Write about what I learned with my wants of going to STSM and what God showed me throught that
Things that make me happy:
- A packed fridge with lots of food
- Fresh laundry
- Buy 1 get 1 free (clothing & food)
- Student discounts on movies
- When friends hit me up first (especially when we don’t really know each other)
- Going for a night walk with my mom
- Acai bowls
- Being in a crowd (small or big) praising one God
- Fully charged iPhone
- When my long anticipated package gets delivered
- Disney soundtracks that sound like the classics
- When non-Christians get saved and come to Christ
- Getting an A on a final paper about a book I never read
- Captain Crunch
- Costco samples
- When I had a flat 60% before my Political Science final but raised my grade to a 85% after the final
- That one time when I bought 1 breakfast burrito but ended up with 2 in the bag
- Talking to grandmas and grandpas
Things that make me sad:
- Looking at caged birds in Pet Smart
- When people push plans and don’t stick to the schedule
- Global warming
- Dying coral reefs
- Dying honey bees
- That one time I saw a sloth at the zoo but lost the chance to hold it
- When housemates are gone over the weekend and I’m stuck at home…carless
- When people say they don’t like kimchi
- When people say they don’t like Chipotle
Things that make me mad:
- People that say “let’s hang out, I’m down” but don’t actually do anything about it
- When people are inconsiderate about other people’s situations
- When people/friends talk behind your back and act perfectly normal in front of you
- Feeders (ironic heh)
- When TAs are picky with grading (in a really hard mind-blowing class)
- Cold sores
- Cold sores
- Cold sores
- When people just kill bees….they’re endangered please
- Piled up trash
- When people assume without knowing anything and spread that assumption making it a false statement
Before I write anything, I just want to say that I’m so glad that this happened. Through my first relationship, I’ve grown as a person in ways where I became more aware of my love language and became exposed to what I lacked. But most importantly, I’ve learned so much in what a relationship should look like and what should be in its’ core.
Looking back, my relationship was not the healthiest. I started dating with the intentions of just wanting a boyfriend and to experience what it feels like to have someone belong to you. I didn’t think through nor did I really ask my close friends for input and just went straight into the relationship. Furthermore, I didn’t pray about the potential relationship because back then I was blinded with the idea of getting a first boyfriend.
When I dated, everything was new to me. I never held hands, went on fancy valentines dinner dates, receive love letters, or go on Clipper games for monthly anniversaries. He literally spoiled me in every way possible and was the best boyfriend that he could have been. He always drove down for an hour or more every Friday to see me, always bought me meals no matter how many times I’ve offered to split the bill, showered me with dates to places that I’ve never been before (I live under a rock), and showed me love that I’ve never received before. (Disclaimer: I’m not saying I’ve never received love or I grew up with an inadequacy of love. I mean love as in receiving love from your significant other.)
Everything seemed perfect. I felt loved and as every month passed by, our relationship got deeper and stronger. There were times when we did argue about the stupidest things but in the end, we always tried to come to a common ground and resolve it.
But something was off. I felt loved, I felt special, but something was missing and I was searching for what that was for the longest time. It took me a while to come across what was missing in the relationship.
Intimacy when two Christians come together to glorify one God, cherishing each other as significant others but also as brothers and sisters before Christ, and growing together in faith. The problem was, he wasn’t Christian. I did try to talk to him about Christ and Christianity but he as very closed off about those topics and rather questioned and tried to rebuttal against it. To me, there was to a certain point where our
Before going to Missions Rally Night (MRN), I had many doubts about going to missions. I was scared at not being able to provide over 3K for mission funds, I was worried that I wasn’t ready or worthy of going, and I was hesitant because I thought I would end up being a burden to my team. Most importantly, I wasn’t sure if my heart was even at the right place; To serve God with all my heart, soul, and strength. I’ve been constantly thinking about this throughout fall quarter and onto winter quarter and my prayers to God consisted of an open heart to hear His voice and see His guidance.
Holding deeply onto all my worries, fears, and doubts, I went to MRN hoping for an answer from God that would put an end to my questions.
Before anything, I prayed to God:
‘God, I’m here before You..broken. I’m so confused, so worried, so fearful and doubtful…I long to go to missions, but I don’t know if I’m even ready or even worthy to go. I’m so scared God. What if I can’t meet my needs? What if something happens in the mission field? What if I can’t accomplish Your works? Please open my eyes, heart, and ears to listen to what You have to say to me…Please soften my heart so I hear you ever so loudly’
And as I prayed, He answered my prayers through the sermon Pastor Richard gave that night.
What PR preached that night were answers to all my doubts. One thing that stuck out to me the most was the fact that the world is in great need of Christ, and that there are so many that haven’t heard about the good news. I visited Cambodia, East Asia, and Philippines to learn more about the countries and listening to the statistics of each country broke me. I wasn’t fully aware of how popular sex trafficking was in Cambodia and how women and young girls suffer daily with sexual image and sexual desires from men. I knew that it was illegal to spread Christianity in China but that idea was never tangible for me until I was exposed to the testimonies and experiences told by the past STSM trainees. I had no idea about Philippines but I’ve learned that it is heavily populated with Catholics.
My heart was so heavy. It was heavy because I felt so much guilt within myself because I felt selfish. How did I say I loved God when I couldn’t even trade my comfort, fears, and even one summer for the greater glory of God? He’s given me, shown me, and blessed me with many things and yet I was always hesitant when it came to me sacrificing for Him. I was so thankful that through MRN I was convicted to go to missions and that my purpose of going was clear; to go for the greater commission and to lay my life before Christ and fully serve Him.
