A Love With Boundaries

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Love has boundaries.

Yes, sometimes you compromise, sometimes you go all the way, but your heart has certain boundaries, it has certain capacities.

I’ve been learning what it means to choose my battles, to listen closely to the spirit. Jesus did not heal everyone, He walked by crowds and only a few were highlighted in the stories. He was intentional.

I had to choose my battle today. There were several needs that needed my attention but I chose the way of peace, the thing that felt right.

I got to pray for a girl on my uber pool today who was struggling with anxiety. I did not expect to meet someone on uber today, but I did. I clicked right away with the driver and we talked about healing. Then after one passenger was dropped off, another came on and she immediately told me about her ongoing struggle with anxiety. I asked if I could pray for her and told her about her identity.

Though there were other people that asked for help today – I had to choose. I could have done everything and exhausted myself, but I chose the way of peace. I chose to do what I wanted to do, what I felt like doing. And this led me to meeting the two girls on my uber ride. 

I chose the way of peace because I knew that the other person that needed my attention didn’t need me, he needed to make amends of his own and restore the relationships that he lost. I could not step in and become that relationship. If I did, even out of compassion or kindness, I would have hurt him in the long run.

He needed to go through the pain to see that his need was great for relationships around him.

I am just a messenger who sometimes goes into peoples’ lives and spots the blind spots for them. But I can’t fill the gaps that people in their lives are suppose to fill. 

For example, I can’t become someones’ sister, mother, wife, girlfriend, friend if what they lack is just that…I can only point them to God or encourage them to restore the broken relationships in their lives. 

I am not meant to be everyone’s confidant or savior.

A love with boundaries. 

What does boundaries look like in your own life? 

There are demons you must dare to face within your soul. No one can face them for you. God can give you the strength and fight the battles for you, but you WILL NEED to feel the pain….the pain is real.

I know the pain is real and I feel them when I’m healing.

I walked through seasons of solitude where I grappled in darkness, asking God why. I had 1 or 2 best friends that talked to me during this time. But I pretty much spent everyday alone. There were demons that needed to be confronted and the only way I could hear God was if I was alone, not distracting myself with being with others, not distracting myself with activity or busy-ness. I needed space and time to hear. 

If someone had took on the responsibility of being there for me when they shouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have focused on the healing within me. 

I needed to be alone and I needed to take responsibility for the pain within me.

There could be no one to blame.

That is why after walking through the season—-I’ve learned not to take on wrongful responsibility for peoples’ healing. 

Let go, God will take care of them. Give them space to heal.

I know it hurts to see people hurting…but you can’t take the pain away from them, they must walk through the process. There is a process for healing. 

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Emotional Maturity & Wholeness- The Essential Adulting That No One Talks About

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Everyone talks about “grow up” and be an adult, save money, choose your spouse, get a house, get things done….but for some reason no one talks about the real things you need in adulthood- emotional maturity. 

We can have a facade of wealth, happiness, happy instagram photos, luxury items, but if we are pent up with feelings of unworthiness, anger, bitterness, jealousy, envy, anxiety….then are we really happy?

I used to be passive aggressive. Growing up with a single mom, I took care of everyone but myself. I made everyone happy but myself. I spent most of my twenties healing from past wounds and learning how to love myself. People stepped over me but I let them… like a rope, I snapped after many injuries and then “you was gone” and I was gone. After the last straw, I was bye girl.

However, I didn’t know how to say “you’ve crossed the line” the first time. For some reason I thought people would know NOT to in the first place.

But people can’t read your mind. So I learned how to speak up for myself.

  1. Love myself
  2. Set boundaries
  3. Interact in a crazy world

Here are some things that I believe we serious need to define “adulthood”….I spent a lot of time hearing people complain, blame, and talk about their wounds….it seemed that no matter WHAT age you are, we have the same PROBLEMS.

But I realize these problems can be simplified if we choose to see its TRUE value.

A lesson for us to confront and take responsibility.

Things that mark a whole emotional adult:

  1. The ability to confront people- “hey you’ve crossed the line” or learning to confront your friends and family with the right approach.
  2. Resolve conflicts in your relationships- how to bring up problems within your relationships or even in small ways like not being afraid to say to strangers, “hey mister, you cut the line, I was before you”.
  3. The ability to discern unhealthy and healthy relationships- and which ones to keep and throw out. Also learning to find a build healthy relationships that are two way and not just one way (helper or helpee- new word LOL).
  4. The ability to say NO, to set boundaries physically and emotionally- this could be as simple as moving to another seat on the bus if the person next to you smells or is creepy. I used to just deal with it but now I move away like a master ninja. It is important that I don’t create physical discomfort for myself in potentially annoying or dangerous situations.
  5. The ability to discern what your heart needs – Emotion test, what is it that I am feeling right now? Am I sad, mad, angry, bored, what is it that I need?
  6. The ability to speak your mind and ask for what you need without feeling shame– Growing up super independent I never asked people for help, lest my mom. But one time as I was out in the world, making ends meet I had a really bad financial month. I was ashamed. No one knew how hard it was to freelance and pay rent, and I made sure that my mom of all people didn’t know. It was the most difficult thing for me to ask my mom for help but when I did, my pride broke off me. 

