Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Acts of Faith: On Wreck and Upside Down Part 2

p.s. long post alert written in a secret place on campus that gives you a beautiful view of arbutus, MD.

            The past two weeks have been torrential… you know the roundabout kind that keeps you in loop and back to the very beginning but at the same time morphs into a different form? This started leaking slowly and then opened up into a flood. Then I went away for spring break… to learn. To learn give of myself to others and not just me.
            The harsh reality of it hit me – my world is just a minute spectacle in this galore of His. And yet, I spend time, pinning away and within… countless moments spent introspecting as though my burdens were the most gigantic in the world… and yet, 15 minutes away, my sisters get high on heroine or solicit themselves for a money to buy baby diapers.
This reality was added on top of my discovery of grace… let me put it this way. You know how you know what a strawberry fruitcake is. You know its made up of strawberry, and is a cake… and let’s say that all strawberry fruitcake in the world is given away for free – you would never have to pay a dime for it. You have been taught this fact your whole life. And yet, you never listened. Mind you not even tips are necessary for the  service of this cale, in fact, they are discouraged for shame that people could think they could pay their way for a strawberry fruitcake. You still paid nonetheless… and sometimes with anguishing guilt to make up for all the other times you had them free… (okay so maybe the last part of the analogy doesn’t make sense, but you get my drift).
I have been paying for my strawberry fruitcake. I’ve been thinking that I can earn grace… especially after I’ve fallen. I bask myself in good works thinking I just need to pave my way and make Him happy again by appearing to be holy. I wouldn’t come to devotion or prayer out of love or gratitude but more or less guilt. I wouldn’t center on Him and His filled up blessings but rather on what I have not, and what I could have…
And then the anxiety started… and the emotional downpour. I’ve had down days before… they are no stranger to me… but these past few days were enormous. It was as though every negative thought you can think of was out to get me to forget who I am. And boy have I pined away – random outburst of tears… fretful worries that I may fail undergraduate… petty anxieties over love… baseless resentment against blood… you name it.
And I kept asking Him why… and I kept telling Him to just take it all… whatever it is He is uprooting from me… whatever it is He is shaking… whatever it is He is preparing me for… He should just do as He wishes… I surrender…
And this is where God sends in love in the form of friendships to come and pick you up. You know, we don’t see Him physically but He uses each and everyone of us to bring healing into each other’s lives (that I believe for certain). And my friend D talked about change, and His silence, and His answers and my blessings… and my ‘self’.
‘Self’ has come to be a great obstacle to me because I can so easily divert my focus from Him to me. It becomes why isn’t he/she/aren’t they doing this for me? Instead of why aren’t I doing this for him/her/them? So of course, it hurts… the pain… constantly looking inward and wondering about myself… and all the ‘What ifs?’… and in the middle of this pain and anxiety, I started plowing through old writings of mine… from about almost two years ago… and I realized that if my self from two years ago saw how I spent the past two weeks, she would mercilessly beat the anxiety and sadness out of me. This is what I had been waiting for for the past couple of years… where I am right now. I’m getting ready to graduate… getting ready to move on to the next phase… and yet all I pine over is myself? And another thing that made me realize the futility of my current state was who I am – I am the daughter of the One who calls things that are not as though they are (Romans 4:17)… enough said.
So I am slowly learning… not all the pain and the anxiety has disappeared… but I am fighting this ‘self’ down… she needs to be still and know who her Maker is… she needs to know that grace cannot be earned – its right here, enveloping her and holding her hand every step of the way, no matter how dark she thinks it is… and she needs to get over herself, to give more and of herself to others.
Phew! Its going to be a journey. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Acts of Faith: A wreck and Upside Down

Ever had that epiphany where you've received a blow on your face... and to your whole being...

and you experience a wreck?

I am upside down.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March 19, 2011

March 19, 2011

I realized three things yesterday:
In the midst of the brokenness and the filth and how far away we’ve travelled away from God, He is still working his way using people to show that there is a way out. He is the way, He is the restoration, and armed with His Spirit, we can uncover the beauty that lies underneath the brokenness. So cleaning the streets with the neighbors of union square was breathtaking… just seeing that they wanted to restore wholeness by picking up the trash and cleaning the park… it was beauty restoration at work...

