You know every detail of my life, for you are God and you don’t miss a thing. —You memorize me.
1:50AM —As I sit here at my kitchen table studying for my last final exam, I can only think of how excited I am for what is to come after this semester comes to a close. Although I am not confident in how well I will do, I know I will be okay. I didn’t do too hot this semester but I’m not going to sweat it. —(whoa, breakthrough)— But why the sudden change in behavior? Because while I was already in the middle of an anxiety attack, a little voice inside my head reminded me that my big sister once said to me, “Maiyer, it’s okay to fail sometimes.” *deep breath* —-thank you, sissy. I needed that. You will never know how much it means to hear that from you.
— I get to close this chapter of my life at 2:00PM tomorrow, and that will be the end of Sophomore Year. College wasn’t ever supposed to be this hard in my mind…I planned to go straight through, push, excel, and graduate. But that’s not how it works. That’s not how anything in life works. I know that now. And I’m okay with it. I know that God has me in the palm of his hands. He has a will for me, and in knowing that He does, instead of wishing that His will be done in me, I pray that my will would be His. “Not mine, but your will be done.” God has already made a way, so why am I still fighting? Why are we all still driving our own lives? The future is out of our reach. We have today, we have our faith and we have God’s grace. That’s it. So take a leap. Listen to His voice. Fulfill his will. Get that crown!
—one line (powerful and true) out of my newest song ‘Constant and Raging.’
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” •Psalm 147:3•
Lord, I trust in you.
I wrote this entry this past December 31st, 2012: my 20th birthday. I just read over it and I’m literally blown away right now at how much has been happening to me since then. I asked for answers, growth, God’s guidance — and here I am, in the midst of all of that being granted. Best birthday gift EVER. So far, 2013 has been the best year ever. And the year has just begun. #reasonswhyibelieve
I say to you that my God is able. He is love and I have Him. I have love in all it’s entirety. I need not say anything more.
“…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God.” |Ephesians 3:17-19|
a dearly loved,
My mom and dad like to remind us how great a daughter my oldest sister Gao Nou was to them before she passed away: they tell us about how she would bend over backwards to take care of us kids and how she would prepare a meal for my parents to come home to after a long day at work. She would come home from school and begin to pick things up and clean before she even put her backpack down. She willingly always gave my parents most of her paycheck and kept only a little for herself to buy candy, her favorite thing in the world. —To have a sister who so selflessly lived her life to show her love in action until the day that she died, I am so proud. She did all of this and left an impact so heavy and great before she even had the chance to turn 18 years old. - - - You know how in elementary school they would always ask who your role model is but it was always so hard to choose a person? I didn’t know it before, because I was young and unable to think beyond the big picture, but I think I have finally chosen a person who I can follow the footsteps of and know that I am still bringing happiness to my parents and glory to God. My sister’s death will not be in vain. My sisters, brothers, and I can learn from the goodness that she left behind. She is part of the foundation of this family. She left a hole so huge in my parents’ hearts when she died and it’s because she was so good to them. My daddy said she never let him go hungry, that she is his best girl. I take comfort in knowing that my parents had someone so great in their lives, to love them and care for them in the time that they had with her. I’m striving to live up to that. I don’t mind being compared to her anymore because she’s not someone that I wouldn’t want to be like. It’s wise to follow the footsteps of people who are good in heart and who are known for their loving ways. You could say that all we have left of Gao Nou are photos and home videos, but even more than that, we have her footprints in our hearts. I was only 7 years old when she passed away but I can remember all of the good and bad things about my sister. How she used to torture us until we died laughing or crying, and how she would make us practice singing in her bedroom until we memorized the lyrics to the song, and the times when I slept with her when I was afraid. I remember the exact day and time when I heard the phone ring the morning that we heard the bad news. All of the memories are still with me. I know that this entry is probably ridiculously sloppy and all over the place but I’m just trying to write everything down that is pouring out of me right now. My point is that I’m proud and I’m so grateful to have had a sister so beautiful and full of laughter and life. God works in ways that we may not understand..but the answer will always come to us. We will understand one day and then it’ll all make sense. I wish so badly and often ponder upon what life would be like if Gao Nou was still here to experience life with us, but I know that it was not in God’s plan for her. And I understand a little bit more now. God took her home when she was in her prime. Maybe she had proved herself faithful and loyal enough to Him, and that is why it was her time to go? — I don’t know. But whatever the reason, I accept it because I know that I will see her again one day, we all will if we continue to live to glorify God’s name. One thing stands surely and it is that Jesus is the only way; to live eternally in happiness as He has promised and to see my sister again. ♥
James and I are beginning a new photo series: Reasons Why I Believe. We have been taking photos for the past couple of years and through this have captured the things of this world that are taken for granted every single day: loved ones, seasons, nature, etc. The thing is..most of the time our pictures stay hidden. We decided to put our photos to use to remind us of how much we are blessed. Reasons behind each photo as to why we believe in God. Here goes! (:
I’m being heavily convicted lately to pray for my own relationship and for others’ to blossom into strong and faithful relationships. I couldn’t understand why at first, out of nowhere, God was introducing this subject to me and literally shoving it in my face— but as He opened my eyes and ears to the meaning of Agape Love, true love; I can see now. I can understand why it’s so so important to pray for this exact topic. It’s never too early to start praying for your future relationships, your possible future husband or wife, or even for your children’s future relationships. There’s just too much ugly in this world…and it’s too risky to align our hearts with the ordinary power of love between man and woman alone. We need God in us. He’ll be the one to hold us together even if it gets to be so messed up in the world around us. If we stop depending on God and forget that He is the reason why we can love at all in the first place — well, no God means no real relationships. How can we love anyone on earth with full faith and trust when we don’t even know how to do that for the man who died on the cross for us? I’m still trying to understand it in full, but God has been tugging at my heart about this. I needed to raise the matter. Pray.
