Saturday, November 29, 2014

Trust along the journey

Dee got back to me recently to confirm that there will be no difficulties with me volunteering full-time in Dayspring. We were both a bit concerned about the visa issue, but we'll figure it out as we go along. I really honour their trust in me to come in and learn from them. We've talked about setting up a Dayspring in Malaysia. We are both amazed that God has led us together. Dee shared that God had told them, "This is not your dream. It is Mine." when they set up Dayspring. That has always felt like what my dream is - not mine, but a much higher dream than me. I'm not much more than the carrier of the dream.

I've been going for Dramatherapy to get ready for the time when I will be in Dayspring and for the future as well. It's been a rough journey, and many old behaviors that I thought settled started coming back again. But most interestingly, I felt 'taller'. It's not that I grew at all (I would have loved that :)), but instead I realised that I had been this tall for quite a while. But until I reintegrated all the different parts of me that had been kept in boxes, both good and bad, I had always felt 'small'. I still remember my first year in Camp Vision when one of the youths said, "Gillian is TINY" and Thomas said, "What about S?" The youth replied, "S is small, but Gillian is tiny!" I think I know what she means.

We've finished our last academic class, and I'm rather sad about that - I could have listened for hours to our lecturers. But it's time to move on to the next step in the journey. I'm honoured to be on this journey, honestly, strange as that may sound. I've frequently thought, "Who am I to do this?" But knowing that this is a much bigger dream than myself, gives me courage for the journey. 'Lead me on, and I will go/ Lead me on and I will follow/ Lead me on to where so few have gone/ And I will go... I will go/ Lead me on'. I sang that as a youth of 15 years. I never imagined the journey would be this interesting.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sensitivity Camp

I received so much healing last week during sensitivity camp. It's crazy to think that it took less than 24 hours.

We were so so so blessed to have Dr. Anasu to be our counsellor. If ever I learnt how important it is to speak up, having her be our counsellor was proof of it. It's a long, and anyway not-to-be-published story of how she became our counsellor, but I am so grateful, as are most of my classmates.

The exercises were simple. Ones that I would use myself with our kids. But her counselling of each person... Oh wow....

But I was stuck. I couldn't cry, couldn't feel, couldn't... Well, pretty much how I am a lot of the time...

She seemed to not press very far with me which puzzled some of my classmates with whom she took a long time.

And she shared about her personal story. At that point, relating to what she was sharing, I was close to tears, but still managed to hold on.

I chose to sleep downstairs on the wooden bench in a sleeping bag. My classmates were like, "WHY?" but I just needed that space. Was chatting with the guys who were sleeping downstairs till like 4:30a.m. I'm so grateful to Alvin who took the time to read scripture over me and pray with me. It meant so much.

When I woke up at about 6a.m. (barely had any sleep!), I woke up in tears. Finally the questions and statements that Dr. Anasu had made the night before struck home. I cried and cried as silently as I could.

Dr. Anasu emerged from her room at about 8:30a.m. and seeing me sitting in the living room, she came over. She asked a couple of questions about coffee and stuff and then she was like, "Are you ok?"

That was enough for me. In tears, I poured out how I felt... How tired and frustrated I was that the same issues had popped up again in her counselling last night after all the work I had done on myself... And right then and there she affirmed that I HAD done a lot of work on myself. Then I told her that her question of, "What if I took away your dream right now?" had struck me so hard. Because I have nothing left in the world that I want besides my dream.

She reminded me that I can always build a new dream.

I'm not going to put much down here as a lot of it is private but just what I want to remember...

"Even if you don't do anything else, right now, you would still help a lot of people. That's why you are amazing."
"There is NOTHING WRONG with you."
"Do nothing... relax and reconnect with yourself. You can connect with many people but there is a disconnect with yourself."
"Why is it so hard to love yourself? You love so many people, but why aren't you worthy of that same love that you give to others? Why do you need to earn the right to be here?"

Healing... just healing... to know that there is nothing wrong with me, and that I just need to relax and reconnect with me. I keep reminding myself of this and I feel so much peace and hope inside me.

I am just so amazingly overwhelmingly blessed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My full-time funny class :)

For one of our classes, we need to journal about our class and its progress as a group. So I thought I'd blog about my class and put in the stuff that I can't put in an official homework assignment!

First is Alvin, our class leader! He just naturally slipped into the role with his reassuring ways. You feel anything is left in good hands with Alvin. He was a former lecturer, so he'll ask questions that are really difficult!

Then there's Haslinah, our Mother Goddess. She's so much fun everyone forgets she's not our age... She sometimes seems younger than the more serious members of our class! Most of all, she's the person that it is so easy to share problems with, because she'll listen.

Fatimah is from Indonesia. Very strong, calm-looking lady, who has the most knowledge in our class. She's the person you can ask any question and she will have the answers, despite struggling with language. She's really interesting because she's travelled a lot and has a world of experience to share. And she's just plain nice!

E-Hua is the cutie in the class. If I had a doll, it would look just like her because of her beautiful eyes and curly hair. She's the one who will be perfectly honest and just say, "I am soooooo stressed!" if she is, rather than bottling it up inside. She's also, according to the feedback from others who have done roleplay with her, is a really good counsellor!

Lauren cuts through the nonsense when all of us are confused and waffling, and she will make the firm decisions that we need to make but somehow can't! She's very sensible, but also really funny!

Deepika is really quiet in class, but I think that's coz she has her own gang amongst the part-timers and she's really nice too! I enjoy talking to her! She's very loving and warm.

Shima is the light in our class! She's so giggly and funny and she always says things that are fun and tries to make sure YOU have fun too! Without her, the light would go out in our life!

