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Diiiiirty Laundry

So it’s been a few days and I’ve been feeling a little bit better. I felt normal again enough to exercise once or twice this week. Hopefully and prayerfully, I can start to just exercise again every day. Really looking forward to that.

I realized that everything that’s happened has been a crazy experience that I would never have expected. But it’s helped me come back to God and learn a powerful lesson about His discipline. I’ve learned that to be judged by God and to experience His discipline is beyond anything I’ve ever dreamed of.

In the past, my fears consisted of awkward social dinners and not getting promoted or people taking advantage of me. I realized though that even if I get to a point in my life where I’m doing well, making a steady income, in great health and etc, God is always watching me. It sounds paranoid but it’s true. What if during that time I get prideful again and I start to just be a big douche to people? God sees and then, like a loving Father, He’ll just help me learn – albeit through some not easy lessons – to come back to Him and to become grounded in Him again. To walk in a way that is worthy of Him.

It took just four hours this morning for me to realize just how very ‘urgh’ I can be. I try my best to be a good person and to be nice and easy to get along with but I never realized that I am actually more snobby than I realize. I made some comments this morning about my neighbors that, immediately, made me feel ashamed.

If I had said those words a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t even have blinked an eye to be honest. But what I said and thought just made me realize, “I’m not who I want to be right now.”

Then when I went to take a stroll in the park with my mom, I would see people pass by and think angry thoughts about them. Even old people. To be honest, and this is really hard to admit, seeing the weak and vulnerable stirs up a sense of anger and disdain in me. It never hit me as hard as it did today. Because I was always too afraid to admit it. That I’m very bitter and angry inside and that  I’m afraid of being hurt and taken advantage of so I lash out at people. I build up a wall of ice that keeps people just far enough away so that they can’t touch me.

I guess that’s why I only have one best friend and the other one I have is slowly drifting away from me and won’t take my calls.

When I’m at home and reading a Christian book, it’s easy to get excited and then feel like I can go out there and love the homeless and start serving in the soup kitchen asap. But in reality, I’m more angry and my heart is made of stone more than I realize.

Then I went home and I saw an angry message from someone who wanted my help on his biography. He submitted this long and outdrawn document and asked me to help him summarize it. It’s exactly the type of project I don’t like. Things have been busy and chaotic lately what with the influx of work I’ve gotten along with BEC drawing near so I haven’t had the time to reply to him. He kept sending me messages like ‘hello’ ‘hello’ and ‘any update’. If you want to work with someone, maybe try showing more enthusiasm.

So I sent a message yesterday respectfully declining, saying “Hi! Thanks for reaching out but I won’t be able to take on this project currently. Best of luck to you!”

He wrote back, “So why did you waste my time?”

And I took his bait this morning. Without stopping, I wrote back, “Hmmm, I’m not the one who kept messaging these past few days to someone who’s clearly not interested. I’m grateful that I won’t be working with you and I do not need to reply to your messages. Good luck and God bless!”

Then I immediately felt ashamed after pressing send cause I realized that no matter who’s right or wrong, this wasn’t the way I wanted to treat someone. Yea, he’s rude, but that doesn’t mean I have to be rude either.

I’m proud to say though that after he sent another message trying to bait me into getting angry, I just reported and blocked him.

What scares me the most about myself right now is my lack of love for people who need help.

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Waiting, Anxiously

So last night, just as I was feeling a little bit better from the TMJ, I ended up tearing off half my toenail on one of my toes. It started bleeding and was really painful…

And then I just really ran to God and started asking Him how I could make this stop. And the answer I got was from Hosea. I realized that I really have changed in ways that have distanced me from God. So I’ve been praying that He would stop these health incidents and I feel that the key to it is really deepening my relationship with Him again and walking more closely with Him like I did those years ago.

I’ll do just that. Every day is its own battle but I’m going to stick by as close to my God as I can and just pray, pray that He won’t let another health incident happen. I pray that it will end here.

Hoping and praying…

I have no idea what to expect.

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A Realization About Pain

 

Shortly after writing my last post, I prayed to God a very angry prayer. I asked Him, “Lord, what is it next? :/ What’s going to happen next? I don’t even want to know. I don’t understand You.”

And in a moment of clarity, He showed me that by choosing to trust Him even IF something else happens and even when I don’t understand – I’m honoring Him and making a decision to move forward in my faith.

Once again, my jaw and the left side of my teeth hurt. But I choose to trust in Him even when it’s hard. There’s a reason for all of this.

