“What Success is” (for me)

 

“Conviction, not recognition” ūüĆ∑
 
I used to always work and earn my own salary even when I was still in uni, so becoming a stay-at-home mum with no regular monthly income was a hard kick to my pride and self-esteem, and gave me rough times particularly the hardest throughout early months in this year. 

I cried and I prayed hard, for God to help me in “what should I do/see/hear/believe in”, to discern which was right and what wasn’t. 

Although the answer wasn’t apparent straightaway during my struggles, God is so faithful through it all. I was truly encouraged and finally found the answer through a book I read titled “The Measure of Success – Uncovering Biblical Perspective on Women, Work, and Home” by Carolyn McCulley and Nora Shank. 

God’s own words set me free from wrong principles, and clearly defined that my identity and value aren’t dictated by “what I do/know/own”. My value wasn’t even from becoming a “good mother and wife”. 

My identity is a daughter of Christ, the redeemed, the beloved of God ūüĎς̧ԳŹ – that’s what the Bible wrote about. 

Surely I refuse to be idle, but to be set free from my own wrong judgment lifted up a HUGE burden in my heart and enable me to do what I can do now faithfully, it gives me a fresh start. 

Despite of temptations to go back to the way I thought of what success is, I know what I write/doodle today about “what success is” – this is the answer from Him, and has become my own conviction. 

So yes, I don’t have to wait until I earn certain income, or reach the title “best mother/wife in the neighborhood” (lol). I can be successful EVERYDAY whenever I say that “Yes” to God. Because in the end, what matters is what God thinks of me. That will stand eternally. 

I share my artworks and doodles in my prayer journal everyday in my Instagram account (@crunchynat) and this might be a written long caption lol.. but I just feel the need to testify how God is real and helps me through it all, and finally, thanks for reading til the end ‚ėļÔłŹ‚úĆūüŹĽÔłŹ

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Are You in the Pity-Party Guests List?

Hello, how are you fellow readers? Hope you are all doing fine, healthy and content (keep your body fit during these¬†days of Melb’s strange¬†weather in spring – alternating sun and rain and wind ^^”) I just need to share this thought about ‘loving myself the way God loves me’.

First of all, I love¬†a quote from what¬†Ko Dan (my BIC pastor) shared last Sunday, “Count yourself the way God’s accounting you” He said so many times we unconsciously don’t respect what God says in the Bible about us and other truth, by our unbelief. He gave an illustration about how good our friend plays his piano, how we are so touched by the melody came out from the play, yet when we approached him and gave him the compliment he deserved, instead of accepting it and said thanks, he gave a despise look saying ‘you must be lying!’ What would we think and react in his response? Wouldn’t we feel offended? Here we are trying to give a sincere compliment yet our dear friend didn’t believe us, didn’t pay a respect¬†and judging us as a liar!

Yet so many times that is¬†similarly what we do toward God, when He said to us that nothing is impossible for Him, our response instead was we chuckled and said inside our heart “yeah right, easy to say but the¬†situation I’m facing¬†isn’t as simple as what you think!”

Or when God said to us to not be weary in doing good because at the proper time we will reap the harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9), in our heart we still complain about how¬†we don’t see any result at all in loving this difficult person, we don’t trust God that there is truly a reward and harvest waiting for us, if, we don’t give up. Or, we are accusing God to not being capable of taking care of our life and needs by worrying constantly. Plus so many other examples…

For me personally, this week I’ve had another truth be opened by His Holy Spirit about my mistake in not trusting God’s words wholeheartedly.

Let me share some personal stories of mine… ūüôā

I have a kind of ‘unique relationship’ with both of my parents (I was meant to say ‘rough’ or ‘absurd’ relationship yet I realized how God’s been so so good to me, He continues to fix my heart and my mindset so slowly I started to extend God’s grace to my parents. So yeah, a term of¬†‘unique relationship’ will be so much¬†better :P) It’s¬†such a long story to describe why I’d say it as an unique relationship, involving constant yet decreasing (praise the Lord!) battle of fighting with bitterness and letting go of forgiveness. It had resulted in me many wrong thinking and mindset, one of them was how I often be tempted to invite myself to gathering around¬†the “pity-party”.

Because I didn’t receive the kind of ‘unconditional love’ I deserved¬†from my parents, I had this big hole in my heart craving for that need to be fulfilled. I carried this heavy, unmet expectation into my marriage and not a surprise to whom I passed on this baton of heavy expectation? to my own husband, of course!

I would demand my husband to love me the way I wanted to be loved. For months¬†I nagged him to ‘speak same love language’ of mine and rarely appreciated his own love language to me. I’d demand him to ‘go an extra mile’ to make me happy and yet I was difficult to be pleased (thank God I have a super patience soul mate :P). I had this “false philosophy” thinking or wishing that my husband’s love could redeem what I didn’t get from my parents. I compared myself with other people who seemed to have ‘good loving parents, friends, and family’. I used to think to¬†myself, why were these people was simply ‘lovable’ and seemed like people would be wiling to do nice things and spoiled them? Why didn’t I get the same kind of ‘loving treatment’? What was wrong with me that my own parents and husband (or friends) didn’t seem to be wiling to make an extra effort just for the sake of my happiness? Was I not loveable?

