Life Without Fluff

Welp. I've just come to realize that it has been 10 years since I first started blogging here. While I have struggled to be a consistent journaler since I left my carefree high school days, I am thankful for a writing outlet such as this.

Although it had been nearly a decade since I graduated from high school, I was still in what felt like a perpetual state of being a student. First came college, then came my first not-sure-what-to-do-in-life crisis, then came my Bachelor's stint, then came my second still-not-sure-what-to-do-in-life crisis, then came my Master's stint, and then, I suddenly stopped being a student last year. It was quite an odd feeling at first, but I quickly got used to it and even reveled in it.

Despite not being a student, I continued to serve in the (international) student ministry in my church, and somehow felt like I was leading a double life every day. I would only be a friend to my co-workers every week day, from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and then I would spend the rest of my time with friends much younger than me, doing things I was slowly losing the capacity to do. An entire year of this eventually led to my tank running way below empty, and, unfortunately, a massive blowup.

With some distance between then and now, God has given me some clarity, but much is still left to confusion, anger, and pain. However, I am learning that I do not need to understand it all, nor do I need to fix it all. All that God is requiring of me is to fear Him and to trust Him. And so, here I am, trying yet again to exercise faith as I walk into September and join the ministry in my church comprising of young professionals. As September closes in, many fears and doubts keep circling in my head: What if it doesn't work out? What if I don't find solid relationships? What about the bridges I have just burned?

But alas, all I can do is fear Him and trust Him. Also, God, in His cool and glorious fashion, gave me just the right word today as these thoughts surfaced again: "You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me." -Psalm 139:5

So there I have it. He'll take care of what is to come, and what is behind me, too.

On a less serious note, this alpaca friend of mine has been making me smile stupidly all day. My housemate is simply the sweetest, and always brings back souvenirs that make me squeal. Yes, including the Swiss Army knife that one time.

"Huh? I can't hear you with all the fluff around my ears."


None Like You

This 25th year of mine has been extremely exciting and extremely mundane at the same time, with the mundane preferred over the excitement at times.

The first half of the year has greeted me with many disappointing realities of life; realities like broken relationships, unmet expectations, being stuck in the same spot, and sheer loneliness. Not that any of them happened to me.

Just kidding. They all happened, some of which are still happening.

But as I walk through them all and keep my feet from fleeing as they are always wont to do, God has greeted me with many wonderful realities of life, too; realities like the pleasure I find in my work, family and friends who voluntarily stick with me through the seasons, my awkward but sure growth from the sorrows, and, the most real thing of all, His sufficiency for me. The Bible does not kid when it quotes God as saying, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I stopped keeping track of how many times I have already messed up, but it would be even harder for me to keep track of how many times God's grace has rushed over me like a torrent. There is none like Him.

Remember these things, O Jacob,
    and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you; you are my servant;
    O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud
    and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.
-Isaiah 44:21-22