Personal Musings

BECAUSE I WAS ALONE…I FOUND YOU.

It’s been a long time, my dear blog. I’ve had a post sitting inside my head for the past 4 months but haven’t had the time to actually write it out, so I hope it comes out and is conveyed in the way that I hope haha.

I’m single. Very single. Always single? Never had a boyfriend (a boyfriend? What is that? 0__O….haha). Here in Korea, this is referred to as 모태솔로 (mo-tae-so-lo) – ‘모태’ being your mother’s womb, ‘솔로’ being….solo, haha. Y’all know I’ve heard that term more than once, haha…

Now, this is NOT a post about me lamenting about being single (although I wish I wasn’t)…but it IS about me BEING single. Confused yet?

As I pass through my 20s, I can’t escape the barrage of engagements, boyfriends, girlfriends, marriages, babies flooding my Facebook newsfeed and daily life, being questioned “Why not?” when I say that I don’t have a boyfriend (especially in the land of Korea, where every second person is a couple), being questioned “Why are you having such a hard time finding a husband!?” by the mother. I’m not particularly old (yet), but it does make me wonder…why? Why am I still single?! Why hasn’t anything worked out up until now?

Everything happens for a reason.

Excuse my click bait….rather, this is a post about God’s plan for your life, God’s will, and that sometimes being alone, means that you see things that you couldn’t before. And looking back, had I not been subjected to loneliness, pain, desparation, hopelessness and other forms of darkness – I would have never seen, felt or heard God to the depths that I do now, nor would I have known what joy, freedom, love, hope, grace, compassion, healing and many other things look and feel like.

The only place that we can be pushed to change, pushed to try new things, pushed to make a change is in a place of discomfort, where we know that staying static is not an option.

Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. “

James 1:2-5 “ Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

God wants us to reach our full potential in this lifetime; but more often than not, it involves putting us in hot water, enduring trials, and coming out the other end stronger, more equipped, and more READY for the things this life may throw at us. For if things were easy and comfortable…would you have a desire to do more? Would you want to improve yourself and the world around you? Probably not. Why would you need to, when everything is easy and available already?

People often tell me, “How come you can do everything?! Is there anything you can’t do!??” As flattering as that is (and that yes, there are a billion things I don’t know how to do), people don’t think about the process of how we GET there, nor the sacrifices made to get there. Yes, I can do A, B, and C…and D and E and F quite well if I make an effort – but I had the time, I MADE the time to do it because I was alone (and back then, severely introverted and scared of social interaction). No one thinks about the hundreds of sleepless nights, the tears I cried from fear and hopelessness, the desperation that pushed me to work harder, the physical injuries and callouses accumulated, the heart-wrenching loneliness exacerbated by seeing couples everywhere and the dysfunction in my own life, the loneliness from the sacrifice I made to do work and push myself rather than face my fear of talking to people and seeing friends, the voices in my head telling me I am worthless and useless, the caffeine and painkiller abuse on myself, being misunderstood and heavily opposed by those you thought were close…blah, blah, blah.

I can do all these things because I was alone.

But in the deafening silence is where I also heard, Him.

In my loneliness and solitude I started to think about God related things more, I clung to Him, I finally started to read His word more (and trust me, I am BAD at keeping up with reading my Bible…its a constant battle), my prayers became more real and less scripted, His character, His voice, His will for my life slowly, but gradually became clearer. That comforting whisper, words of encouragement and kindness – a stark contrast against the lies ripping through my head on a daily basis.

If you knew me before God changed my life, you would know I was a LOT different, 180 degrees different to the person I am now. My vision was narrow, I couldn’t see anything past my own problems and self pity, and I couldn’t care less about who Jesus was (I don’t think I cared to even try believing in him haha), let alone going to church.

So God knew my heart – he knows me better than I know myself, and all the dumb decisions I make on my own, so He allowed for my time of solitude for me to learn, for me to grow, for me to heal. Even if it involved me kicking and screaming because I was tired of being that ‘forever single’ person – I look back now and look and where this time has taken me, how much I resemble nothing of the unhappy person that I was…and how much I was definitely NOT ready to bring another person into my mess of a life, haha. I finally understood what it meant to WANT to live, I finally understood exactly what ‘grace’ meant (after falling…a lot), I finally understood what it meant to say “the joy of the Lord is my strength”, I finally saw and felt the love and care for and from people I consider non blood-related family, and my eyes were finally opened to the need, the pain, the hurt in the world around me – and WHY God allowed me to go through the things that I did.

And I could do this all, because I was alone.

Now – as we all (should) know, there is a time and season for everything; and as much as I can see the benefits for what has felt like an eternity of loneliness…of course, there has been a lot of things that are NOT beneficial to me – not knowing how to trust people and consequently coming off as cold; spending 90% of my time with me myself and my laptop doing work means I still have pretty bad social anxiety and self-deprecating thoughts that I have to cover up (by the grace of God, He helps me haha) and that the lack of talking to others means I’m awkward in both Korean AND English….and the list goes on, haha.

