Vision of God

I asked the Lord that I might grow

In faith and love and every grace

Might more of His salvation know

And seek more earnestly His face.

‘Twas He who taught me this to pray,

And He, I trust, has answered prayer;

But it has been in such a way

As almost drove me to despair.

I thought that in some favoured hour

At once He’d answer my request

And by His love’s constraining power,

Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of that, He made me feel

The hidden evils of my heart,

And bade the angry powers of hell

Assault my soul in every part.

Nay more, with His own hand He seemed

Intent to aggravate my woe.

Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,

Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

“Lord, why is this?” I trembling cried.

“Wilt Thou pursue this worm to death?”

“This is the way,” the Lord replied,

“I answer prayer for grace and faith.

“These inward trials I employ

From self and sin to set thee free,

And cross thy schemes of earthly joy

That thou might’st find thy all in Me.”

– John Newton


It’s still not gone, and honestly I can’t tell anymore whether it’s because of the things around me or if it’s really just something wrong with me that’s seeing the wrong in everything around me


I felt really horrible the entire day today.

I actually really wanted to skip my philosophy lecture this morning to sleep a little more, but when I checked the topic and saw that it was about cosmology and Theism it made me wanna go for it Hah what a nerd

But I felt so dead. My eyes were still pretty puffy from crying, and my head hurt and I just felt like everything around me was a blur.

I was walking down the arts walkway and someone approached me asking if I wanted to write an encouragement letter for some charity thing but I was so zoned out and dead I barely was able to hear what she was talking about and in my mind I thought,” I’m sorry, I really have no compassion or energy left in me to write anything decently genuine”

I met my friends as usual, somehow I was able to continue laughing and smiling and being normal, but half of my brain was still in some dark pit and I could constantly feel it throughout.

And the back of my eyes stinging. And little pockets of time when I felt like I was on the verge of tears again but I’d just wipe them away in the pretence of a yawn and tiredness.

If this is what depression feels like but waaaay worse and over a long period of time, man they really have it tough.

I get these short tiny episodes sometimes- like feeling sad for really the entire day non stop for maybe 3 days max – but they’re not severe enough or long enough for me to be actually worried that I have some mental condition. But if I didn’t have the social support I have, and a relatively peaceful family now, I think I might actually end up depressed.

It seems to run in the family, being depression prone. My grandma, my dad, and me.

The last time I can remember this happening was that day I cried NON-STOP for the entire day from afternoon to midnight (except for dinner when I had to somehow hold it in front of my parents), like the tears were CONSTANTLY just flowing and flowing it was insane I could barely open my eyes properly the next morning from how swollen my eyelids were. It was over another church thing hah hahah hah.

Of course I don’t want to be one of those self-proclaimed people with depression who over-romanticise the idea of it.

Today I just felt like it was really out of my control. Not having any energy to even want to be happy. I just couldn’t feel anything else but sadness always on the back of my mind.

It’s still there now. Same stingy feeling in my eyeballs, tears still leaking out, my brain throbbing, feeling like there’s this huge heavy blanket covering every part of me. I hope it gets better tomorrow.


I think I’ve generally been someone who doesn’t have a hard time opening up to people, and whenever I have negative thoughts or feelings, I’d usually tell someone about them in hopes of trying to get rid of them.

But today was one of the few times I regretted opening up to people.

It wasn’t like I was being completely whiny and negative, I tried acknowledging the positive sides of the situation too, but after letting out my honest thoughts, she replied

“Are you done”

It’s been a while since I felt completely rejected and hated.

I ended up crying so badly, and I didn’t answer.

I mean, even non-Christians can reply with a little bit more empathy.

After talking to Sam about it, I was reminded that people aren’t capable of being completely empathetic or understanding. I shouldn’t have relied too much in people to take in all these thoughts in the first place.

I should have just went straight to God, instead of people (which I tend to do).

I hope I don’t sound too whiny on this blog although I probably do. I’ve been treating this place like an emotional dumping ground most of the time.

I just felt like I completely lost all trust in them.

So many things have been leading me to feel worse and worse about church, and this really doesn’t help.

Sam asked me, “why don’t you try talking to your pastor?”

Hah. I realised how far away my pastor feels like.

There was one time when I had to tell him some admin things on WhatsApp , and then he just casually asked “how are you?”

Maybe I should have just taken it as a greeting rather than a genuine question about my wellbeing, but I took it as the latter and poured out my worries about my dad at that time. But he didn’t reply me after that. To this day. I felt so stupid, like why did I share so much? Most people would just say “I’m fine thank you (cringey emoticon)”, and leave it as that. I just concluded that he was too busy to reply, and forgot about it.

But that was when I felt like a real small fry. I’m not big enough to see the pastor for stupid issues. I’m not “up there”. Why was I thinking all these things?

