all other ground is sinking sand

in one of those feeling empty places

still on the surface but rocky underneath

not rocky, uncomfortable

melancholic

i don’t. even want to scribe it. because putting it into words means it exists. and i can’t even find the right ones.

it’s not that big a deal. nothing bad happened. it’s just one of those times in your lives where you happen to feel a bit like a nothing. in a what am i doing with my life way.

not even looking at it from a where do i go from here immediate future way which has been occupying a bit of my mind.

i don’t want to give it a name. or to say/write it.

just that. hmm. i wanna. be. more. like. more.

what’s important to be more of.

want a different life but wanting it from the outside so not sure if that’s what i want. and. don’t think i could pull that kind of life off anyways. hence the melancholia.

how do people do it.

how are they so balanced and mature and silly and sane all at once. why. am. i. not.

which also begs the question. why do i want to be. so badly. besides that it is good. but i doubt myself for wanting it simply because it is good.

is it double conscious i suspect it’s double conscious. ungh.

because i’m sure i’m making progress. and growing. just that. um. only i know, i guess. and God. maybe friends. but not the world. i think it bothers me that the world doesn’t notice. but i think i might die under the world caring because double consciousness. i think God may never let the world notice me because i’m too vain and i will forget Him. not strong enough for that. really admire the people who are, though.

i know. God knows. friends know. fam know. that should be enough. gotta find that. contentment. in the important things. from the important people.

ok this is good. sifting thoughts through layers. moving the still waters to get someplace. kind of liberating writing in bits and pieces. kind of stifling in not being able to write everything explicitly. not that i want to. i don’t think i want to. if i can unclog myself without, then it’s fine.

maybe i’m mourning for what i could have been, what i could never be. but also. hopeful. maybe what i could be. somehow somewhere.

these words kept looping in my head the past few weeks, not intentionally, just that i find myself arriving at the same words, the same sentiments when I open my mouth to pray and i can’t find the words except this sigh from the abyss of my heart:

oh God, all I have is you. and then. all I need is you. 

(lel always cringey to read thoughts to God like this with it being three/four times removed but oh wells it is what it is just being reals)

because life is too unpredictable. and i realise that i have literally zero control over my life. and i have nothing. i have nothing. i know nothing. not even myself. i only have God. i only know God.

and the follow up on that thought is, well, that should be enough for me. and it is enough for me, whether i know it or not.

getting rambly but amidst me in my general lostness which was exacerbated here, there was a good word today about calling, God’s calling and keeping my ears out for it. basically, if you wanna know what God’s calling you to do, you have to know who God is first, so that you can recognise His voice out of the world’s noise. and i felt that to be true in general period of lostness. just felt the tug to sit and pray for a bit some time this past week. still sitting and praying. pray ceaselessly.

also just watched a random video on the suggested list while writing this (much distracted I know) which. made me feel much better. it was so random, I’m so surprised it was suggested how did it get there. but felt like it was what I needed quite specifically. hmm. so cools.

ok feel so much better now. so good to get all that up and out here. thought about it, emoted about it, prayed/praying about it. time to put it out of my mind and think no more about it (fave Huck Finn reference I used this in year 1 and I love this). at least, until the next existential life crisis lelel which I hope will not strike soon in the near future. we will. see.

wonder if I’ll look back on this and be completely lost because I left things so vague. should i leave a clue for myself hmm hmm.

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church things

don’t know what happened just now but. worship. at least for me. wasn’t part of it. kasjnlkcns.

need to jam later.

I just feel so bad and terribly sorry towards everybody for my lack lmao unghhh. but at least it’s bad feels stemming from a place that’s not double conscious (ie not from how other people think of me and therefore not about me wew big step there clap clap).

I don’t even feel bad as much as I feel apologetic. Which is good, I think. Cos at least. I feel like practicing and trying to get it all down and working it all out. Instead of just wallowing.

lmao I just feel sorry in advance for the people who will be in the band as I learn. on the job.

zzz I need to do so mucchhhh need so much help. help.

