The Cloud Chaser

Like a child, I like chasing clouds of the skies. (No, not fancy tricks with smoke.)

Grief, in Jars

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To us, who are no strangers to loss.


Spring 2015 // Herrnhut, Germany

It was quiet and sombre. In this hall, three people stood in front of everyone – two of which parents of a friend loved dearly and the other a translator. All eyes were on them as the community braced themselves for news that wouldn’t come easy to the ears, but with hope that it would bring some closure.

I sat there then, remembering what it was like sitting in that same hall a few months before when winter was closing in. Everyone was called into an emergency meeting on a Sunday (which hardly happens). We showed up just as the sun had gone down, for news no one would’ve expected. Our composure crumbled as the news that a dear friend had passed on sank in.

There was not a dry eye that evening.

I made my way to the UK for my Christmas break a few days after that intense evening, packing unresolved grief with me. I spent a good amount of time reuniting with friends and family, yet I also spent a lot of time by myself trying to wrap my mind around the events of that December of 2014.

On one of those days alone, I walked into a cemetery behind a small 100-year-old church and decided to read the inscription on every tombstone there. I took into account the deceased’s dates of birth and even the dates of when they passed on.

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One tombstone for a young man intrigued me like none other. The year he died, he was the same age as my friend whose death had been announced right before my Christmas break.

I was snapped out of my thoughts when the gardener approached me that chilly afternoon and started telling me stories about the people behind the tombstones. And this particular tombstone was for a man who experienced multiple storms in his life and had chosen to end it. His mother would visit his grave every year and place fresh flowers. He was still loved despite the storms of his life and choices made.

I befriended that kind gardener and visited him at the cemetery whenever I could. God gave me multiple revelations about life and death that winter and I didn’t doubt that God used that gardener with a past of his own to help me make sense of things. It was thanks to him that I had received some resolution for my grief surrounding the death of my friend.

And there I was again in the same hall in Herrnhut a few months later. Our dear friend’s parents shared the news we’d all been waiting for. We listened to the story, the results of the autopsy and the outcome of the investigation.

There was finally a conclusion to the story, but grief didn’t come to an end that day.

I spent that evening taking care of another grieving friend and going, “I’m here for you,” until she drifted into deep sleep.


Spring 2017 // Thessaloniki, Greece

I walked into the Archaelogical Museum of Thessaloniki treating it like another item on the schedule. A good schedule, no doubt, but it’s not like I would’ve had a choice not to go anyway, considering the complications of the situation I was stuck in then. 

I was amazed by the exhibits nevertheless, but one particular exhibit moved me deeply, more than any other that day. It was thanks to this particular museum guide who was more talkative than the others that I learned the truth of what I’d been staring at – jars to contain tears of ones in mourning.

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These jars recovered from ancient tombs were once held by people whose loved ones had passed on; their tears were collected in jars to accompany the deceased in the tombs as symbols of love and respect.

This knowledge rocked me, for I had shed hours – even days – of tears that spring. One lost love leading to the next. The amount of time spent on crying my eyes out could not resolve the grief I had then (even till today as I’m writing this).

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

(Psalm 56:7)

Yet these jars – removed from the ancient tombs they had once served – stared back at me, as if to say, “Every tear of yours has been accounted for.”


We have our lost loves. Love that was placed in the wrong hands. Love betrayed. Love towards someone gone too soon. Love for a vision that would not come to pass. Love that walked away. Love in the hard work that failed. Love that might never be returned the same way. Love regretted. Love that resulted in death of sorts.

And so we grieve and mourn those lost loves.

Grief tells us that normal might never be the same again.
Grief asks if and when we’ll be able to say we’re okay.
Grief is when a mere apology could comfort or unleash more tears.
Grief is a place where you hammer down the nails on the coffin containing what you had or wished to have – one sombre reminder of a nail at a time.
Grief looks like tears being collected in jars.

It is in the grieving and mourning that we’d find ourselves in the messiest of states – the uncontrollable tears, the body that places itself in a fetal position, the difficulty and sometimes inability to start our day(s), and/or the words not wished to be said.