It’s just been a huge build up of little things like this, the small signs of a lack of genuineness from people in church. From leaders complaining about their kids during meetings and then talking to the same kids with huge smiles plastered on their faces, to seeing on social media all the girl leaders hanging out together including sis rach without us. Feeling left out in my own cell, feeling like a complete hypocrite as a leader, and now feeling so completely rejected by the few, closer people I actually share things with in church.

If there’s a reason for going through anything, is there a reason for all these feelings? Or is everything my fault? Did I do something wrong? Am I not being Christian enough? Am I backsliding?

And I type all these things with tears in my eyes, not out of anger or bitterness, but really just pure sadness. I feel so sad.

Is there a stronger word for that? Depressed? Hah.

Dream log (Charlie lim and trump)

Since I can’t remember the number for my dream logs I’ll just title them haha

I was at some park, and Charlie lim (yes jairia your distant relative haha so funny) was performing for this Donald trump event thing, there was his face plastered on the backdrop, but the place was empty and the only people there were wearing pink and holding signs protesting racism and other things I can’t really remember. He looked pretty sian about the whole thing, and he was probably forced into performing there. Then I think he tweeted something like “politics and music should never mix”

Anyways I went and sat down at the side either ways to watch the performance, even though I was a bit self conscious about looking like I was supporting trump or something when all the angry protestors were there. Then a few people came and joined me

What a true fan.


Think the main basis of every nauseous/uncomfortable/ anxious feeling I ever had was because I’ve been too inward focused.

If you’re all that’s on your mind, of course every bad thought or feeling you feel will get immensely bigger than how tiny they really are in the scale of the universe.

For cell today we watched this short sermon on fearing God by Francis Chan.

I was reminded of what it means to fear God. It’s not just the sugar coated idea of reverence or awe, but it is actual fear as it is depicted in the bible. People feared for their lives when they stood before God.

I think the word fear is too simple a word to encompass the complexity of the feeling that people in the bible felt. We understand fear as just the feeling you’d get when you think of something bad, but God isn’t bad, so what are we fearing?

Is this fear an inward thing (like fearing for a negative consequence that could happen to you) or an outward reaction evoked by God?

There was a sermon pastor preached where he said the fear of the Lord is the fear of being away from God.

I’m not sure if that stands true, if we are actually supposed to fear God himself.

Because we have to fear the judgement that comes from God to be even the slightest bit closer to understanding what it means to be loved and forgiven by God

Do I fear God? Do I want to fear God?

Yes, because if I fear God, everything else in this world that I fear will dull in comparison.

Wait I just realised that that’s for my own sake, so that’s not really fearing God isn’t it?

We fear God because of His power, His very being is unimaginably vast.

It’s like how the vastness of the universe is so scary because it’s just so great.

I think I’ve felt quite far from God this week.

Not in a sense that I don’t believe in God, but I never felt His presence.

There’s a different kind of energy you’d get when you feel His presence.

I can’t find a word to describe the feeling, I guess I felt very grey.

I had no colour. It wasn’t that I was lifeless, but I wasn’t who I should be. A child of God.

Ivy and church

It’s funny how God used Ivy to help me see church in a more positive light again.

I was actually in the middle of writing something really negative about church, something about feeling anxious and nauseous about the thought of going, but then I decided to not dwell on it so I scraped that post.

So Ivy asked me if she could check out cell and church couple of weeks back because she wanted to see if she could find a community there, and today we went to YA cell and service together.

At first I felt so anxious, I wanted to make sure her experience was “perfect”, from trying to check what the sermon topic was to finding out who all the cell members were in Jomo’s cell. I realised I was too caught up again in trying to control everything, and I really just needed faith and trust in God. If it was the right timing, He would have already prepared everything for her more than I ever could.

It was really awkward at first, no one really came and said hi when we were waiting around, and we couldn’t find the cell room. By the time someone came to fetch us, they were in the middle of singing a song, and we kinda just stood there. I felt like I would be leaving her out if I sang too so I didn’t. But Jomo’s friend (jomo was late) sent me the lyrics to a second song, and so I shared it with ivy, and surprisingly she was singing along. I felt a little ashamed. I only sang when she started mouthing the lyrics and singing to them.

She later told me she appreciated how the songs were all repetitive, so it’s easy for her to learn how to sing them, and I also felt a little ashamed for judging worship songs that were repetitive because it felt like they had no depth. I never thought of it from that angle before.

Cell was about BGR, which was really apt because she was going through something about it. Although she didn’t agree with everything, she said she felt like she learnt a lot.

She said she felt grateful, watching people respond during altar call and seeing people being prayed for, although she didn’t feel grateful for herself, she said she felt glad that people could find solace in God and the community when they have no one to turn to.

