The Counter Break – Reminisce #1

A year has passed since this part of my life started. With all the little things that have clustered together in the last few days of the year, the time to reminisce never really came around. Perhaps it is time to stop and see how much ground I’ve made over the year; how much God has blessed me; and just how much closer I am to pushing away all thoughts of hopelessness.

 

To condense everything into one post I’ll try and keep each aspect short, which makes sense since I’d be revealing too much personal information on a public thing.

 

 

University

Most definitely I can say the transition to university has been very smooth. I got into the swing of things really fast ever since I accepted my offer during next gen last year. Picking my timetable went well; picking the bad times was necessary so that I would learn what is good and bad for me. I have no regrets for my 9am starts. My marks went well for the first semester and after a year of study I am very well into the routine. My next few years of study have already been laid before me; it’s all set for me and Actuarial Studies now, there’s no need to turn back. I’m glad that I’ve managed to have my majors decided so confidently as opposed to others who aren’t completely sure which direction to head. I guess it keeps me from hesitating at what I should be doing. Set a plan and stick to it.

 

I suppose I learned that at uni, things are more “lax” than at school, especially the need to turn up to classes and such. Got to see just how diverse the community of students is; it’s obviously more than the Asians you see at school, well not really actually haha! But all the minorities you see from high school come back, in bigger clumps but still minorities nonetheless. Doesn’t especially make you value them more but at least it keeps you from ignoring their existence.

 

Otherwise it’s most definitely a good start to this new lifestyle, and it’s reasonably flexible enough for me to fit other things around it, since it’s so “static” in its routine and nature.

 

 

Work

Which leads me to the topic of work. It’s funny how God has blessed me into the position I am now at. In both my jobs I’ve had this year so far, neither of them required an interview, and in a sleight of grace, God certainly has provided for me. I realize my job right now is very manageable in my weekly routine. It doesn’t clash with anything at the moment. It’s not a job that requires many hours, and even with fewer hours than most other jobs, the pay is more than satisfactory. And the pay isn’t as great to the point where I can say I’m “abundant in riches”, it’s simply more than enough to get what I need done.

 

I hope it’s something I can manage during the semester; that it’ll give me enough time to study and stuff. It’s such a laid back job as a receptionist, I like that a lot. On top of that I’ve finally started up tutoring, two students who are family friends. I sure hope I really have enough time to do the important things; money no longer becomes as much an issue because it’s not the most important thing at the moment. But for the time being I am glad that things are running as smooth as they are. A few people envy my job; and if I am being gifted with such a job then hopefully I’ll be able to use it as best as I can for others.

 

 

Friends

Okay let’s move onto something more serious. I’d never thought I’d be having a sort of crisis with the people around me, but I suppose it’s just my past problems which have caught up to me. It’s kind of weird not seeing the people you used to see everyday. And then having to get used to a new group of people. The one thing that has been bugging me the most is that since we all have more free time now, we are then able to spend more of that with the people we care about. However, friendship sometimes isn’t the thing that people value most; it holds a different amount of importance for each person. And that’s fair to say. Having come across two people that have really made me realize that the things in life can keep coming in the way of you and other people. And because of such interference the word “friendship” doesn’t really mean much to you.

 

On the flip side of things, you really do begin to see which people are going to play a bigger part in your life. Though high school was the foundation to initiate such relationships, perhaps now in university is a better “playing field”, where you begin to see the true potential of everyone. I’m glad for the people I’ve been able to stay in touch with this year. I wish I had more time to really value that, and perhaps more potential to do something practical about it.

 

The highlight for me in this field this year would most definitely have to be my party. As mentioned before, I was quite surprised at how well it turned out; the sheer number of people who were willing to give up that day for my cause, especially for those who had a pain in transport. I guess in light of such things happening to me this year, they all raise my self esteem just that little more from being as low as the Australian dollar haha.

 

I’m quite thankful for the experiences I’ve gained from the people around me, the things I’ve learned from them; it’s been quite a fruitful year being around the people that I have. But on the flip side of things, for the bad things that have happened with certain people, I feel fortunate to be able to take something good out of it. An underlying problem exists of course, perhaps that’s something that cannot be solved at the current time. But the most important thing I’ve learned this year is that, with the limited capacity of a person to spend their time and effort on people, it is most wise to really consider carefully which people are worth investing time and effort into. Some people who at worst aren’t appreciative of someone’s kindness most definitely doesn’t deserve it. By an act of grace they could still continue being treated kindly but that really depends on the one who is giving; what they expect to be able to reap as their fruit, and whether they have the integrity to do something that’s potentially stupid. For me, I’m probably not a person with a lot of integrity to continue “wasting” my on people who simply won’t acknowledge what I’ve done, and it makes it all the more harder to consider what I can actually achieve in that person if I persisted. In light of some of the people in my life this year; it’s just too hard to persevere in them to the end.

 

 

Family

Well here’s another touching issue which clearly had its problems at several stages in my life. I guess it is annoying having your over-protective Asian parents get in the way of everything, from things as little as stopping you from driving to church and such. More often than not I would dismiss them as a burden in my life, when in all truth they should be so much more. And though there may be days when the fights would result in a lot of heartache, I cannot deny that there is much healing when for just a day things actually go right. It’s funny how even a short moment of harmony and bliss with my parents can quickly make me forget the anger they’ve burned in me.

 

Today they’ll still continue to restrict me from living my life to the utmost efficiency. They’re going to hold me back from doing a whole lot of things which would be considered normal by most people. And even so, I cannot believe it in myself that I could find acceptance and loss at what I’m restricted from and trying to find a way around it, the fair way. More often than not I am going to wish that my parents didn’t have to give me so many small problems which shouldn’t even be there; for example, the ongoing rabble as I try to pack for camp or something. But perhaps the best way to solve this problem, and part of what I must still continue to learn, is to find a way around the wall, rather than through it.

