The lies people tell, the love not deserved

I can’t wait for Saturday, we’re gonna get sooo fucked. Just 2 parties oh fk i can’t wait”

My heart dropped. I knew what that meant. I loved Mika, she was an absolute gem and pep-talk go to during my clerkship crisis and tax assignment crisis. She knew all the right words to say to get my head back into the game, through the ways of the world, like Troy Bolton did.

I met her in London, along with my other law school friends whom I’m close with prior to LSE. But things got real in London when I realised that things were going out of hand, in terms of partying, drinking and all that jazz. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good party, a good drink, but I have always, ALWAYS, had been responsible. In fact, London was the first time I went out with non-asians and yes it was eye-opening, real eye-opening, things I watched in the movies came out in real-life. I thought I was wild when I was 21 but I guess not. I’m a good girl. really.

Through all the chaos, on our trip back from Paris, Ness* and I made up. We promised we’ll still be friends and despite our differences, I truly forgave her for what she did to me and the stuff I had to be put through. We are still friends, along with the other girls I met in London. I thought that through all the flaking and early departures from the clubs when we were in London, they’d get the drift I wasn’t that type of girl.

Mika and I never interacted as much in London besides the time we got real drunk on the boat. Fast-forward back to the normal uni semester when we crossed paths again, I knew Ness and the rest still hung-out with her because she was the wildest of the bunch with all the goods *drugs* for your innocence. She had that incredible energy, duracell bunny kind and it was hard to hate her. She was an epic tax genius so teaming up with her for the assignment was no brainer.

Everyone was getting clerkship offers, everyone had connections. EVERYONE. As much as their lifestyle was quite out of my zone, deep in my heart I knew I didn’t need it, I wanted to be their friends so bad, for the sake of being connected in the law world. They had the connections I needed.

So when Mika invited me to *drinks*, I agreed. Ness and all were coming along too and we were good friends. It was the weekend I was meant to go on a Women’s retreat with my church and after paying for a full-stay, I re-organized a “half-trip” because i needed to “celebrate something with my law friends”.

Are you that close to them though? Was the question then kinda hit me when one of my church friends questioned my decision. Yeah, I responded. Epic lie 1.

I need to go back early for the girls dance practice. Epic lie 2.

Then comes Tuesday before the weekend. Mika tells me the full plans. Plans to get rekt, we were NOT going to *just drinks at the bar* as presumed. I silently cussed from within my soul. Why am I so dumb.

On Wednesday on my trip to Bendigo, well away from Melbourne with a bus of strangers, 6am in the morning, my hands reached my phone as I typed into the newly made Messenger group that was excited for the weekend for “lets-get-fkd plans”, 

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Epic lie 3

I needed to save my ass.

I wasn’t getting fkd. It was 3 days after my cousin’s death anniversary for an overdose. 2 nights before I was shedding tears when I remembered his last words to me was:

Don’t give up Juanlin

It was in the context of my Science degree at the time, but his words have never been more real. oh God I am crying now. But I have been through the shitstorms through all these rejections from all the applications I have been doing despite all the hardwork I thought I invested in.

My late cousin wanted to see me graduate bad. He didn’t live to see the day, I switched degrees instead against what he said. My second degree is ending and my employability is well… quite fluffy and blur at this rate.

I went for the full retreat. Despite being physically tired, I feel spiritually refreshed.
Will probs do another post for this

I made such epic lies in the span of 2 weeks. I do not deserve the love God showered me with on the weekend but He still did. I have never done a public testimony or public presentation to Vic State Council in my life, in a span of a week, I did 2 public speaking events (Bendigo and Retreat). I might’ve made a joke out of myself, people were laughing, I don’t know if at me or what I said. But God, I feel like I’ve grown.

It’s been a journey, especially since London. I prayed for God to give me resilience at the start of the year, He’s been providing me nothing short of situations to help me develop that. Funny how He works things out.