Hey Guys,

So i'm guest posting over at BmoreUP (Check it out for my post there) - it's the blog for an alternative spring break by my fellowship - Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, where I and about 15 other students from UMBC and Hopkins spent out time in downtown inner-city Baltimore working at community centers like The Door, My Sister's Place, Mount Clare Christian School and Clay Pots.
Please stop by at the blog to read all about us and what other students' experiences were!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Triumphant Thursdays II

The rain is pouring down heavy today. It has been that way since dawn, and to be honest all i feel like doing is skipping in it! 
No - i didn't do that. 
Instead, I carried myself around respectfully, with my black umbrella to shield myself from the temptation to run a muck. 
And each time I've run into someone today, i feel like saying: "Hello... I got into xxx graduate school and i'm pretty sure that is where i want to go!" 
To say i'm excited is an understatement. I want to run and skip in the rain and yell for the whole world to hear... which is weird because I felt the exact opposite way when i started getting interview invites from schools. 
And then there is my fundamental question of: "Is my feeling this way pride, showing off or genuine appreciation?" Yes... i will reflect on that later... for now, i'm just too pleased... ooo and what's even better is that things are looking up for people around me. My friends are getting their break throughs as well... even those who are still waiting... I have no doubt that theirs will come soon as well! So there is even double cause to yell and run in the pouring rain!!!
SO here is where I caution myself to practice humility - the definition of humility is not to feel ashamed of where i am, or down play it, but rather to give gratitude to the originator of that good thing. The Psalmist, David, said it perfectly in Psalm 18 (It is a pretty long psalm, but in summary this is David talking about the victories of war that he won all BECAUSE God granted him the strength to do so... He boasts in the Lord is what i see it as... no i can't say i can do that safely without it being pride, but these are my favorite verses):

Verses 30 - 36: 
 30 As for God, his way is perfect:
   The LORD’s word is flawless;
   he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the LORD?
   And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
   and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
   he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
   my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
   and your right hand sustains me;
   your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
   so that my ankles do not give way. 

p.s. my psalm would probably read something alongst the line of my life situations and not war victories... but you get the gist :)

And so I say, I praise God Almighty who has granted me favor upon favor beyond my wildest dreams - I used to be a girl who sold medicine in her parents' pharmacy... I never knew HE had plans as such... and so in response to the question my friend M asked me: "Aren't you excited to see where HE is leading you?" And i say - "YES, I am very excited to see where HE is leading me!!!"

Photo Credit -  (Google Image)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Acts of Faith: On Change Part 2 (Yes Change can be great!) + 100th Post + Amy Grant

            Yes Change is painful… confusing and whirl-like… at the same time, change can be good, and satisfying, exciting, and beautiful. Especially the unknowing kind of change where you have no clue where you are going, but with each step, a pleasing and hopeful glare blinds your eyes and warms your breast with expectation. You expect good things – no… you expect great things but not just for you, but for all those around you... the kind of overstepping change that you and everyone around you gets swept away in… the kind that changes us into women and mothers, and men and fathers and all that good stuff. It’s the kind of change where you realize the playground isn’t your avenue anymore, and neither is there room for those mistakes. It’s the kind of change where you realize that you are stepping out of the boundaries that defined the playground moments. Yes, there is fear – loads of it. WE may fall – continuously too and the bruising kind – we may even have to be rushed to the ICU every now and then. But what is fear in comparison to the heights that lay before us? The beautiful mountains to climb, the peaks to stand upon and gaze back at the journey it took to make it there… its just too much of a big dream to think of it as tedious… its just too much of a consuming desire that lies within our chest to let the fears and doubts and worries to take precedence…
            And so yes – Change is beautiful.
            And so yes, even as I approach it with fear and doubts, I will still bask in the warmth of her new sunrise. And yes, even though I don’t know what plans HE has laid ahead, I will still twirl along as HE and I continuously battle as HE teaches me that HE will always win. Its funny because I’m prone to laying out plans in my head even without me knowing that is what I’m doing. And of course, HE always has a good chuckle or too, knowing that whatever plan I have is not mine to lay out. HE is in charge after all, so its not my duty to steer, but follow rather.
            And so yes, I’m going to keep smiling as change slowly gears her way towards me. Join me (smiles).

In other news – I am done with my recruitment season for graduate schools… phew! Talk about tired. It was quite an experience to say the least, God came through every step of the way. Yours truly is well on her way to soon selecting where she wants to spend the next 5 to 6 years or thereabout of her life whoohooo!!! To say I am excited is an understatement. And yes, I know you’ve been praying for me – so thank you!

I’d like to also ask for your prayers for a friend of mine whose country is in uproar – Ivory Coast to be specific. Let’s ask for God’s peace in that country and his continual protection of the innocent.

This is my 100th post – and I want to thank you for your continual readership especially over the past couple of months while I’ve been in transit – my response to comments have been haphazard and posts not so coherent, and yet, you’ve still come back – so thank you! To commemorate this 100th post, I’m throwing it out there for your readers to ask me any questions about me that you would like to know the answers to… and I’ll try my best possible to answer them in the next post. Feel free to leave them in the comments section or email me at (Hopefully If I do get questions, then they won’t be too difficult or personal to answer!).

P.S. I can relate to the lyrics of this song.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Sara's lyrics convey the perfect words for what is on my heart right now... life is uncharted no matter how much i/we try to plan or where i/we want it to go... It seems hopeless...


HIS garment still  surrounds me, closer than i realize... its a hair's breath away from me... I just need to reach out and grasp it...