“It is not fame that I desire
Nor stature in my brother’s eye
I pray it’s said about my life
That I lived more to build Your name than mine”
– The Cause of Christ-
“You should go on missions.”
“Are you going to STSM this summer?”
I’ve always wanted to go on missions and encounter how God moves in the mission field. However ever since high school, I was interested in the idea of going, yet my heart was never fully ready for that commitment. It was always in the mind that I had thoughts of going, and not in the heart.
I don’t know why but this year, God is growing my heart for missions.
One prayer I had going into this school year was for God to break me in ways where I can totally become dependent on Him and learn to love Him regardless the hardships encountered. I am being broken in many ways, one of them is through the people that He’s been placing in my life. He’s also softening my heart and making me into an emotional person than a logical person. I didn’t have much problem loving people either, but He’s creating situations where it makes me hard to love at times so I can see the depth of His love for me even if I’ve turned my back multiple times on Him.
Whenever people talk to me about missions or tell me about their mission’s testimony, not only does it feed me curiosity, but also surprises me on how God is so active in showing His grace and love in the mission fields. I want to see Him move, and I want to be used by God to fulfill His purpose.
Matthew 28: 19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I’m scared. I love the fact how I have the heart and desire to go, but I hate the fact how I am not 100% relying on God. I’m in fear because I’m scared that I won’t be able to raise enough money to support myself. I’m scared that I will end up being a burden to my team rather than being someone that’s helpful. And I’m scared that my personal weakness will in any way hurt the ones around me.
I lack in faith and that makes it hard for me to believe that God will ultimately provide. I’m so mad at myself because I lack in trading my worries for the greater glory of God. I’m praying that God will teach me to be more faithful, to be more dependent, and to completely lay my life before Him.
When I ask people about their first impression of me the usual answer I get is very negative. People would often say that I looked hard to approach, that I look intimidating, that I look like a girl that would party, drink, go out, or that I look mad.
Yes, I do understand why people may view me in this way and I don’t blame them for thinking of me this way either since first impressions can’t be helped. My outer image does look pretty intimidating with the amount of eye makeup I put on and the soulless resting face I have when I’m alone may result in me giving off a strong vibe.
However even if I did understand the reasons to these first impressions, and even if I tried to compromise to myself that it was okay, in the end it did hurt. When I found out that people didn’t approach me because of these reasons and that they avoided reaching out to me just because they based me on these impressions, it got me sad.
‘Do they actually know who I am?’
‘But…I don’t even party and I never even touched alcohol before? I’m not even curious about the party life?’
‘I’m actually pretty weird and nice?’
I never really cared about my image nor did I mind people’s first impressions until the first year of college. Since I was put in a place with new surroundings and new people, I wanted to find my belonging in a community where I could be loved. But since I wasn’t getting back the love I was expecting only to realize that I was receiving judgement and favoritism, it hurt me more than it was supposed to. And the more I started to rely on people’s views on my image, it shifted me away from what God thought of me.
Isaiah 64:8– “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.”
There shouldn’t be such a term such as “ugly” used on people. For God created everyone in His image and to call them in negative terms or judging them a certain way for appearance, it is ultimately saying God’s creation is flawed and that in itself is sin. The moment I placed my values in people’s perspective on myself, was the moment I lost the truth that God loves me for me inside and out. He is my perfect and sovereign creator, and He loves me despite how intimidating or mad I look. He loves me despite the countless amount of times I sin and despite the number of times I turn my back on Him. This made me realize how foolish I was in trading God’s unconditional love for worldly views on myself.
True, first impressions can’t be helped. But to the ones that may get offended or hurt due to first impressions, I want to encourage to you all that impressions honestly does not matter. Find your value in God, and you will always be content for there is beauty in God’s creations.
1 Samuel 16:7– “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
I used to be discontent with where I was during my first year at UC Riverside. I didn’t feel as connected to the community here and was distressed at the fact that I even went to Riverside. With that said, freshman year was coming to a close and it was that time of year when KCM servant team applications were open for sign-up. People were telling each other to join servant team, and a few spoke to me to join. And in the end, I mindlessly sent my application not knowing what God would have in store for me.
God is gracious. He placed a purpose in my heart when I didn’t hold a reason to serve. He told me to have compassion for those who haven’t met Christ, and clearly told me that my purpose of serving in KCM was to love the ones that are broken. This really excited me because throughout my freshmen year at UC Riverside, I was numb to my senses and felt that my purpose was only to fulfill the requirements as a college student. But God being a gracious God, He placed a greater purpose for me that I can hold onto and execute.
Ephesians 4:2 -“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing one another with love.”
I see myself growing through the outreach committee that God has placed me in. Through events like Hugs & Prayer, I became more compassionate towards nonbelievers. Through HOUR (Humans of UC Riverside) which is a replacement of random EV, I had the opportunity to connect with strangers on a personal level which sometimes led to conversations about Christianity. Being present in these events helped me grow a heart for my campus.
1 John 4:8– “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
God is love, and He is teaching me to love. I’m always thankful to God for placing me in outreach, because the more I serve in this committee, my love for the people here increases. Through the physical, tangible contact of hugs and prayer, through the personal interviews, and through the other outreach events, not only has God used me to show His love to others, but also showed me His love for me through the people I interacted with.
My purpose is to love not only God, but also the broken. Sometimes it can be hard to do so, but why should that be an excuse to stop loving when a perfect and sovereign God loved us first, the broken sinners? Through it all, all glory to God.