But she said church wasn’t for her, and people are too sheltered here. Which I agreed that it could seem like that. Her friends are people who struggle with all sorts of dark issues, in fact she struggles with dark issues too, and people like her feel extremely uncomfortable around happy bright people who seem like they live in a bubble. They’re like the “good kids” who’ve never known how dark the world can be, and she said their issues seem trivial.

I found that sad. It’s like the people who need God most are the ones who feel uncomfortable in church. Everyone’s too “holy”.

I told her there are people who do struggle, but you just don’t see them in a large group setting, maybe one on one you’d see more, and she said that makes sense.

But I really feel it too sometimes. I liked hanging out with her friends during her birthday party. Yeah they drink until they’re dead-drunk, and club, they swear a lot and they’re atheists and free-spirited, but they all have such a rich, dark history of struggles they aren’t afraid to admit, when you’re with them you never feel like you’ll be judged for anything. It’s like they’re as messed up as it can get, and they won’t ever judge you for being messed up too.

It was refreshing being with them. They felt like real people. I’m not sure how to explain it. It’s like you could immediately see them transparently. And you feel like you can be completely transparent with them too.

“Church people” feel like a whole different species of people. They’re mainly from a certain demographic, well to do, atas-English speaking. It feels like you won’t be able to talk with them about things like sex without them flinching, yet trying to mask their discomfort.

You feel like they’ll look at you differently, if they really knew what things you’ve done.

It is really a different world.

God is in our world, but not in theirs.

It felt like when ivy talked about God, she said lots of good things about God just that she talked as if she was a spectator. A third person. Peeping into a shop window she’ll never enter and saying wow that looks amazing, but I’m not going in there.

It really doesn’t feel like the same world honestly.

I told her Jesus came for the broken and the sinners, not for perfect people, and there are no perfect people, so he came for everyone.

But I think she didn’t feel it – that church was meant for broken people or for sinners.

Maybe It felt like it was meant for the goody-ish people somehow.

I feel that too.

Technically I’m a goody-two shoes sheltered person also. I’ve never been so empty that I had to get wasted with booze, never smoked, never gone to a club. I’m from an English speaking well-to-do ish family. Never hated myself till I took out a knife to slash myself, never dealt with eating disorders, never really felt truly alone with completely no one to rely on, Never had financial struggles, or any “real” dark issues (I mean my issues were all just self-created monsters).

Yeah, maybe if I didn’t know God, I would have gone through all of those things. But yeah, my life has been relatively smooth. It wasn’t perfect, I’ve had my bad seasons, but sometimes I feel like my life isn’t that great of a testimony to what God can really do. Is that a bad thing to think? But it’s not like I should go wild now and come back to God to have some cool redemption 180 turnaround story to tell everyone. I guess everyone will have a different story to tell. And I’m sure God managed to tell ivy a little about himself through my life and my friendship with ivy, such that she’d wanna try out church.

She’s been through so much. Her mom passed away just a few years ago, and it was so sudden.

God only seems as big as the struggles we relied on him for – at least at first glance by a non Christian.

If our struggles are only about grades and like worries for our jobs, whether we’d get promoted etc. That’s how big it looks like God is to us.

Okay I realised I derailed and now I’m back to spouting negativity again.

Matt said we’d know if a church is healthy if we’d feel secure being able to bring someone to church without any worry.

Because we know that God is in the church and in the people.

After bringing ivy to church, I’m at least sure of that. She saw God in church more than I did the last couple of months.


Bugs are really so alien and foreign looking. They look nothing like humans and it seems like they don’t have any particular emotion or thought.

Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to kill them when we want to spray the life out of a cockroach or when we gotta squish some pesky ants.

Do vegans also refrain from killing insects?? I mean they’re technically animals too right.

Recently I’ve been quite enjoying identifying the strange insects I see, and looking at how people all over the world have seen the exact same species.

It’s pretty cool to think that other people have also seen something so weird looking, and tiny.

Like once upon a time someone else in the 18th century also had just a random first encounter with this long horned beetle, and discovered and labelled it.

Then here some random Singaporean girl stumbles across the exact same species in Hokkaido.

Such a huge world, and such a tiny creature could connect two extremely distant people somehow by a mere fact that we’ve chanced upon the same kind of thing. It’s like the odds of seeing the same insect is just so small that it almost seems like it’s fate to have seen it.

And the thing about bugs is that there are just so many kinds of them out there. Like it’s insane. And in Singapore there aren’t that many cool 4 legged animals/birds you’ll stumble across every day, but there are still lots of strange and weird insects you could possibly come across.

When we’re in heaven and there isn’t a need for social workers anymore, maybe I could be a taxonomist, explore the new world and study or discover the different animals God made. That sounds really fun.

