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.