2015 June // Cameron Highlands – Kuala Lumpur

The pre-planned and long awaited trip had to be called off because of the rare quake that hit Sabah and took the lives of 9 Singaporean children and teachers and others :(

A couple of days after, the hike we booked was officially called off by the announced 3 month mountain closure. By then, any excitement for the trip and trek had already been replaced by the grief of losing the little ones and fellow teachers. It felt like it could have been any one of us on that mountain. If we three had our way and managed to make our early June booking successfully, that could have been us too – the only segment I told the girls we would hurry for in order to be the first 10 to the Via Ferrata was exactly where the huge boulders hit the unsheltered children and took their young lives away.

Another friend on a grad trip lost someone in the group when the ATV she was riding went over the cliff and suffered brain damage that cost her life as well. Life is unpredictable indeed, and I can only question why God let such happen. They were just children, innocent and young, fresh graduate, simple mountain guides, not rebels or terrorists! And perhaps its the signs of the times, why is indeed the question to be asking in such unprecedented time with strange happenings. why? Perhaps there’s something we need to know, something that God is pointing and drawing us to. It definitely not by chance, not something just “suay”.

“…from the very beginning, I knew the ending…” – Isaish 46:10 (paraphased from The Message)

I’m terribly distractedly swayed from my travels that I meant to write about.

Singapore to KL to Cameron, hitch-hiking, cool hideaway guesthouse in kuala terla, strawberry farms, tea plantations, jungle trail 1, made it up Brinchang, saw the trail head of Irau, made a new friend who we invited to dinner at the guesthouse, cooked dinner for fellow backpackers, rested, made another friend who continued travelling with us and spent the next two days together in KL seeing the National Mosque, a local Musical – MUD KL, found the Canopy walk and fed mozzies in the heart of the city before continuing on with church camp with late nights and great catch ups with friends. Age is indeed catching up and priorities are changing (especially in relation to the need for sleep)

it just happens in your head


Was celebrating the birthday of a friend who just hit 30. We are growing old. Chats on life and family and marriage was nice and homely, transporting us out of the bustle of school and assignments and datelines and taking us back to what life on this earth revolves around each person’s life. More than a project mate, classmate or colleague – we are friends whose paths happen to cross for this stage in life.

Memories flood back like wave after wave. Instances I had forgotten about.

So we actually asked for permission to apply for a house & consulted the parents about it and also about getting a couple to mentor us. We were that far into the whole ado. Blows my mind to think back about it. That was so long ago, more than two years. And today, I’m still not that old. Hah. Maybe we were just too young. Maybe we didn’t know what we were getting into. Maybe he didn’t know what he was asking for and promising. Maybe I don’t know why it all happened this way. But I’m glad it did. And of course pained it did. But it will all work for good. Cos my Daddy promises so. And I know that I can trust His heart and His plans, even when it only vaguely makes sense and it is still a season of waiting. It will be worth it eventually. But for now, its okay to not be okay all the time.

Fix my eyes on that guy.

In the mess of starting the year and the ups and down that came with the recommencement of school, I also managed to read through a 4 day devotional plan – One word that will change your life.

Today, I felt off and a little defeated by the shitload of raging emotions that have made me just want to shut off everyone, pick on everything and just wallow in my own corner of bitterness and self pity under the guise and excuse of being fine on my own. Trying too hard to be.

The past week has been trying. Terribly trying. Memories and people in good and bad ways push me to the brink of wanting to explode or implode, making me feel extremely worn out and exhausted. And no amount of sleep seems to be able to restore my energy or joy. My heart is burden and weighs heavy and it shows on my disposition, my countenance and I don’t know what will cheer me up for real.


People get me down, but no person will cheer me up. Situations don’t go well, and I either throw myself into countless tasks with ok immense focus or angstily run away from it all. No one can say anything right, I get offended or hurt by the littlest things or fight and argue or say mean thing to the people who really care. I just want to disappear, but really actually am hoping someone will notice. Really, God I just need to turn back to You, or I’m gonna do some damage inside or outside.

So in spending some moments in prayer during cell today, we asked God to show us something for ourselves. And He did. (As always, He is faithful) I saw Him on the cross. Looking down at me, bearing the weight of sin and pain, despised and rejected, with loving eyes – not a pretty scene. not love the way we would like to imagine. but love in its realest form, in its most precious form, in our saviour’s form. Broken, mutilated, scorned, rejected and left alone, just so we never have to be in that position. so why do I stay in my prison with an open door? His eyes are on me. and that one thing I need to do is to fix my eyes on Him. Not on people. But to remember that it’s His eyes I need to look into to find the comfort and assurance and everything I need to get through. He will walk with me. each step of the way. if only I looked up and beside me, there He is. He never left my side. Jehovah shammah – You are with me. Yes you are. You have and always will be.