But but but despite crashing and burning throughout, I managed to look up and actually see the congregation this time and I saw people worshipping, like people actually ready and worshipping and responding. So yas, it was really just a reminder that if God wants to move and He wants to come and meet His people right, our lack can’t stop Him. He will just do his thing and be there and touch people. It’s really not about us. Never was, never is. So assuring that people got to worship despite me huehue.

of course that don’t mean i don’t level up lelel gonna werk it.

Also, on a happier note, one of my kids came back to cell today and cell was fun stuff. Before we split up into our cells, the host was like “leaders, please take some time to share with each other about life and get to know your cell moore” and then we prayed and I had this brainwave for the usual ice breaking routine thang.

We did like a “go around the cell to share how you are feeling today but you can’t repeat a feeling if someone else had said it” hahaha. And so naturally someone wanted to start first which was gr8 no awkward silence there wew.

On the whole, cell was feeling excited-tired(me haha I said this so that the kids couldn’t cos they’re like tired every week lmao)-happy-reluctant-discontented-amused-exhausted-(forgot oops)-amazed-on the edge-released. Haha. What a mixed bag. Synonyms unleash. It was a great sharing sesh. People were sharing about what was going on in their lives and everyone had something interesting to say and to engage with each otherr. Broke the ice completely and got everyone nice and comfy so. awesome stuff ptl.

That was God right there, seriously. Actually, God has been providing me with the icebreaking activities for cell for every single cell time such that I don’t have to stress about it (and socialising always stresses me so). Yea Imma just amazed how God can just give great ideas five minutes before cell time. Crayy. God you cray. love it.

Yea and then we had a chill time of playing some board game and snacking on cake and strawberries, peace offerings from another cell which came to crash. aye fun stuff.

Ok that was a satisfying/good conclusion to the church thangs, apart from the sermon (ironically haha which was about death in case you were wondering). Just learning about God and seeing Him irl in addition to the sermon. Always different every week. always busy, not always all good, but always much fruitful.

Schooled

First week of school. Learnt so many things. All the transferable analogies to God. And the occasional purely academic interesting stuff. Gonna just dump it all here. Cocktail of everything. It gets better. But in case it doesn’t, you have been warned.

That Chinese illustration lunchtime seminar

Value of Chinese Illustrations of animals in medical texts, specifically the bencao gangmu

Evaluating Chinese Illustrations in itself

  • The artistic style of the time was that of abstract art. Stylistically, abstract art more valued which may explain the less literal/detailed drawings
  • Illustrators were not the actual scientists/doctors studying the animals; they usually just copy from other traditional texts or draw from the text as a supplement
  • The text was not written to include illustrations; people considered the text comprehensive enough. The illustrations came later. Words were valued more than illustrations
  • The medium of drawing was used for other purposes eg. adverts, erotic text
  • Had the existing tradition of drawing mythical animals 
  • There were illustrations of animals in other medical texts that were more accurate

Disclaimer: Shorthand bullet points taken half asleep from some seminar by some chap whom I’ve forgotten the name. Don’t quote anything. I just think it’s interesting. A bit. 

Drawing

2 ways of seeing

Recognising

  • Logical (cannot recognise -> see nothing/change the way you see things -> incorrect seeing = incorrect drawing)
  • Memory
  • Objects
  • “Something”

Observing

  • Lines
  • Shapes
  • Colours
  • “Nothing”

Drawings tell you which way you are seeing from/ no good or bad drawing

I just think this is a really cool analogy to reading the Bible.

Most of the time, we read the Bible with preconceived notions, trying to fit God and the Bible into our sense of logic, morality and expectations of what we think God should be like. And when it doesn’t fit, when God offends our sensibilities and doesn’t meet our expectations, He suddenly becomes impossible to exist.