I’m still friends with those girls. I hardly make enemies just because we have different values. However if they still want to be my friends, that’s another story.

p/s: My once anonymity in tweeting and blogging has slowly started to surface. I’ve been tweeting and blogging since I was 15. Mostly to an audience I don’t really know. My language on these platforms are slightly less filtered -because less judgement, I didn’t realise the amount of real life people I interact with actually read into my stuff. I’ve been doing this for so long, it’s nothing new. I’m glad y’all reading, I thank y’all for the attention (and none). I’m just getting used to speaking about what I write online, in real life. I guess because most people who knows my platforms and know me IRL don’t dare to even discuss these things with me in real life, I tend to forget that they even follow. you lurkers.  If you know me in real life, I guess you see my 2 sides now, hope you still love me as who I am. I’m alright if you approach me in real life about these things too, I guess 9 years helped me grow more skin. Tq fam.

*Names changed for privacy purposes.

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Sistering

I want to begin by first establishing that this post is not about self-pity and self-loath.

To bring myself to write again was a challenge, to write about things that I am not proud of is another. The week has been filled with emotional and irrational crying and embarrassing behaviour that I realised that, one of the first steps to change is acknowledging ones wrong.

I haven’t been the best sister.

The recent weeks have been a prime example of that. The number of times I blamed the struggles and sorrows on the people around me, especially those at home, have been through the roof. It’s human nature to blame, the reason “blame games” is familiar in human vocabulary is because of the normality that it has been formed in our lives. What is normal, isn’t always correct.

I tried to imposed my beliefs and dreams on my brother. I couldn’t wrap around the understanding on why he was so different, why it took him so long, why he never had the dreams I had, why couldn’t he snap out of his shit faster, why is it so difficult for him to understand me, but clearly with all the whys… I wasn’t understanding him in the first place.

Through the fights we had, he through me multiple “You will never understand me” phrases. I retaliate with phrases of him not getting my drift that’s why, him being difficult, him not changing. It wasn’t until today when I was told by a friend that in fact, what he said was true, I will never be able to understand him and he may never understand me either.

At this point, I’ve portrayed myself as the most annoying sister in the world. My brother probably vouches that and awards me that title on a daily basis. It’s because my actions portray so, but it was never the intention of my true feelings.

I just want him to be well.

In the end of the day, despite all the cussing and insults we throw at each other and evilness that we continuously invoke from within. I love my brother to death. There has been nightmares of me losing him and I wake in breaking sweat. The fear is real but my reacts come out harsher than my true feelings, my fear provokes the nagginess within me and drives the present wedge between us further and further till there is no tomorrow.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Fear is punishing, the punishment so far is the wedge that has been created between us.

For the first 15 years of my life, my brother and I shared a room. The same damn bedroom even through puberty. I was there through some of his worst nightmares and I’m sure he has seen mine. I was there when we illegally created his first Facebook account in our room and we snuck the laptop into our room together.

The enemy and fear has implanted this fear and lie that we were never close. It has wiped the bond and it was the punishment of the fear I had.

Wen,
I know you props will never read this. But know that I love you and that I’m truly sorry for those things. I’m sorry this has happened between us and the hurt that I’ve caused. However I want you to know this, I have never lied to you and never will. The reasons I run is from the fear of you believing other parties and the fear manifested nonetheless. You may never trust me again, you continue to loathe me with God knows what. I will still love you because you are the brother whom I’ve shared the room with till Almaspuri when we finally got our own rooms. You are the only brother I have, I’m sorry I can’t and may never understand you but I will be here as a sister and not a parent/teacher/counsellor. I’m sorry I never listened to your crazy adventures when you wanted me to and I am sorry that I cannot and will not be able to provide you the help that you need from now on.
I want to be just a sister and a sister only from now on. I will be that sister who will be with you through the shittest time, I will be there to create more Facebook accounts and sneaky internet nights like we did back in BU. I’ll just be that. I just want you to be happy. I have been, and will always be your sister.
Truly,
Jie.