For the past year I have battled this reality of being stuck on one. One place: which I quite like even though I know it benefits me none. One time: a never changing repetition of everyday life for more than a year now. One person: one that I can’t seem to kick to the curb even though I’ve worked so hard to build myself up to a better me. One setting: a switch that renders all of my musical ability and passion that was flipped off when I laid unconsciously conscious in the hospital a year and a half ago. and so on… I am in what I have been calling the ‘beginning stage of brokenness.’ It absolutely excites me to realize that I have begun to break — because I know that there is only BETTER beyond this experience — but I can’t help but to feel like it has been the biggest burden to be stuck in stage one for so long. I want so badly to grow. I want to move on and be so shaken from my brokenness that I can begin to break the people that I love so that we may live all our days in bringing glory to our God together— but I’m stuck. I’m so selfish in that I have questioned God so many times. Why am I still here? Why did you keep me alive if you were going to stick me in one place, one time, one self, one setting? What is my purpose? — and I am so ashamed. God moves in his own timing. He is so gracious. And He is omniscient. He knows what I will do tomorrow, next month, next year, next decade… because He has already planned my life for me. He kept me alive because it was never in His will for me to die in my sickness or car accident. I learned things about myself and my family learned more about love and trusting God than ever after my sickness. And maybe that’s what it took for us to learn. But even after I came to realize all of this, I was still stuck.
It wasn’t until this exact moment that I realized that I am no longer in stage one of brokenness. I am no longer in stage one! I had the most stressful and discouraging week of my life this past week. I have never felt so small and worthless. I had exams and quizzes and expectations to surpass. I studied so hard, so long, so much but I still wasn’t good enough. Still didn’t feel confident enough. Still wasn’t smart enough. Still wasn’t proud of myself. And so I wrote. I started writing a song during the week. Writing is my outlet, my safe-haven, the epitome of my feelings, who I am. I sing my feelings, sing my thoughts, sing my praises, sing my heart out. And I haven’t been able to write a good song and sing it for the past year in stage one. But within this week that I have been discouraged, stressed, sad, angry, ill, and tired; I have been broken. I see it all so clearly now. I understand that I am being broken because I am learning. I am learning that I am not put-together, I am not pretty, I am not safe, I am not smart. I am not all of these on my own. I am only me because God created me. I am not my own and I have been trying to create a me that one day will be better, smarter, prettier, nicer. I have been so blind. But I’m going to move on after today. I don’t know what it’s going to take for me to realize when I am being broken each time, but I do know that God will never and has never forsaken me or left me behind to be lost and scared. He moves in His own time. And when He moves, He truly truly moves. He is mending my heart as I speak. He is teaching me as I speak. I did not know any of the details that I just wrote until after I already wrote it out. It’s like the Holy Spirit is speaking to me, whispering the lessons in my ears. Anyone can be calling me crazy right now, but those who believe and have heard Him speak will know how I feel at this very moment. God is good and He is the truest part of me. He will never let me fall. And that is all I’ll ever need to know to believe.
It’s funny — One of my favorite lessons that I am comprehending right now; is that God uses you in your time of brokenness to teach yourself about His love, intentionally or not. He sets you in the midst of brokenness to witness you pour out your heart, search your soul, call for help. Wether it be through writing, reading, meditating, crying, longing, or yearning. For me it was writing. I began writing a song this week out of pure desperation and sadness. This song began as a true declaration of my feelings. I wrote it for myself and for those who feel the same way that I do because I didn’t want anyone else in this world to feel the way that I did. — I had a bad day today. and I had a bad week. I freaked out about my future career thinking I was a failure just because I didn’t ace my exams. I brought sadness to someone so special to me because of my selfishness. I cried my heart out tonight because things just seem to be falling apart. But in the midst of my ugliness and my brokenness, I looked down at my music journal and read every word in the song that I had written during this horrible week, and I was so incredibly lifted and comforted. I never thought that one of my own songs would speak to me so loudly, so powerfully. — I feel so blessed. The craziest part about this is that my unfinished song consists of only one verse and one chorus. And that is all it took for me to know that God is here and He is mending me because I have been breaking and breaking and breaking all along. He used me in my time of brokenness and I had to sit down and write a song to remind myself and others that God loves us. He thinks we are worth more. He is right beside us. Jesus Christ is the most beautiful and mysterious healer.
The lyrics to my song:
Don’t you cry everything is gonna be alright,
there’s a whole lot more out there.
Don’t you sweat the small things, they don’t mean anything
compared to what’s in store for you
My child, you were made for more than this.
My love, you are worth more than this world.
You don’t know yet, darling, it’s okay.
You’re gonna be that somebody.
- - - - I know that I will become stronger and better as I grow. I’m going to be that somebody someday. But not now, and not soon. I’m still young and I won’t stay this way forever. No matter how hard things seem, I will move onto better things. There will be more than this. I can’t rush my life and I can’t fast-foward time. I will be the person that God has planned for me to be. And in His time, I will know my true worth.
He did not die on the cross to let me run free to choose who I want to be.
He died on the cross for ME so that I would live a life according to His will, so that I can ultimately be the best me that I can possibly be.
It’s as simple [but as deep] as that.