2013 in reflection

When I first started my blog, I told myself that I would update it at least once a month. But my last entry was seven months ago, and I guess that pretty indicated the state of affairs in my life this year: busy, busy, busy.

The first half was pretty much a blur and I can’t seem to recall any significant event from that period. The second half was just tiring. I don’t know why I was so tired. Wait, actually I do – full-time work, part-time studies, church and community service, and trying to squeeze in recreation on the sides. My plate was so full and God taught me one lesson well through that, i.e. I’m a finite creature with limited time, energy and resources. One of the greatest regrets is how my devotional time with God has suffered. It’s not just the quantity and quality, but the desire in itself has waned. I can’t wait for this Masters programme to end so that my life can return to normalcy as I knew it 1.5 years ago. But this has also served as a test of what the routine means to me. Time with God is imperative for the relationship to grow. Nothing can replace that.

Learning this lesson of my finiteness caused me to mull over what I want and should do. Initially there was great tension between what I want to do and what I should do, and by the grace of God, He allowed me to reconcile with my desire and His will, and desire to choose what’s more valuable. Ironically, as I realised what’s more important, duty pulls me to something else. Again, I find myself caught between duty and desire. Oh, to have duty, desire and delight aligned!

Something that adds that tinge of sadness to the year is realising that paths with some friends have diverged. You realise that some are not the same anymore and they seem to have grown more distant. Taking a step back, I reason that perhaps God has allowed us to walk together in the past and now He has called them to different phases and focus in life. Not only have friends changed, I see my family changed as well, and by that I mean my mother. Her dementia seemed to have worsened and there were moments of frustration where I really wanted to shout, ‘you were not like this’, but I knew those moments were not her doing. If it’s anything, it’s God’s testing of my love and patience toward her who selflessly gave herself for this family for so many years.

If this post seem somewhat melancholic, I have thanksgivings to share as well. Thanks to some questions in a research survey, there’s full assent that the people who love me the most and accept me for who I am are my family members. While my family is not perfect, they have always been there for me. While it’s not something new, the acute awareness of their love strengthens my resilience to life’s challenges. I’m also grateful for friends who supported and walked beside me during the year, especially when times were trying. God has been most gracious to me this year, and I know 2014 will be a year where I’ll experience his grace and presence even more.

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