For example, “A good God can’t exist because a good God wouldn’t let bad things happen to good people.” That’s our logic talking. We do see things happening around us, but we tie it to our own ideas of what’s good and bad, and draw patterns for what we see in a fairly logical way.

But look closer. Observe. How is God working in and through these people in these circumstances? What are the blobs of colour that don’t seem to make up a picture you can recognise?

Learn to see to learn to draw

Learn to read the Bible to learn to reproduce it/live like Christ. Your life could be the only Bible someone reads.

Contemporary Literature

Just toying with things like subjective morality and no morality = no free will. Or vice versa. 

Multiple truths and narratives in a world turning to science to rationalise and deal with the uncertainty of everything.

Writing our own narratives.

But isn’t multiple narratives a way of rationalisation too?

What stops you from killing another human being?

The law? Jail? No, those are only consequences of murder. 

What stops you, as a human, from killing another human being?

You could, you know. I don’t reckon it’s hard nowadays. But what stops you?

Conscience maybe. Or religion (and here I baulked because behind “my religion tells me so” is a whole ‘nother school of theology about being created and who owns life and sin and all that shebang. feel slightly miffed to just shove it under ‘religion’. maybe other religions say different things. i’d like to know).

Prof hopes we like the texts. He believes in letting the texts speak for themselves instead of constantly referring to the context of history and author’s background. Context is fine and dandy, and truth be told, we can impress any lens and reading on any texts if we tried hard enough, but he wants us to let the texts breathe and I think, in a way, not come at it from “outside”.

Reference to the drawing lesson.

Bible is one dubious piece(s) of literature. Is it true/real in that did these things happen? What is it’s history? Is it authentic?

Maybe we’ll never know. But in going around all that context, how about letting the Bible actually breathe and explain itself? It would be a pity to never read it just because of never knowing/believing how it came about. In looking for some things in the context (which does have value in and of itself), you might be missing out on what the texts actually wants to say, which also has value in other areas.

Early American Literature

Just impressed that people used to have a map with Jerusalem in the centre of the world and the other countries around it because of the priority of God owning the world and people respecting that at some point in recent human history. 

And just watching revivals swell and fade in that time.


Ok, brain dumped.

This is fun but I don’t know if I’ll have time to do this again.

Also want to brain dump various cells/sermons/Bible studies but unghh will it happen I wonder

so what did i miss

Hello.

Back from the dead.

But I didn’t want to say it so loud yet in case I jinxed things.

I don’t actually know how I got here.

I got tired of myself and falling into a sin I didn’t want to keep anymore. It still took me a while to kick it though, because I’d still turn to it just for hecks. So I had to be intentional about it. Just not. Going there.

I don’t know when the turn happened. All I knew was that I was ready to be rid of it and was getting serious about kicking it so I stopped feeling hypocritical when I prayed. Great start.

Also, a lot of things happening, moving in the Spirit. Things to do. That I realise I can’t be down and out now. There are just too many things to do.

God things, of course. And I need to be on the same page with God to be able to do them.

I’m feeling a holy burden. For exactly what, I can’t say yet. But it feels like it’s something to do with prayer. The thing with holy burdens is that you want to do so much at once and you want to do it now and also I’m scared of the possibly many obstacles and discouragements along the way. But it’s so heavy. I feel a fire starting somewhere.

Actually, I feel like there’s a fire started somewhere already in my community, in my country. Just needs to catch a blaze. Fan fan.

I prayed for my cousin today. And I’m really proud of that, not because of me but because I was working onboard with God. Like, I felt Him prompting me in my Spirit to do it. And it happened. And I didn’t chicken out. Praise the Lord~

Nothing extremely spectacular followed per se, as it always seems to in testimonies. It was more of a big deal for me and the act of praying for somebody, a testimony of God for His strength in allowing me to do that for someone I love, than anything else.

