For countless times when I tried opening up a new post, right upon assembling my not-so-well-versed thoughts and maneuvering them into this virtual space, I felt as if my brain would go blankie blank at warp speed. I can hardly wrap my head around why it has become so strenuously intimidating. Words can become flat and trivial in moments like that. So habitually, I would simply sign off by exiting the playerless playfield. Yet, the gut signal always seemed ungratified by what was there—been there—but not there.
Sometimes, my mind goes around and murmurs so harshly that I wonder if my brain is still mine or stolen by somebody else. In such chaotic quietude, I felt torn, helpless, and overwhelmed by the mind’s eye—moments that were hard to press down, and when it came to re-countering, even seeing frame by frame from what occurred in the past was so frightening, and often, reeling too hasty to tame. Unspoken words cascade out of distraught and are swallowed deep into the lower abdomen, where it stores sentient and thereafter downgrades into accessories for the here-we-go-again self-sabotage…
Living in a 24/7 news cycle bustling, hustling, fabricated metropolitan like Beijing is nowhere near the post-Fletcher career—a set of eclectic experiences that led me on an off-the-beaten trail that would change the life I never imagined myself to be. If you live here long enough, everything feels anonymously miniature and assimilated. I thought I was erred in my judgment and could not help but repeatedly grapple with the lasting, unforeseeable, rippling—effects. I felt I made a series of botches before it went debacle. If the clock could turn back three or four years ago, heck no, how absurd even just giving the thought of being back in China!? I never knew I could do this. The year prior to arriving home, I was on edge – depleted, dispersed, and disenchanted. I did not like myself because whenever my sense of worthiness was driven by superficial values, customs, and the underlying assumptions of men’s opinions, I was stuck spiritually. I needed to REST. A real rest does not define by what I do but by who I truly am and who I am with. Only Home/the House of Lord permitted me to do this work. The real (inner/spiritual) work. An overdue commitment that I wished to set aside time and energy to dedicate to before going through the motion of purposeless life. Meanwhile, I did not realize that I’ve got a massive backlog of work to do. But I know I do not want to be surrounded by apathetic brainiacs nor interested in fitting into any belligerent scheme cloaked with antagonization. Au contraire, I am surrendering into the divine process. GOD, make this comes true. I could not imagine what life would be like without Him, most likely, a far graver situation than what I face today. In the midst of all, however, I am born again—as a brand-new daughter of the living God, AND I could be free…
God is God, an unchanging, intentional, merciful, patient, victorious—God. He wants me to get back to Him. Granted, His unfailing love runs so deep that he never let me be tempted beyond what I can bear. He always provides a way out. God wants me to take a rest. For roughly three years, He led me to traverse Boston-Beijing-Hainan-Beijing-Boston-Geneva-Bellevue-Athens-Beijing and a full circle, an divinely directed & assigned transition in my roots. It was not my plan to LEAVE Tout à Fait EVERYTHING (What Once Was, Still Is, And Will Be) MEANINGFUL BEHIND and just go ahead & go back in time, let alone stay with my parents. God reassured me regardless of how outsiders view me and my choice through their own understanding. For a rare divine opportunity, in a seemingly turn-on-a-dime—fashion, I know family is where I temporarily could fall back, not for mere safety or security but for unconstrained decompress and uninterrupted freedom. It was an absolutely honest but imponderable decision by virtue of where I was in life as a Spirit. I took the leap of faith, guided by the Most High, rolling through the highs and lows and delusions of outright failures of being in a most familiar, foreign, le social climat, and learned to be at ease—with YAHWEH ALONE & rose self. The truth set me free.
Home (the House of the Lord)
is where I could trim down the noises
stand at the door of His heart
take it up a notch
retrieve the core of who I am
Home allows me to appreciate
the miracles of life
Home is not what happens to me
but what happens for me
Home gives me space to restore, recharge, rejuvenate
Home aids me in lightening the load
my inner turmoils
getting my mental, ethical attitudes
as well as
my physical health back in good shape
Jireh always more than enough
Saviour King of Eternity and Lord of the Nations
Ye shall reign forever and ever
O Lord with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, all my strength
I praise your name
because of Who You Are
Home never deprived
The Holy Spirit is with me at all times
in all places
Nothing in my life is hidden from You
Your presence—my total hope
Anchor for the soul, firm and secure
Okay, so I need to concede that I’ve been really clueless, planless, and at a complete loss for what I’m going to undertake with my life. I thought I would have started a new chapter of adventure in Kuala Lumpur this past summer, a cut-and-dried forward-looking plan that would allow me to make good use of my education that coalesce with my future trajectory. But what least unanticipated circumstance happened at the cost of leaving my job, home isolating for the past eight months (needless to say, on top of waves of covid drama here in China, duh), is still rather—deeply unsettling. I did not expect this. I have been in an undiscernible up-hill battle with my own self, as though my life would have had plucked away. The prolonged visa process has been spun out of hand. My Ph.D. full-ride scholarship program in Malaysia has been facilitating an appeal process to revert the closed-door immigration office’s decision with respect to their primary, no apparent reason was—namely am inexperienced, and lack pertinent, simply put. As time passes, I feel as though going through a convoluted tunnel—around and around, I remember feeling trapped, inadequate and scared of that unknown path. Still, inevitably it somehow strengthens my Trust In The Lord.