Puffy Eyes

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“My face is so puffy it seriously hurts to cry”

I found myself saying that to my friends while clutching my cheeks and jawline to compress the puffiness that was developed from my multiple cry sessions over the weekend.

I don’t how to feel about that. Crying. I mean if you know me, you’ve seen me cry before… from laughing. It’s no secret that I’m that infamous laugh-cry emoji in my friendship groups, sometimes I feel like it’s my only God-given talent in the past 23 years.

But the crying I’m talking about is the sincere fat tears secreted by the tear-ducts from the induced heavy emotions from I-don’t-know-where (and you will tell me – It’s God).  I cry all the time. But let me tell you this, I hate seeing people cry (though it’s changed over the past few years). I don’t know how to react to an emotional person, despite being emotional myself. I don’t know how to comfort them… do I hug you? Do you want me to hug you? What if you don’t want me here? Should I disappear? As a youth leader now, I have essentially improved in this area, or else I will be sincerely fired over being the least empathetic leader ever.

To prevent the same emotions and feelings back to me, I made a point to myself to never public cry, ever. My closest and dearest friends, those I’ve lived with in boarding school, despite wailing myself to sleep some nights, have never seen me cry. Yet I cried like the biggest whack over the weekend at my Young Adults (1830) Camp. Gosh… the amount of times I had to run to the bathroom and people questioning my bladder issues. I mean I do pee a lot, but my visits were abnormally frequent… if you get my drift.

Is it the Internship
Is it God
Is it life
What is it
Do you need to talk

Do I?

Can I honestly tell you… I don’t know why I cried. I’m as confused as ever. Yes, I left a Christian Camp with less clarity and more confusion, how scandalously unholy.

I think half my crying was crying that I can’t stop myself from crying in public and it’s annoying to cry that it made me cry even more because I’m crying.

Yea I may have left camp confused. But I’m not confused with God. No, not ever. I think I left the camp with more curiosity, of what God has in store for me. I mean, yes I’m confused, but tell me and give me a millennial who isn’t confused with their life. They may have it all together but are you seriously that planned out… seriously.

It’s been a couple of days since camp. I’ve received “are you ok?” texts from multiple people who knew of my crying. Here it goes, I’m okay guys. I am. I’m not gonna be the suicidal 19-year-old again. God has sacrificed a life of a family member to teach me the value of life, so no. I will not die. I love life, as challenging and confusing it may be. But that’s the whole excitement of the journey, isn’t it?

I’m 23 now. It really hit me only a few days back despite 19 days into my new age. I’m not young, but I’m not old. I’m not all put together, but I’m strong enough to pick myself up if need be. I’m growing, I have Jesus. I am on the right track. Emotions are part of life, I have to deal with it, regardless how much I hate crying emotionally. It happens.

Cheers to my new age, more infrequent blogging and rants of my life. The blessings, the downfalls, the anger, the love and most of all… the endurance that comes out from the hecticness of it all.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

Hebrews 12:1

p/s: If you’re an Athiest and wondering why an idiot like me would still believe in God despite the awful emotions and puffiness I have to endure and making my face 10x uglier than it already is… read this.

Rabbit Milk

Does this have rabbit??”

It probably didn’t mean ‘rabbit’ but from my minimal Chinese vocab, I assumed it was rabbit because it sounded like ‘rabbit’, but given the context… it probably wasn’t it.

I was in the supermarket looking at teabags when an old Chinese lady and her husband came up to me holding a bag of Devondale Full Cream milk powder, I was the only Asian in the aisle at the time.

Do you speak Chinese?” – in Mandarin
“a bit”
“can you help us read this?”
“yeah sure…”
“Does this have 兔子?” (tu zi aka rabbit)

Huh?

