Testimony Tuesday

Write your story with honesty and transparency. Maybe you will get criticized, but maybe and most likely you will set the captives free.

I’m wondering where I should start but I have been having dreams about telling my testimony.

I’ll start from the beginning then.

I was born in Hamburg, Germany. My parents moved there to study. They both spoke German but we are Taiwanese.

I moved a lot growing up. In fact, my mom was a backpacker like me. We weren’t the traditional Asian family. In fact, our lives were riddled with traveling, but often not on a luxurious budget.

I then moved to Taiwan and lived there until I was 8. Then I immigrated to America. My parents got divorced then.

I didn’t see my dad for 10 years. When I did see him, he was older, frail, not what I remembered. God took me through years and years of healing and forgiveness.

I can’t tell you how hard it was to forgive people in my life, but I know it’s supernatural.

My journey of faith was lifelong.

I knew God was always with me but I accepted Him when I was 12. From then on, I was already an outcast. I was just different. I was different in personality and style. My wardrobe was eclectic. I couldn’t fit in anywhere. My mom made my clothes so I didn’t have any brand name clothes. I felt less than because of that, I wanted to fit in but I didn’t have the money to.

So I earned my own money. I was plagued with feelings of unworthiness and started selling toys in 3rd grade. I started saving my own money because I wanted to be significant. 

This post is really about finance, identity, grace and God (your Abba Father).

SO I worked my ass off to be significant and worthy. I was selling stuff in middle school, under the table, very literally…while the teacher was talking. I was always entrepreneurial you see….but I didn’t know my identity in Christ. I also wanted to help my single mother.

I went onto pursue Fashion Design and Business, I saw my life with expectation and vision. I would climb the corporate ladder and (be miserable) like Devil Wears Prada. I wanted fame and status. I didn’t know why I wanted it exactly but everyone affirmed it, everyone applauded my goals, everyone was also running this rat race. 

Achievement and accomplishment was so ingrained and embedded in my identity that it took years to break off.

You see, even in church my accomplishments and DOING was applauded. 

The more I did and served in church, the more people applauded me. 

“you’re a great leader” they would say.

Things kind of hit the fan when one leader pushed undue responsibilities on me. “You didn’t take care of this person”- they said. I was probably 18 then? I thought to myself, how could I take care of others when I can’t even take care of myself.

I was dry. I had been wrung out with no more soap to go on. I was a really dry sponge.

Then some other mentor that I thought I could trust basically cursed me out.

I was forced out.

I wondered why.

I wondered why me. I was hurt.

Then I went on a pilgrimage, and it took many years to see myself right. I walked into the wilderness and I was confused. I knew I had greatness on my life but I didn’t know why I kept getting hit over and over again. Why was life so hard if I was supposed to be winning?

There’s more to be said but I’ll continue with this….

After years of trying to make it on my own, trying to be significant…I found myself following Jesus when He said to sell everything and follow Him. I had packed up my stuff in my friend’s garage and flew over to Hawaii to stay with another friend. I had gotten rid of my apartment, gotten rid of my car, and was off the radar.

On the outside, people had no idea that I was just obeying God. 

But you see, sometimes your obedience looks crazy to others. 

A year later, I was in Thailand. I had a one way ticket and everywhere I went I was simply following Holy Spirit. I didn’t go to vacation, I was simply exercising my faith. Because it wasn’t like I saved money to go, I had $1000 that I basically used up in Thailand. So now how did I go to Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, etc. I’m not sure, things always worked out. Did I do it with fear and trembling? Yes. But I saw God move and He used me to speak into peoples’ lives.

I found myself pushing a suitcase on the streets of downtown and staying in a Korean spa. I could have contacted people but God told me specifically not to. Why? He wanted me to trust Him, not people.

But God showed up in ways I never would have expected (I’ll have to write a book someday).

God taught me grace- that grace is not something I work for but something I receive and inherit because JESUS died for me to have it. 

I learned what it REALLY means to be a child of God.

Many people become Christians but never activate and use their faith. They stay stagnant and unchanging because they don’t realize that faith must be exercised.

You will not receive the PROMISE LAND if you trust in your own efforts. You must go forward, empty handed sometimes.

I am stronger now in Christ than when I was strong in my flesh. 

THERE IS A BIG transition and change coming and I know that many of you (myself included) is wondering HOW GOD is going to do it. But I promise you that He will do it, somehow. Because HE HAS done it before. 

