Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Rant: He's godly, now what?

Before I start ranting on, let's answer What makes one godly?
To me, godliness is present when the love for God is evident. Loving God can come in different measures; but surely, it's more apparent than one's title (Like pastor, president, worship leader, cell group leader or head of ...), one's ministry, how one raises their hands in worship, how much one is willing to serve others, etc. I mean yes, your title, your ministry, your act of worship or your willingness to serve can all be a result or evidence of loving God. But surely, it isn't a measure of godliness.

Godliness is found in the overflowing, transparent and undeniable work of God through one's life. It's seeing the love of God overflow in one's life, one's heart and the way one relates to others. Godliness is seeing God work in, within, through and with the person. It's undoubtedly God, and you won't be able to miss it. Godliness is undeniable about one's character when all of him/her has been surrendered and renewed by God. It exhibits a change and difference that no one else can be held accountable or take credit for.


With that said, it's tough finding godly people.
I mean, yes, 'Christian' tends to be popular on the list of desired traits for Christians, but it isn't that difficult to find Christians. They're supposedly almost everywhere. Then there are others, like myself, where 'godly guy/girl' takes priority in the list.

I've come to realise the older I get, that there's a handful of godly men and women surrounding me. (Thank the Lord!). They've been an absolute blessing to me, in one way or the other. Shout out to my godly sisters especially *heart. 

This conversation of finding godly guys has emerged with some girl friends of mine; truth be told, we are able to spot god-loving men - yay! But somehow, it doesn't just end there.

I think for many, a godly guy or a godly girl is very much desirable, but we tend to dismiss the fact that it takes more than just a godly guy or girl.

Don't get me wrong, a godly person is surely attractive. But when we say 'where are all the godly men/women out there?', we actually mean 'where are all the godly men/women with other traits and add-ons out there?'

What I mean by that is it doesn't stop at godly.
Sometimes, many times actually, there are other things to consider.
Things like, chemistry, attraction/interest and compatibility. And those are only the basics.

Man, now that I think about it, finding love can both be hard and easy.
Hard in this case, because godly people don't tend to settle easily. They have high standards and tend to only pursue intentionally with one person. (Not complaining at all, I think that's great.). But that just means that it's kinda, well, very difficult. 

But back to the original question, say you do meet someone godly... now what?

1. Find a friend in him/her

I don't know about you, but finding consistent, genuine friends can be a bit of a challenge. Scratch that- finding one is easy; but maintaining a friendship with one is the hard part. When I decided to guard my heart, I took a lot of steps back and made changes to how I live my life. One being that I don't actually let the opposite gender into my life so closely. 

I definitely don't think it's wrong to have good friends of the opposite sex. I mean just a few years back, many of my companions were male and I confided in several close guy friends very intimately. My decision in taking a step back from being close to the opposite gender is because I know myself. 

Not too long ago, I had an incredibly great guy friend. We clicked really well and our friendship was really comfortable; we could talk about literally anything and everything, and it got to the point where the amount of time I invested in him caused even my family and friends to question our platonic friendship. Now you may be thinking 'people can think what they want, but if it's not like that, it doesn't matter what they think'. Well, it wasn't like that between us... but we were super close that I was so attached to him as a friend, I caught the feels. It got really confusing for me and it only hit me when I realized I had to tell him absolutely everything and relied on him emotionally and spiritually.

There were also other instances where I had close guy friends in the past who were confused about the blurred line that apparently exists between opposite gendered best friends. While I do think guys and girls can be best friends, there are stages of where that exists and where it starts to make everything all fuzzy. Even with guys I didn't see myself with, I have also questioned our friendship at some point.

However, there are some guys where I can truly see myself friends with now. They're not my best friends, nor are we super close. But they are guys who I enjoy having as plain friends. Not sure about you, but I'm the kind of person who becomes quieter or more mellow/shy when it comes to someone I have feelings for. So I tend to notice that when I fist pump/high five/approach a guy (making the first move in reaching out), I genuinely see that person as a (genuine) friend. Having said that, in terms of my behavior, for guys I am acquainted with, DON'T have an interest in or aren't that close to - they belong in the same category as guys I do have feelings for. I know, it seems strange but that's how I can tell when I find myself liking someone as just a friend.

*Wow, all that rant and I haven't even started on elaborating on my first point.

My point is, if you do find someone who could be a 'potential', your next step should be finding a friend in him or her. #notetoself.