But it is also in the grieving and mourning that people would come together like never before. The gardener, the guide at the museum, the people who reach out to us – let’s not forget them.

One’s body may seem to have lost control to pain and sorrow, but amidst our countless sorries and expressions of guilt for coming off like a mess, they’d say, “We’re here for you.” Even if it means exchanging stories of lost loves. Even if it means staying by our side till sleep takes over. Even if it means booking a flight to get to where we are to make life bearable. And even if it means sending that text or email that would give us a reason to hope for the future.

We’ll take the time to cry, laugh, maybe cry again and hopefully, laugh again at the memory of what was. 

We’d unlikely forget, but we’ll also choose to remember. We’d unlikely forget about the lost loves and deaths, but we’ll choose to remember its life. We’d unlikely forget what hindered love, but we’ll choose to remember that it becomes part of our story. 

A lost love might never return, but the story continues, even if it’s difficult to believe that it could.

So we raise our jars of tears. 

Not one drop forgotten by Him, and every drop necessary to write the next chapter.

Cheers.

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“Don’t Get On The Plane”

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A true story about risk, consequences and new beginnings.


February 2017 // Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“Don’t get on the plane.”
“Don’t get on the plane.”
“Don’t get on the plane.”

These few words repeated themselves like a broken record in my mind. It sounded like danger was coming my way, but the voice seemed unfamiliar.

Why would I be warned not to get on the plane if I’d received multiple confirmations about going to Greece in the past?

And the clock was ticking. 3 weeks till I leave for Greece – the place I’d be calling my new home.

(Or so I thought.)

My heart was terribly unsettled. I knew I was in a storm of sorts – anxiety and fear about this voice I was hearing, about some things that I do have reservations about, about the possibility that I might be making it up, about my denial of the reality of things, about this unfamiliar voice that might be right about the imminent danger…

My world was shaking and it was all because of this voice. So I reached out.

“Mate, I’ve been feeling the same way too about my next step,” he responded.

I was not alone. I was not crazy.

So we prayed and we spoke again a few days later.

“Jan, it’s like Peter and getting out of the boat, I want to want to get out of the boat! I realised though that the important thing is actually stepping out of the boat, not my feelings about wanting to. Otherwise I just get too internal and immobilised. Especially those feelings about the future that don’t actually exist haha.

But I won’t ever know unless I go. So it’s more of a trust thing even if everything else says otherwise.”


take a risk

to do something although you know that something unpleasant or dangerous could happen.

Let’s be real – the possibilities are endless when it comes to how things could go wrong. Rejection, alienation, betrayal, loss, pain etc. Too often we shy away from ever trying because the risks are too high when calculated. “Better safe than sorry,” we’d hear and say to ourselves. And we retreat to our safe place, never knowing what could’ve been.

But the possibilities are also endless when it comes to how things could go right despite all that could go wrong. So we end up taking the risks by the neck, stepping out of the boat in the dark and walk on friggin water towards a ghostly apparition…all because we hear a voice calling out to us amidst the howling winds and the sloshing of seawater, saying, “It’s Me – Jesus.”

(He sure was schooling His disciples big time on how to take risks. Bless their hearts.)

It’s tricky though, when the scales are balanced by equal amounts of warnings and go-aheads. That is to say, we wouldn’t know unless we try.


March 2017 // Thessaloniki, Greece.

I grabbed a seat at the airport.

No, this part isn’t about when I had finally made it to Thessaloniki and things went well, but rather when I had to exit prematurely just three weeks after I had arrived with lots of tears shed in between.

Yes, I did get on the plane to Greece. And yes, unexpectedly, I had to leave less than a month later.

I sat there, waiting for the gate to be opened. I unzipped my guitar case and started playing the guitar softly. The riff I played was one I knew too well, for it was the same one I was inspired to create and play when I was trying to wrap my mind around some difficult times last year.