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Trying to Understand

After visiting three – yes three dentists – on Monday and being told that I might have a cyst, I got two mosquito bites that turned into these huge swollen bumps. The first one was over 4 inches in diameter and the second one is a bit smaller but equally as itchy. Thus, I couldn’t go play tennis with my friend on Wednesday nor could I go and have coffee with someone I met from church on Thursday. It was hard to even walk on Wednesday morning and I ended up sleeping half the day away after taking Benadryl.

I really don’t understand God and I would say I’m starting to struggle but the struggle to understand what He’s doing has already started. When I ask Him about it, I always get turned to verses in Job or places in Psalms where the psalmist speaks about God’s discipline in light of the trials in life.

I don’t know if I will ever understand what He’s doing. What I do know is that there’s this fear in my heart as I’m wondering ‘what’s next’. A dental cyst when I take meticulous care of my teeth? A car crash? Breaking a limb? What does God have planned for me next?

The upside to this that I understand Job now better than I ever have before. The reason why God allowed Job to go through those trials wasn’t to prove Satan wrong or to see whether or not Job was really true. It was to reveal things to Job that Job didn’t know about himself. Job claimed that he was perfect and free from sin and that he was a just man but God showed him that he wasn’t.

And something occurred to me the other day that maybe these trials are happening in anticipation of what God is going to do in my life for the future.

As I’m writing this, I’m still slightly in pain and just feeling 50% miserable. I don’t get it. I really don’t.

I wish God would show me why. What am I doing wrong?

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Going to Church!!

I went to church today for the first time in a long time. It was a positive experience. The church is located in this really nice building and the walk to get to the sermon was scenic and refreshing. The weather was also really nice today too. I really liked the message as the pastor said something that touched my heart. Basically, that in order to have wisdom, it’s important to focus on God and to engage with Jesus so we  can put things in the right perspective. I wrote and underlined the words Right Perspective in my notebook.

In all the things that have happened lately, it is more essential for me than ever to have the Right Perspective and to see everything that happens for what it is. When I was in pain again, I finally asked God, “What’s the deal, Lord? I thought You said I would be healed by now…”

And then I opened to a random page in my Bible and there it was. Job 39. Where God is showing Job just how little he really knows. Where God is reminding Job that even when things don’t seem to make a lick of sense, He is still in control.

And well, that’s what’s happening here. My perspective is “Yes, life isn’t perfect. But God is in control and there’s a reason why everything is happening. This isn’t purposeless.”

After the message, I went ahead and met some of the members of the church who were very friendly. There’s actually quite a few accountants in the congregation. I met someone who works at KPMG and there’s also another who used to work at the firm I’ll be staring with.

I realized though that I felt really nervous for some reason. During worship, I looked up and around and realized, “Oh my gosh. I don’t know anyone here. I’m totally alone ;_;.” It’s been a long time since I felt this type of nervousness :/. Maybe it’s because everyone pretty much already knows each other.

Regardless, they were easy to talk to and it was a good experience. I’m grateful to the Lord. I came in with an open mind and overall it was pretty good. The thing is though that I realized that I need to work on my communication skills. It’s weird to say because I’m known for being a strong communicator and a good public speaker but a.) I haven’t been going out in literally months and b.) I’ve always somewhat struggled with group conversations.

So… I guess these are things that I need to work on. However, I’m keeping everything in the Right Perspective. I’m doing my best, anyway, to trust in God. And here’s to hoping that He’ll reward it.

~~

On a random note, we had a rowdy customer a few days ago who refused to pay his balance due before we delivered his product. He said to my mom, “I’m going to write you a blistering review on Yelp! Good luck staying open in the future!”

This prompted me to look up our Yelp page. There was this one customer who took a picture of our driver and put it on Yelp and left a huge 1-star review. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was removed for “violating the terms of service”. God is good :).

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Summer Crush

I’m still in pain :/. But if there’s anything I’ve learned these past six months, it’s that sometimes you just have to move on regardless of the pain. I woke up yesterday wincing and it was a conscious decision to decide to even crack open my devotional and pray. I thought He would heal me by now so I don’t understand but I choose to have faith. But in a way, I feel that I have grown. I’m certain I’ve grown. I feel a new maturity that I have never felt before.