As hard as it is for me to step out of my comfort zone to reach out to someone I could possibly have an interest in, I really won't know the person unless I get to know the person. And I don't mean go on a date to get to know the person. I mean is there a strong genuine friendship with that person, even without a relationship? Can you even have a friendship with someone without going on that first date?

It sounds like I'm giving an advice to you, but really, I'm reminding myself.

Many dream of falling in love with their best friend. But I don't think that's my dream. I mean, not all things work out so 'perfectly'. Some people may find an interest before they even become good friends and others truly do fall for their best friend. 

I think ideally, whatever situation you may be in (whether you're just acquaintances, plain friends, good friends or best friends), the best question to ask yourself is 'Can I find a friend in him/her?'

What does a friend look like to you?

*pssss, by friend, I mean the genuine kinda friend. Like that real, strong friendship kinda friend.

For example, with my friendship with Abigail (my best friend), we truly look out for one another and want the best for each other. We correct each other when necessary, we speak words of encouragement, we share our thoughts, feelings and dreams. We do life together and we are walking alongside the journey of growth - and that's such a great feeling.

I don't expect myself to find the exact kind of friend in a potential partner - especially before we even start dating. But some good questions to ask would be:

- If this guy/girl was of the same gender as me, would we be good friends?
- Can I truly be a friend to this person?
- Is this person a friend to me?

You may not be at that stage where you know if this person can be a friend to you yet, or vice versa, but perhaps as you do grow in relationship with one another, it's something good to keep in mind. Because in the long run, friendship is one of the best things a relationship can have.

If your partner is a friend, he/she would want the best for you. he/she would say things to build you up and encourage you. he/she would respect you. he/she would enjoy your company. he/she would treasure you as a friend in their life. he/she would continue to be a friend throughout.

Some of the loveliest marriages or relationships I've seen are those with couples who have a strong foundation as friends. I see the comfort a friendship brings, the security and care a good friend would extend, the humour and fun that friends enjoy and I see a kind of love that goes beyond lust, infatuation and short-term feelings.

Friendship in a relationship is displayed in an overwhelming care for someone for who they are, not who you want them to be in your life. It's accepting them and loving them unconditionally. It's having the joy and comfort of you being you and for him (or her) to be him (or her). 

So the next step?
Find a friendship in him or her.

"A friend loves at all times..."
- Proverbs 17:7a

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Rant: Fears

Hi there!

Today's post will be another rant that's not on the relationship series list; I'm preparing for exams so I haven't had time to properly invest in making a video or a blogpost. I'm intending to make a video (or a blogpost) on why I'm not dating currently; my covenant and its purposes next because it'll give you guys an insight on my perspective and posture of heart regarding the following topics.

However, I will be writing in relation to relationships for today's rant. (YAY). I think all my rants (and diary writings) are very transparent; like it reveals so much of my inner self that I feel very vulnerable to my readers. But I love being vulnerable, and I actually enjoy re-reading my posts after time passes. Just the other day, I was reading my old posts from a year ago, 2 years ago and it's just really intriguing. It reminds me of how faithful God has been in my life and the growth I had during those seasons of change, heartbreak, celebration, and mundane.



I would say I'm a very fearful person. I get scared easily, I'm scared of cats, I'm terrified of heights, I dread deep waters - you know, the selective fear. I also have a fear of sexual assault, harassment, violence, abuse and being robbed. I mean you know, the normal things that are unacceptable and condemnable. There's another kind of fear, that's related to the heart issue. I think I have several of those. And today, I'm gonna share those related to relationships.

I don't know when it began, but I thought I had a fear of commitment. Like I can see myself committed to someone in the future, being married, etc, sure. But the process of saying yes to a date, saying yes to starting an official relationship is almost terrifying to me.

Maybe I'm scared because it's unknown waters. It's not something I'm able to control, predict, manipulate or analyze. A relationship involves another person, and that means I don't know that person's heart, intention, will or their next steps.

I know, it sounds silly. Chelsea? Scared of commitment? What?

I think that's why I overthink. I always overthink things. I think way ahead and try to analyse everything, it's almost driving me insane.

In my current state, if I were to analyse my heart...
I fear rejection. I fear being hurt. I fear to have my heart broken. I fear losing someone. I fear to have things not work out. I fear the unknown. I fear investing and losing. I fear being let down.