I fought back tears. Tears about how it all came to this – from having my heart broken to being victim of a misdiagnosis, which eventually forced me to return home. Like being dealt a bad hand, all of which I couldn’t do anything about. Tranquilisers had already made my body its home by then, but I knew this was something that even tranquilisers couldn’t do anything about.

No one tells you about the pain that comes with losing control of your present.
No one tells you that people’s actions are difficult to be undone.
No one tells you about the ache that comes with the questions – what, how, why – when you board that plane to leave the place you thought you were going to build a home in.
No one tells you that you’ll have to relearn and re-release forgiveness each time you’re asked to tell the story.

Risk.

Half a year before all of these happened, I was told to come out of hiding. So I did.

Risking safety to experience loss.
Risking excitement for a painful letdown.
Risking idealised stability in favour of uncertain and undesirable outcomes.
Risking happiness for jars of tears.

See, I could’ve been fine and comfortable where I was without coming out of hiding, or stepping out of the boat like Peter. I could’ve been safe, protected in the bubble I had formed for myself.

But I obeyed, for the sake of not disobeying. And yes, through being obedient, I had been subjected to many a heartache.

I got on the flight to Greece because I hung on to what God said about my future there. I had bad vibes (let’s not forget the title of this story) yet I chose to pursue the good that could come.

And right there and then, I was on my way out just as soon as I had started. Confused about what God was up to. Lost and uncertain about what my future holds.

Risk is just that messy.

As I continued playing that riff from a not-so-distant past, a memory from a week before this day at the airport popped up in my mind. It made sense, because the friend in this memory was there when that riff was created.

“Jan, do you know what I think about your future? I know I mentioned ‘God sees your future’ in the past, and I didn’t mean to be insensitive but I’ll say this – I, your brother and friend, see you and I know what it looks like when you have been dealt a bad hand. I was there when you were accused. I was there when you were broken down. I was there when you were seeing the best in people. I was there, especially when you were able to thrive again, having fun with us.

Jan, you’ve been hurt and wronged, (even now) people don’t always understand you. And yes you need healing BUT I know that you are an incredibly strong person. I’m not the only one. You have friends who would go out of their way to show you they care.

Can you imagine what God is doing right now? He is pulling all the stops, I’m sure of it. I’m not trying to be dramatic with spiritual talk but God’s reality is hopeful.”

And with that memory as a send-off, I boarded the flight back home.


June 2017, three months later // Penang, Malaysia

I grabbed a seat at the airport.

Penang International Airport, to be exact.

Funny, ain’t it, that three months had passed so quickly. I should’ve spent those few months in Greece, but I arrived home and made an almost immediate detour to this island that was never part of my original plan. I didn’t calculate any risks with the decision to go to Penang. I didn’t have the mental nor emotional capacity to do any calculations, even. I just knew that I had to go.

Amazingly, as my time in Penang began and ended, I learned some things about myself: I could crave calculation all I want, I could put myself in a headlock with anxiety and fear as long as I’d like…but I gained a deeper assurance that no matter what happens, I’d come out fine regardless. And it was only made possible through God pulling all the stops (which He certainly did in Penang). It’s true – His reality is truly hopeful.

And it was finally time for me to leave Penang and make my re-entry to Kuala Lumpur. I would leave healed and stronger. I would leave being the truest me I’ve ever been. I would also leave with a certainty about the future, that things would be good whether I know or don’t know what it’d look like.

(back in February)

“Jan, I heard an awesome quote today:

‘There are no failures. If I’m making a cake and it doesn’t work out, then I have pudding.’ – 102 year old man

It’s so beautiful and simple but also hilarious.”

I do like this failed-cake-turned-beautiful-pudding that came to be. (And I did get a Starbucks frappuccino with pudding at the airport.)

So I boarded the plane and off into the sky it went. The plane ride felt like a roller coaster ride due to turbulence (the plane felt as if it was gonna fall to the ground) and caused a number of passengers to scream. I laughed (even though I was nauseated by the turbulence) because it helps to have joy, even if the decision to take risks isn’t necessarily dependent on it. And this risk was certainly one I didn’t calculate.

I got on the plane regardless. That’s all that matters.


