Thursday, December 13, 2012

More baggage, but this time with God

Baggage with God is uncomfortable. Why do I have the right to hold a grudge against such a loving and graceful God? He’s perfect, and everything that He does is for my own good. But alas, there is baggage with God and I had brought it over in my relationship with Shawn. I brushed against this idea really briefly during the summer when I first started my relationship with Shawn. I then swept it aside and thought nothing of it—until Tuesday.

My IV campus staff worker confronted me, asking what I needed to let go of. Where in my life am I not letting God be Lord over? Where am I simply seeing God as an advisor, not Lord? We started talking about my relationship with Shawn and why I’m afraid of giving this part of my life over to God. I still wasn’t comfortable sharing my entire past with her, but she knew that there was something I was hiding. She left me with the idea of thinking about fears and what I’m afraid of. She wanted to plant in me the idea of giving the future of my relationship with Shawn over to God. She wanted me to let go of my fears of not being with Shawn so that I could be comfortable with the idea of letting God be Lord over this relationship.

It was absolutely terrifying. I cried for hours after that, and I still am crying as I type this. I’m still processing everything, and I guess the fact that I’m crying still leads to the fact that I’m not ready to let this go. Why I’m crying? Because last time I let God into my relationship, He took it away. He knew that my relationship with Frankie wasn’t good. He said, “enough’s enough” and He pulled him away through one of the most heartbreaking experiences I’ve ever had. I’m not ready for that to happen again. I don’t want that to happen again. Is it selfish of me to want to control my future? Yes. I’m trying to justify this entire relationship saying, “I can still change him. I can make him a stronger Christian. I can turn this relationship into one that is Godly.” But let’s be real—I’m not the one who changes; God is.

I also have to keep reminding myself that letting this relationship go and letting God take control doesn't necessarily mean that it needs to end. It means that I need to accept whatever happens and be comfortable with it. I need to make God the center of my life (and this relationship is a huge part of my life!).

Pray for me as I battle through this. Pray that God will show grace to me and Shawn with whatever happens. Pray that I would be willing to let God in and lead me into a posture of openness and healing.

Monday, November 12, 2012


There are always going to be traces of your previous relationships in your current relationships. There’s always going to be baggage, no matter how much you try to leave that behind.

I wish that baggage didn’t exist. I wish I could say this relationship is my first and my only. I wish I could say that I never had past loves. But if I said that, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be able to treat this relationship much differently and much better than my previous relationships. I wouldn’t be able to grow out of the experience for a better one.

However, despite all the great things that come from learning from one’s mistakes, there are still things to be worked on. The past few relationships I have been in have honestly been the worst experiences of my life. Actually, I probably shouldn’t even label them as relationships, because we weren’t exclusive. We simply just liked each other and usually one or the other will be too afraid to make a move or make some sort of commitment. This usually ends up with the other finding someone else more attractive, more fun, more endearing than me, and I’m simply left alone to cry. This has literally happened to me EVERY SINGLE TIME I find someone, with the most previous relationship, one where I had put ALL of my trust in and never doubted his decisions. If he were with another girl, I convinced myself she was just a friend and he had his head on straight. He did not. He dated the girl for a year and I cried for a year.

Obviously this time around, I’m not going to give my heart away so easily. I’ve been hurt before and I’m being cautious. I don’t want to be put in that situation ever again. Every time Shawn decides to hang out with his best friend who happens to be a girl, I can’t help but assume the worst. Why wouldn’t I, especially with all of my previous experiences that I am absolutely terrified of repeating? At the same time though, this relationship is different than all of my previous relationships. I have a nice guy who I KNOW has his head on straight. I have a label on my relationship so that we know we’re exclusive. I have a boyfriend who is absolutely head over heels for me and would never do anything to hurt me. I should be grateful, but I’m still walking around him like eggshells. I feel awful for not putting in my all when he clearly is. I feel like I’m putting up a wall to protect myself, but I know that there is nothing to be afraid of on the other side.