So I try to have everything planned out. I try to search my heart daily, I try to analyse his intentions. I set all these walls, boundaries and standards for myself. I try to guard my heart. I try to predict our compatibility and I try to take that step back. I try to prepare for any possible hurt and I try to have my feelings controlled.

I think some people make it look easy, some people are so laid back and nonchalant.

Sometimes, I feel like my guards are set so high because I forget that God has already set a guard up at the heart of my door. I say I trust God, I choose to trust God, but I plan my next steps and path my ways out before he even tells me where to go. I seek counsel actively and try to apply every good perspective in my situation, but I overlooked the fact that every person has a different heart, a different situation and a different calling.

You see, I fear a change of heart - because that means I'd feel rejected and so I prepare myself for something that may not even happen.
I fear to give too much - because I'm afraid I'll lose it all.
I fear the unknown and the unfamiliar - because it means I have to trust and go with the flow.

But that's the beauty of relationships, no?

You risk rejection, failure and loss, in hopes that you'll receive something valuable, the success of a relationship and a great person to do life with.

Above all, I think this season reveals my heart in depth so that God can deal with the root problem. I mean it's about time. I feel like He's saying 'Now that you've recovered from the last heartbreak, you're ready and fit enough to go into rehabilitation. Just trust in me, because I'll be by your side in this process.' And here I am, fearing to get up because I'm so used to hiding my wounds and feeling the security of being taken care of like a sick child. But a little glimmer of hope in me wants to. I do want to trust in Him, to take that step and actually follow His plans and His will for me in the next season.

So yes, I'm fearful. I'm doubtful. I will try to be careful, I will try to analyse and to guard my heart... but I will try even harder to hear His voice, to follow His lead and to drop the unnecessary walls and trust in His security. I will invest with what He's given me, I will love unconditionally and I will trust in Him with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways, I will acknowledge Him, and surely, He will make my paths straight.

If losing my heart and being hurt is what I fear, I trust that even if it does happen, He's enabled us to go through that for a reason and will be our constant strength and hope.


I love the lyrics to the song Captain:

Through waters uncharted my soul will embark, I'll follow your voice straight into the dark;
and if from the course you intend I depart,
speak to the sails of my wandering heart.

Like the wind you'll guide; clear the skies before me, and I'll glide this open sea.
Like the stars, your word will align my voyage, and remind me where I've been...
and where I am going.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rant: A flaw I have

Hey there!

This isn't one of my relationship post series, but it has everything to do with relationships and a lot to do with myself. I'm being really vulnerable and transparent in sharing this, but it's a journey for me and so it's something I'd like to share.

You see, I have a problem. I have several problems but today I'm gonna share one.

Quoting my sister, "You don't have a lot of flaws, but the few flaws you do have are ones that are difficult to change". I'll be the first to admit this, but I'm not very flawed. In fact, one of my strengths is changing to be better - and that would explain why I am generally a very pleasant person to have around... I make a very lovely daughter, a wonderful sister, a best friend and probably a great girlfriend. Okay, 'how is that a flaw?', you may wonder. Truth is, I sometimes don't know myself. How is wanting to be the best that you can be a flaw? I don't know.

But my flaw is wanting (attempting, desiring, longing) to be perfect.

It started many years ago. I was quite a nasty person - inside and out. When I was in my early teen years, I was rather mean and not very pretty either. However, because of the bullying and realising that others are actually humans with feelings and a heart, I started to change. I became more aware of the feelings of others, not just a little bit, but I actually became caring. I became all these nice things and started to be a nice person inside and out. It was really timely, as puberty hit me, I actually looked better, as my insides became more attractive, so was I on the outside.

That's when I realised that changing for the better is always something I should aim for. It started small where I would develop traits that most people would consider as nice. But it got really addictive that I started finding myself actively intending to change to be what others would consider as perfect. The descriptions of what other guys would describe as a great girl, or a girl describing the ideal best friend, or aunties and uncles describing what a good child should be like - anything and everything I mentally noted and my heart started pursuing that.

Oh, I was also growing in God at the same time. He worked through and within me. And I definitely am a different person today compared to 4 years ago because of Him. A lot of my values, beliefs, the core of who I am, my experiences, journey and growth is all because of Him.

But as I grew and changed with God, the desire to be perfect was still something that was stuck in my heart... and although I've tried my best to not be perfect, I see little traces of this flaw come alive.