So thank you Lord. For taking my burden and giving me Yours.

looking back//moving forward

[4 october]
i don’t know what i should entitle this post
so i shall just ramble a little while i figure it out.

these past 8 weeks back in school have been drastically different from my first semester in january & also july 2014. and i cannot put into words how amazingly joyful it has been to be able to enjoy school – the learning, the new friendships, the new endeavours, new sports, reviving past ministry commitments and revisiting old friendships.

that said, the past months have also been littered with many happenings that threaten to upset the joy rediscovered. injuring my back while trampolining with the class & potential the start of a bad tear on my ACL from basketball last semester, 2 falls off a bicycle in a span of a week,

[2 may]

the radial head bone fracture (ouch.) #ambidexterous

the radial head bone fracture (ouch.) #ambidexterous

fracturing my elbow from the second freak bicycle-breaking accident in May after making it to the end of the first semester of school (God knows how painful and tough and impossible it was), a few sessions of going for prayer at healing room with uncle peter assuring me each time i was there, church camp & an SP-arranged session for me to meet and talk to Ps Mike Connell where he helped to identify what could have happened in Aceh that triggered this whole episode (it does not seem like something that warranted such great backlash, but God works all things out for good), apart from praying for me, Ps Mike shared with me about the heart & gave me practical handles to work on to get through the next phase (he pre-empted me that it wouldn’t be immediate nor would it be easy) so i moved on with trepidation,

[1 august]
making it through 5 weeks of practicum with much fear, hesitation & praying in tongues – which paved a ton of God’s favour and the simple conscious knowledge of His presence, getting into a bad car crash to mark the day i ended practicum (on a rather good note) – i thank God i walked out of the car with only whiplash, inflammation on my rib bones, some cuts from the seat belt, bruises from hitting something in the car & smashed specs. The car had it worse – so it got an early retirement to the scrapyard & I had to bear the cost of the accident. (thank God for insurance!)

It felt like i just survived another possible spiritual assault on my life & i had to fight back. My cell leader and Elder Peter both prayed for me as i shared with them – just didn’t seem normal. (‘suay’/unlucky you will call it, i don’t believe anything happens by chance. because all the days of my life are already written by Him who created me.)

[30 august]
Almost a month later, we discover that my aunty (my domestic helper/ roomie/ friend) who has been with us for half my life (13 years) had been stealing from us – things of great sentimental value and substantial monetary value. It was almost unbelievable, heartbreaking and stressful. We would have preferred to never find out & wanted to be in denial, but mummy’s wedding & engagement ring & the iconic gold coin bracelet that i remember grandma left for mummy were missing & grudgingly we searched for it amidst her belongings (for the first time in 13 years), only to find that there were 14 pawnshop tickets inside. For a rare moment since i can’t remember when, i sat down with the brothers to talk and pray and really seek God about how we should respond. We were not angry with her, we empathised, we prayed into the spirit realm and were reminded that we do not fight against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities. End of the sad story, we sent her to the police station :/ (it was the best we could do) I won’t forget that sunday, missing service and feeling so betrayed, confused and torn.

sept 11, 2014. I turn 25. hurrah.

a happy turning 25!

a happy turning 25!

(that marks 2 years since the day i dropped out of school for the first time. seemingly my first big failure in life. yes, i couldn’t take it anymore, i had to give up)

[22 september]
We get word that uncle peter’s condition is critical, that his body was not recovering well after a surgery to remove his pancreas, gall bladder and spleen because of a 10cm big cyst that was malignant. it was only discovered 2 weeks ago when he came home from a mission trip. we were all praying for him to be healed. and then just past noon we got wind that he was gone. just like that, his life on earth was over. he was just a passing through, he finished his mission, God called him home. but we felt robbed. uncle peter was such a great gentle pillar of support and counsel not just to me, but to the entire church body. the lives he played an active part in were so numerous. a spiritual father to many, a shoulder you know you can lean on. you don’t quite realise how much a person has poured into your life till they’re gone. and i wished i could have told him i was finally better after more than 2 years of this ordeal. i remembered the time he’d spend talking to me, paying me a visit with aunty kwee choon to make sure i was ok when my family was out of town, the prayers he lifted up on my behalf when i couldn’t find words to pray, how he reminded the intercessors to pray for me at friday morning prayers, brought back a devotional from his 3 month US sabbatical for me, cooked mee siam for us when we went to house to learn new things together. he was probably closer than my own grandpa. and i missed his smile, his assuring self & i grieved this loss. we were all taken aback, but we grieve together and will will one day meet uncle peter again, in paradise. thank You for uncle peter’s life LORD. i will live my life a little better because of Your faithful servant & by Your grace.

