Struggles: Part 1-Refiner’s Fire

Part 1. HIS STRENGTH IS PERFECT

“It’s alright, Shie.  You can do it.  Just keep praying.  Things will be fine.  Don’t worry .  God knows everything.”

Encouraging other people is way easier for me than encouraging myself.  It’s so easy to lend listening ears, offer a prayer, tap them on the shoulder or even hug them friends or colleagues who are going through something.  If they’re far, we can send as sms, call, or send a card to cheer them up.  But when it comes to me, the one feeling down, all I can do is bend my knees and utter a prayer to my Savior.  Yes, I can pour all my thoughts here or on a piece of paper.  Yes, I can eat something scrumptious to cheer me up.  However, I still long for at least a tap on the shoulder or a word of encouragement and today God showed me His lovingkindness through a student.  She actually came up to me and said, “Himnae, teacher.”  She’s Thai but she knows a few Korean expressions through her Korean friends.  I was deeply touched.  We say “himnae” to encourage people.  It’s like saying, “You can do it. / Hang in there.” “Him” actually means “strength.” I truly appreciate what she did. Truly, God does not fail to show us how much He loves us.  He sent me a student and it was enough for me.:-)

These past few days, life has been testing me.  I feel like gold being refined in fire.

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I guess when we are determined to follow God’s will and be like Him, trials and temptations will always be there.  Well, He said, He will never give us any trial we cannot bear, right?

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
It is also comforting to know that our weaknesses are made perfect in His strength as recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:9.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Normally, when the worries of the world overwhelm me, I’d go and find a friend to have a special dinner with and talk about what worries and wearies me.  However, this time I chose to get busy by cleaning my teeny-tiny pad even if it’s only Wednesday.  (Usually, I’d do general cleaning on Thursday night.) I chose to stay alone with my God.  I know He can hear my thoughts.  He can hear the ailments of my heart. I don’t have to cry out loud.  I just have to whisper Him prayers and He’ll answer me. So, yes, I opted to clean.  Cleaning eases the tension in my body.  I am also cleaned-up and been ready to go to bed for almost two hours now but I can’t go to dreamland without visiting WordPress for writing clears my thoughts.  Letters look like music notes to me–very soothing. 🙂 Soon, I’ll be meditating on God’s word and it will definitely heal my soul and revive me once again.  I am truly grateful for God’s enduring presence in my life.  He’s been guiding me every step of the way especially in these arduous times.  He never fail to encourage and show me that there is always a “rainbow after the storm.” Thank You Lord.  I love You so much!

***

Part 2. A PART OF ME UNMASKED 

As I grow older, I realized that “letting go of things” is okay.  We don’t have to worry about every single thing that happens in our lives.  There are times that we have to choose our battles.  When I was a bit younger, I used to have a say in a lot of things, hey, for most things.  I don’t just let things slide.  I am a vocal person.  I speak my mind.  I know it’s not one of the best character traits for a woman with a loud voice but I still do.  If something is wrong, it has to be corrected.  I learnt that from my grandfather. If you were at fault, ask for forgiveness.  I grew up to be a very conscientious person.  My family was not slow in correcting me and my siblings.  Therefore, even if I was already in boarding schools, I was always careful with everything I do because I feel like I could “hear” them.  I am truly grateful for they have instilled the value of asking for forgiveness and not holding grudge against other people.  Yes, I may get too excited and raise my voice especially when I am deliberately explaining my point but it doesn’t mean that I am angry.  Oftentimes, people who do not personally know me would think that I am already mad but I am not.  When I am hurt and really angry, I’d just keep quiet and cry out of exasperation.

Also, most people think that I appear as someone too strong and aggressive.  I don’t know entirely why, probably because of my physique.  I am not tall but in my circle of friends I look the “biggest.” Hahaha. A little tall and a little chubby.  Actually, I am just a normal sized girl but when I’m with “not-so-tall” and petite Asians and I’m still wearing a long dress and high heels then of course I’d look gigantic. Also, I think the other reason that people think I am a strong-willed woman because of my lack of fear in presenting my views and opinions on matters.  Other people think I am “westernized.” But I didn’t grow up in the western world. 😦 And lastly, my voice.  I have a natural loud voice.  When I was in college, I was the school’s favorite in leading the prayer or reading the devotional or Bible Study Guide during black outs.  We used to get a lot of typhoons back then.  They’d often ask me to do those because even without microphones or megaphones they can still hear me.  However, when I went to the graduate school, I sort of tamed a bit, you know.  I don’t talk as loud as I used to.  Maybe I still laugh loudly but talking is different.

In conclusion, it’s been a struggle being me in this world where most people speak softly.  In Korea, I didn’t have a problem with my voice and enthusiasm really.  (*wink*) My ex-principal just worried that I might get a goiter or something because I am a teacher and my only capital is my voice. That’s why she encouraged me to speak a little softer.

I am a high-spirited, fun-loving person who is always excited and enthusiastic about a lot of things.  Yes, I am striving really hard to be more feminine and be a better person every single day but is it okay if I ask for a little consideration from you, too? Please don’t assume things about me.  Get to know me.  Get to know the real me.  Don’t judge me too quickly.

God created us after His image.  God created us with different personalities.  I have my strengths and weaknesses.  I am not just going to sit here and accept me for who I am and not do anything about my weaknesses.  I am doing something about them, trust me. However,  I am still a work-in-progress.  I still have to go through refiner’s fire (that I am willing to go through) before I become a pure gold because there is but nothing that I desire in this world than to please God, my Maker and My King.

P.S. Thanks Google Images for the photo!

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