I’m safe..

Sometimes God allows things to be torn down in your life so that they can be built the right way.

~ Shei Atkins

I’ve been focusing on myself for the past month, and The Holy Spirit has been knocking on my heart to give time, give room for Him to move and restore me. But I just can’t keep my mind shut from all these things I need to prepare, and all these chaos that decide to appear now. I am so pumped up to make sure everything runs perfectly, make sure I’m not missing any loopholes and anticipating any mistakes, and being a total perfectionist. I have trouble sleeping at night, my mood is a wreck (poor my Andrew), and my heart is pumping during the day I think I’m going to get a heart attack anytime now.

I think I believe in myself way too much and run in full speed without asking Him. And that’s why God had no choice but to tackle me on the knee so that I’ll stop and listen to Him, before it’s too late. Having been in the same situation last year, I should’ve known better that I don’t have to wait till I’m stuck or failing THEN asking for His help. With all these crucial stuff needed to be done quickly I can’t help but being paranoid, but I need to remember that if He opens the way then nothing can stop Him (Romans 8:31). I am fully aware that I need to do my part, the best I can do, but I also need to realize that it is right to also give not the rest, but THE BEST to Him, which is that special space in my heart, and above all, my TRUST. To always come back to Him, regardless of my situations, so that all the things that come out of this will bring delight to Him, His works, and thus, to me as well. 

He tackled me, He said, “It’s enough for now!”, and I have no other choice now but to slow down. I know He did that because He wants to keep me safe, because He loves me so much He refuses to let me fall deeper. And He knows what’s in my heart, my wishes and my doubts. I was a bit worried about how things were seemed overlapping and so rushed lately, I didn’t even have time to think twice, so to speak. He answered my unsaid prayers, He knows me so well He gave the solutions even before I shared my concerns to Him (Romans 8:26). And I praise Him for that, I praise Him for His overwhelming love. He slows things down because He is guarding my steps so I may not stumble, so I may go through everything the right way.

Because of Him, I’m safe. And I can’t even describe how grateful I am ^-^
*********************************************************************************************************** 
coming back to Ecclesiastes 3:11.  

…only up to its cover. And no more.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged. And with the measure you use, it will measured to you [Matthew 7:1-2]

Why do we judge?

If we are bold, or humble enough to admit, it is not rare for us to comment on others, especially when it comes to things that don’t suit our perspectives. “He’s so stupid to do that to her..” “Why would she do that?” “What was he thinking??” “I wouldn’t do that if I were her..”, and on, and on, and on. Even when we don’t utter those words verbally, often they cross our minds before we can stop them. 

And why is that so? Because we think we know better, and we want them to think like us. Being an idealist, so to speak, only psychologically. We comment, we judge, because we feel that we know what should be done, but we just don’t bother to make that happen. We’re just spectators, booing a runner or a cyclist from the sideline. Like Pharisees. 

Another reason why we judge is because we feel victimized by what’s been done. “It is okay for me to think this way, because you made me so! Because you give me reasons to do so!” It is soo easy to fall into traps of idealism and self-righteousness when we think that we are the victims. We pity ourselves, we demand people to cater for our self-worth deficiency like it’s some kind of famine, not knowing that by doing this we slowly degrade ourselves. We binge on other’s words and encouragements and soon we’re filled and bloated by empty ‘calories’. We’re fat and unhealthy, and unhappy, eventually. 

I judged someone today, publicly. Well, electronically publicly. And I regretted what I did. I should’ve kept my mouth shut, and should’ve closed my thoughts around that sensitive topic. I should’ve stopped being a mother hen, at least for this person. A popular quote, “don’t judge the book by its cover” hits me on the face, because I just shouldn’t and wouldn’t have anything to do with ‘opening the book and looking inside’ anymore. All that I could do, and comment on was, about the cover. Which was extremely unfair. 

But what’s done is done. I am very sorry. I said that you haven’t changed at all, and that makes the two of us. 

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” [Matthew 7:3-5]. 

And the irony thing was I did sin against the Lord this morning. I’ve got a plank stuck in my eye and I still dare to comment on the sprinkles in your eye? Why?

I only saw you up to your cover. I’m sorry. I have no intention to look deeper anymore, and that’s worth a double apology. 

