What Jesus has done to me recently…

I never liked Science or Biology when I was still in school (not so long ago). I did enjoy lab classes when I was in university though only because it’s a 3-hour class and when the professor cancels, you have a choice to finish homework for the next class or to watch a movie in the cinema (I choose the latter most of the time, I confess). Recently, I was introduced to a scientific term called blood platelets. The only thing I know about platelets is the first 5 letters from it and it’s the one you eat on! Well apparently, our body has a range between 140-450 for blood platelets. Anything below or over is not good. Well, mine reached 26.

I was confined in the hospital for 7 days for Dengue. One simple dengue-carrier mosquito bite and bam! You get high fever, rashes and low immune system. This symptoms happened to me out of nowhere 2 weeks ago.

Whilst at the hospital, everyday my blood platelets kept dropping. Every morning, a nurse will take my blood and we will wait for an hour or two for results hoping and praying it will go up and for what seemed like the longest time, it is lower than the day before. Hope deferred makes the heart sick but every single day, God caused me to cling to Him more and more. And since I have nowhere to go, I pondered these questions:

How many times in our own situation do we pray for something and wait every single day hoping it will be better? And for what seemed like the longest time, it gets worse? Has God given you a promise and He doesn’t seem to be delivering what He said He would? Does your circumstances dictate what God said otherwise?

Fear not. God will answer you and it won’t be like any ordinary day. It will be one that not only you but the people around you will be amazed at a God that does miracles. He is never late and He is true to His words.

On the 6th day at the hospital my platelets went down to 26 in the morning. Because it is at a critical number, the doctor decided to take another blood test that same afternoon. We waited for a few hours and finally the nurse came in and brought such sweet words, “young lady…” (First, i love that she called me young haha!). “Your platelets went up to 32.” In the room, It was like a basketball team won the championship as 2 of my housemates, mom and sister heard the same report. Picture it in slow motion too! “Yeeesss!!!! Prrraaaiissee Goooooddd!!!” What a sweet moment with Jesus and what a price to share it with my family and people praying for me. God is so good!

Are you waiting for these type of moments and it seemed like it hasn’t happened? Are the platelets in your life seem to be going lower than the day before and you wonder when is it going to get better? Are you waiting for that promotion and you have been faithful at work but you never get rewarded? Are you praying for a breakthrough in your family but everyday seems like years? Are you believing for the miracle of healing and it seems like God has healed others but not you?

Fear not. Don’t give up. For He who has promised is faithful. He is faithful to complete what He said He would do. If He did it to me, He can do it to you! And even if you don’t see the purpose why you are going through this situation, remember – GOD HAS A PURPOSE!

Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” – Mark 5:41

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.” – Psalm 91:14-16

Doctor gave me a clearance and my blood platelets went up! It looks like the Nike swoosh of clearance!

Doctor gave me a clearance and my blood platelets went up! It looks like the Nike swoosh of clearance!

My mom and my sis rushed to see me and took care of me

My mom and my sis rushed to see me and took care of me. They got to witness the love of Jesus through my spiritual family here in Singapore

My loving housemates who took care of me every day and prayed for me

My loving housemates who took care of me every day and prayed for me

I was finally home!

I was finally home!

Me and my sister at Kingdom Invasion day after I was discharged. One of my favorite moments!

Me and my sister at Kingdom Invasion day after I was discharged. One of my favorite most precious moments where Jesus comes in to her heart. God’s greater purpose!

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Loving people

So it took me a while before this next post. I’ve had some inhibitions but like a good heart check – you will never know who will be blessed. Warning though, the story might sound a little whiny at first but if you bear till the end, I hope you will learn something..

So here’s a story:

Mid last month, I got the flu bug. Runny nose, sore throat, headache, fever, all in 1. Started one day so I decided to visit the doctor the next morning. Checked-in and waited…

And waited.. And waited… It’s amazing how patience is tested everyday and I still struggle each time. Me –> repeater.

Anyway, after a good 1.5 hours (half was spent sitting beside another patient who smelled like fresh cigarette smoke, yayks!), they called my name. I went in and was welcomed by a doctor typing something on her computer. This is what happened within no more than 3 minutes:

Doc: What’s wrong?

Me: I’ve been having sore throat, runny nose, headache and fever

Doc: How long have you been unwell?