In Mandarin, the same sounding words can mean a million other things due to the vast number of chinese characters… tu zi could mean anything, but to me I only knew rabbit.

Clearly Devondale Milk isn’t from rabbits so I told her no… She thanked me profusely and walked away with her husband, insisting she was right the first time. My heart sank…

  • I did not know what on earth she was on about
  • I answered her
  • She was happy with my answer
  • I messed up so much but I didn’t know how to say that in Mandarin

I’m of Chinese descent. Born in Melbourne raised in Malaysia and speaking only English at home. My parents don’t know Mandarin themselves. I went to a Chinese school in Malaysia as my parents didn’t want me to repeat their mistakes of not knowing Mandarin, but ever since moving back to Melbourne… the need for me conversing in Mandarin has reduced and eventually I’ve lost it altogether.

It hit me with a realization walking back from the supermarket

Seeking advice from people who seemingly look like they know it… isn’t right. Representation isn’t everything.

She came to me because of my looks. I’m Asian. I’m meant to know and understand what she is on about. I even thought I did. I clearly did not.

It made me realize that in real life, when I’m seeking people for answers in terms of my spriritual walk or just life in general, they can perceive to know it all, did all the right things… but do they know it. Is it even right.

The importance of picking the right mentor is so important. We could end up in very different paths with the choices we make, either we ended up feeling inspired or driven, or completely confused and down the hill from where we started.

 

Just making my rabbit milk experience applicable to real life. It just made me realize how much I need to pray and seek God during this process of finding a mentor in my life. I do need one and I want one. As much as seeking God for advice is nice, my peers advising me on things that I find it relatable, it would be nice if someone older than me who has that actual wisdom I can learn from is present. Someone other than my parent, someone I know that she/he will be right and be on my side. My peers are lovely and I love them to bits, but as much as our experiences are relatable and we can share it with each other, we are of the same generation and we can only know so much.

Praying I won’t get Rabbit Milk.

Of course I won’t… I have Jesus.

 

The Quest

Note: Fungus is the name of the youth group I serve in. It’s Fun, Us with God in the middle hence funGus. No judgement please. It’s not funghi 

“Juanlin made me cry so so much oh my god”

I was in the toilet when I heard one of my youth homegroup members said that, there was a hint of gratefulness too. I don’t think she knew I was inside. We had just finished a night session on the second day of youth camp and I had prayed for her during ministry time and she bawled her eyes out halfway through. She thanked and hugged me after the prayer but I didn’t think she would be talking about it with her friends after it. It was a session where youth were being filled by the holy spirit and emotions were running on a high and we were running out of tissues from all those crying.

This was my first Fungus camp. First time as a leader and I have never even gone to Fungus in my life. Tell me about it, to say I was scared shitless during the lead up to this camp is an understatement. I had a respiratory attack in the morning of the first day of camp to add on to that anxiety.

10 years ago, I attended my first ever youth camp of my life and accepted Christ into my life. Shucks, 10 years… (writing this makes me feel old and it didn’t help when a youth told me I looked 27 during camp).

I knew the importance of youth camps and how life-changing and impactful it can be on a young person’s life due to my personal experience… however, my walk was never uphill ever since my own. I grew to despise youth groups due to my inability to feel belonged in one. Camp was amazing and God was amazing to me but the youth never seemed to love me the way Jesus did so weekly meetings seemed painful, especially when a bunch of people didn’t want to talk to you. The feeling never changed when I moved to Australia (hence I never went to Fungus). I loved Jesus, I hated youth groups. (I had actually hated church in general).

Ironically, 10 years later. I’m a youth leader and I went to a camp as a youth leader and doing the things I use to be skeptical of other youth leaders. 

My 15 year old self will laugh so hard if she hears where I am right now. 

I honestly didn’t know what to expect during the lead up to this camp. My well-hidden anxiety didn’t improve when I was told to lead deco for the camp and being part of the games group. 

