Thursday, March 29, 2007

3-legged chair

I´ve been thinking about how life throws unexpected changes to us - some welcomed ones and some not-so-welcomed ones. "In His heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps" Prov 16:9

As Christians, we can take comfort that God guides our steps and gives us the promised Holy Spirit to enable us to live glorifying lives for Him. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me" John 15: 4

As I moved to Germany 7 months ago - (wow, that´s the longest time that I´ve been outside Singapore), I was really thrown into the whirl of adapting to a new environment and missing the old.

I remembered during one of my devotional times, God showed me that I´m like a 3-legged chair --> one leg being God, the other being my friends and the last one being my capabilities and abilities.

These were the 3 most important areas in my life that I placed my sense of importance and significance on. The move to Germany in obedience to God would be a process that God would me a one-legged chair -> Being simply reliant on Him and Him alone.

Simply put, once I thought that at least I was smart- having a university degree with honours, having a job, being financially-independent etc.

Since I came to Germany, my struggle with the language has really revealed so many areas of inadequacy in me - I realized that I placed so much more importance on my ability to be smart so much more than I thought!

Plus, not having my friends around - from being a person with more than 300 numbers on my phone and not being able to keep to my 600 sms limit per month, I´m now having about maybe 10 numbers on my phone, with only 40 sms a month and Í manage to keep to it!

Plus, the whole process of learning german, I really realized that its such a humbling process for me. For one thing, I keep telling God, "I don´t have to learn this language! Why do I have to do it. I thought my days of struggling with a language is over and done with".

I struggled with chinese in school for 18 years and to me, that felt so difficult. But I really had to submit to the fact that God is God and I am not. Like really to surrender my stubborn will and insistence to God, who knows better than me. I had to keep reminding myself that God called me here and I asked Him for His BEST plans for me.

No doubt, I could have chosen to stay in Singapore and disobey God, but sometimes I feel my initial obedience of moving to Germany is undermined by my erratic outbursts of feeling frustrated and lacking the faith and trust in God to move forward.

I guess I need to reflect on God´s purpose for my life. I´m still asking God what step to take after german school - still not sure. For now, I´m still trusting and seeking God a step at a time.

I believe God is bringing me to a point that my sense of identity and worth does not come from how much money I earn, how much I think I am smart, or how many people I know in a particular place. I´m beginning to understand what this verse actually means.

"I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ" Phil 3: 8

I´ve learnt 3 new things in Germany simultaneously - driving on the left side of the road, german language and guitar. Its been tough at times and I´d feel like "Man, I don´t drive good enough" or man "Why is advanced intermediate german so difficult?" or like "Guitar is so tough I still can´t play english worship songs good enough" - that´s the main reason why I took up guitar... to save me from the starvation of not being to sing to God and worship Him in english.

Cool thing is that all 3 aspects are flourishing very well now. I still struggle with german and I still don´t read the german newspapers, but I can start to see some fruits in these 3 trees that I started growing.

We had a word of prophecy over us that Germany would be like a training ground for both of us. That God would train us according to His plans for us. May this process of training be glorifying to you God and may you refine us and make us like precious gold and silver.

Just to encourage you too, when you seek God and / or not hear, just to know that firstly, you are not alone - hahah, I´m here with you (literally), secondly, to TRUST TRUST TRUST in God that He will reveal His plans at the right time and lastly, we´re not told to be "human doers", so maybe just to rest that if you have asked God, but still got no clue about direction, then maybe the answer is to wait!


Steph Q said...

your post is very encouraging as i'm at a point where i'm wanting direction for my job. i've been quite unhappy, as i think i've shared with you...
have to keep trusting God for direction.

Priscilla Tews said...

Hey dear Stephanie. =) Thks for sharing. I just felt that I wanted to reflect on what God is teaching me and to share my struggles too. Still not easy but I´m so glad to know that I´m not alone and God is working in each and everyone of us. Hey gal, we´re going to sg in aug - means we can´t attend yr canada wedding :( but we can attend the Sg wedding! =) Do you know if there´s any chance, we could stay with u?


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