If what I learned from this process can be summed up in three: that there is always something to be learned from trying, things always work out for the best, and love always prevails… The rejections gave me priceless lessons to know GOD and re-discover my TRUE self and who I choose to spend my time with. For an utterly candid decision for my true self, I am certain that ALL THE TIME, IT IS GOD WHO is leading me, and God’s “NO” is not a rejection but a re-direction. It is probable therefore that He is closing off a chapter for me in His plan and purpose. THIS MAN IS MAKING A COMEBACK. I AM MAKING A COMEBACK NOW. I put my full trust in Him. I will wait on the Lord. He will reveal His Purpose to me. I will not run out of steam. I am not going to defy my Only God-guided direction. Without Him, I am nothing. With Him, I am still unworthy. I praise His name because All I have is an ever-growing Faith in His Way, AND I am bidding farewell to my old inner self. LOVE is what motivated me. The Holy Spirit Is With Me Wherever I Go.
IN BRIEF, ETERNAL LIFE CANNOT BE TERMINATED.
What’s my story?
(of course, in very broad brushstrokes…)
It came a long way and myriad situations for me to know Jesus. His love is unchangeable and everlasting. He knew me even before I came to this world. My entire faith journey is so meandering, but at the end of the story, it is because of Him who did not forsake me and brought me salvation that I did not deserve. I was born as a child of God even though my mother almost aborted me, and I would also have a brother or two who died of abortion and China’s one-child policy back in time.
After high school (my last year of being home-schooled/self-educated for college), I landed in the United States. At that time—and through it all—I needed help because I knew nothing about the locals, a sheer newbie to everything. Jesus already knew and saw my struggles. He put the right people in my life at the right time and for the right reasons. At my first-year residence hall, I met a floormate who introduced me to First Baptist Church Amherst. I remember the first time I walked into a church and was incredibly moved by the Holy Spirit—quite in awe, my soul recalled it was penetrated by the 10,000 Reasons as if it had just happened yesterday. It was indescribable, to say the least. Following that first semester over the summer break, my floormate and I lived off campus together at her friends—fellow Christians’ apartment while they were away. She would always invite me to attend Sunday church services with her. Initially, for some time, I was tagging along. Incrementally, over the course of time, Jesus led me to be involved with Bible study and a fellowship group to learn God’s Word, grow in Christ, and grow in Faith. God’s love for me is essentially exceeding what I can comprehend, even though I stubbornly went astray and wrongly lost in a great multitude of spiritualities other than the One True Living God. HE alone set me free and never stopped loving me.
Photos by Rose, Planetary Health Annual Meeting, Stanford, September 2019
Fast forward three years ago in Stanford, Jesus guided me to seek Him and His Word. Towards the end of a three-day conference, I happened to meet an elderly handicapped lady who gave me a Convent HomeAltar booklet says “WE NEED TO TUNE OUR EARS TO THE MUSIC OF GOD’S WORDS,” another booklet titled “Our Dail Bread” with PSALM 62:5 at the bottom of the cover, and a prayer booklet titles PRAYER CHANGES THINGS, and a mini personal Bible verses of comfort, assurance, salvation. I never forgot the divine moment when I felt a tad drained and ran down at the conference. Jesus found me and comforted me through His Living Truth, His Word. It Was A Miracle.
One of my most significant, unforgettable encounters with the Lord was in 2020 in Old Town Geneva. Jesus spared my life and saved me from a higher-speed rail accident. I was attempting to cross the street to get to the other side, having looked left and seeing absolutamente no sign of cars or trains coming when the traffic light was still red—I went ahead. While making my step forward, believe it or not, a high-speed train immediately fleeted like a piercing, howling—sandstorm behind me. I would have died in that millisecond, without a doubt. How could I even not?! The unstoppable near-and-far wind was like a bat out of hell two fingers-widths behind so out of the blue and so mysteriously incomprehensible. And I could feel the stares of the people burning like wildfire, pushing me to move forward. I vividly heard as if the sigh of passersby waiting across on the other side. I COULD NOT EVEN LOOK BACK, LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY. NO TURNING BACK. IT WAS GOD’S MIGHTY HAND. Every time I think of that moment, my heart—pounds, and my back—chills. I will remember it for the rest of my life. I had no idea how I would survive without Him and why He brought me back so I could still be here, dwelling in His House. JESUS CHRIST saved me. God gives me everlasting peace in even the most unfathomable situation in life. Unreservedly, He is THE ALMIGHTY GOD, my Saviour, my GREAT Physician, my Healer, my FORGIVING FATHER, Wonderful Counselor, and Prince of Peace. ALL POWER BELONGS TO HIM.
In June 2022, I got baptized in a family church—God has me planted in His presence in my roots. God’s plan is perfect. His Will is Perfect. He is with me wherever I go as I live in the presence of the living God. Nothing can separate me from God’s presence. When I find Christ, I see infinite hope and fulfillment. I am forever thankful for His presence in my life. Because without Him, I am nothing. His Word gave me strength and peace that I can endlessly trust & rely on. He is always there in prayer away. Miracles happen in His name. Amen.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2
Header phonography feat. A.R.T. Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 2019
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