Him full-time, where I’m called. (I dare say that if I’m negligent here, I’m not fit to be in the Lord’s vineyard at all. No way.)

&

God will meet me,
take care of me.

Blessed (‘: