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Giant Lightbulb

So right as my mosquito bites were healing, I got extreme TMJ pain … the worse that I’ve ever had. And I used to have TMJ pain that I would have to take four ibuprofen four at a time. But I’ve been using ibuprofen so much that I feel like it doesn’t even have an effect on me anymore.

Like I mentioned a few posts ago, things have finally gotten scary. I went from feeling, “okay, well, this sucks but it’ll get better” to “now I’m getting worried, what am I doing wrong?” to “what’s going to happen next?”

And so today, as I was swimming in a sea of pain while lying in bed, I realized that I’ve been praying to God about this pain and looking at random verses but I have never really been investigating His word. So I decided to put on a sermon about God and health issues while laying in bed trying to not throw up.

As I listened to the sermon, I had a couple of strong realizations:

First, that maybe this is happening because I need to become humble again. If you know me, you know that I love to be active and workout. It’s what gives me that extra burst of energy. But I haven’t worked out in months because it’s been one health thing after another. And each one is getting worse.

The ideal image I had of myself was always of an energetic and athletic person. Before all this started and went into full swing, I was doing more cardio and loving it. Now I’m lucky if I get my daily walk in.

If you asked me to envision a scenario where not exercising would ever be good for me, I’d laugh. But now I realize that maybe this is happening so that I can become more down to earth again.

Second, maybe God wants me to slow down. Part of the reason why I was so anxious about going out there and exploring new things once I graduated (had plans to travel, go to resorts, sky dive, learn a new sport, etc) was because I felt insecure whenever I slowed down.

Even just lying down there was a huge obstacle for me. Unless it’s to sleep, I don’t like to down and just close my eyes and wait. It took this huge wave of pain radiating across my face and my shoulders and my neck and even my stomach to make me lie down and be still.

I realized also that life won’t end when I work. I can do these things when I work too. Maybe not as much but maybe just on the weekends. The hours will be rough but I can still live life and be happy.

Third, I was keeping most of this to myself. At first, when it was all unusual and not normal and chronic, I told my friends about it and they would all be very sympathetic. But like I mentioned before, it’s only a matter of time when people get sick about hearing about your problems. Eventually when they see you it’s the first thing they ask, “how’s your pain?”

But then in this sermon I realized that I haven’t really been going to other Christians and trying to investigate why this is all happening. The speaker spoke about going to the elders of the church and being prayed over. Why, in these six months, have I not done that?

Instead, I’ve been praying and reading random Bible verses but maybe God wants me to go to church so that I can ask other Christians – especially my pastor – about it.

Recently, I’ve been wondering, “What WILL God do next? Am I going to break my arm? Am I going to get yet another infection? Is all my hair going to fall out?”

But really, the only way to find out why this is happening is to ask God. And I’m barely starting to realize that to find out what God thinks, maybe I have to turn to other Christians too. Maybe I can’t just rely on my own prayers and random Bible verses.

So when the speaker mentioned ruthless independence in his message and how sickness can move us to want to go to other people in church for help, it struck me. I plan to go to church this Sunday and prayerfully, I can talk to the pastor after service and ask him.

Before all of this happened, I really did live in my own world where life was like a television show and I was the main character. It was the Ophie Show. But now, now maybe it’s not. What do you do when all the lights in your studio turn off and the cameras stop working? You start to realize who you are beneath that once confident, slightly arrogant exterior whose biggest worry was that her arms would get flabby again.

If you are a Christian and you are reading this, I really ask you to pray for me. Any prayer will help. 

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Reaching For Righteousness

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So far, so good. It’s been a few days since I’ve finally started feeling normal again. By normal I mean less itchiness, swollenness or infections. I am very, very grateful that I feel normal (at least, for the most part). Apparently, the swollen gums from my last post were from a weakened immune system so I’m really glad I’ve been taking these probiotics lately. I really do feel a difference!

I’ve also had more time these days. Studying for the Audit section of the CPA exam has been chiller than studying for FAR. I study more efficiently now so I’ve been able to save more time and retain information better than when I first started. I’m on track with studying with time to spare.