 

 

Church

Something new here. I had always had this in the back of my mind for so many years. And it’s funny how year after year I’ve managed to keep it suppressed so that it wouldn’t get out of hand. For one reason or another, my church has never been the brightest place for me as a Christian. And this really makes things hard for me, because without a household strongly grounded in Jesus, the church should be the next best thing. But when the church fails to meet my need, it is my faith that begins to unravel thread by thread.

 

Time after time, church has not seemed welcoming enough for me to stay. I would choose to stay at the church because of my mum or because of obligation. There are times when the word “trapped” gets used to described my relationship with the church. This year, the feeling is still here but the reason is now different. I am really glad for the brothers and sisters in Christ I have at church who have kept me going strong, who have given me my place in the church. There aren’t many of them who have been an encouragement to me; many more have been a huge discouragement. But I see reason and purpose now for staying at my church, which opposed by a fair wall of discouragement, of blame, of guilt.

 

Such complications see the rise of “church politics” but unlike national government, we deal with this in as godly a way as possible. Knowing what this godly way is another matter altogether, however. But for now, church is not really a place I want to stay; there are many more Christian environments which I would choose over church. My obligation to choose church over other places is because of the youth there. My duty as a youth group leader is one of the things that keeps me going; letting people down is something I cold never forgive in myself. And though at times it does pain me to withstand spiritual anguish for the sake of the younger generation, I somehow know that there isn’t really any other place I could go, to replace church. I could try, but I don’t think I’d succeed. This year will be a real test of my perseverance, but not for the normal reasons most people would think. This year, the change in our church just might be enough to make or break everything I’ve worked so hard for already.

 

 

CBS

Which brings me to CBS. Our university’s Christian group has indeed taken me by surprise. The sheer maturity and active involvement exhibited by the older members has been a major eye-opener for me. I’m glad that CBS has been able to broaden my perspective on the general health of Christians in this country. Outside of school and outside of church, there are Christians everywhere who were doing so much more than what I’d see in the place I’m familiar with. It doesn’t bring shame to me. To use an appropriate analogy, it would be like me transferring from a local primary school (with no Asians) to an O.C. school packed full of Asians. The average level of spiritual maturity was just that much different.

 

I am glad for the friends I’ve made with the people in our commerce faculty. We’ve had many socials together and enough Bible studies to really say we’ve achieved something as a group. There is so much in store for CBS this year, what we plan to do within the group, and what we plan to do for those who aren’t yet involved, be they the new students or the older ones. I am very glad that I had gone to MYC rather than my Actuarial Studies camp; they would’ve produced two very different consequences in my life had it been one way rather than the other.

 

The people in CBS are definitely the ones I want to continue sticking around for the next couple of years. They won’t really come close to the friends I’ve already committed to, but they’ll come close enough. That’s another issue I’ll have to deal with this year, choosing between CBS friends, and everyone else.

 

 

Spirituality

In terms of my Christian walk, it’s been rather steady over the last year. Too steady for my liking though. I was hoping to have grown more this year, but I am still happy nonetheless with what I’ve gained this year. Sometimes we aren’t always able to realize what we’ve learnt until much later. I do hope that is the case for me. Perhaps it is this new sense of freedom we’ve all achieved from leaving high school which really opens up a lot of opportunity for us; in deciding what to do at any given time, there are now so many more things that compete with our faith. And so it makes it so much harder now to resist temptation and to continue living as we’ve had in our high school years. It isn’t excessively difficult to do so, but it certainly is harder.

 

I’m starting to do some daily Bible reading now. And with so many more books from presents and the ones I bought from previous occasions, there is a lot of stuff I can delve into to help increase my knowledge in Christ and my practicalities in serving Him. The other major component obviously are the brothers and sisters around me. Again perhaps I need to be more careful in choosing who it is I can trust and be accountable towards; I had almost made several foolish decisions in being accountable to the wrong people, the ones who I thought could help me grow but now I see have little potential to do so. I am glad for the people I do have, and hopefully this year I will find a lot of spiritual support and well as a chance to support others as well.

 

 

Driving

As a way to close; the closing days of last year finally helped me achieve the biggest goal I had set for the year. And now finally I have my P’s and with a car, I should be heaps more productive than I was at the beginning of the year. I don’t know what being able to drive means for other people, but it certainly means a lot to me, and why I’ve tried to slave as hard as I could to achieve it; and why I’ve dismissed people’s insensitivity towards this issue with much anger and disappointment.

 

I am pretty much the only youth group leader without a car; and next I can match my effectiveness and usefulness as a leader, giving kids a lift to and from socials; running out at the last minute to grab and buy things that are desperately needed at the last moment. And to a lesser extent, just to get respect from the youth, haha!

 

More so, being able to drive means there’s one more person able to car pool for larger socials, whether they be with high school friends, or with CBS. My goal for this would be to serve others as a friend; there is nothing more that makes me feel better than to know that I can help and be of service to the people I care about.

 

Of course the parents issue gets in the way again; and once again it’ll all be about finding ways around it and eventually breaking free from those silly rules and restrictions which perhaps one day might actually teach me something.

 

 

Conclusion

The year has been good to me in many ways. Never will I feel regret towards the things that went wrong with myself or with other people. Regardless of the good and the bad, I have learnt much over the course of the year; and that in itself is a sign that there’s progress, and that I am closer to getting away from the things that used to weigh me down in the past, and perhaps are still doing so today.

 

There is much more I need to learn and do, many more things to consolidate and get used to; but I am still just as confident as I was last year. With my faith in God I will continue to see just how God is going to get me out of this one…

 

This is still just the beginning of the Counter Break.

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