And this entry is not about you, I’m not cornering you here. It’s entirely about me. About the lesson God was kind enough to bash me with. In his Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren said that “we are like jewels, shaped with the hammer and chisel of adversity. If a jeweler’s hammer isn’t strong enough to chip off our rough edges, God will use a sledgehammer. If we’re really stubborn, He uses a jackhammer. He will use whatever it takes” (chap 25,page 196). The last line sent a shudder through my spine when I read it this afternoon, and I think I experienced that first hand right afterwards. 

I am humbled by His love, and how He is willing to teach me to walk with Him according to His routes and His pace, and today He took me to a small walk through you 🙂 And that’s because He loves you, too 🙂 

Thank You, Lord. I got a feeling I wouldn’t be able to sleep before I do something about what happened today, and I’m glad I wrote this little confession. I can only pray that You will continue to stir up my heart to write and write and write, even though that means humiliations and transparency over my integrity. Just keep chipping off my rough edges, my Magnificent Potter, I shall be ready. 

Good night.

that First Love :)

So, Daddy, as You said, 

When you look for me, you will find Me.
When you wholeheartedly seek Me, I will let you find Me.  
                                                                 [Jeremiah 29:13-14a]

Thank You. I love You =)
*************************************************************************************
First Loveby Kirk Franklin

(monologue)
I just wanna talk to somebody right now,
who’s been gone away for a long time
You don’t have to run no more
You can come back home

~I know they hurt you,
they saw you stumble but didn’t help you
And now they left you
They were quick to pray but slow to move
And now you’re empty,
too tired to run you walk away

In the night there’s a voice if you listen,
He sweetly says,

“Come back to your first love, first love
Come back to your  first love, first love
Come back home .. back where you belong
Back to your first love
First love  …”

You didn’t make it
You thought your love would last forever
Ain’t it funny
How a chapter can make a story change
Cold and lonely
You never knew hurt could feel this way 

Understand there’s a plan if you’re patient 
hear He sweetly says,  

 Come back to your first love, first love
Come back to your first love, first love
Come back home .. back where you belong
Back to your first love
First love … “

God is able to heal if you listen
and He’ll show you His will if you listen
but you gotta be still and just listen!
Listen.. 

Come back to your first love, first love
I’m back with my first love, first love
I’m back home .. back where I belong =)
Back with my.. with my first love
First love. 

*************************************************************************************
I love those who love Me. Those who diligently seek me will find Me
[Proverbs 8:17]

“Walk with Me. Remember; I’m with you, and you’re with Me”
Daddy. 

Thank you, Chika, for the song. You know how much it meant to me =) 


 


 

 

 

I miss You..

People mostly recall the ‘first’ of things in their lives;
The first cry of your baby, 
The first day of school,
The first time you met that special person,
First kiss,
The first fight, and how you made up
The first love.

I honestly don’t remember the first time I met You, Daddy. But I still remember how my heart leapt in joyful dancing when You said You loved me, and I am Yours, five years ago. I remember the feeling of that first love, when it seemed that nothing could stop me from loving You, nor that I would stop doing so.

I’m not saying that I don’t love You anymore, Daddy. I do. But why do I feel like dragging myself to sit with You, even for a little while, for our talk? This is You, and not a nobody that has done or had nothing to do with my entire life. Why do I have to bargain my time and energy when it comes to You, now? Would You still believe when I said I still love You? 

I still have the two journals filled with our conversations. We seemed like having lots of fun things to talk about, to share. So many secrets You revealed for me, so many thoughts and dreams and wishes I offered to You. And now when I flip those pages over, I can’t remember how we could do that and I don’t know how to even begin to rekindle the dimmed fire. And it breaks my heart. And I can’t imagine how it does Yours.

Remember the conversation I had with Your guy couple of years back, Daddy, about love and commitment? That I thought commitment would be more important in a marriage because it glues the union together, even when the other ingredient is fading away? As Your guy said it, and now I can feel it myself, commitment without love sucks. I’m still going to church, You know I do. I still sing and pray to You. But that’s it. I don’t grow, I do nothing to feed my spirit, and guess whose fault is that; mine. I’m still committed to You but I just lost that fire, Lord. I’m losing that first love. 

Is it wrong to whine, Lord, about losing that burning passion that I’ve always had when I was in Melbourne, throughout Winter Camps and a few months after? Sharon Jaynes, in her book, said that it is okay to tell You how I feel. And this is exactly how I feel, Daddy.

I am FRUSTRATED.  