And guess what? It needed to in order for me to see that I was worthy of help.

7. Vulnerability- the ability to appear weak, to need help, to cry, to be angry, to be sad……we need to be vulnerable if we want to experience a TRULY HAPPY life. When we are vulnerable, we are SEEN by people, we are validated and loved for  who we are, not who we pretend to be

8. With vulnerability comes the ability to allow your heart to heal- healing emotional wounds- therapy, God’s help, sozo, inner healing, whatever resources there are….I’ve personally been to SOZO, which is spiritual inner healing. Every time I go, I cry like a baby and forgive…forgive myself and people

9. The ability to forgive and move forward from heart wounds- to forgive yourself and others

10. The ability to reject and refuse to receive toxic messages into your soul– One time someone said something really mean about me and I cried and cried. I told people what this person said about me….then all of a sudden, this girl asked me “but what does God say about you?” I was stunned. Oh yeah. Maybe I should focus on the truth about who I really am. That I am loved, that I am beautiful, amazing, awesome. 

 

No one can depress you. No one can make you anxious. No one can hurt your feelings. NO ONE can make you anything other than what you allow inside. – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

I wanted to write this because I was feeling sidelined by God- like why are you making me wait to do all these great things I want to do? But then at night, God reminded me that He was preparing my heart, He was building emotional maturity within me so that I could be READY for the things that were ahead. 

We live in a society that chooses to blame others for their lives….they blame the government, the institutions, the whites, the blacks, whatever…..but how about personal responsibility? Emotional maturity helps us to see things as they really are. Are we also responsible for allowing others to influence us when their motive was sinister? 

Emotional maturity helps us to be confident in ourselves, to celebrate and grieve with others and to come to terms with our own journey and where we are in life. 

 

 

 

 

 

How I was Healed from Low Thyroid

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Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in your life comes down to one thing.

You are enough.

Or the question of “Am I Enough?” 

When it comes down losing weight – am I slim enough, am I enough? Am I beautiful enough? Am I good enough for you (in relationship)? Am I smart enough? Am I successful enough?

So I’m going to tell you my struggle this year.

I’ve been in a long season of training and waiting with God. In March, I was told by my doctor that I have low thyroid. I thought everything would be okay with my blood test but apparently there was something wrong. In slow-motion, I thought to myself “omg, this is bad”. The next few months were filled with paranoia. 

At first, I tried to eat the medicine they gave me but had horrible insomnia. The next day I called and the nurse said to eat half the pill so I did. Again, horrible insomnia and fast beating of heart. Finally, thank God the doctor said to stop eating it and just eat seaweed.

I ate seaweed like my life depended on it. Then I went to an eastern doctor and got remedies. I cooked herbs for 3 hours once every few days.

But what broke the spell for me was when I watched Joseph Prince’s message about healing. He said that the word healing had “relax” in it. The key to healing is to rest in the finished work of Jesus – “by His wounds we are healed”. 

And even if you don’t see it yet, you believe it, you speak it, it becomes your reality. You have to have faith.

You can’t believe and then continue to live in paranoia. Obviously, you still have to do the work of eating seaweed or whatever it is, but you relax knowing that God is currently healing you.

I said “God I don’t know what I’m doing because whenever I exercise too much, I get sick and whenever I don’t I feel gross and fat and since I have low thyroid I am just gaining weight not eating much. I feel defeated. I can’t do anything on my own. I believe that by your stripes I am healed“.

In May, I did another blood test and my thyroid levels were completely normal. 

Well, now it’s August and I find that I am still low on energy and feeling unhappy at times. Now I know that God is healing me but I am starting to see that the condition of my heart is closely related to “my happiness”.

God is healing my heart of old disappointments, hurt from the past and when you are going through heart healing, you may not have the energy to do things like “normal people”…

Do you ever notice when you force yourself to do something you don’t want to, you feel anxiety? 

It’s because you are not listening to your heart.

Your heart may need to lie down, mope a little. Maybe it just needs the time to do so.

Our society doesn’t teach us how to honor and protect our hearts. Society tells us to hurry up and just get over it. 

Society says, YOU ARE NEVER ENOUGH so you just need to hustle everyday, go to the gym for 6 hours a day and even when you feel good enough, you’re not enough.