As we also (should) know, the Bible tells us, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18), and “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22)…so anytime now, Jesus, hahahahaha~! Please (0___O)v?

The point is – God has a plan, and NOTHING is ever wasted. There is always a reason for why we go through what we do in this life – even if we don’t understand it, or don’t want to do it, HE always has a reason to grow us and push us to become who we are supposed to be, to push us towards where we are called to be…EVEN if it hurts. There are plenty of things that I (and you) can do single, that you cannot do married because you have to factor in another person’s mind, body and spirit into your decisions, haha.

In addition, we are all different. Our callings all look different. I would never want to discredit or play down any pain, or hardship that someone else has gone through which has been 10 billion times harder than mine. So my story is not yours….and whether you’re called to be single for now, for a while, forEVER, to be married early, to go somewhere where you don’t want to go, to stay where you don’t want to be…He DOES know your heart, and if you are close to Him, you will know His and the wonderful, crazy, challenging, amazing things that He has for you in this life – to love others, to help others, to be a light in this dark and messed up world.

And trust me. I need this reminder as much as you out there might.

Be blessed,

Beckii xo

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Personal Musings

THE BIGGEST ENEMY IS YOURSELF

Long time no see, blog.

This may come together as a giant outpour of mental diarrhoea….but I gotta get it out!! So readers, beware:D

It has been a continuing, gradual process of self-discovery, self-evaluation, healing and growing during my time here in Korea. A process of allowing myself to pull out that box of problems that I pushed to the deep recesses of my mind, to force them t come to light, to force myself to FACE them and resolve them. And hey – it is super difficult, and the more I unravel about myself; the more I realise and recognise just how much of a battle it is.

Its true – sometimes there’s a part of us that doesnt want to change. Because more often than not, change is difficult, and painful, and we just can’t be bothered. There’s a very big part of me that fights to keep acting like I know, to repeat the same behaviour which is familiar to me, knowing full well it is detrimental to my psychological health, my spiritual health – and that is absolutely NOT what God wants for me.

Man….I frustrate myself sometimes.

I am naturally, VERY introverted. Everyone who sees me regularly will insist I’m lying and that I’m an extrovert in denial – haha! But I am not. I can very easily spend a lot of time with myself and I have always disliked big crowded events with a lot of people because *GASP * it would mean that I would have to try and make small talk *horrified face * and I am the most awkward turtle EVER (dangerous, as too much time alone leads to too many thoughts which can lead to negativity which can lead to a relapse of depression….dammit~)….BUT. Again, I know that God has NOT called me to be a social recluse and NOT impact and encourage others by making myself lonely and useless!

We are called to love God and love others – so as commonly said, and as my friend said to me; are we REALLY doing the former, if we cannot do the latter?

So that brings me (again) to fear – if we let fear hold us back, if we let THAt be the reigning factor in our lives – then we essentially block ourselves from fulfilling our potential to do great things! Until we step into our calling and move boldly through this life, it will only be a “what if.” And that is exactly what the enemy wants – for us to never realise that we are ALL capable of doing something amazing in our own right.

So in a roundabout way, I am completely frustrated and annoyed at…MYSELF. For caving in; for shrinking back and being tired of…well, EVERYTHING right now. I’m human…and I’m tired. And I want to give up. Why CAN’T I perform better? Why CAN’T I be more creative? Why CAN’T I take criticism like I should? Why do I have to wait so long to see fruit of my hard work? Why don’t I have the energy or can be bothered to make the effort to socialise and not be uncomfortable about it? Why can’t I accept myself for who I am (fully)? So many questions…

And…I don’t have an answer for that. At least, not now.

Mind over matter. How often do we hear things like this? Sometimes its not the actual matter at present, but our ATTITUDE and how we react to it. And lets be honest, being a foreigner in another country DEFINITELY confronts you with a lot more conflicting situations and feelings than you would in a situation more comfortable to you.

And God knows this! By bringing things you dont want to deal with to the surface; and by smacking you in the face with them. But, if we don’t deal with our insecurities and fear and problems, how do we grow and learn and move on to do bigger and better things??

You know, I’m not going to lie that I don’t feel a bit sad/hurt/disappointed/rejected that on a regular basis, aside from (very) few friends, only my mother contacts me here to see how I’m doing. I’m not going to lie that in the majority of my time spent here that I am alone; and the balance between enjoying my solidarity and feeling alone and isolated is very fine. I’m not going to lie that following God is hard, and walking blindfolded leaves me questioning my worth and what I’m doing, ALL the time. I’m not going to lie in that a season where friends everywhere are getting married and hooking up and you are (still) forever alone, doesn’t make you wonder if there is something wrong with you and that you WILL be forever alone.

I’ve BEEN there. I AM there. But at the end of the day – it is MY choice to think optimistically or pessimistically about my circumstances I am in; the biggest enemy we fight is OURSELVES. Just as it is our choice to follow Jesus, it is our choice and our onus to think positively, pray and see God in the season we are in. It is up to US to fight against our negative thoughts and situations and figure out WHY we are going through what we are going through, see what God wants us to learn from it, and how he wants us to grow THROUGH it.