P/S: Thank you, Braden and Kenny.

Medication, Meet the Nations.

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March 2017 // Thessaloniki, Greece

This photo was taken the day I was handed my first ever dose of tranquilisers. Tranquilisers, because the other psychiatric medication option was one with multiple side effects that I couldn’t fathom opening myself to. Tranquilisers, because it was the safer option. Tranquilisers, because I was cornered and chose the lesser of two evils.

(Even so, it was revealed a month later that I was misdiagnosed.)

I stood in the living room of an apartment that wasn’t mine (but my temporary home nonetheless), and realised that I was looking at this half-tablet as I faced the large world map pasted on the wall. I saw the nations before my eyes, and I moved on to look at the very country my feet were standing on – Greece.

Who would’ve thought that I’d fly into Greece to start a new chapter of my life only to be popping pills less than two weeks later.

And the nations on the wall stared back at me and watched me gulp this tablet down.


 

December 2011 // Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

My body was weak and tired from fighting tuberculosis that attacked my lungs. I was heavily drugged, stuck to a prescription of a daily cocktail of various coloured pills and tablets. One in particular made my pee orange. Very orange.

(“Hey…I know this sounds really weird, but could you please take a photo of your pee? I’m really curious about this funky orange pee you have.” – Sam.)

(I didn’t forget about your request, Sam.)

I had never spent that much time on my bed until I was diagnosed with tuberculosis. I was quarantined too and barely had any contact with the outside world. Yet, that was the time I pored over the Bible like never before and found myself at Isaiah. Isaiah 55 to be exact.

Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.

I sat on my bed, bewildered at the 5th verse. These words were calling out to me. I had no idea why.

What was prophesied over Israel was, right there and then, used to change the course of my life, while the medication cocktail coursed through my veins.

I was called to the nations while I was trapped in medication.

And send me out to the nations He did, not too long later.


 

It has been almost six years since that very day in my bedroom, and I left Greece a little over a week after this photo was taken. It wasn’t a choice. This #plottwist was to do with the aforementioned misdiagnosis.

This image of my fingers holding up this tiny little half-tablet (which gave me some of the weirdest experiences of my life) was taken before I took that first dose. I didn’t know what to expect from it then, nor did I know about the unfavourable news that would come my way not too long later – news that would send me back to where I came from and out of the nation I thought I was going to build a new home in.

There, in front of that map, I wondered what on earth (pun unintended, or maybe it is) God was up to.
I wondered how it came to this.
I wondered if something major was going to happen after this moment.
I wondered what it meant for these nations once I consumed it.

And here I am some months later, having been weaned off of such medication, having been on the receiving end of proper help, having had the truth revealed. I am better. So much better.

I am not in a host nation right now. I am writing this in the house I grew up in. Yet God is still calling me to the nations. Isaiah 55:5 has not lost its voice.

“You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.”

(verse 12)

So I will go.

Medication, meet the nations.

Confessions of A Singleton Who Tried On A Wedding Dress

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Prepare yourselves with some snacks and wine, friends. It’s a raw and tragic comedy you’re about to read.


“Wow,” I exclaimed as I walked up to the second floor of the bridal studio that my good friends own, “that’s a lot of dresses.”

“Yeah. This bunch here is new stock whereas that bunch over there is pre-loved, and we’re selling them,” Cheryl responded.

“Ah ha……..”
“Yup.”
“So…..”
“Hmm?”
“….What is your policy on non-clients trying on dresses….just for kicks?”
“Huh??!”
“I’m kidding. But actually….”

Diane, the co-owner, then showed up and we filled her in on our conversation topic.

“Of course you can! Though just one,” she said after bursting into laughter.

“Well okay then. Let’s do this.”


I remember the day my friends updated their relationship status to “Married” on Facebook. The funny thing is, they didn’t even announce their engagement on Facebook before that. Thus, it came as a surprise to many of their friends, especially the ones outside of their close circle of friends.

I also remember the day when my friends updated their relationship status from “In A Relationship” to “Engaged” to “Married,” all in under a year.