Me: Since yesterday

Doc: (Gets her stethoscope) Breathe in, breath out. Good. Breathe in, breathe out. Good. (Takes our her flash light) Say ahh

Me: Ahh

Doc: (while typing something on her computer) You may wait outside for your medicine.

This is probably one of the most impersonal check up I have ever had! But fear not, I don’t hate this doctor. And if my intention is to vent my frustration, I would have told you the name of the clinic and the doctor. I won’t do that.

But as I walked out of the room, I was reminded how important it is to value people over systems. And God’s way of reminding me is by placing me on the receiving end of it. It sucks not to be cared for, or valued. I felt like a piece of chip on an assembly line being transferred to the next phase of the process. Not. A. Good. Feeling.

Loving people is not a job. Loving people is a lifestyle. Systems are important because it helps our focus to achieve what we are called to do. But loving people are far more important than systems or processes. People first, before systems. If the system leads you to not being able to value people, I suggest to change it.

Jesus loves people. Regardless of what color, culture, or background we are in. And Jesus calls us to do the same…

So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself” – Luke 10:27

So it was good heart check for me (thanks doc!). I may not have been properly physically checked, but my heart was checked. To love people like how Jesus loves us. To be reminded that people have different things that they are battling with and a simple “how are you?” might make a big difference.

So, how are you?

After 10 Days..

So it has come to this. 60 lemons, nth number of toilet meetings (yayks!), 10 days of lemonade, early mornings and 4kg+ of unnecessary weight, I finally finished the Master Cleanse challenge. Well, almost. I still have to “ease-out”, meaning gradually go back to normal eating for 3 days so my stomach will not get the shock but nevertheless i’m glad to have variety! Yey! <insert “We Are The Champions” song here>

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I never thought I’d finish something like this. I’m not quite the ideal finisher when it comes to diet or exercise. But I must say, that although these last 10-days have been a real challenge, it is fulfilling to be able to commit to something and actually see myself standing at the finish line. It’s like swimming in an endless body of water (except the water is lemonade haha!), and then you see an island. 3 more laps.. 2 more.. and then 1.. Haha! Such drama!

But here’s what I learned during this process –

Change is a very powerful world. It’s definition is “make or become different”. Change is never easy. Often times we are gripped with fear. Fear of the unknown. The thought of adjustments, challenges and inconvenience. After thinking of these, we tend to go back and just do the same thing because it’s our comfort zone. Fear of change is what made the pharisees reject Jesus. They were used to the old routine – religiosity. It’s what made the Israelites cry out to stay in Egypt instead of journeying to the promise land. It’s what made Judas betrayed Jesus because even though he walked with Him and have seen the things that Jesus can do, He didn’t allow his heart to receive change. That Jesus is the change.

See I didn’t want to change. I’m used to my normal routine. I don’t need to change, yet. Or at least that’s what I think. But God reminded me that it is not too late to change.

So here’s my final encouragement to you as this adventure comes to conclusion –

CHANGE BEFORE YOU HAVE TO INSTEAD OF BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO!

Embrace the change that God is calling you. No matter how hard, how challenging or how much craving to go back to the old, His grace is sufficient for His power is made perfect in our weakness. Selah.

When Life Gives You Lemons..

Day 4 and the idea of eating is strong! Haha! I thought to myself, what if I forgot how to chew??? But that was an exaggeration and I survived nonetheless. Every time I drink the lemonade mix (for first-time readers, I’m currently doing a 10-day detox called Master Cleanse) today, I feel like at the end of this detox, I will not take anything with lemon for months for sure! It feels like 4 days of the same thing is exhausting. And I have 6 more days!

So God taught me a lesson today. That when life gives you lemons, you make faces! Haha!

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What I meant really is that when life gets monotonous and you feel like it’s the same thing over and over again, ask God to renew your passion. Stick to the vision that God has given you and focus on that. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it! So here to you – lemonade! I am determined to finish you 1 lemon at a time!

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands – 2 Timothy 1:6

Stay On Track

Day 3 and there’s a buffet in our office right now as I’m writing this blog. The smell is calling out to me – “Joy, come and eat me…” Haha! I’m picturing the idea of prawns, sambal fried rice, veggies… It’s amazing how God created our body that when we smell something, it tells our brain to visualise what that is and then your brain tells your body to react.

But this blog is not about food or body structure. It’s about the power to overcome temptations.

