It’s been 2 weeks and 5 days (but who’s counting..) since I landed in my busy hometown Surabaya. Many have changed; my little cousin’s major improvement in verbal skill, Surabaya Town Square was quite brandished with fashion retails and restaurants, there’s new tollway from Juanda International Airport across the city which becomes a huge relieve for city commuters, and a way faster internet connection nowadays. Good stuff.

But on the other hand, many stayed the same. The same crowded roads with motorists crisscrossing despite “Taat Marka” signs along the street, the same reply of “ya” instead of “terimakasih kembali” when we say “makasih” to shop retailers, the blast of chants from every corner of the city, on TV and radios at 6pm daily, and the sound of jingles from ice cream sellers on their bikes around the complex. As for me, that same feeling of confusion and lost are still overwhelming as they get stronger when nearing Sunday.
Where should I go ?

This year I followed my pastor’s advice to go to one of the big Bethel churches in Surabaya in the middle of CBD. I’ve been there twice, and the services were quite conformable to BIC, which is a good sign. Of course there’s always differences, whether the way the WL lead the congregation, the process (this church has its offering in the middle of the service, before the sharing. Pretty sure they have a strong reason for doing that), and so on. The most important thing that I’m looking for is the Word, and I may say that I am humbled and strengthened by the Word shared in both services.

Bigger complications, instead, come from the inner circle. One significant decision has turned my life into a huge swirl of dilemma that has been tearing me apart since 2006. On one side, I have found true peace and joy and hope; I have encountered my Lord Jesus and His sweet majestic presence. Through worship and being obedient shall I spend my life for His glory. Now, on the other side, that transformation of me has been rebutted and rebuked by some, and the strongest comes from my beloved mother. Not the actual act of commitment and faith, but the label under which I entrusted that commitment to. It breaks my heart because once again I have failed her, ironically when I found my triumph. It breaks my heart that she couldn’t and wouldn’t see the changes as something that will mold me into a better person, a better creation. Or perhaps, I have failed that already ?

I remember KD taught us about ‘growing’. For us to grow most effectively we need to grow UP and DEEPER. A strong and healthy plant is not merely indicated by the greens of the foliages and the size of the buds, but also by its strong and stern roots. That, I come to realize, is my weakness. The reason of my confusion everytime I return to Surabaya is the absence of community, of that sense of belonging that more often than not causes me to swing around undecidedly. I felt stronger and belonged when I joined FA and choir in BIC Melbourne, because together with my fellow followers of Christ I learn and I grow. And here, in Surabaya, I have not a place to plant my feet, let alone to grow.

Men are not created to be alone (Gen 2:18), and I do believe that we all need someone and maybe more to surround our lives, a company to go through life. I admit that I am a bit worried about finding a new community, with all the inevitable changes and alterations. And what if I chose the wrong community ? I can only depend on the provision of He who brings me forward up until this moment. Where He guides, He provides (Psalm 37:23). I do know the roads are never going to be as smooth as that new tollway from Juanda Airport, but I will learn to see everything through the eyes of faith, to see the unseen and to hope for things to come.

Have a lovely week, everyone. God bless.

3 thoughts on “=D/>=S/+.+

  1. I was going back and forth for a few times before I decided to respond to this entry – mainly because I didn’t want to say the wrong things.. But I hope you know that I mean well so if I do end up putting my foot in my mouth, just point it out and tell me straight away alright?

    Okay. So. It breaks my heart that you have to face this kind of situation (however much you can learn from it). It is, of course, hard when you are steering away from something you have been brought up with, especially when it involves your faith and believe (and your mother). I do understand what you mean that BIC Melbourne has helped you find Jesus and grow spiritually. Sometimes it takes a new place, a new community, a new ideology for someone to find what their Saviour means to them.

    For me, it’s not the label you and I are under, which church we go to, or which community we belong to. For me, it’s one’s personal relationship with the Lord that’s important. However, that label, that church and that community are the medium through which we get strengthened in our faith and through which we can give back to our Lord. And so while I say they’re of less importance, we have a way of trying to hold onto those three things. And both of you are doing just that – holding onto your respective senses of belonging.

    I’d just like to point out, in terms of feeling like a failure, it might just be the case that it’s a reciprocal thing between you and your mom. Maybe you feel like you’ve failed her expectations, but she might feel like she’s failed in raising you in a Catholic environment that you actually had to go to another church to learn and encounter Jesus. So it may be that she’s just struggling to accept that you had to find a different ‘home’ to actually learn all the things she taught you at home (even if the fact that you’ve actually learned something is something good). Maybe you’ll have to help her see past that before she’d be able to let go. I suppose now your and your mom’s concepts of ‘home’ is different, and while you can help her to let go in a sense, you might not be able to prevent the longing that you’d come home to her ‘house’.

    I really hope this didn’t make things worse and I hope that you’ll find a community that welcomes you and helps you to grow even more in Christ soon. God bless 🙂

    ps. I just realised I never did congratulate you on your birthday D: I’m so sorry!! I hope you had a really blessed one!! And that CD/DVD I promised shall arrive to your doors soon enough..

  2. aww Mira thank you T.T
    and nobody’s foot going to anyone’s mouth, honey. trust me.
    One thing that I hold closely to my heart is that everything under the heaven has its own time, and they will work out beautifully. I am extremely confused at times, but then I am always reminded that He has started something marvelous in me, and I don’t have the gut or the slightest intention to let that go. I just have to persevere, and look forward to what He has promised me.
    Once again, thank you for your prayer. Actually there have been doors He has opened for me in terms of communities since I wrote this entry, I just have to take that one action; choose one and stay there : D
    hope you have a lovely week, darl!

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