I am usually entertained by such things appearing on my newsfeed. But there also comes a time when it makes me look at myself and wonder, “what about me?”

And I know I’m not the only one wondering the same thing.

(The fact that the topic of singleness was part of a course I studied says a lot)

Most of these success stories I hear of involve a desperate cry for that desire to be fulfilled and the next person that steps into the picture somehow becomes “The One.”

But it’s never that easy (or predictable). And no two stories are ever the same.

I say this while living through a freshly squeezed tragic comedy.

That tragic comedy comes in the form of spending months being on the receiving end of expressions of affection by a well-meaning male friend…only to have all those hopes of being together dashed because he had a change of heart. That change of heart – which happened a few months before apparently – was never communicated clearly, until a week after both of us moved to the same city. So basically, I moved to a completely different part of the world, met him there and discovered that I’d been led on for months. Pile that on top of adjusting to a completely new environment (with few friends), culture and language.

The ridiculousness of the situation brings about awkward tear-filled laughter.

#PlotTwist


“Are you ready to come out of the fitting room?”
“Hold on….okay, ready!”

I pulled the curtains aside and revealed myself, clad in a luxurious white wedding gown that they handpicked for me.

The room exploded with squeals and “oh my gosh”-es. One friend grabbed her phone and took photos of me. (photos of which she later uploaded to Facebook, funnily enough)

“How does it feel????”

Good question.

What was I supposed to be feeling at that point?

It wasn’t magical. It wasn’t a fairytale come true. It just felt like a heavy outfit, though a beautiful one at that.


In such #PlotTwist moments, it’s hard to be myself. I don’t even know what it looks like to be myself, or how to be myself. Myself is either suppressed or dead.

I remember the many times in the past that I’d been treated this way and felt an incredible death in (and of) myself. A death that had to be mourned for a while before God picked up the pieces of my broken heart and “kintsugi”-s me into a new version of myself.

Sometimes, the death happens when we unknowingly place our identities on another, thus feeling a great loss of our sense of worth when a separation is forced upon us.

But sometimes, no matter how guarded our hearts are, that death still comes.

Even in non-#PlotTwist moments, the waiting for the fulfillment of our longings to spend the rest of our lives with someone who loves us is a dreadful one. Our worth comes into question and we wonder if “God’s good gift” would ever make its way to us.

(I can go on writing this like a devotional, but I won’t because many devotionals cover this identity+singleness issue already.)

Yet….I want to believe that He sees us. You. Me.

He has seen me in my singleness, when I was being pursued, when I was led on, when I was heartbroken.

He has seen me cry in the morning, laugh about the tragic comedy in the afternoon, then cry myself to sleep in the evening.

He sees me now, writing this, as I hesitate on what I should and shouldn’t mention.
(This is when I’m reminded of one of my best friends’ frequently said lines: It is what it is.”)

He sees me in my dying of self.

He also sees me in the kintsugi-ed version of myself that is to come.

He sees me.
He sees you.


The dress didn’t make me feel like a fairytale was being lived out. But the dress did help me realise the potential in myself, that I…I am beautiful. I am worth fighting for. I am a receiver of God’s good gifts.

(I write this as tears blur my vision.)

I don’t know when the day would come for me to wear this dress and walk down the aisle. I don’t know if the day would ever come, even.

I’ll have my portion of tears and used tissues and He would be with me. I’ll someday be able to trust again, and He would be there to watch me bloom.

But for now, I’ll just be. I’ll just be the one who is seen by Him. 

To this, I raise my glass of tears to painful plot twists and the hope for new beginnings.

“I can’t pretend to know the beginning from the end. But there’s beauty in the life thats given. We may bless or we may curse every twist and every turn. Will we learn to know the joy of living.”
– United Pursuit

P/S: The photos are still up on Facebook.

The Dreaded Gift of Waiting

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“Hey! Nice bangle you have there….wait, isn’t that the Christmas gift I gave you yesterday?”
“Yeah it is!”
“But it’s for Christmas! And that’s two weeks away! Why did you open it so soon?!”
“Oh…oops. I just didn’t think about having to wait.”