Now hat I’m feeling better, I’ve noticed something important. I’ve realized that I’ve been staying at home quite often. Although I do take walks in the morning and play tennis sometimes, I feel like I should be doing more.

There are moments when I feel worried that I’m not doing enough or that I’m not challenging myself as much as I should. My track-record says somewhat differently. I’ve been able to mentor a lot of other students, profit from a hobby that I enjoy, get a job offer with a great firm, be super involved on campus and help make a change but now I’m floating in momentum.

It feels like the train’s come to a slow and steady stop.

That’s because I don’t start work until September and I put freelancing on hold so I could study full-time. Besides a few good friends, I haven’t really talked to anyone since graduating and I don’t plan to walk. In those moments of worry, I’ve been praying and asking God ways that I can really pursue a righteous life. Maybe not a fast-paced and exciting one – but at life that really pleases Him and where I can have the assurance again that I’m helping Him make a difference in the world in some way (even if it’s a small difference).

I asked God how I could pursue righteousness and I knew that this started with reading His word regularly again. And I felt Him lead me to the book of Acts. And what an experience that has been. I’m seeing all these ways that the early apostles and the early church served God, boldly preached His good news and gave to all who were in need. Although I’m not yet at the point where I can sell all my possessions to give to the poor, I want to serve God step-by-step more-and-more each moment of my life. I want to serve God and be proud of my faith and not be afraid to share it with others even if it risks me getting ridiculed or outcasted.

It seems that it’s best to start with smaller steps at first. So – I’ve decided to give going to church again another try. I’ve visited many churches in the past two years and have never really made a connection with any of them that made me want to stay. BUT I’m going to start trying again and see where that takes me. In the meantime, I’ll keep you all updated and please let me know if you have any tips for fellowship or anything church-related. I’d really appreciate it! 🙂

Pasadena International House of Prayer

I went to the Well at PiHop today. It was pretty awesome. It is a prophetic prayer ministry and I found out about it through two lovely friends at church!

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I went there two times in the past. The first time I went, I ended up crying because what they said really touched my heart. The second time I went, it was my very first semester being involved in a big student organization (over 700 members) that ended up changing my life! There, the people praying for me didn’t know anything about me except my name and the number on my sticker but one of them prayed that God was about to do something very exciting in my life.

She saw visions of me about to dive into a pool and said that He was going to open doors for me. Another added that she saw a vision of me behind red curtains and that the curtains were about to open. A few months later, I was holding three new board positions in this organization and then later went on to become even more involved to the point of actually helping choose people for those board positions. I also helped to introduce new measures and programs that really benefited people.

Even now, I’m completing my summer internship with PwC and it’s been quite an inspiring experience. Whatever God has in mind for me, I’m excited to do it and to follow His will.

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This time, I left feeling full of joy. My dear friend and I arrived early for our individual sessions. When the 8pm session started, a man came up to talk about some of PIHOP’s programs. However, before he started he said that he sensed God was showing him that there were a lot of people with strong faith in the audience tonight. He looked around and said brightly, “I feel strongly that whoever you are in the audience, God wants you to know that He’s going to give you what you want. He’s going to give you faith.”

This was important to me, more so than my individual session later on. I made a big mistake last week and one that got me obsessing over it a lot. I woke up thinking about it today and I went to sleep thinking about it last night. It’s a weird mistake that doesn’t feel ‘like’ me, but my friend said that if I did it, it IS me. And so, I’m facing this monster in my life right now called my tongue… and it’s been a rough battle to say the least.

However, this mistake, which we’ll call Balcony Gate, is definitely going to change my mindset on everything.

I feel like God was speaking to me in that moment and showing me that He would help me overcome this mistake. Things will be okay. I can only put my trust in Him and hope.

My prayer session was interesting. What stood out to me the most was what one of the prayers shared about how God isn’t evil or someone who enjoys testing me in weird ways. He’s my partner and He will give me the resources I need to achieve what He wants me to achieve. So that was really encouraging. I have a lot of plans in life but none of them mean anything if it doesn’t correlate with what He wants for me.

After PIHOP, my friend went to go get her essay done and I went to have some dinner with my mom at JJ’s Diner in Monterey Park. Gotta get that quality time! :]