I mean seriously, what is this angel & mortal things these fungus kids do. What are skits. Why do they do flags. What are round-robin games. Where is this place called Camp Howqua that everyone has been to and I haven’t and how am I suppose to know how big the place is to design the deco-layout… lol omg.

I had an assignment and test due during the week leading up to camp. I had a number of silent break-downs during shower time and despite the chaos… I heard this silent inaudible voice in the back of my head…

Do you trust Me

I knew Who it was and He was the only one carrying me to prevent me from cracking.

I trust you God. I do.

It was this trust that pulled me through. I knew that He could and He will. He had pulled me through Kids Ministry and Youth Ministry was no difference. 

He showed me this by placing people who were understanding to work with me and guide me. I was blessed enough to have a group of leaders who were supportive of each other as we worked through preparing for this camp. I didn’t even feel like I was leading deco, it felt like it was all done. It was only until the eve of the camp when one of my fellow leaders realized that it would be my first Fungus camp ever (like I didn’t even go to one as a youth, all these leaders have been in Fungus as youths themselves). Apparently, I was heading it up like I knew everything… well I didn’t know a lot of things but God did, true story

Back to where we were, it was ministry time on the second day of camp. Youth were stepping out during alter call to be prayed for, it suddenly dawned on me that I was a leader and I had to pray for these kids.. omgosh I was never the kid that stepped out during alter call, let alone as a young adult. What am I gonna say.. OH GOD PLEASE HELP ME OH MY GOD PLEASE.

Leaders were stepping out to their homegroup members and I saw my girls in front with their arms lifted high in surrender. They were hungry for God. They want more of Him. They want Him.

A mini time-travel began to occur in my head and suddenly I was that 15 year old again. The frustrated 15 year old who disliked youth group and never wanted to go. What did I do. What did I want.

I wanted to be prayed for…. but no one did.

Time for you to pray for these girls. Don’t make them feel like how you did. Make them feel Jesus’ love and your love for them. Let them know that they have a purpose and that they belong. Be the youth leader that you never had as a youth.

Early during the year when I just started being a youth leader, I was enjoying it. I told my friends I liked it, I was there because I think God wants me there. I wanted to work with youth in the future and get into the Youthlaw department for my legal clerkship. Being a youth leader will help my CV and my youth pastor really wanted me to join the ministry anyway. I took those as signs that God wants me there but never knowing the true meaning/calling behind it. I mean remember that time I was torn between leaving kids and joining youth…

That night I knew. Hearing Amanda’s words in the toilet and receiving the little notes of appreciation from my homegroup throughout camp made me truly realize God’s plan for me in this ministry. It made me understand the power of trusting without always knowing what is next and the faith involved with all that. The theme of our youth camp was The Quest and I was on a quest without knowing I was on one and that night ended that subconscious quest of mine as a youth leader.

This is the story of the girl who hated Youth Group. You truly will never know where God brings you next.

I love youth group and I love Fungus.

p/s: I’m in the State Library La Trobe reading room while writing this. Teared a tad bit during my writing and I think the girl next to me thinks I’m a loony LOL.

 

 

 

The Pork Belly Challenge

I’ve always been aware of my indecisive character, in fact, the struggles of making decisions just frustrates me itself. But when you’re confronted and told off about your character, you know it’s pretty much a hardcore problem. I’m talking about being told off by a non-family member, I get told off by family so much but others, not really.

As a Christian, I’ve always loved the fact that I could escape this problem by “Letting God decide”, “give my problems to God”, “It’s in God’s hands”, “Jesus take the wheel”, I-don’t-need-to-do-this attitude. I feel like I got it all handled, when people ask me of my decisions, I’ll respond (to their annoyance), God is still handling it.

I know you hate those type of people.

You’ll hate me.