I absolutely hate baggage, but I have grown a lot from it. I just wish it wouldn’t affect how I treated this boy whom I love.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I absolutely, seriously, love my mother to no end.

After I returned back to Boston from my retreat in NH, I quickly hopped aboard a bus back home to NYC. I haven’t been back in over a month and I finally have a couple of days right before classes to relax and be home.
The first thing I did when I got home was eat. Normally, I would eat and open up my laptop to some TV show I was watching on Netflix and disregard the questions my mother would ask about the TV show. But this time, I thought about sharing everything I’ve learned in the past 5 days to my mother. Part of it was because I wanted to externally process all this information. Part of it was because I knew it would be the best way to show how much I love her after all the hard work she put into raising me and my sister up as Christians.
It truly was difficult sharing and condensing all the manuscript studies into a quick 10 minute spiel in Chinese, with all this English languaged Christianese imbedded into me for the past two years in college. But she was receptive, she was open, and she shared her own spiritual journey in joining a Bible study and deciding on churches to go to. After the conversation, I couldn’t help but pray and praise God for all He has done with me and my mother for the past two years. We have both learned so much.
I thought about how desperately she tried to raise my sister and I in a Christian household. She tried doing Bible studies and devotions with me as a child, and it still carries with me to this day. As this conversation went on, I felt this overwhelming joy inside of her, knowing that I’m still walking with the Lord even after I leave home and leave my home church. Seriously, if it wasn’t for her, who knows where I would be today? I definitely would not have been raised a Christian. My life would be lacking and incomplete. I don’t think I’ve ever thought of it that way—that if my mother weren’t Christian, I wouldn’t have been exposed to Christianity. It makes me appreciate my mother in such a different sense. I’m overwhelmed with joy that God has provided me such a strong woman of faith. Thank you God.

Let go, Let God

I just got back home from an InterVarsity Summit Leadership Conference retreat in New Hampshire that ran from Sunday to Thursday where we reapproached the book of Genesis in a way that sees creation not through science lens but through a relational lens of love and trust. We revisited the fall of mankind and where all the hurt and brokenness started. It was a beautiful week where I spent 3 hours every day soaking, marinating, questioning, and developing curiosity for the Word of God. It was a beautiful wonderful week and I absolutely enjoyed every second of it.

It was exhausting. It was frustrating. It was revealing. It was peaceful. It was awesome. I loved and hated being in the middle of nowhere with no connection to the outside world and away from all the noise and clutter in life. It was great for a little bit but after a while, I couldn't stand not being able to receive notifications on Facebook, or know what's going on in my friends' lives, or even know what's going on in the political world (seriously though, what happened??). By Tuesday, all I really wanted was to be back home, relaxing and not doing anything but resting. All I really wanted to do was hang out with my boyfriend and laugh with him. It sucked not being in constant contact with him, but at the same time it was joyful and beautiful remembering that there was constant contact with God. 

There was this image that was introduced to us in the beginning of the retreat, where we constantly have these clenched fists holding onto something tightly. It might be something we don't want to show God. It might be something you don't want God healing. Over and over again I had to remind myself to open up these fists. In allowing my hands to open, I was allowing God to enter my heart and hold my hand. I was allowing God to take charge of my life and trusting Him with all things. I was challenged over and over again in my trust in God. I'm ready to open these fists, but now I'm stuck in the action of doing so.

Now, I'm entering the real world and everything is rushing back again. I'm no longer in the safe haven of Toah Nipi. Instead, it's time to put everything I learned into action. Let Go, Let God.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hello June!

June is a month full of EVERYTHING.  I'm seeing two of my favorite bands live this month, I'm reaching the last month of co-op before the dreaded lab reports return, I get to finally see incoming freshmen and judge all the new OLs' abilities to lead, I finally get a new phone, and I also officially start a book that Vision Team at InterVarsity is required to read for leadership training.