She was really touched and I just felt that something beautiful happened there and then. It was just a moment but I felt that God was there and He did do something, however small, revealing His heart and love for people. And I felt she was moved, not by my prayer (lel nervous so I missed out some points here and there) but that I was praying for her, the gesture of prayer itself.

Rediscovering the privilege of prayer. Feeling that we don’t do it as often as if should, to intercede for people, as we are called to do as a chosen people and priesthood. Sure, we do it in our prayer closets at home, and we should do that, but I think it’s time to take it to the marketplace. Take God to the marketplace. Don’t tell people what to believe, show them. Pray for them. It can’t hurt. That’s what Jesus was on about anyway, going to the cracks of society to meet their needs and show them His love for them. That’s what draws people to God – how His love meets them where they are.

Of course, it scares me, the marketplace. I don’t even dare to pray for my own family members like that, ripe harvest in my own backyard.

But I wasn’t scared today, like I usually am. I think because God was very clear in wanting me to do this thing and I wanted the same. And it happened. It’s quite cool. He helped me overcome myself, like not to think or worry so much, not being anxious about what my cousin might think, and to not care about anything being awkward (greatest arch nemesis ever). Really felt this supernatural peace, that this is right and good in God’s sight to do and it will be done and I’m just literally His hands and feet. I just hope I’ll be able to do the same with other things, obey His call in the marketplace. It’s usually a big (scary) deal for me, sharing God in the marketplace. I think it always is for a lot of people.

Busy week ahead. Teaching cell and doing worship on the same week wew. Literally cannot life until after church on Sunday akdsnakln.

Then again, this is the life. Better busy in God’s house than letting the devil do his work with idle hands.

And for my sin… it will be the proverbial thorn in my side which I shall contend with until I die I think. Retreated back under the carpet for now. Only hope its relapse won’t be that messy. Ungh it consumed me for three months. Have to make up for lost time now.

sos

help

turning into mush

i sincerely wish that everytime i write or meet people it will not be consistently of me breaking down or being in some sort of trouble

it wasn’t going to be

itwasn’tgoingtobeitwasn’tgoingtobeiswear

(just to be clear i had a great birthday. i had a great internship. i wanted to talk about these great things. but the static on this wave is drowning them out)

i have a chronic problem

because sin

im sorry

just read a testimony of my friend pulling out of a her own season of struggle and headed for a mission trip now and im just so touched/blessed at the place where she is writing from, a sinner saved by grace and being so humbled by God’s grace despite her weaknesses, and what am i doing with my life

it amazes me how man can be so aware and exalted to behold the highest realms of truth and beauty and still agree to be enslaved by the lowest of inhumane passions

how

how how

what the hell girl what even

cannot tank

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

Romans 7:15-20 (NIV)

i dont even know how people can doubt the existence of a spirit man when the war is keen and the struggle is real

ungh god save this soul

Was feeling conflicted by how amazing God’s love is and how crappy I am as a person and how a crappy person could rejoice and worship Him sincerely over His victory over death knowing how crappy they aree

But of course, it’s not about me

I am glad and I do rejoice that He is alive and there is a hope for the world. My unworthiness doesn’t downplay that. God is God.

I wasn’t as focused as I’d liked to have been this Lent, until Holy Week started last Monday. And then suddenly God just did His thing as if to say “you can’t do this by your own effort child do it on my effort” and He just started a fire/hunger in my heart to be pure and to desire Him, to be made more aware of His presence in my sinful fleshly body. I saw how I was helpless to my flesh without Him and how much He was doing and how if I were lazy (and I still was) I would fall all over the place.

He really just did His thing. His presence was so strong and I know He was trying to teach me stuff.

Also was so ministered to at the stations, I think especially at the third one with the trial with the Sanhedrin and the fourth one of Peter denying Jesus. Ungh I cannot take how He had to restrain himself with all the powers of Heaven at His command to take all that pain and humiliation. Like, I would have rained fire and brimstone and unleashed my wrath because I can and you guys wouldn’t even know what hit you, Sanhedrin. And I’ve been Peter so many times ungh it sucks. Actually I was ministered more than that but those were the most outstanding. Time to watch The Passion of the Christ.