I shouldn’t be in the position where I am now. I should’ve been doing something for You already. It’s been almost one freakin’ year since I went home from that city that I’m still home-sick about, and I’ve done nothing. I want to be included in Your business, and look where I am now. What a lousy daughter I am, Daddy 🙁 

I miss You so much, Daddy. 
I wish I know how to handle this. Forgive me for I am not being an obedient girl. At times when the Holy Spirit reminded me to sit right back up after I turned off the light at night I just chose to ignore His gentle voice. Lucky me, He is such a gentle, modest Spirit or He would’ve pinched me or pulled my ear for not listening. Thank you for giving me the urge to write up this crappy piece full of complaints and frustrations, Lord. I really need to start writing again, and even a bad post is enough because I just forget how to release myself and pour out my heart to my brain and my fingers without worrying about what people would say about the posts. 

It is said that prayer is the fastest thing on earth because it reaches You even before we say it. I guess You knew what went through my mind when I typed this post, Lord. There’s still so many things I want to write, and I feel like I’m losing my ways to do so. One step at a time, I suppose 🙂

So, this is me, Daddy. Coming back to You, begging You to show me Your love, once again. 
Because I just .. miss You. So much. Very very much.

*squirm*

The second earthquake within 11 days. I was working on Pop Music weekly task when I felt dizzy but not quite. Then I realized that my table was shaking, and the ceiling made a cracking sound. Alarmed, but I couldn’t move my legs to see what’s going on as I was very tense, waiting for what might happen next. The shaking lasted about 5-6 seconds, and it was stronger than the first one we had on the evening of March 6 when me and my FA buddies were sitting in my living room. 

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THIS CITY ??!! T__________T

Only two days ago I learned that I could be happier if I could give thanks and give praise to God over trivial things. For example, I was wasted on Monday because I didn’t get enough sleep. I don’t feel I’ve ever got enough hour. Bad time management. Kicking up my heels, I prepared myself for a half-running walk along La Trobe. But then the City Circle tram was approaching its stop on Queen st, and I thanked God for that. After 2 consecutive hours of lectures, I had to go to ATO office on Spring st, and I didn’t want to walk. And there it was, a shiningly green City Circle stopping right in front of me as if it intentionally came just to take me down to the corner of La Trobe and Spring. Tuhan baik ! 

I almost missed the City Circle tram on the way back from ATO office, but the tram driver saw us (there was another girl running for the tram, as well), and he WAITED! What a lovely man, and what a lovely God. These simple things reminded me about what KD taught us last Sunday. God takes care of our needs, no matter how trivial or stupid they are. So there’s no reason to worry, because being worried will only quench your happiness and distract your focus towards life. 

But I am extremely worried now. Seriously. 

I was just reminded of one particular song, that the last verse stated, 

Father, You are King over the flood
I will be still, and know You are GOD.  

“Be still”, He said. When our mind is filled with “what’s happening? are we going to be okay? what should we do now?”, I can bet my whole collection of bags and purses that there’s no space in our brain for God and His goodness. But when we are still, stop thinking frantically about our next steps and our ambitions for just a moment, then He can help us, guide us, tell us what to do. After all, we are able to hear His voice when we are turning down the volume of our surroundings, including our minds. And don’t we depend on His voice and guidance to go through this life ?

Lord, I’m still worried, but I know You are my Prince of Peace. And Your strong arms is holding me. I will not be scared, You have everything under control. Amen.  

Lord, I am crippled in Your sight, and bathed in filthy sin. 
I have destroyed the temple that You’ve repaired within me, 
and I don’t know what I have left to go on.
Please forgive me, Father, have mercy on me.  
I don’t even know where to go.

Father, help me!

I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
Nevertheless, I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand. 
You will guide me with Your counsel, and 
Afterward receive me in glory.  
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire beside You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
(Psalm 73:22-26)

a little reflection

It’s been a long long time since the last time I wrote down my thoughts about God, my relationship with Him and my reflections toward life. As time passes by, I come to realize that as I was slowing down in writings I am too, swimming away from my devotional hours. I remember when I was in Melbourne, it seemed easier to be focused; to sit still, to brainstorm and think, before typing away on my blog. Is this what you call ‘holiday mode’ ? 

I guess I’m just slacking-off. meh. 