[4 october]
My baby brother turns EIGHTEEN! :)
1407-17_Barny-Lala ClimbCentral-028

joy in the storm

joy in the storm

A thunderstorm drenched our swimming plans, but it brought about a day of rest, packing up pieces (& the mess of my room), a short but good chat with mum, a much needed nap & some time to look back & thank Daddy God that life is finally moving forward. It will never be the same again, and i’m not quite there yet, but i know that God has good plans for my life, the most exciting call that He will ignite and burn a passion in me for & the best partner in waiting for me. in His time. i am at rest. and that makes me ridiculously happy.

God gives His beloved rest! :)


maybe i wanna scream and yell and shout and swear

but i simply sit silent, expressionless and stare intently at the screen.

its one of those days. pretty crappy. feeling like no one cares anyway.

i don’t know very much more to say but a hi to old friends.

saying goodbye to a dear friend who’s going overseas to study

i hate goodbyes.

we’ve drifted apart, she’s got new good friends. it doesnt matter (i say) i feel myself running away, backing away because i don’t have better words to say.

well life may never be the same again. saw people who has things happened and they never were the same again. their former days of their prime washed away, their everything crumbled and it doesn’t seem like they will ever get back again. thats me being pessimistic maybe but its so real. no freaking person or thing in this world owes it to you to have your life smooth sailing and in order. and im feeling sore about it. bitter about it. angry. but God allows trials to shape us. preacher shared how he felt closest to God in his darkest time, why can’t I say that of me too. yet knowing that if i can trust the Hope of my life, the one who reminds me time and time again that He loves me unconditionally. the one who protected me & saved me by giving up His own life, even when i did not ask for it. that man, who became a man, giving up everything for me. i desire but fail to understand a love like that. i will never find an earthly parallel. a love so divine. everything this heart could ever want or need is found in it. stop looking at people or to people to satisfy. but don’t run away either.¬†

my strength may fail, but He is my strength and the hope of all hearts. the One who won’t turn me away even after I’ve doubted for the hundred and oneth time.


im off to church camp tomorrow! Its marking the near close of the holidays, marking a year since we were supposed to meet and chat again. of since which i’d found myself just going downhill and in a mess. and its so hard to find the faith, but it has been bubbling up a little more like how boiling water produces little bubbles. you can kill me with the uncertainty, but certainly there is hope.

saya hampir tak mau tahan lagi, tapi kalau putus asa pasti aku menyesal selama hidupanku. tentu, kesedihan akan lewat, saya begitu harap secepatnya dan saya tak terlalu mengerti apa yang menghindari aku gembira lagi. dan tibanya saya mau menyalahkan orang di sekitar saya yg coba melindungi dan membantuku seperti mentor dan orangtuaku. tapi benar kesalahan mungkin dalam saya sendiri dan Tuhan mau menyalakan kelemahanku. banyak kali kelemahanku, saya tak cukup kuat Bapaku, Tuhanku. Saya mau menurut keinginanMu, saya pilih begitu. Kasih saya kepercayaan dan keberanian untuk menyerahkan semua-semuanya kepadaMu. saya tak mau tergantung diri, kesombongan lagi. tanpaMu, saya apapun tak bisa. Tapi, pasti ada sesuatu yang saya percaya salah. kebohongan yg saya percaya. Saya menyerah Tuhan, saya mau dgn gawat inginMu. Karena kehidupan yang tidak sesuai Tuhan saya tidak puas. saya tidak mau berpegang masa lalu lagi, saya ingat bawa saya adalah putriMu, anakMu, temanMu, pelayananMu, hidupku milikMu. Saya menyerah. menyerahlah. Bantu saya berdiri lagi, ku mau cintaMu lagi, di kasihMu lagi, punya sukacitaMu lagi. Tunjukkan padaku apa yang saya harus lakukan, Tuhan mau saya ke mana saja, saya ikut. saya mau ikut. saya menyerah kesakitan, masa depan, masa lalu, orang2 dari masa lalu, ketakutanku, kekuatiranku, keluarga yg saya akan ada atau tidak, teman2ku, laki-laki dari masa lalu, saya menyerah dan minta kejelasan, kebeningan dan kenyataan dalam hatiku muncul dan sesuai dengan hasratMu. Tuhanku. rajaku.