I was told by my friend while discussing my problem, that God has given us the abilities to make our own decisions too. It kind of struck me in 2 ways:

  1. God blessed me with a brain to use
  2. God also dumped the problem back to me

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to be pushed about and have people make decisions for me. But when I’m stuck with situations where I seriously have no idea what to do, I struggle big time. Sometimes I’ll narrow it down, but sometimes choosing between the best of 2 favourite options kills me even harder.

For example, today’s given situation:

To eat Potato Rosti for lunch or a Pork Belly Burger.

I love Pork Belly, I don’t eat it often. It will also cost me more money and it’ll make me take a step back in weight-loss goals. But it’s not offered everywhere.

I also like potato rosti, but I love pork belly more. Potato rosti was cheaper and available in more places, also a healthier option.

After much internal debate, I went for the pork belly. It was delicious, no regrets… in the first 3 hours after.

Currently, I can feel my tummy fats has increased in thickness. Definitely post-feed guilt. The meal turned out to be paid for.

Right now, the wise thing to do, with the brain God blessed me, is to hit the gym tomorrow and burn off that pork belly.

I view this as a challenge, not a complaint (I know it sounded like one in the start). God has given each one of us our own individual and unique weaknesses, to challenge us to grow into better people. This is mine, and it will be my 2017 challenge to work on.

A Christmas Gift

Before I begin, apologies for the long absence.

It’s been a post I’ve meant to do since I got the news but got a bit carried away since arriving back in Melbourne.

Late last year I was told that I had a lump in my right breast and was to go for half-yearly checks for growths and risks. It dawned on me the seriousness of my condition when I was referred to a breast cancer surgeon this year and was told that my lump grew. A biopsy was performed and by the grace of God, benign.

I’ve cut alcohol, tried to be healthy. I’m not gonna lie and say it was smooth sailing, I struggled. There were times I’d even wanna forget about it, that there was no such thing. I was only 22, to face the news that women only receive during their mid-life crisis… here I am, not even hitting the quarter-life, but with a growing lump that may be potentially cancerous??

As the date for my next scan approached, it dawned on me that it’s time to face the news again, this time without my mother. I was back in Melbourne, alone. She was in Malaysia. I started my fervent praying for the lump to not grow, or maybe miraculously shrink…

I told my parents I could do this alone, the scan had to be done regardless, it’s for my health anyway. But just the day before, I had a mini-breakdown at my hoome-group over the fear of receiving bad news alone. Thankfully, 2 of my friends agreed to come along to give me support at the Clinic.

God had better plans.

The ultrasound technician spent a good 10 minutes rolling the stick around my boob, the warm gel had turn chilly and no news about the lump. (This was meant to be a good thing, but the technician’s confused face just made me worried).

That’s weird… I can’t find the lump” She was squinting her eyes at the screen. “I think I will call in another specialist to find it for me… this never happens”

Another specialist came in, this time having my previous scans, bot technician and specialist were trying to scrutinize the scans as hard as possible. “This is an unusual case, here I was thinking that you’re an easy one but no…” she said. The specialist chimed in and said, “Looks like the problem solved itself”.

It was then I knew, that miracles happen.

God heals. More than I’d even asked for.

The breast surgeon I was seeing did a final check and told me that the lump was gone.

God’s early Christmas miracle on the 30th of November.

I’m writing this down because it is a testament to God’s love. It is something I had always believed in but never occurred in my personal life until that day, where my lump fully disappeared.

Bear in mind, I did not think I’d deserved it. I’m a normal human being who makes mistakes, commit failures and occasionally falling into temptation. There were times I succumbed to worldly things despite my faith, I was the last person to deserve such a miracle but God gave it to me.

You may believe you are undeserving, but God gives miracles and gifts to those He believes in, those He believes that deserve, no matter how undeserving we feel we are.

My heart was so full that day, typing this makes my heart full again as I was experiencing a bad day just before. It will serve me as a constant reminder that I am loved, that God loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son for us, this Christmas day.

The Greatest Christmas Gift.