I could only imagine if the Almighty God who creates heaven and earth imparting the same attitude of mine towards His creations. Imitating my silly excuses, He’d say, “I love you, my dear child, but instead of spending my time and maintaining my relationship with you, I have better stuff to do”. Would you even believe that He cares for us, let alone loves us? And what would happen to us, afterward ? But thank God, literally, that He is unchanging and faithful. Thank heavenly that He has sweet and divine attitudes that envelop all of our imperfections. As moody and impersistent as we are, He is always standing right outside the door, waiting for us to open the door and let Him in and takes care of us. 

I have a little story, actually, regarding this understanding. 

During my summer holiday over these past two years, I have been invited to be involved in a family business handled by my most lovely uncle (dad’s youngest brother). It’s an even-organizing company which generally focuses on product placement and promotion. If you are a keen audience of Indonesian TV programs, you’ll know about Idola Cilik, a kiddy version of Indonesian Idol. The company had the chance to handle auditions for contestants around East Java, and the events were attended by more than 1,000 children with various degrees of creativity and talents. Some were cute, some were heartbreaking, and the rest were craving for extra money and popularity. 

Couple of weeks ago, the company was hired to organize an award night and a gala dinner for a giant household product company that would be held at Marriott Hotel, Surabaya. I was assigned to work on the rundown for two days, script + cue cards for MCs, and background music for the entire event for creating suitable ambience. I was so thankful that I was trusted with something that I know I’m good at. Well, at least I know I can do this job better rather than going out and lobbying for vendors and all those technical issues. So yes, I spent a whole week preparing, brainstorming, editing, and so on. During pre-production process I was trained (well, it was more chastened, actually) to be super fast, super flexible, and to keep smiling no matter what. As I am a perfectionist, I tend to fuss quite easily over trivial things but I just want to make sure that I covered EVERY single mouse holes even if they’re not there yet. Talking about kiasu ^^’

The day minus one 
Our team had a meeting with the client past dinner time. As I expected, there were changes and additions occurred, and that was what I meant by ‘keep smiling no matter what’. I mean, the event started in 10 hours and they still wanted to change stuff ?!! I almost didn’t go home that night because I was afraid that once I was out of that boardroom I would lose all the ‘working’ mood and ended up staring blankly at my laptop in my room, not knowing what to do. But thank God my cousin gave a helping hand (and a helping brain, as a matter of fact), so I could finish everything in 2 hours. Small issues such as an uncooperative printer and dizziness had me distracted for a while, but I was determined to finish my job. 

On the day, I was positioned on the backstage as a stage manager. And nothing’s cool about that, let me tell you. You spend most of your time screaming through your walkie-talkie, running around fixing things, briefing MCs and talents (pengisi acara), and switch your tone and your facial expression into a sweet, accommodating crew when the client approaches to inform that there’s 30 minutes addition for Q & A session after the last presentation, before you switch back into business and brief your confused MCs. Swell. 

On those two days, each early morning when I entered the ballroom, I almost fell down in tears. I said I couldn’t do this, I was very tired. It was so stressful it seemed that everything that you’ve done would not be enough, and there were still more to cover. It was nerve-wracking, because this event was our first huge, national event and we wanted so bad to impress the client. As I walked slowly to the backstage passing the tables lining up across the room to the backstage, my area of authority, a bold yet soothing voice sounded in my heart to remind me that ‘whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might’ (Ecclesiastes 9:10a). And that small yet empowering verse had sustained me to keep moving and deliver my responsibilities till the end.

I remembered one of my dad’s employee mentioned that she is always confident in doing her job, because she knows that she’s doing it for good purposes, so it’ll end well because Allah is with her (She’s a Moslem). I give a nod to her statement, knowing fully well and have experienced it for many times myself. That two-day event came out as successful. Oh, did I mention that it was closed by Project Pop ? They were hilarious as always on stage, though Tika Panggabean was surprisingly sour off stage. But she did look unwell so maybe that was it. One of the client committees congratulated me when I approached him, stating that he was satisfied as all the attendees were. I said, “Good! We are satisfied if you are”. Still can’t believe that I actually said that to a stranger, but there’s always first time for everything, right? 

I can’t thank God enough for letting me drown into this ‘mess’, cause this whole experience has taught me how to swim. I learnt on how to handle people, how to please them even though you feel like scratching them in the eye, how to command without being bossy (which was WREALLYY HAWWRDD), and most of all, to be humble. To sincerely apologize, and ask what you can do to improve. Last but not least, I learnt how to laugh in the middle of all those chaos, cause it really helps releasing the stress. One quite unbelievable story was that one of my team members told me that one of the talent commented that the stage manager, which was myself, was too kind. That I should talk a LOT more, I arrange and command and direct more, that I should be more stern and GALAK.