I have a habit of not following the ‘rules’ of opening gifts at the right time. If I receive any gift for whatever occasion, I’d open it the same evening. I guess it’s because I hardly receive gifts, so I’ve never really applied such rules to opening them.

Now then, what do you think happens when someone who can’t wait to open gifts receives a gift and its contents in and of itself is…to wait?

I don’t know about you, but that is probably the weirdest, most dreaded gift to receive. But I won’t deny that it’s probably a good one.


I flew home thinking I’d only be around for a few months. It later got extended to nine months, and then a little more than a year.

For someone who was resistant to the idea of being home for an extended period of time, I found myself in a seemingly perpetual wrestling match with God.

I dealt huge blows to my plans for the future (thanks, embassy officials for denying my paid visa applications), grieved losses, healed, grieved again, became hopeful again….all while unwrapping this gift of waiting.

God’s humour is impeccable though. I spent three years planning my move to this particular location yet I could not find a deep sense of excitement for it all those years. First visa denial was painful mainly because it derailed my plans of not being home for a long time. He had me thinking about another avenue but paved the way there through other things. Second visa denial solidified what God had spoken earlier but it came with a number of complexities.

Was I excited about it? I think I was in more fear instead.

I challenged God. I bargained with Him. No matter how much I tried to convince myself that I was probably hearing things, God gently confirmed His word through various means.

Suddenly I was filled with hope that my future seemed clearer again. I was beginning to feel excitement for what’s to come. But…I had to lay it all down on the altar again.

It was like that moment when you play all your good cards, putting everything on the line and you dread your actions right after, knowing that there is also the possibility that you’d still lose anyway because you rushed it.

Yup. That was what it felt like.

It’s dreadful, this gift of waiting.


Before Mary became Mother Mary, she probably had her life figured out. She was engaged to Joseph, they were planning their wedding and future…and it seemed perfect. Many others have done the same, so it wasn’t difficult to see what their own lives would look like. The thing is, God didn’t plan for her to live that ordinary, predictable life. So He disrupted her plans. It came in the form of a visitation of an angel in her room, who relayed the message that she was to bear a son supernaturally, and at that a son WHO IS THE SON OF GOD.

Fear kicked in.

“Don’t be afraid,” the angel comforted her.

This inconvenient disruption did not backfire though. She began to realise that this disruption had greater purpose. And with that, she responded with,

“Let it be to me according to His word.”

So she trusted God and waited for the fulfillment of the purpose of the disruption.

And we reap its fruit today.


Mary wasn’t alone in her waiting though. Elizabeth too, experienced the same thing a few months before her. And they both waited. So did various other characters in the Bible, some who waited for years for the fulfillment of promises.

I doubt many millenials would understand the depth of those characters’ seasons of waiting. This generation that has many things instant finds a 5-minute wait excruciating, what more a year or even decade-long wait for a release into the next big thing?

Yet, me, a millenial, accepted the fact that my story of waiting would become a testimony to this generation.

And so, I write this now, still living through a season of waiting that is ever so filled with uncertainty. I’ve rushed my good cards and I’m beginning to understand that the timing is important in the usage of good cards. And I fear I make the same mistakes again, mistakes of going all-in too quickly for my own good. I can’t rush God. I can’t speed up the pace that’s been decided by Him.

But I am learning how to trust.
I am learning how to face my fears.
I am learning how to wait.

The excruciating wait is a gift, which is funny how it works, since gifts are supposed to be enjoyable.

I guess, then, I shall just enjoy the the thrill of unwrapping this gift.
God is the best gift-giver after all.

#ThatMaryLife

Letters and Airplanes

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About letting go, trusting and finding peace in the face of not acquiring resolution. All these, within the limitations of time.


Our time in this guest house was coming to an end and I went around the living space, tidying up and tossing things into the bin. I cleared the food scraps and random stuff from the dining table and stumbled upon a piece of paper that I’d been avoiding for weeks. It was a letter.