I had a great weekend.

So thankful for friends. I have been so supported by friends who pray for me and look after me and encourage me unghh I wish I could be a better friend but too self-absorbed. Their prayers worked miracles and my essay sorted itself out on Friday before the due date at midnight. The whole week writing the essay I was in some kind of numbed state of mind even though I was/should be panicking over the lack of ideas. In fact, I was panicking because I wasn’t panicking enough. Ok, not really. Was really to lazy to panic even over that. And it only worked out on the day of the deadline. Stuff. Weww. So relieved afterwards.

Took the Saturday off after my essay liberation on Friday and my cousin came over and we played every Wii game I owned. Much fun much tired.

Theatre exam is in my face tomorrow and I’m just like aughhhhh. I wish I could act like Carol unghhh only appreciating how genius she is.

Had a piano therapy sesh because completely emo and uninspired. Played the longest I had for a while. Dug up all my songs. So gud.

But the thing that cheered me up and made me cry a little was watching the video of my homie get baptised today in Manchester! Wewww happy tears. I love these things I am so happy for herrr. ❤ Yay so that’s defo worth rejoicing over myself. Perspective perspective.

 

it took a zombie apocalypse

It’s late but I feel like I need to write anyways for better or for worse.

Let me just back up till Monday.

Friends are my pockets of comfort zones. I really appreciate them when I realise they are people I can be around without any pressure of having to prove myself in any way (except maybe that I’m a nice person and not overly weird or lame I usually keep that for later). Sorry, this is introverted me dealing with group work. Group work can be fun and great, especially if you need help because there are people to help you. What I don’t like about it is the whole trust building thing, and having to constantly prove that you are worth your salt and are pulling your weight. I keep comparing myself to others, worrying about whether I contributed as much as other people and whether I’m being obnoxious or overbearing in any way (I’m usually not, I’m usually the too-quiet one and so I worry about them thinking I don’t pull my weight). And also trying to not make anyone mad or annoyed by me. Just because. I dunno.

They say double consciousness (ie seeing yourself as how other people see you) is an extension from self consciousness (don’t really know what this is) but I’ve been living in double consciousness my whole life lel.

I never thought the day would come where this verse would apply to me:

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Matthew 6:24

Materialistic girl walking.

I never thought I would have a bone to pick with money. It just seemed like the least, weakest evil to fight with because it was so physical and material and external. I thought the hardest enemies to fight would be all in my head.

When it comes down to it, can I actually just not money.

What do I want. What do you want.

Ok, maybe I know what you want. But I’m still ungh about wanting what you want. Ungh.

Time to live the frugal life. It’s not that I absolutely need the moolah. It just means I have to cut back a bit on my lifestyle. Not impossible, but unghhhhhhh.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

James 4:6

I had been humbled.

Moving on.

Walking to the train station on this unbearably hot afternoon and then the clouds came to cover the sun all the way until I reach the station.

And the whole walk there I was just amazed at how good God is.

And it dawned on me that God is crazy to love me, love us like this. I’m not talking about the weather. I’m saying He’s crazy to even care, to actually bother about me, how I feel, what I want, what I think. Me. Dust of the earth. Dust out of the millions of other dust of the earth (all dat people).

And He doesn’t have to. God, He’s God for crying out loud. Let’s get real. The reality is the created has no say, has no right, has nothing to leverage with his creator. Nothing. The creator doesn’t need to care. He doesn’t need to to do anything according to his little creation.

The fact that he does, the fact that Jesus wept with Mary even though He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead like two minutes later, the fact that He allots us that agency to be an entity in ourselves and respects that, and cares about that, even though He’s God… I’m sorry, that’s crazy. God, You’re crazy.