3 years ago, when my last relationship ended, my ex-boyfriend told me that I was a perfect girlfriend. And that I deserved someone better, and that he wasn't good enough for me, etc. Funnily enough, I believed him. Not so much the fact that he wasn't good enough or that I deserved someone better, but I actually believed that I was a perfect girlfriend because that was literally what I aimed for. However, he also said it in a way that was negative. That I actually had a problem, that I wanted to be perfect and that came through in how I carried myself. I thought he was ridiculous. Because how is being perfect actually a bad thing? It makes no sense.

A few weeks ago, I went to see my campus speech therapist because I wanted to have correct pronunciation. English is my first language, but because I am a Malaysian that partially grew up in New Zealand, I have a foreign accent (to Malaysians) and actually pronounce some things differently (to New Zealanders). I am also studying to be a primary school teacher, so to me, it's important to be able to read accurately and pronounce words exactly how they're supposed to be pronounced. However, when I met my speech therapist, it felt more as if I was meeting a counsellor. She said there was nothing wrong with my speech, and that I probably wanted to perfect everything because of my cultural background(?). In which I knew it definitely wasn't from my cultural background, because I just want to have correct pronunciation for my sake, not because my culture says we have to ace everything and be perfect.

Then very recently, I've been going through something this year that leads to anxiety. In which my close friends know about, and they concluded that if anything, it's probably my mentality that's affecting me, not my physicality. In other words, one of my best friends actually said that because she knows the kind of person I am, I am a perfectionist and that affects my situation negatively.

Side note, the perfectionist they're all referring to isn't the typical generic type of making sure everything is detailed and right; but it's the desire and mentality I have to be the best that I can be, in their words - a 'perfectionist', someone who wants and expects to be perfect.

Due to my anxiety, I went to see my church counsellor. After evaluating my situation for a while, she mentioned that because everything is going pretty good for me in life (as in every aspect of my life), it's probably not a sudden circumstance or my family background that has influenced my 'perfectionist' mentality. Rather, it has a lot to do with self-esteem and self-acceptance.


I write this because I'm currently dealing with a situation that shows just how right they are. That yes, I have a problem. And my problem is wanting to be perfect.

Don't get me wrong, I still believe that wanting to be the best that I can possibly be is a good aim and it is still something I will constantly work towards, but I see this perfectionism come alive as a demon too.

For example, one very flawed mentality I currently hold is that I need to look (almost) perfect before I get into a relationship. I've been feeling rather miserable today because physically, I feel like I'm not good enough. You know what that sounds like to me? It sounds like someone is taking the place of God in my life.

I've always been a people-pleaser kinda person. Not to the point where I fall into peer pressure and do silly things, nor is it sucking up to people in order for them to like me. You see, it all links to that mentality of wanting to be perfect, especially to people I selectively choose to be on the receiving end.

A very personal example for me, but when I was in a relationship, I did things with my boyfriend then out of the desire to please him. It wasn't his fault, he didn't manipulate me into it and it was purely my choice to act on things from a flawed mentality. In a relationship, there are 3 possible desires: To please your partner, to please yourself or to please God.

I guess if I was honest, I do fear to be in a serious official long-term relationship. I'm afraid of being vulnerable, as open as a person I am. I'm scared to love again, I don't want to lose another person and I'm terrified of being hurt.

I don't expect the person to be perfect, but I expect myself to be. And so before I do get into my next relationship, I hope I no longer hold this flaw.

I don't know what to say, my post has no solution to my problem; it doesn't have an end, because it's just something I'm facing currently.

But I can tell you my next steps! My next steps will be to trust in God, to look to Him for my identity, to guard my heart, to do things His way, to focus on pleasing Him - not anyone else or myself. Until then, I'll keep you posted :)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

My first love; the relationship to pursue

I know, it's very predictable. You are probably not going to talk about your first boyfriend and the relationship to pursue is one with Jesus.

'Isn't that what this post is about?' you may think. Yes, it is.
'I'm already a Christian. Just get on with the other topics already.' Wait, hang in there!
or you may think 'Just a minute, but I'm not even a Christian. How is this even applicable? I was just here for the relationship part.' And you're gonna get the relationship part.

Before you skim through this post and close your tab, may I convince you otherwise?

This is the first post I'll start my series with because it holds an importance to the other posts that will follow.