Temptations are subtle. It starts out simple. The minute you give in to it, next thing you know, you are on the road to destruction. The main goal of the enemy is for you to give in. To give up the fight and for him to see you fail. But here’s 3 things that God reminded me of today:

Don’t give up!

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12

Pray!

And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” – Luke 22:40

God is faithful!

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.  1 Corinthian 10:13

And here’s my final encouragement today:

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And if you are faced with temptation, tell the enemy off like Will Farrell and say, “Yyyooouuu ggeettt outtaa heeerree!!!”

No Pain, No gain

Today is my 2nd day and this morning was the hardest. I get migraine attacks sometimes and I had a big one this morning. I wasn’t sure whether it’s from lack of craving supply, acid or one of the healing crisis that you experience when you are doing detox. Whichever one was it, it was bad. But I was determined to endure so I went on with my day and it went away! Praise God!

God taught me something today about pain. Pain is like a warning. When there is something wrong with you, your body sends signals in the form of pain. When you are drowning and you are unable to breathe, your brain tells you you’re in pain. And our body has natural responses to this. When you touch a hot cup, your response is to immediately move it away from that object. Ps Joey Bonifacio explains this well in his book – The LEGO Principle,

Pain is the signal that tells us we are off course. There is also emotional pain, which at times can be more distressing than physical pain. This is the kind of pain we experience when relationships are harmed or broken. Pain is God’s way of forewarning Adam and Eve that they are headed in the wrong direction and if they continued, only death would be there to meet them.”

To the woman he said,“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” – Genesis 3:16

And to Adam he said,“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; – Genesis 3:17

Today, God reminded me that whenever there is a sting in my heart, I should always be in tune with Him. To listen and be quick to obey. His desire for me is not to go off course but to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher and of my faith, who for the joy that was set before him ENDURED the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Here is a picture of the sunset I took yesterday that reminded me to praise Him in whatever season I am in – in pain, or not in pain!

You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy. Psalm 65:8

You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy. Psalm 65:8

Hunger Vs. Craving

I started this 10-day detox today called Master Cleanse. It’s quite an interesting experience eating nothing but this lemonade drink that’s meant to cleanse your colon. My friends have done it and they shared great results. Frankly speaking, i’m interested with what’s going to come out of me. Tomorrow morning is going to be the first day of “withdrawal” of toxins (if you know what I mean) and i’m looking forward to it haha!

Well today, I learned the difference between these two words – craving and hunger. I looked up the meaning and this is what I got:

Craving |ˈkreɪvɪŋ| noun = a powerful desire for something

Hunger |ˈhʌŋgə| noun = a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat

Drinking nothing but the lemonade mix today caused me to learn something about myself today. I crave a lot for food. Oftentimes, I’m not really hungry. I just like to eat and the idea of munching something to partner with whatever I’m doing.

So I had an interesting revelation between the two with regards to my relationship with God.

Hunger is a necessity, craving is a luxury. We are designed to hunger and that makes food a basic need. We have to eat everyday. On the other hand, when your income is within the bracket of basic needs, you have no room to crave. You will prioritize having meals 3x a day rather than having wine and cheese at least 3 times a week.

Our relationship with God is a necessity. We need it everyday. Spending time with him is not something that we just crave for once in a while, but it must take precedence over anything else.

Hunger is a cycle, craving is occasional. Everyday, we get hungry so we eat. After a few hours of burning those calories, we then feel hungry and again – we eat. It’s a cycle. Craving on the other hand is like accidentally watching Rachel Ray on Food Network making those yummy burgers and after the show, you run to the nearest Carl’s Jr.

Our relationship with God is not like a sudden burger craving where you go to church on a Sunday and you get so fired up worshipping God and the whole Sunday you love God but the next day you come to work, you crave for something else.

Everyday is an opportunity to be hungry for God.

Hunger must be satisfied, craving is tolerable. If I crave for Ice Cream (which I hardly ever do because I’m not into desserts) for example, I can live a day without it. Who knows, the next day, I won’t have that craving anymore. That, to me, makes craving tolerable. I can live without it. But hunger is a whole lot different. It must be satisfied. Like thirst, it must be quenched or you will eventually die.

Our relationship with God must be a constant hunger and He alone satisfies. It is not some craving that is here today and gone tomorrow. It must be satisfied by Him else our spirit dies.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. John 6:35

Final thought – be hungry for His word for they are food to our spirit. Do not depart from it, meditate on it day and night.

Flowers

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8

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