But I just want to tell you that YOU ARE ENOUGH. And God loves and accepts you as YOU ARE NOW.

What about getting fit? Or getting healthy….believe that the God in you is healing you, directing you, guiding you. Listen to That within you that knows you full well.

Even when a trainer says they know better…….ask them “do you know what it means to feel enough?”

Because this society is full of people that look good on the outside, but feels LACK within. The lies we tell ourselves “I’m not enough, I don’t have what I need now, I’m never going to be enough”.

The truth- You are enough. You have everything you need now (this also relates to consumerism in our society and why we often consume in order to fill the void we feel within), you are already enough now.

What if we lived from the love and Enough-ness instead of the lack and unworthiness? 

PS- when it comes to dieting, we subconsciously tell our hearts “you can’t have what you want” which translates to “because you can’t have what you want, you don’t have enough, and YOU ARE not enough because you don’t have what you want”. So we cheat. because we are living by RULES versus desires. I wonder if that’s why people also cheat in relationships, because we are tying ourselves to rules instead of living in honesty about what we really want and need. 

Why is there a CHEAT DAY? Isn’t that the same idea as saying you can go on vacation because the work you do everyday- you hate. What if we lived in a way where we learn to honor our desires and needs? And we live out of that place of abundance. 

Having Faith Is Not For the Weak

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It’s finished.
Everything you want, that you can dream of, it is completed.
It’s finished Jesus said as He gave up His spirit on the cross.
The gospel explained. Religion tries to add works to it. Religion is us trying to work towards God, grace is God reaching us.

It is finished. Your perfect health, your provision, your dream life partner, your house, your healing of your broken heart, the restoration of your family, your retirement, your whatever you are worried about.

If you choose to believe that Jesus did it for you, then you will receive it. But you can’t plan it. You can’t humanly know how it will happen but the process is learning to trust that God is actually good.

I used to be a workaholic, I used to think I needed to prove myself. I didn’t feel complete, didn’t feel loved. I felt like if I worked hard and became successful in the world’s eyes then I would be worthy of love, then people will love me, esp my family.

In Asian culture, it is very esteemed to be a doctor or lawyer. Parents often compare their children. Even though my family was quite different, my mom as a piano teacher and my dad as a professor, my mom probably felt the pressure too to prove that her child was esteemed. Well, here I was, a fashion design major who worked all throughout college and then 9 months after graduation…but then I hated sitting at a desk…I quit my job and went backpacking for 2 months in Australia.

 

It didn’t end there. I decided I would never go back to the life of a desk slave, so I started to build my empire selling jewelry, life coaching, doing all sorts of things. That happened in 2011.

Then God led me to an unknown path and I chose to believe despite the fact that it looked crazy. I gave up everything, my ego, my money, my house, my good credit, my car, my stuff, my own plans, how I wanted others to see me. I chose the kingdom.

Ever since I was young, I had clear goals and dreams. I was aggressive in my approach and worked hard to get whatever I wanted.

Even though I am a creative, I had very clear plans for God to fulfill. But He had other plans for me. He wanted to restore and heal my heart and my identity. He wanted to show me that I was loved for who I am and not what I can achieve. He wanted to put me back into my family and show me that my family love me for who I am. 

Sometimes I listened and obeyed even when it meant getting on my knees and crying, asking God if He would really provide for me when I was alone on an island, with no friends or family.

And then He would send a total stranger to help me when I regained trust in Him. But usually it meant becoming totally helpless.

God was teaching me total reliance.

Having faith is not for the weak, it means believing for the Red Sea to part when everyone is buying wood and making a boat.

You may doubt yourself in the process, but when you see God continue to part rivers, seas, oceans for you He becomes your best friend, your father, mother, mentor, guide.

Walking In Faith Always Requires A New Level Of Trust

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(Catba Vietnam)

Whenever a new challenge comes my way and I have doubts and feelings of lack, I remember how God delivered me.

For one, as I was walking home, I thought about how whenever God called me to something, I never actually had the finances or resources for it. It required faith and trust and follow through. I had to obey and walk through the steps. I don’t know why God has given me this kind of faith or why He has required it from me, but maybe because I was born into situations that required me to have faith.

When I went to Thailand I had a one way ticket and $1000. The paycheck I was “relying” on never came through and as much as I chased down that client, I had to learn to let it go and forgive him. 

I would hear a country, a city, and go. One way tickets. There were times I pretty much ran out of money and then something would show up like the idea of selling an old tablet, which afforded me one week at a 10′ by 5′ prison celled size room.

Or how I would be dancing at a bar and a Vietnamese lady would offer to pick me up at the train station the next day and I would learn about their lives while I lived with her.