Taking it all the way back to the beginning, Genesis 1:26-27:

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

 From the beginning, God had an incredible plan for relationships. I believe that it is out of a longing to have a relationship with us that God created human beings.

*Side note: Interestingly, I've always only thought that God created Adam, then after awhile He created Eve. While that remains true, I didn't know that Genesis 1:26-27 was a prior thought of creation/design before the actual making. In the passage above, it seems to me that God had a plan to create both men and women; and He did, but (in my opinion) He did not make their bodies but formed their identity. I can't be accurate about what kind of form God created in chapter 1, but probably their inward parts - in terms of soul or spirit. (As the making of their bodies seems to be in Genesis 2).

Genesis 2: 7-8:

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.

I'm not sure about you, but reading Genesis 1 and 2 has been mind-blowing for me! Firstly, I re-discovered God's plan of forming both men and women in His image. 

1. God wants a relationship with us.

The very fact that God created us to enjoy life and live with Him is #relationshipgoals. That was the ultimate plan from the beginning! This is so important to note and understand, because until we find our identity in our creator, we will keep seeking for our identity in something and someone else. The first relationship you need to pursue is one with God, because that's your initial purpose. You exist to enjoy and live life with your maker.

But it certainly doesn't end there. Because our good God is good indeed.

Genesis 2:18:

18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 

2. God created relationships for us.

I find this passage very intriguing as it tells of the first relationship that God created. Instead of having men live alone, he created women for men. And all the men say... (Bless God!). Before the feminist opinions claw at me, I don't think that God created women just for men. (As in Genesis 1, He had a plan to create both men AND women). However, I do think that God created women as a gift for men. And it's a beautiful thing. Women, you're beautiful. As you are. Not just to men, for men or whatever, but you are good because God made you and He thinks you're good. How do I know? It says so in Genesis 1:31 "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good...".

Now this is the bonus part, and how I see God's hand over relationships.

Genesis 2:21:

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

"He brought her to the man" I just love this phrase. I apply this to my current viewpoint of dating and relationships as this; I envision both a man and woman living their respective lives. God knows the right time to bring two people together. God knows our individual needs. And God has the best plans for us. I can't help but smile at the fact that God placed Eve where Adam was, just as how I believe that God will place me where my future husband will be at. So ladies, trust in God that He will move you at the right time. You just need to be you. It's really interesting because according to a Harvard study, married men are healthier than men who were never married... and men who are married also live longer than men without spouses. But women, married or single, it doesn't affect their health or longevity. It's funny to see how that aligns with scripture because God did say that it is not good for man to be alone, but He did not state that it is not good for women to be alone! So ladies, it's allgood if you're single or in a relationship - because either way you're good. It's men that should worry, haha kidding. Seriously though, #lifehack literally.

Now this is for the men. Proverbs 18:22 states that "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD." To be able to find something means that it has to exist in the first place. Don't worry, God's got you! He doesn't only custom-make a lady for you to bless you, but He also delivers her to you. "He brought her to the man" applies to you as well. God made your job easier by placing her in your proximity! Now let's learn from the alpha male -literally, the first male on Earth, what he does the moment God places her in his life...

23 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh;

She shall be called Woman,

Because she was taken out of Man.”

What's the first thing Adam does? 'Adam said'. Adam said something first = Adam made the first move = Men should always pursue first. Just in case you missed Proverbs 18:22, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord". I'm sure it states 'he' not 'she'. All teasing aside, I'm really fascinated at this observation I had as I was reading Genesis. I love how God reveals to me little things, it's truly mind-blowing for me. I did not expect to receive so much from Genesis 1 and 2 about relationships, but as I was writing this post and reading the word, it really spoke to me.
To conclude, this post was initially inspired by the passage: Revelations 2:2-4

“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

Genesis is the first book of the bible that marks the beginning of creation. Revelation is the last book of the bible that is prophetic and (some are) yet to come.

I write this to remind those who have forgotten their first love, which is God. He is the relationship we need before any other relationships. I believe it's not just to have a healthy, stable and complete relationship with others that we need God, but it's because our first purpose is to have a relationship with Him. Above all, aside from your titles as a leader, a friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a husband, a wife, a whoever - you were called to be a child of God. God loves you and wants a relationship with you. You just need to respond to him wherever you are in whatever season. He loves you, always had and always will.

Love always,
Chelsea x