I'm really excited for what's in store.  I have a good feeling about this month!  Except for the weather...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Worst Fears

More like one huge ginormous fear that's been bugging me for the past few weeks: Where will I be going after college?

I'm afraid of graduating.  I know, I still have two years left, but it's going to fly by SO quickly and I still have so much to hang onto.  I've been living in this bubble that is made up of Boston, OLs, chemistry majors, and InterVarsity friends.  I don't know what I'm going to do with myself after I graduate.  All of those things will slip right through my fingers and I have to start all over again from square one.  I'm terrified.  I'm scared of living alone, I'm scared of being in some unknown city all by myself with nobody to go to.  I'm afraid of being vulnerable to new people and having to go church hopping by myself.  And even if I just end up at home after graduating, I'm terrified of that too.  None of my friends are in the same places they were before I left for college, and everything has changed.  I don't where they will be and I don't know if I want to follow them to their new churches.  And even if I do end up back in NYC, I don't want anything holding me back from creating an entirely new life from scratch in the city I grew up in--because I know there will always be pressure to go back to where I came from.

Of course, it's all in God's hands, but it's killing me not knowing.  It gives me an uneasy feeling not knowing the stability of the future, and I'm constantly looking for just a hint of what's in store and what it might look like.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How InterVarsity Changed My Life

As many of you may know, I am a Christian.  I grew up in a Chinese church that my parents brought me to and I was a leader of the teen fellowship all throughout high school.  I was always expected to know all the answers to Christian questions and I was always expected to teach well.  The pastor constantly reminded us that we were on a pedestal as a leader.  Every move we made would be examined and scrutinized by everyone in the fellowship and that itself was intimidating as hell.

Fast forward to college, and I'm on my own in Boston.  I didn't have the big weight of my home church dragging me down and I could start anew again.  The first place I went to was InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  At first, I only went there to seek a new church to go to on Sundays.  I wanted to get connected to one as soon as possible to start growth there.  Little did I know that my church would later turn into not a building I went to every Sunday, but a group of students in a Northeastern classroom on Monday nights.

At InterVarsity, I wasn't expected to know anything.  They treated everyone like they were new and explained everything to its most basic detail.  At first, with all my pride and selfishness, I hated the way they did that.  I hated that they treated me like I didn't know anything.  But later on as I stuck to the group, I learned more because they started from the beginning.  The reason why I grew was because I wasn't expected to know anything and I truly did not know ANYTHING.  I was able to rebuild my faith from the ground up and now I am a stronger Christian than I ever was.  Now, I understand what this religion, or more so this relationship with Christ, offers and is all about.  I have grown more in the past two years than I ever have the first 17 years of my life!

Some key things that I've learned through InterVarsity are:

  • The love and healing power of Christ
    • The fact that the God that we love and love us is the same one that created this Earth, Adam and Eve, made it rain for 40 days and nights with Noah, led Moses and Egyptians out of Egypt blew my mind
    • The same love that he shows for Adam and Eve from the very beginning is the same love that he shows us every day.  It's okay to have dark hidden places in your life.  God doesn't condemn you.  He simply says, it's okay, and creates a cloth out of animal skin and covers you. (See Genesis 3:21)
  • The true meaning of grace through a new lens
    • The Prodigal Son tells of a story of a son who takes his father's inheritance before the father even dies (basically telling his father "screw you, I wish you were dead"), and goes off to spend it on partying and girls and everything sinful imaginable.  He runs out of money and ends up cleaning up after pigs just to eat what the pigs ate, and decides to go back home to serve as a servant in his father's house instead.  When he comes home, his father embraces him and throws a  huge party for him because he is finally home.
    • Most people would see this story as a way to represent sinners.  They don't need to come back home to God filled with guilt because God will always be there to embrace you, ready to throw a huge party for you.  What most people always forget is the older brother that's been there all along.  He's been working hard for his father all throughout the time the younger brother has been partying.  He's been devoted to his father all his life, and he doesn't even get this huge party for himself, ever.  But that's the true meaning of grace--you don't need to work hard to get the acceptance from the father.  This made Christianity so much more freeing to me.  Knowing that I don't need a full cover letter and resume as I walk up to the white gates of Heaven is the true meaning of grace and is the reason for the death of Christ on the cross.
  • God's omnipotence and power over all things
    • I'm a college student.  I don't really know what I want to do with my future.  I don't really know what's in store for me after I graduate.  I've constantly been battling this out with myself and with God, demanding an answer to a great job that I can love.  But the greatest thing of all is that it's not something I need to worry about.  God has it all in his hands.
    • We had an activity where we were supposed to think about ourselves objectively.  We were supposed to think like God and think about what He desires most in us.  This is where I realized that what I wanted from God was not a clean cut answer, but a desire to fill him in all of my relationships.  It doesn't matter where I end up in the next 5 years because my relationship with all the people around me come first, and I seek to be open about my religion and beliefs no matter what career field I'm in.
They seem like pretty basic things that all Christians would know (even ones that were believers for 19 years), but because I wasn't expected to know anything at IV, I was able to relearn everything.  Needless to say, I don't know if I will be returning back to my home church in NY.  In all actuality, I don't even think I'll be returning HOME in NY at all!  But what I do know is that God will always be growing me in ways that blow my mind no matter where I am.  I want to fall deeper in love with Him each and every day and I'm grateful for the growth that He's given to me the past two years.  Who would've ever thought that moving away from everything I've known would only lead to more?

Monday, May 21, 2012


I’m so jealous of each and every person training to be an orientation leader right now at Northeastern, living in Smith and getting to know one another. This time last year, a ton of us OL’s were in the “quad” where 4 beautiful girls all lived together in a ginormous room, and we were eating chips with salsa and spinach dip and life was beautiful. It was only the beginning of the best summer of my life and I miss it every single day. I miss dancing around campus and watching movies and cuddling in the basement of Smith making friendship bracelets. It was like sleep away camp, but better because there was absolutely no way you could ever feel left out.

Sometimes, I wish I could have cut co-op short and become an OL again. But I know that it wouldn’t be the same. The people would be different, the humor would be different, the environment itself would be different and I would only compare it to the best staff ever. But as the hashtag goes, #OnceanOLAlwaysanOL. I will always have ice breakers off the tips of my fingers for every single awkward situation no matter how early in the morning it is. I will always be ridiculously energetic to incoming freshmen and family even if I only got 5 hours of sleep. I will always be singing the wrong lyrics to multiple songs all because of the amazing cheer that we came up with.

OL staff 2011, I miss you and I love you.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Self Esteem (3)

I had a series going on previously on my other (private) Tumblr blog, of multiple times in my life where my self esteem was shot and how it affected me in the long run. This was my third post and probably one of the most vulnerable and "F*#! yeah I'm awesome" kind of moments that I'm really proud of and I wanted to share this with everybody on my public blog.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The End of an Era

This weekend marks the last weekend I will ever associate myself with New York City.  I don't ever intend on going back there, unless I'm dead broke and have to live with my parents.  I have no connection back in New York, and no friends to go home to whenever I visit.  I'm never there long enough to hang out with friends, and the ones that do matter to me have begun planning everything without me.  They always ask, "when will you be back?" But honestly, I don't even know.  I won't have a summer break for a while, but at least I'm making some progress in life with co-op and classes.  Frankly, these are the least of my worries.