Or how I would forget but randomly mention my blog and be offered rooming for my marketing and writing skills.

But at the end of the day, God always called me to people.

He never showed me exactly what would happen, but He would tell my heart to trust Him. And I would be petrified, but I would walk forward, trusting that I wouldn’t be stranded on an island.
And that has almost happened too.

But then I’ll be eating my last $2 and then a group of travel agents would join me and ask me to drink with them. And then somehow I would become friends with people I would have never met if I wasn’t out there eating alone at Catba Island, Vietnam.

MY life is full of stories like this.

And so when I am feeling challenged, I would remember, God did this and that….and I would never fail to be in awe once again.

So whatever new challenge you are facing today, remember how God delivered you then and how our whole life is a series of trusting for the next level. 

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My couchsurfing host in Hanoi, now a sister.

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Saigon, Vietnam

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Biking in Melaka, Malaysia

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Dancing at the temple, Melaka, Malaysia

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Catba Islands, Vietnam

Don’t Be Afraid To Stand Out- The New SEASON

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I just wanted to show you my new hair by hairstylist Stephanie Markel of Tru Salon.

Well, I kind of didn’t realize that people would be staring at me after I got my hair done. I can’t hide anymore. I used to hide, because I didn’t want the unwanted attention. I didn’t want people to talk to me all the time…but now I really can’t hide.

This marks a new season for me and I’m sure for many of you.

It’s a new season of stepping out. You’re going to have to take risks, be vulnerable, do things you’ve never done or have not done for a long time. You’re going to have to open your heart to new people and trust that God will protect it. You’re going to have to be open about who you really are.

You’ve been hurt before, but you grew stronger in the healing.

Your bones are stronger though it was broken.

It is okay that you may be sad about letting go of the past, letting go of control and how things used to be. In the wilderness, things were predictable for me…I knew what to expect…but now being thrown into the rainbows and universe, I find myself clenching onto what little control I have. 

But I hear “relax, let go, go with the flow”.

It’s a new season.

Are you ready?

Rewrite your dreams, dream again. You are not the same person, you know who you are. You may have to let go of how you thought your life should have been, or become. Your destiny is greater than a generic life. 

Write your own chapter. Sing your own song. Dye your hair purple and blue, look like a mermaid or a troll.

Don’t be afraid to stand out.

 

A New Day: My Story of Broken to Healed

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Less than 3 years ago I was sitting in a hostel in Barcelona in a bunkbed.

I had a dream that I was to quit real estate, like not actively participate in it anymore. I had just carried a duffel across western Europe and little did I know how much that experience would change my life. It was also on that bed that I first saw Toure Roberts speak via youtube. Up until then my relationship with God was outside of institutions because well I had let go of a really closed minded institution. I grew up going to church and I didn’t realize how legalistic most churches were until I finally left 6 plus years ago.

And I saw God like I never saw Him before. Gracious, fatherly, loving, generous, slow to anger, quick to love, quick to extend a hand. 

Then like a snake, I shed everything. I shed my career, I shed my relationship, I shed some friendships, I shed my apartment, I shed my prized super comfy sofa that I really loved, I shed almost everything, the forks and plates.

I had built my life on a lie, that I wasn’t enough. 

And God would speak into those insecurities and continue to speak “you are enough right here and right now” in the next days, next year, and so forth.

I learned to love myself in the darkest places of my heart. I learned to be okay with emotions, you know the ugly ones…emotions like “Hey you hurt me” or “hey that hurt, I mind that you said that”. I learned to VALUE my voice. 

Because even now when I tell people what I’m going through they quickly remark “you are victorious” instead of being there with me in the pain. I have learned that not many people are comfortable with facing their place of pain. Reading “No More Faking Fine” has taught me to lament, to struggle with God in the pain, to be okay not being okay.  

And obviously we all hate it when people complain too much or dwell on their pain 24 hours, we hate it…yah, that’s another issue, but some of us, like me, never learned to lament.

In the months and year of feeling like “nothing was happening” God was actually healing me and replacing the lie of “I’m not enough” to “I belong, I am enough. I am loved and accepted right here and right now”. 

And in doing so, I no longer needed the attention of people…of men, or the desire to need to be wanted or chased by potential partners. I no longer needed acceptance from people. And yah, I still have insecurities here and there but I feel different, I feel at peace with who I am now. 

No longer chasing things, opportunities, friends, potential friends, potential mates…I sunk deeper into God’s unconditional love for me. 

I would no longer be defined by my accomplishments and accolades but by the tiny and still voice of “enough” and “love”.

I found God’s love to be deeply captivating, deeply protective, silently powerful. 

The breakthrough is here. The breakthrough is you. The breakthrough is YOU knowing who you really truly are.