“In my frequent journeys, I have been in danger from rivers and from bandits, in danger from my countrymen and from the Gentiles, in danger in the city and in the country, in danger on the sea and among false brothers, in labor and toil and often without sleep, in hunger and thirst and often without food, in cold and exposure.

Apart from these external trials, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches….If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is forever worthy of praise, knows that I am not lying..” 2 Corinthians 11

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Amsterdam, Holland

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Amsterdam, Holland12184291_10156181977115603_7337344419047455587_o

Hanoi, Vietnam- 12182820_10156181978565603_8331432383287719801_o

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Melaka, Malaysia

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Morocco

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Purple Weed Cake

My craziest, well, I’ve HAD A LOT OF CRAZY travel experiences as a solo backpacker, but the weed cake in Amsterdam was PRETTY crazy.

I am not a drug user, I’ve never tried any hardcore drugs. I’ve only drank. And smoked weed (socially). But THE WEED CAKE from Amsterdam did me in. I only planned 2-3 nights there because the hostels were really expensive compared to the rates I was paying in other cities. After a 9 hour bus ride from London (in 2014), I got picked up from the bus station by a friend I met at King King (LA), which used to play really cool house music, but it is unfortunately now CLOSED. I used to go to King King with my older friends (well, not much older…haha, like 2-3 years older). My younger friends didn’t really understand what the heck it was about, you see it was about the MUSIC and the DANCING, not instagram.

Anyways, we had a meal, caught up and I went up.

It was the cheapest hostel in Amsterdam, which meant you literally lived across a 24 hour club banging loud music….I don’t know how I fell asleep at all. 

But you know being semi- adventurous, I met some random friend in the lounge the next day, which happens to be purple, and he was like “hey, I heard there’s this really good weed cake, want to split one?” We found the cafe, owned by Armenians, I think, and we bought the famous weed cake he was talking about.

Anyways, we split it. We actually split it.

The last time I ate weed was when my friend made a cookie, I only ate a bit of it and when I was trying to drift off to sleep, I felt like there was a bug crawling in my stomach. Talk about paranoid.

Anyways, nothing happened.

But then I got really hungry and went to the only place I could afford with my budget, Burger King. Stupidly, I got a freaken coffee! And a meal. I devoured the load.

The coffee came sweeping up on me like a explosion of heartbeats and stars. I remembered my friend Munir told me not to drink coffee.

I was NOT okay.

I had to lie down fast or I was going to faint or have an epileptic attack.

I walked to my hostel mixed dorm room and climbed up to my bunk bed. I don’t know how much time past, but I literally saw my hand shaking. I called my boyfriend at the time, who I met in London, I said “I’m going to die, I’m dying”. He said “you sound okay to me”.

No really I’m dying.

I don’t know how much time past, but I kept staring at the clock scared that I would miss my bus tomorrow. I climbed down once, threw up, stared at the mirror, my eyes bloodshot. Was I dreaming? I climbed up again, how did I manage not to fall. I was not used to be out of control. I was a control freak really, I mean how else could I backpack on my own and not get kidnapped?

I projectile vomited a few times, one time I couldn’t hold it in and sort of sprayed into some of those Australian mates’ massive pile of stinky clothes and bags, there was even a doll in there. Like what?

The worse was when the purple swirly Victorian style wallpaper turned into Buddha. My heart was racing and this nice Samaritan gave me a drink of her water. 

Later we would bump into each other in Berlin. 

It was in the afternoon. I found myself playing worship music and praying in tongues. I forgave all my enemies and asked God to forgive me for hating on people.

I got my heart right somehow, I don’t know why, but I felt that if I died in that Amsterdam bunk bed, next to filthy stinky shit that belonged to these filthy mates, I’d be okay. Apparently, I even talked to some people, but half way I’d stop.

“where are you from?” – said stranger.

“I’m from LA”- Said me.

“How long are you traveling for?”

me- “uhhhh”. Blank out, I’m dying, I think.

Ran to bathroom, throw up, stare at mirror, ran back to bunk bed, am I alive, am I in some sort of Tom Cruise movie? Everything was like seconds of a film, it was a movie.

This is what came of that day.

download

You can order your own print here: https://society6.com/product/amsterdam-wz8_print#s6-2691391p4a1v45

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The sketch, the cafe, and the hostel cat and I recovering.

I’ll always have stories to tell. Moral of the story, some good art might come from a horrific experience, and sometimes they wake us up to a spiritual reality.