And it’s not because I’m worth anything for Him to love. There’s this idea that since the Lover loves the Beloved, it is the Beloved who has power over the Lover. Look at all the lovesick boys chasing the girls who got it all together. The loved has power over the lover, right?

Not even. We have nothing worth loving like that. Even if we had anything at all, definitely not enough to demand the love of God. The point is, God, God, allows Himself to love us (and allowing Himself to be hurt over us) is really just… why would you even do that? That’s foolish, a foolish love. That’s stupid.

I’m just amazed. I’m blown away.

Jesus is loving with a stupid love because He is loving me, a nothing.

 I can’t understand this love that keeps me alive, that keeps my heart beating. It is the least beneficial love for Him. He makes Himself vulnerable and lost so much to save me.

Stupid love. Beautiful love. Pure love.

A love, for once, that’s not based on what you can get out of it, that’s not about you. You have everything to lose but love anyway.

Lastly.

It took a zombie apocalypse for me to realise how much You did on that cross for me.

Drama class this week, we did body voting on moral dilemmas. It was an experience, that’s for sure.

We came across this dilemma:

You’re in a zombie apocalypse. You have the vaccine to the zombie virus in your blood, but to extract it for the possibility of a cure, you will have to die a slow and painful death to stop the virus from spreading. Will you give yourself up for the vaccine?

A good number of us drifted to the “Yes” side, the mentality being that:

  • since I was going to die anyway, might as well save the world
  • I’d be recognised as a hero

Some of us didn’t catch it being a slow and painful death and after repeating the question, they edged to the “No” side a bit more before pleading for a quick and painless death. The “No” people were like “it’s only a possibility of a cure”.

This is exactly what Jesus did on that cross and I’m only getting it now because apparently a zombie apocalypse is more relatable and real a scenario for me to empathise with. It’s funny cos we were talking about defamiliarization and alienation in epic theatre that lesson, that is, staging something that helps us see the thing for what it is with new eyes and perspectives because our reactions have been so habitualised that we lose it. It’s like seeing stuff for the first time again, making the stone “stony”.

Zombie apocalypse totally did it for me. Seeing Calvary with new eyes.

Jesus gave himself up to give us a cure. And His stakes were much much higher:

  • He didn’t do it because He was going to “die anyway”. He came down for that very purpose of dying to give us the vaccine. Imagine if the zombie thing was only limited to a country, and the person with the vaccine in his blood purposefully went there to die for that country. It’s not as if he was there all along and he just did it as a by the way thing. No, He took the flight to get there. To die.
  • He died as a criminal. A criminal. When he was innocent. Dying as a hero, maybe the best way to die. Even if you went uncredited, it would still be ok. But dying as a criminal, when you’re innocent. Dang, the levels of humiliation. The worst way to go.
  • Slow and painful death – check. On a cross, death by asphyxiation.
  • To add to all that, the people He was going to help vaccinate against the virus didn’t like Him. They weren’t His friends. Maybe for friends and family, people you cared about, you might die for them. But would you do it for your enemies, for people you don’t like or can’t stand, for people who don’t believe you exist? As far as I’m concerned, they can all become zombies with me. But no. Jesus died to vaccinate people who hated Him, people who would never acknowledge His existence. He did it for everyone, before they realised they were all zombies and needed a vaccine.
  • And it’s only a possibility of a cure. Not that the vaccine won’t work, but that not everyone would take it for it to work. Not everyone would believe it works, it cures, and that’s the possibility He had to take. That He could die in vain. That He could die, with the vaccine sitting there in vats in a lab, and no one injects themselves with it and everyone becoming zombies.

Throughout the whole thing, it showed me I had a lot of morals to work on. And I question whether I would really be as altruistic to those I voted nobly when it came down to it. And also the double consciousness of not doing what I said/voted I would or vice versa.

Thoughts for only half a week/three days. Enough to last a whiles.