Scuse moi ? 0.o’ 

But anyway, it all ended well. One little reflection in the middle of wet and windy January, and I do hope I can write some more. And maybe not this long, as it reaches 1,200 words now. I thank You, Lord for never letting me go, for always be there no matter what, and for teaching me how to live my life. 

May you all have a lovely week. And Gong Xi Fat Chai for those celebrating =) God bless!

once upon a storm.

After five exhilarating and tiring days in Gold Coast (where I finally braced myself to ride on rollercoasters for the first time of my entire 24-year of life!! yes, including the 180* upside-down ride), me, my mom, my brother and brother’s girlfriend were set to leave to Sydney. It was Saturday, and Surfers Paradise was trashed with heavy rain and wind. Good for the land, way too wet for us. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to be ready at the tourist spot where the shuttle bus was going to pick us up to the airport, cos we didn’t want to stand there with no roof to shield us from the rain. I asked God that He’ll please stop the rain, just for a couple of minutes, when the bus came so we could get on it without getting too soaked. And He surely had mercy on these four little creatures that He literally stopped the rain, EXACTLY before the bus arrived at the tourist point. I didn’t even have to open my umbrella. How good is He = D

The rain was back on its full mode  minutes after we hopped on the bus. Right on time, God. Thank You so much. And as Virgin Blue has promised in their poster, “The best on-time airline in the world”, we were airborne by 6.15pm Queensland time.

Everything went smoothly; from the boring tv channels cos I didn’t want to pay for movies plus the connections were faulty anyway, the food/drink trolley being pushed by pretty stewardesses along the aisle, to the flight itself. Until there was an announcement that we were not going to land on time due to bad weather. I look over to the window, and surprisingly I could see nothing. It was pitch black. I started to realize that the plane was actually moving in a full circle.  I turned the navigation channel on and yes, we were going 360* above Sydney. I suddenly saw a streak of light on the wing of the plane. I thought I was seeing one of the signal lights, but since it blipped randomly, I asked my mom if it was something that we shouldn’t be worried about. But she did confirm my fear; it was lighting bolts. So yes, we were flying among thunders; may sound dramatic but it was scary sick. Or sick scary. BOTH!

A very small voice whispered in my heart, wondering, “Could this be the end?”. Would I witness my entire life flashes before my eyes like what people say when one is nearing his end ?

I was ashamed to prove that we often call on God only when we are in unnerving situations, cos that was what I did. I haven’t been treating God as my Lord for few weeks already, and calling for help from someone (in this case, The One) that you’ve been ignoring would not be the nicest feeling in the world. I said to Him, “Lord, if this is what’s supposed to be my last moments as a human being, please make it less painful”. So, even in pleading about my life I had to be selfish and self-absorbed.

I watched the lightning bolts that seemed to strike more and more often, holding myself from screaming every time I saw them. Suddenly a very gentle voice spoke to me, saying, “Look at the works of My Magnificent Hands”. You mean, the lightning bolts, Lord ? And so I did. While watching the contrasting lights dancing over the pitch black sky, I began to sing,

I will lift my heart and sing,
I will worship You, my King
Earth and Heaven now proclaim,
Jesus Christ the Mighty Name

Through the storm and raging sea
I will never be alone
When my world seems out of sight
I know You will shine Your light

I stopped as the words immersed in my brain. It was too apt to be called as a coincidence that I sang that particular song, right in the middle of exactly the same situation. Literally! I praised Him and thanked Him for loving me, for knowing how to calm me down and to trust Him that His Magnificent Hands will do good for me. Alleluia to Christ, the Lord!

It was 70minutes before we were allowed to land. As we were losing the latitude (which were a bit nauseous, seemed like the pilot was eager to land as soon as he could), I could see the pretty night lights of Sydney. It was gorgeous. When we finally landed, all the tensions in the cabin seemed to melt and everybody were cheering and clapping hands. I wonder if there’s others who clapped for my Lord with me, for bringing us safe and sound, back on earth.

I wouldn’t call this a near-death experience. Instead, for me, it was one of the most liveliest experiences that God has shown me. It’s not like you fly among thunders everyday. I treasure this moment, and I treasure His goodness and mercy, His tender love, and His promise that He’ll never leave me alone. As scary as the situation might be.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia to Christ the Lord!