The letter that had been laying on the dining table for a couple of weeks now was finally back in my hands. It had seemingly sweet words laced with non-intentions of facing the truth on the part of its author. It wasn’t one of those things that would make someone feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. This had #sorrynotsorry written all over it.

For weeks I had been challenged each time I looked at it. Challenged by the reality that I have to forgive this person. Challenged to believe that my identity wouldn’t be fazed by this. Challenged to trust Him that I’ll be healed of this pain. Challenged by the prospect of meeting and blessing this person in the future.

And it was time to decide its fate. And time was running out.


I found myself going back to the same questions I’d been asking God for over a week. Questions upon questions that never seemed to come to an end. Questions that He didn’t answer.

The days had been counted down diligently from the day I was hit with a fierce realisation of the state of my heart. I knew I didn’t have much time from the moment I came to terms with it, and each passing day became a harsh reminder that I really, really, didn’t have much time left.

My palms gripped the airport trolley handle tightly and I looked into the distance to see if my friend was still caught up with some airport affairs. I remembered that I had broken down in the food court of a mall just hours before because I was worried about how time wasn’t under my control and the control of the situation itself was slipping away from my hands. My gaze returned to the trolley handle and I felt the pounding in my chest. I stared intently at the bags on this trolley, which were his, and remembering that my purpose of being there at the airport was to say goodbye. And guess what – we only had an hour left.

“God, all these unanswered questions…what do I do-“
“Would you let this one go…and trust Me?”


Departing from.
Destination.
Multiple destinations.
Date of departure.
Time of flight.
Price.
Dang it.

I heaved a sigh and plopped my head on the keyboard. Tears were rolling down my cheeks at the hopelessness of the situation. All I wanted was to see good news on the screen, good news of the possibility of going somewhere to reunite with people/someone en route to my new future home. But no. Reality was a lot harsher than I had thought. My bank account has not come close to the amount on screen for sometime now.

I switched tabs and looked at the web page that stated my appointment time at the embassy for my visa application.

2 weeks from now. Gosh, why do I even bother planning all these things when I’m not even certain that I’d have my visa approved? Why do I try so hard?

Then like a flood, I was hit by a major revelation.

I was unknowingly trying to cross oceans in order to find resolution.


Sometimes, the lesson of letting go comes in the form of…

…a letter that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. But I guess I don’t have to hang on to that aftertaste.

So I tossed it into the bin, not because I was fed-up but rather because I wanted to forget the words. I trusted that the step was necessary for me to forgive and see that person through His eyes. I am not responsible for that person’s life and that truth…is incredibly freeing.

That letter would end up being recycled anyway.

…sending a friend off at the airport.

“Would you let this one go…and trust Me?”

God had finally spoken. I was instantly reminded of the various events that had taken place this year when my plans were tossed out the window and I had to face the fact that I really didn’t have control over many things. But He does, and that’s the beauty of it. Things turned out way better when I surrendered, albeit reluctantly.

So there I was, leaning against a trolley in the airport and getting smacked by another curve ball of surrender and trust. I loosened my grip on the handle of the trolley, a reflection of my soul’s loosening grip on the situation.

I relinquish control of this and return the reins to you, God.

And soon, we found ourselves in front of the gate, hugging and saying goodbye in tears.

…a visa that is yet to be approved and plans to cross oceans to find resolution can’t be made because of the uncertainty of it all.

Resolution seems like it loves to play hide-and-seek, yet there’s nothing random about it because sometimes we just don’t go looking for it in the right places.

I guess we also forget that we don’t live in resolution-time (thanks Brant Hansen) and the story isn’t over.

If God is beyond time, then for reals I can’t control time.
If control isn’t mine to have, then I’ve got to let go and trust that my Maker has it.
If I place my trust in Him, then I can be certain that this story will be more beautiful in His hands.

“I abandon my addiction to the certainty of life and my need to know everything.
This illusion cannot speak, it cannot walk with me at night as I taste life’s fragility.”

– ‘Looking for a Saviour’ by United Pursuit

So, this story that has no resolution yet, I lay you down.

Have fun with this, God.

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