It’s as I sit here feeling uncomfortable, tired and fatigued (can’t exercise until I get this looked at and I’ve been on a liquid diet because I can’t chew), I’m thinking about a date I could have went on many semesters ago. I accidentally stumbled upon a bar in Anaheim on Yelp. I thought the name – the Blind Rabbit – sounded familiar until I realized that was where he had suggested we go for our first date.

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As I think about to the way he asked me out, I can’t help but smile. We haven’t spoken in years as he graduated before me and is already working but I think I remember it fondly because of how it made me feel. This is embarrassing but I think of him when I hear the song ‘Summer Boy’ by Lady Gaga. When’s the last time I went out on a proper date, let alone go out at all? I had all this stuff planned for the break between work and graduating but I haven’t been able to do much of it because I’ve been getting sick one time after the other. But there’s a reason for everything…

Anyway, it started when we went out to lunch with a mutual friend. It was the day that my firm came to do a speaking event at our school. There he was in the audience, dressed in a crisp white shirt that showed off his muscles pretty well. He was cute and people noticed. Someone told me, I forgot who, that when he walked into the theater to do a presentation for our board information session the semester before, the president of the club remarked that he was a good-looking fellow.

A mutual friend of ours came up to me after the meeting and asked if I wanted to go to lunch with them. A light bulb went off. “Yea,” I said. “Oh, by the way, did you ask (let’s call him Tom) Tom if he was coming too?”

“No,” our friend said. “But that’s a good idea.”

Later on, I’d learn that Tom decided to come only because he heard I was coming. So we met at this burger place right across from campus. My operations management professor, who I had a crush on for a few months as well, was awkwardly sitting next to us and would hear the entire exchange.

It started off with a few flirtatious jokes. I said, “so why aren’t you married yet?” and he grinned and replied, “Well, I was waiting for you.” Then I’d giggle and our mutual friend would pause for a long moment. “I’m going to get a soda,” our mutual friend said. The two of us, with my operations professor in the background eating a burger, immediately turned to look at each other. A soft smile crept up on his lips.

“Hey,” he leaned forward. I leaned forward as well. “So, Ophie, do you want to hang out sometime?” He bit his lips and grinned. “Like, on a date? I think you’re really cute and sweet and I want to get to know you better.”

And in that moment I paused. I realized that as cute he was, for some reason, I just didn’t feel anything powerful. I think it was because of this date I went on a few weeks before that ended really, really badly.

But I said yes. He said he wanted to meet at the Blind Rabbit and I remember thinking that that was a bad sign – that if he wanted to have our first date at a bar, he probably wasn’t too serious about me. Now that I see the Yelp reviews more closely, it looks like it’s actually a great place for a first date. It’s romantic, darkly lit and it’s…  A BAR!! With alcohol. I actually didn’t drink back then but I like to drink now for social purposes. How fun would a date like that be now -__-‘.

Even if it’s nothing serious, I’d love to just get dressed up and go on a date again. Pull on my Levi’s, a cute top and a pair of black booties. Sit on a stool and say flirtatious stuff and just be able to look in his eyes and see attraction. But… if we’re being honest, that’s not going to happen for a long time. :/

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The Blind Rabbit never happened because I cancelled and we ended up having our date at… the guess… SCHOOL LIBRARY! Not even in the library but outside of it on some benches underneath the threes.

It’s a shame. He was cute. I’d see him a few times during the semester. Once, he was carrying a giant box of water back to his car after our speaker meeting. I remember walking with him and inwardly smiling at how muscley his arms were as he hoisted the giant pack of water on his shoulder. I poked his arm and said, “Dang, you’ve got nice arms.”

Anyway, that was the most of it. We haven’t talked since. But I hope he is doing well. I think if I hadn’t gone on that previous date, maybe we would have had at least one or two dates. He was good on the eyes and he was also someone who could make you laugh. Regardless, life is too short to focus on the past. It was just a funny, bubbly memory that made me realize that “dang! I must be at least somewhat attractive if a guy like this wants to ask me out…” and confidence is what I need most right now in what might be one of the most stressful periods of my life where it seems like my health is under attack every week.

Like I said, I don’t know why I don’t feel better but I choose to trust God. But I feel like I’ve grown so much from all the ordeals I’ve gone through. And even with Tom, I guess things didn’t work out for a reason. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. I know that in order to follow Christ, I have to take the good and the bad. The good is all those times that God has come through for me in explicable ways and all the times He will come through for me in the future and just having the blessing of knowing Him. The bad? These health issues and missing out on smaller pleasures like dates at a bar. For now, anyway.