I can no longer say that NYC is my home because whenever I refer to home, I really mean my home in Boston.  It's where all of my best friends are and it's where I can truly be myself again.  Of course, this view will change as my friends begin leaving Boston to go on with their lives, but my home will always be where I feel the most belonging to.  Maybe in a few years when I move to another city for graduate school, that new place will be my new home.  But in the mean time, I am a nomad and my current home is Boston.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I Don't Belong

The one thing that I continually struggle with on a day-to-day basis is a feeling of belonging.  It's part of my personality to have a huge group of friends instead of one primary group of friends.  But with that kind of exuberant popularity comes a price: there isn't a group of friends that I can call my own.  If some of my friends hang out together without inviting me, I don't have the right to say, "well, why didn't you invite me?" because I'm simply not close enough to them to even be considered a priority.  Even with my roommates, who I consider some of my closest friends, I have no right to exercise that saying.  Sure, I might have a few close friends (who don't know each other) that I can spend hours and hours with without ever getting sick of them, but it still isn't a group of friends that I can ask to go anywhere with if I wanted to go check something out or go explore somewhere.  I've continually tried to find this group SOMEWHERE but I'm also afraid of being so close to them that if something were to happen with this group, I would have nowhere to go.  I guess both scenarios have its pros and cons.

Monday, April 30, 2012

I want to be so in love with God that all I think about is Him.
I want to be so obsessed with God that every action I make is for Him.
I want to be so engrossed in God's love that the only thing I can do is to share it.
I want to be so extraordinarily grateful for God's love that I just want to praise him 24/7.
I want to be so crazy about God that all that's on my mind is serving Him.
I want to be transformed through God's love to act, think, and be just like God in all of his amazing characteristics.

I just came from an InterVarsity Worship Night where all the major schools in Boston get together and worship/share stores about their experiences on campus. The worship was the best I've ever experienced and I really really hope heaven feels like that. It was so amazing to be surrounded by strangers who had only one focus: God. I felt united with every student/staff there even though I didn't know any of them. There was so much joy, raw emotion, and truth in every lyric that I sung tonight, which hasn't happened in a really long time. I'm grateful for all that God has given me and I'm excited to be changed through Jesus. I'm hoping that this transformation can bring me to share with everybody around me in my classes, in my workplace, and in my living spaces. We're given such a great opportunity to be in a young college town full of eager students looking and searching for a happy life. Why not share with them the experience of true love through Christ?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Miss Classes

I miss the feeling of finally completing a hard semester and being done, even if only for a little bit.  I remember last year, after my last final, I ran on Huntington with my arms held high and I could actually feel all of my stress, agony, and to-do lists lift away.  I felt like nothing in the world could destroy me because I just completed my first complete year of college.  If I could label one night as the best night of my life, that would be it.  I had an amazing job to look forward to in the summer, I had no more organic chemistry to ever worry about, and life was the best it could ever get.
Here I am now.  Stressed, agonized, and full of to-do lists on co-op. Ugh.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blog from the Ashes

I decided to scrap my old blog because it was linked to my old gmail account that I no longer use and signing in and out is just a pain.  I guess it's kind of like a fresh start to everything.  I can reinvent myself and recreate new memories and new reflections on life.  Sure, maybe not everybody reads this, but there will be somewhere in the land of internet where my thoughts can lay, live, and thrive.

It's been a year since I completed my first full year of college and I could not be any more grateful to God, the ultimate provider.  I had a very successful Fall semester where I studied hard and ended up on the Dean's List (finally)!  I made amazing friends this past summer as an Orientation Leader, and now I'm on co-op at a chemistry lab in Watertown, MA where I work with a ton of other engineer co-ops that are the greatest people on this planet.  I've learned and grown so much in maturity, physiology, and spirituality.  God has taught me so much and has brought me through so much this year and I think I've fallen deeper and deeper in love.  I'm going to be on Vision Team next Fall where I will be much more involved in the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter at NU; it will be time-consuming but oh so fulfilling.  I'm so happy with my life and what has been given to me this past year, and I'm super excited with what God has to offer this upcoming year.

I want to keep this blog as a constant reminder to myself of what I'm learning and feeling throughout my college career.  Sure, I do have some blog posts on my Tumblr, but that's all buried deep within a pile of memes and silly pictures.  I want a blog solely based on my pure and raw thoughts.  So this is it.  Enjoy!