Let’s be real, to keep playing the victim card whe you are out of firing range should be a red flag to YOURSELF that its time to wake up and stop feeling sorry for yourself, and LET GO. I don’t want to be that person on facebook that just b**ches about everything. Negativity breeds negativity. And I know and believe God wants us whole – and wont be satisfied with only part of us because we don’t *really * want to face our problems.

Our mind, our SELVES can be our biggest enemy. So as I try to tell myself too – don’t let the lies win. Don’t live your life as a sub-par version of yorself just because you let your mind stop your actions.

Mind over matter. Life IS a battle. But with Jesus you CAN and WILL do anything.

Now, to convince myself.

Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Be blessed,

Beckii x

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Personal Musings

DON’T BELIEVE THE LIES.

What are the lies that you believe about yourself? “I’m not smart enough.” “I’m not thin enough.” “I’m not GOOD enough.” “I’ll never succeed.” “I can’t do it.” …and the list goes on. How much garbage do we allow the enemy to feed to us, for us to believe it as truth? How easy is it, to let one thought poison your mind and infiltrate? And like a cancer it spreads…and the lie becomes a *part* of you.

 

My pastor here in Seoul challenged us all to give up something for 40 days in the count down to Easter – to give up something that we ‘need’ and rely on, and replace it with time/thoughts focused towards God instead (well….thats always the plan. Doesn’t always end up that way though, haha). So me, being the bread-loving, -loving, carb-loving crazie that I am, decided to give up all carbs. Something that I have indeed fasted before, but of which killed me for a LOT shorter period of time than 40 days ( my previous time was 3 weeks….daaaang that was hard)…Lord be with me! Haha.

 

So of course, now all I can think about is BREADBREADBREADBREADWAFFLESPANCAKESRICENOODLESWAFFLESPANCAKES!STOPEATINGBREADNEARMEWHATSTHATSSMELLWAFFLES!?BREADRICECAKEARGGHH. Wish I was kidding….hahaha. Okay. Kind of=P

 

This time however, although I KNOW now what it is like to deprive myself of bready goodness (or anything white, processed and nummy for that matter), to my horror my mind took a turn for the worse – something that since leaving Australia and stepping foot in Korea – has never happened. And it felt all, too, much…like ‘home’.

 

As stupid as it sounds, id been riding so long and so high on a cloud of God-given joy during my time in Seoul, that I almost forgot what it was like to feel complete hopelessness and to feel despair. Not that I haven’t had times of struggle here; but rather the first time in a long time that I felt that it was ME who was the problem…and my mind shut down.

 

So here I was, thinking that I could have possibly rid myself of my condition forever. Sure seemed like it, with smooth sailing in my head for the past year or so, my mental health pushing forward rather than back. But as a lot of you out there most likely know, the harder you try to run towards God, the faster and harder opposition attacks – and since struggling and consequently crashing in the past few weeks, I have now learnt a few things:

 

  1. Mental health issues do not just ‘disappear’ (my life wish) – in most cases, you simply learn how to live with them, and ‘control’ it better ( and battle it, at some points. I wish I had a lightsaber. And for those of you out there who think differently, Christians are as prone to psychological issues as anyone else. Christians are human like anyone else, yoo)
  2. The words and expectations of others can be VERY damaging. We need to remember that we are all made differently; we all have a different plan and purpose for our lives – what God planned for us, not what others around us want us to do and be. Our worth doesn’t lie in other people’s opinions of us! So a reminder to look to the opinion and guidance of the one who matters the most – God.
  3. Our mind is our battlefield most of the time – without the believe that we CAN, we WILL, that HE will – it is so easy to give p, so easy to be disheartened and to be stuck in limbo with no heart to push through your struggles and push forward.
  4. Being stuck with darkness in our lives SUCKS, no doubt – but without testing and situations that need patience, would we ever feel the need to trust God? Or would he be pushed to the side, stuffed back into the emergency box for when we actually need a *miracle*? So I ask myself for the billionth time…do I trust You will bring me through again, God?

 

My friend reminded me – even though this FEELS like it did in the past, I am no longer the person I was – and I have a new arsenal of weapons to go into battle with; including the knowledge that what I think IS indeed a lie. Amen to that – this is where I go and slap myself in the face and tell my brain to shut up.

 

So I am mentally recharged and moderately better from the emotional slump I was in last week; but in a way it was a good reality check on my weaknesses, and the need to stop seeking approval through other people. Whether they are out to secretly undermine you, or they love you but dont understand you, OR you just had a bad day and anything that comes out of their mouth sounds like they trying to mess with you….in the end, FORGET those lies. FORGET what the enemy tells you, its a freakin LIE. I gotta remember to look UP, to look forward. And thats it.

 

Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

 

Ending with Andy Mineo – You Can’t Stop Me. Hehe//

 

Be blessed,

 

Beckii.

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