Will there still be cockroaches in heaven though? I guess we’d have a renewed mind and we won’t see any animal as scary anymore. Because nothing can threaten us haha.

Valentine’s Day

So apparently Valentine’s Day started in the 18th century by some roman ruler combining a festival commemorating the martyrdom of two saints (both named valentine) and another where drunk men beat up women with animal hides.

Think relationships have definitely been over-romanticised, to the point where it doesn’t work out for either parties.

I watched this anime recently, where one of the characters said ,”you can’t choose who you fall in love with, you just do.”

Well isn’t that magical-sounding.

It’s like made up to be some sort of unavoidable spell that you can’t ever break free from.

Okay I guess maybe you can’t choose who you’re attracted to. If you find someone attractive, you’ll always find them attractive. It’s like a fact.

If you like the look of roses, you’ll think roses are nice. But you might buy a sunflower instead because you want to buy a sunflower. You’ll still think roses are nice, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’ve bought a sunflower and want the sunflower. (Not sure if this analogy makes sense but I think a flower analogy would be much appropriate for the occasion)

But you can choose who to love, even though you might not be attracted to them at first.

Actually I’ve always wondered, does romantic love always have to involve attraction?

Like biblical romantic love.

Could someone possibly romantically love anyone as long as they are God-fearing?

Or is there something else that’s got to be in the formula?

What is romantic love anyways? Is it the kind of love that makes you appreciate a person much more than how you’d appreciate a friend?

Okay so like for Jacob, he had this really strong love for Rachel, but I’m not sure if he loved Leah too, romantically.

It was definitely “romantic love” concerning rachel, because he was completely obsessed with her, okay maybe devoted would be a better word.

Would his overpowering feelings for rachel justify his love for her more than his love for Leah?

Think I’m really just asking, do feelings really matter? As much as function.

Like the function of a relationship is supposed to glorify God, to represent the love between Christ and the church, and non-Christians might see such love and have no choice but conclude that it really comes from God.

You can do that without being crazy attracted to a person.

In fact it might make it even clearer because then you won’t ever idolise the person.

In a conversation I had with sis tiff, she told me the guys in our church aren’t very daring and they don’t ask girls out.

I told her maybe they just didn’t find girls they “liked” enough.

Do you really have to “like” someone enough to marry them?

That’s what the common consensus is now, you just gotta have the feels, if not it’s not real, or it’s not meant to be.

What if you chose someone on the premise that you’d be good partners? Like partners in life, teamwork. Working well together and handling things well together.

I think some people might find that cold, like a purely functional marriage. I talked to sera about this before, and she told me she must be attracted to them if not she wouldn’t even consider it. We were talking about how Caleb and her worked pretty well together and were quite complimentary but she just didn’t find him attractive.

Honestly a lot of relationship issues stem from having dysfunctional perspectives and beliefs on what love is.

And expectations.

Okay I really gotta sleep my nose is so stuffy and blocked with mucus and my head is starting to hurt and my eyes are burning a little, FROM A BOUT OF BAD FLU not heartbreak haha HA I’m so funny

Cell lesson

Raymynn and I just ended a Skype call at 2:36am and we were really struggling to come up with our cell lesson for tomorrow. For some reason it was so hard to think of the cell group’s needs and what they needed to hear, as well as what was most important to teach.

I was feeling really Sian, for lack of a better word, and I really felt like I was trying to force something out of my brain.

I felt like I wasn’t too confident about the lesson, and whether or not it would be beneficial, or whether it was what God wanted.

But as we were scratching our heads thinking of worship songs that we can use to help them declare their wanting to surrender to God, I just heard “may my prayer like incense rise before you” in my head and I hummed it out loud. But then I didn’t think much about it. We then looked at the more glaringly obvious songs about surrender like “I surrender”, but when we searched the lyrics, it was so repetitive and theologically shallow it felt weird using it.

Then I thought about the song that randomly popped into my head, and searched up what song it was because I forgot, and it’s “Like incense”.

And I was floored. Like the entire song really summarised our main points for the cell lesson.

It talked about God’s love and mercy being the drive and motivation for surrender. It talked about joy in surrender. It talked about anxiety being an effect of not surrendering.

It contained such a deep understanding of surrender, and this is one of the few times I really felt God explicitly drop something into my head, and I got back all my joy and motivation again to do “church” things.

To know that he really was working in us even though we were like half dead and struggling. I really felt like God wasn’t there with us as we were planning, because it was just so hard to plan today’s cell.

But I’m so glad that He revealed in such an explicit way to me that He was always there. I don’t really get a lot of explicit revelations, or maybe it’s because I’m extra cynical of over spiritualising things, but I really want to remember this one.