Samuel's another quiet guy in our class... but he has a quiet strong faith of his own and he does lots of stuff to help the world that he doesn't talk about. If you really listen to him, he has interesting perspectives that are different from others because of all he has seen.

Lisa is unique! I wish I could be like Lisa because she'll say what she wants to say and do what she wants to do and who cares what anyone else thinks!

Sue Wei is the one who sees everyone's perspective, rather than just her own. She'll be the one when others are angry to say, "Yes, but think from her side..." She's just kind.

So that's my funny class :)






Friday, September 19, 2014

A long day

I didn't see when the original event was posted up to say about Andy's passing away. So I only realised it when the KYC CA's posted words and photos of being at Andy's wake.

I was puzzled because he had looked really healthy the last time I saw him... Albeit that was two years ago at camp. Fit, strong, brown... Too quiet, deep thinker, mature, really interesting to talk to. I thought perhaps it had been an accident. But thinking of Andy, I wondered...

And finally one of the CA's replied to tell me that, yes, Andy did commit suicide as I'd thought. He hung himself and his grandmother found him.

Melody told me she was going for the funeral, and I quickly dressed and sped off. Luckily just in time before the service started. They were waiting for all his friends... All young, lovely people... Just like Andy had been.

I met his mom... She looked so lost. And I met the other volunteers and CA's who had managed to make it for the service.

We were all in tears... And none more so than the family. I salute their courage in the most painful time ever. They were in so much pain. His mom cried out longing for him to be back. His grandmom (he was the favourite grandchild) just could not accept he had gone.

Dear Melody cried so much. I asked her if this was her first suicide, and she nodded. She asked me, "This is what you're afraid will happen to our youths right?" And I nodded yes. This was not my first suicide amongst the youths. And when you've gone through that once, I think it will always change you. There's a part of you that fears the worst, but is ready to accept it too. A part that whispers, "I can't change your life for you.. And I have no right to make decisions for you... All I can do is pour in whatever I can and that is all."

Melody shared that one of our youths had contacted her at 1a.m. and she had had such a fright. But it turned out to be something quite routine. I laughed. The youths always do that. But it brought home to me how much some of the volunteers give outside of the standard 'volunteer time'. There ARE volunteers 'there' for the youths now.

It was hard for me to focus today though... Brought home to me P's suicide... S's attempted suicide just before last semester's exams... And all by hanging.

It's been a tough day... But it must be tougher for the others. Just need to remember that and refocus... And Andy, kiddo... I love you and I wish you'd known how much you were loved.



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ugly

A year on and I can barely stand to see photos of myself. People tell me, "You've gained weight, haven't you?" I get dreadfully tired of going thru the litany... 'Yes, I found out I had hyperthyroid and I took the medication and gained about 8kg in 4 months." I wonder if all the people who tell me that are unoriginal or think I'm blind and have not looked at my reflection in a year!

Worse are the comments like, "Hmmm... Time to lose some weight, huh?" And, "Aiyah, rubbish la! My wife also got thyroid; she din become like that!" Whereupon rude commenter's wife gently informed her husband that that is because she did not take the medication, hence retaining the unnaturally thin size that all hyperthyroids have!

The final straw was my doctor muttering that perhaps my weight gain was due to exercise changes or food habits! I made her look at the records whereupon she admitted that yes, I gained all the weight during the time I took her medication, and yes, I had not gained even half a pound in all the months since I stopped taking it! Then she blithely informed me that 'we do not give medication to reverse that' and pressed replacement meal shakes on me instead!

I feel heavier and slower when I run and all the kms do not remove the weight. I'm panicking and there is no floor that I can stand on in this tilting crazy mocking world.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Insensitive

I was really furious, the other evening. C was sharing about a girl who had disclosed to C that she had been sexually abused as a child. The girl who disclosed the abuse had also said that she had 'liked' the sexual touch. C told us how shocked C had been to hear this, in a funny way that made some of the listeners laugh.

I didn't laugh. I thought of the brave girl who had made such a courageous choice to disclose.

And I wished that I could tell C a few things...

I wish I could have told C...

... That some sexual abuse victims do get aroused by the sexual touch, and that is normal. It's just the way the body is made.

... That the sexual abuse survivor often feels shame and guilt because they think they must have wanted and instigated the abuse, because they 'liked' it.

... That children's bodies are capable of and do respond to such touch, and it is something some abusers use to hold against them, to keep them silent.

... That by laughing and making fun of it and getting others to laugh with you, you are only compounding the shame and silence other survivors feel.

But... Then I wonder, maybe all people think the same? I don't know...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The White Protest

This is a picture of 6,700 Christians wearing white... To protest against Pink Dot in Singapore.

When I saw this, I really felt uncomfortable with it. To me, it just gave such an impression that they are protesting LGBT relationships in a way that will make LGBTs feel that they are the ones being protested against.

I posted it on FB. And I was quite surprised to see the post picked up and shared by another guy who normally has strong views but who agreed with how I felt.

Then I saw a guy whom I knew reply to him in the comments. This guy and his good friend are NOT on my friends lists. I dislike very much some of their ways of looking at things... Distinctly unloving and very self-righteous. I remember asking his good friend once if he had led anyone to Christ before and he said no, he had shared with his friends but THEIR hearts were cold. I couldn't help but think to myself that I would not like to believe in the kind of God that he represents! A cold and merciless god!

Anyway, this guy had a strong debate with the guy who shared my post. He disagreed strongly.

At the same time, I read another article published by the same magazine, about a lady who is a Christian. She is no longer in an LGBT relationship. But she first got to know Christ because she was drawn by the love and acceptance that other Christians showed her. Some of the Christians said, "She is embarassing! She is a bad example!" but their leader told them to treat her with love. Today, she is a beautiful testimony of Christ love and salvation.

Isn't that the crux of the whole matter?