These were the thoughts from¬†a Christian who has known very well that “God loves me that He sent His own Son to die for my sins” and that “only God can fill that black hole in your heart, not any human being”…!

This is my honesty ūüôā

I struggled questioning God, saying “Lord, I know that You love me, but why I seemed not deserve to be spoilt by my closest people? Why other people could be loved by You and people? Why couldn’t I have both? I know that Your love is the most important thing beyond love from human, but didn’t You show Your love through people around me too, God?” I used to think that I very often did not get what I wanted through¬†an easy way while others seemed didn’t even have to ‘ask’ to be spoilt yet they still got it voluntarily from others.

Of course on the other hand, I knew this was not right, and I fought this battle hard and all of the times I thought I failed yet somehow I started to see God’s invisible hands carrying me through and higher reaching His throne of grace. One intimate appointment with God to another slowly had lower my false expectation and erased my desire to be loved by ‘human’. Another one I had was yesterday, when I was in quiet time having my Bible Study (topic this week is ‘loving and accepting myself the way God does’) and reading God’s words in Isaiah 49:15-16

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
¬†¬†¬†¬†your walls are ever before me”.

Reading these verses and remembered what Ko Dan said “Count yourselves the way God’s accounting you”, suddenly my eyes be opened. I didn’t know nor understand why it only had to be yesterday! Suddenly I started to see all these self-pity thoughts about myself were all LIES! The devil tried to feed my mind with these lies and manipulated situations around me to believing into his lies! I finally come to see that my value is not determined by how others treat me, but by how God treats me! By how God thinks of me…

and in Isaiah clearly He thinks of me very very deeply, He has my name engraved on His palms!¬†The Bible didn’t simply say it was ‘written’, but ‘engraved’, meaning it is there and will be there eternally, forever on the palms of God’s hands! Something’s written on our palms may be removed (by sweats, for example), but to be engraved will forever leave a mark. That is how much I am valued by God!

Overleap with joy and conviction I straightaway prayed to God, that I wish from now on I don’t have to be self pity anymore regardless whether I received expected treatment from those who are important for me or not. I prayed asking God for victory to stand firm on this truth and not to be deceived by the lies anymore.

Then finally the moment came when my heart prayed to God, that I wish I would stop denying that truly only God’s love can satisfy me… not God’s love through others… but the kind of love I directly receive from Him, through an intimate relationship with my Lord…

I guess my struggle and question along this time have been answered yesterday… with that stronger desire to be fulfilled with God’s own love, and not by human’s love.

My question along the time of whether could I have both love (from God and people) was not the main focus anymore.

Then as I sat amazed by how the Holy Spirit had opened the eyes of my heart to this truth, I started to wonder, what other lies that I still don’t realize and I still live within…?

I can’t wait to have new revelations and have my mind be changed, resulting in life changes…

I am excited with so many revelations God’s given me throughout this year, began by when¬†I came back to my first love with Him…

I’ve started writing my spiritual goals and at the same time have many life questions that I yet to find a personal conviction. I long to not just know, but seek to understand. Just like this sharing I write, I know God loves me but not really understand the truth. I rely on God’s grace to uncover one by one of the truth… There is still a lot more to uncover about this great Person!

Meanwhile, I am so happy to not be invited to the pity-party anymore. Next time the invitation comes, I prefer to attend to¬†GRACE-PARTY instead!¬†ūüôā

pity party

“The Pilot Post Before Goes More Personal”

open heartIt’s gonna¬†take me a big decision to share¬†personal story of mine about my family here in my blog. I have got this buried to myself and disclose it only to selected close friends, but I don’t know why now I feel the urge to¬†share it in my personal blog. Some possible reasons:

1. Maybe because my bond to this blog gets deeper after I write it more often so just like a relationship, I am more ready to open my heart and write things more personal even though people including friends who know me must be able to read it once I share the link in my Facebook and Twitter page.

But, I don’t know, maybe my story can bless them in some ways? Worry that they may judge me or my family in unexpected ways is surely in my mind, but I think I have to take the chance. I know I am not the only one who have this kind of story, and I always hope that I can¬†encourage those facing similar challenge. Yet, maybe like me, they also have been burying their story, hoping nobody knows yet¬†also¬†wishing very hard¬†they can share it with someone who understands and will not judge.

Maybe I’m gonna take the first step, just letting them know they are not alone.

2. Maybe because now I have embraced more of the reality. Do you know the 5 stages of “anguish”? Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Maybe now I have been in the ‘acceptance’ stage (although many times I still wish things would go differently, so I admit that I’m still stuck and go back and forward between the ‘bargaining’ and ‘acceptance’ stage in one way or another). I’m gonna tell my story not to boast myself as a ‘conquerer’ because the struggle is still on and have been shaping great deal of my character even until now. But I just want to share how God has (slowly yet) beautifully worked things in my life so far and sustained me with His wonderful grace.¬†So along the way, maybe it does not only bless others, but also helping me to release my burden by expressing it in more concrete words in blog.

I’m writing¬†this ‘pilot post’ before I actually venture on the “real deal” in the following post, could my mind change and decide not to disclose it? How do yourself feel and think to share a personal story but perhaps it¬†would have¬†chance to be blessings for others?