Title: Just trying to find myself
Photoshop, Digital Photos
Description: Throughout life, we’re always on a quest to find ourselves. What makes us who we are? Which path will bring us a step closer to finding the answer? Why is identity so important to us? This month, we speak to different individuals and hear their stories–and struggles. Can you identify with any of these? Share with us what’s going on in your life.
Writings by: Jude Dias, Shawn Quah, Joanna Hor, Vania Tan, Michele Ong and Abigail Lai.

Portrait by Joshua Ong | Photos taken from Bryan Ong & Pixabay

Why did I say yes again? Hadn’t I decided to rest for a year?
It’s funny how I felt so tired from the last road trip that I told them no more.
Now a few months later, they pitched another road trip to me. This time they promised a shorter route and I said yes. Why do I do this to myself!
My body says no but my mind says yes, yes to escaping from the mundane,
From all the issues I am facing, from having to deal with people.
Into the excitement of travelling! Oh the food, the new sights and the fun we will have.
I know that I will have to come back again to face these issues.
But the addiction of travel has me locked down tight.
Even now we are planning where to travel each year up to 2020!
But this is no different from running away, away from problems.
Did Jesus run away when he was facing the greatest problem in front of him?
I wouldn’t have my salvation if He did.
Am I going about all this the wrong way?
Help me Jesus to deal with my problems.
Help me Lord not to attempt solving them in my inadequate ways.
But to trust in you and let you work in my life.
Help me Lord to lean all the more on you.

A quizzical look. Sometimes, a look of bemusement.
Maybe they find it awkward. Or maybe they just aren’t that interested once they hear that I work in Christian ministry.
Maybe I’m assuming that they will necessarily react that way.
Maybe it’s my fault because I give vague details about my work.
It’s hard to explain why if they don’t share the same belief.
It was much so easier to talk about a secular job – the boss, colleagues, pay, job scope.
Stellar job progression. Prestigious title. Annoying boss and colleagues. Pay increment.
Everyone could identify. Everyone was tuned in. I reveled in the attention.
Things I’ve left behind…right? I would still be getting that kind of response had I stayed on. Ouch.
Snap out of it. I can’t believe I’m still struggling with this. I knew what I was in for. Stop comparing.
Sorry Lord. Please remind me why I chose this path.
It’s going to get better over time. I just need to get used to it.
I’m not out to impress anyone. It’s okay if people aren’t interested.
When it’s all been said and done, there is just one thing that matters.
Did I do my best to live for truth? Did I live my live for you?

Why do you even try? Everybody looked so tired at the end.
Just think of how you ran the meeting. It went nowhere and left everyone exhausted.
Why did I step up in the first place? Why did I think I could do the job?
I thought I went in faith that God would provide, but I’ve already forgotten the things I told myself at the start.
I didn’t want to focus on me, I wanted to keep my eyes on Jesus.
I didn’t want to prove my worth, I wanted God to be seen in my weakness.
But facing failure in running my first meeting has sent that all tumbling down.
Lord, please let me remember ministry is not about me, my faithfulness, or my skills.
Help me to see and know it is about Jesus, His faithfulness, His strength.
I keep making it about me.
But I have nothing to prove, nothing to lose, and nothing to hide.

It feels like my world is crashing down on me. Why is it crashing down? I’m scared. I didn’t do anything wrong. Why is she leaving me? Why isn’t she saying anything? Did I do something bad? Did I say something wrong? What is happening?
I feel like I am not myself anymore. What is happening to me? I am losing it. I’m losing myself. Nothing I draw feels good anymore. Every letter I write doesn’t look good no more. She inspired me. But she’s gone.
I did so much. I sacrificed so much. For what?
Am I really lost? Is it really all over?
Forgive me dear Lord for pushing you away in all of this. You were always here. From the beginning. You are still here with me and I never noticed. In my misery, I never saw you standing next to me.
Strengthen me O Lord. Heal my heart. Fill my mind with the thought of you. Give hope to my bones so that I can stand up again. Wipe the tears from my eyes so that I can see the beauty of your face.
I want to hide so that I can heal. But I know that no matter where I go, you will find me.
Make me new again Lord.
Make me all about You.
I want to believe.
I know you will.

Where’s my home? Where should I be? Is this God’s will for me?
I ask myself these questions day after day.
My heart feels like it is in two places, two separate worlds, 6806.5 miles apart.
Why do I feel like a leaf that’s been blown about in the wind, not knowing where it’ll settle. I shouldn’t have to feel this way.
Yesterday. I felt positive. I think I’m in the right place. Surely, God has called me here. I’ve got a job I love. I’ve made close friends. I’ve got a church to serve in. Maybe God is saying ‘stay’ instead of ‘go’. Maybe being away from family is just a sacrifice I’ll have to make?
Today. I’m tired of feeling this way. Perhaps God is saying to me “it’s my choice”. Neither decision is wrong. I’m ready to take a leap of faith, make a move and see what He has in store for me.
Maybe I’m worrying too much about this. Dear Lord, be my peace. It shouldn’t matter where I am, but with what I do and with whom I choose to walk it with. Only you can complete me.

Don’t be silly. Everyone likes you. Why wouldn’t they? I’m funny, caring, and generally quite laid-back.
So what if they aren’t laughing at my jokes? And so what if sometimes people look at me funny, like as if I’ve grown another head.
Anyway, whatever. Remember that one time someone said I was the funniest person to be around, and how much they love hanging out with me? Remember that? So, you see. People like me!
But what if they were laughing at me, not with me? And they were being polite about it? What then?
But it doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. I am strong, independent, and down-to-earth. And if they can’t accept me for me, then I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with them. Who wants to hang around with a group of haters?
Oh, look a text message. Hey, they’ve said they liked my blog post. Awesome!
This is eating me alive. Why should it matter what others think of me? It’s not like they died for me, or created me. As long as I’m living my life in obedience to His Word, that’s all that should matter. After all, He made me. He loves me. Jesus died for me. That’s what that should count, shouldn’t it? Not the thoughts and opinions of others.

Portrait by Joshua Ong