BY GOD’S SAVING GRACE OF PULLING ME OUT OF THE NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE I know my mission in life is not complete yet. Knowing my empathetic and caring nature, I thought it is conﬁrmed to continue using these gifts as an encourager and a cheerleader to serve people’s needs. To celebrate and reminisce the ﬁrst-year anniversary of the accident—June 24, 2014—in a meaningful way, I spent time visiting a friend who is undergoing treatment for a life-threading disease at Stanford Hospital. I was glad to have the privilege to be a supporter in-person.
After the visit we exchanged text messages. Attempted to be light-hearted I cracked a few jokes, however sensed that the friend did not take my so-called wise cracks well. I asked if I sounded condescending, the answer received was yes a little. I apologized right away for I know my friend has been dealing with tough challenges, plus I do not want to be a douchebag. I certainly felt like one.
I want to be a blessing, not a curse, yet this incident gave me plenty of doubts. Well-aware of my brokenness and from time-to-time putting the foot into my mouth, who am I to serve others and be in the team to Zambia? My intention is to make myself available to serve, however I do not want to hurt anyone by actions and words. Thinking I am a burden and a stumbling block for the people around and all whom I would like to serve, I was tempted to withdraw from the team. Shutting my big mouth plus stop caring for others—the fear of hurting someone by words being misinterpreted and actions being taken in unintentional ways—is better for others’ sake, so I thought.
Having this inner battle (Romans 7:15-20), I prayed for wisdom and strength, wrote an e-mail to the Zambia Team members to ask for prayer support. I fell asleep with tears.
The next day upon returning home, I discovered the gas stove was left turned on overnight and all day. The pot of soup over the stove was burned completely blackened and dried. The kitchen window was also opened and it was a night of howling wind.
I am very thankful that the stove did not get blew out overnight thus I did not died by gas poisoning and the home did not catch ﬁre in the 24-hour period. Also my team members were supportive by sending encouraging words.
Once again God has kept me alive on my ﬁrst-year anniversary. I am being reminded of God’s amazing grace, therefore I will not be withdrawing from the team.
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From the past experience of being a literal and ﬁgurative “foreigner” as well as growing up with abandonment, one of the many struggles in my life is the sense of being an outsider and a forced loner. With a heightened sensibility, I consider taking the motivation and initiate the effort of reaching out to anyone is of up-most importance. I have been there, experienced the pain and sorrow then and now, I do not want to see anyone being abandoned and feeling lonely.
However, for the last few months—conﬁrmed by tracking—made a sad discovery that I am always the person who reaches out to others by asking how they are doing in life, while no one makes the initiation of either calling, or texting, or e-mailing to ask if I am ﬁne.
Friends, please do not take this as selﬁshness, for when I give, it’s freely given and never ask for any return. I know that God created me with caring and nurturing traits, they are in my blood. The irony is when someone is caring and giving, people assumes the person is capable of looking after oneself. For the most part, I do have the capability. I also accept the fact that everyone has our own weaknesses and a busy life. I am convicted The Lord is my ultimate Savior and He loves me. Yet I am weak and broken, very much tired, and discouraged by the lack of others making the initiation of listening to me, asking how I am, and actually concerned of my well being and as a person.
The thought of withdrawing appeared again yesterday night. Not the participation in the team but of leaving Sunset Church. I do love Sunset Church because of the Biblically-sound teaching and the loving people there. I know I will not give up solid teaching in exchange for others who would reach out to me. I have no ill feelings toward those who do not care by actions or words. Yet this situation is very challenging.
As I am preparing to serve with the care workers and the vulnerable kids in Zambia, I am praying for strength and seeking ways to navigate and address the similar vulnerabilities I am also struggling with.
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On July 12 I participated in the pottery throwing demonstrations at Heath Ceramics San Francisco. Watching the video again I am reminded of God being the potter and I am the clay on the potter’s wheel, being molded in His hands. “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” —Isaiah 64:8 and “And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.” —Jeremiah 18:4
In this journey of faith, it feels I’ve taken far too many spins on the potter’s wheel, smashed down ﬂat and reshaped again. As an artist/designer I know and practice the creative process. I have imperfections and weak spots but God already knows full-well what kind of vessel I will turn into. Each of us is a unique creation and reveals God’s handiwork in a new and different way. It provides great comfort to believe my heavenly Father is committed to mode me into the strongest, the most beautiful, the most useful vessel possible.
Would you please remember me in your prayers?
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
10 days to embarkation.