The New Home – T Minus 84 days to Moving In

For a while, I have been mulling over whether to continue blogging about new home. As I have good friends who are currently going through financial challenges in their lives, and blogging about my breakthroughs might make them feel worse about their current state, so I did consider that I should be more sensitive about their situation.

Then I was reminded why I planned to blog about this in the first place.

The new home is a blessing from God and I am full of praise and thankfulness for all He has done in my life.

If you have followed my journey since 2011, you might have chanced upon posts about our first home, and how we move on from this home.

What I didn’t add then was the circumstances surrounding why we had to sell our home.

My hb chalked himself a huge debt through his business and we were in a very bad shape financially, so selling the home was the only way we could think of to pay off most of the debt.

We could not afford to buy a home anymore after that so we rented, but less than a year later, we had to move again from the rental home, as renting a house prove to be something we could not even afford monthly. So we moved into a room in hb’s Auntie’s house.

Again what I didn’t add was that debt was still there, and due to some very unwise choices, the debt hole become bigger. The hole was big enough not to ever own a home for a rest of our lives, if God didn’t bring us through this. I never dared to even think or even ask God to give us a new home, I just lived my life a day at a time.

Subsequently hb and I had to live separately (that was the most poignant time in our marriage), and since 2013, hb has been working out of Singapore.

In 2015, things improved financially and we could afford to rent a home, which we are still residing in today.

Being able to rent a home has been no short of a miracle breakthrough, but God went further and gave us a bigger miracle to have finally owe a home which we can call our own.

Looking back, hb and I can both identify to the story of Abraham in the bible. Except that being stubborn asses as we were, we would probably not be willing to give up our ‘Isaac’ (our home). But we had didn’t have a choice as we had to deal with the consequence of the bad choices we made.

After letting go of our first home, there were more tests and difficulties that came along (which are too complicated to list them down here, but I will share if you are ever keen to hear my testimony personally) which brought us to the lowest point in our life.

Eventually it became worse than just losing the home. But it was at this point that we decided that in our own strength, we can never save ourselves and we needed a miracle from God to bring us a breakthrough.

This new home is more than an answer to our prayers, hb’s specifically was, to have our finances restored. Upon retrospect, it has been more of a resurrection rather than just restoration. As for me, my prayer was “God please take care of my family. I will do what you tell me to.” So I have been very determined since then, to be able to understand the will of God and learn to hear Him speak to me for every situation in my life.

So in a way, our situation then it was a ’no choice’ surrender to God, vs the story of Abraham who was willing to give up Isaac as a show of obedience and surrender to God. But I learnt surrender, obedience (my trips to Jakarta to share a testimony over a two year period, God made it very clear to me that I will lose my inheritance if I did not take the obedient step to go 😱), repentance, and the fear of God through this journey.

Even then, God made everything work out for good. That’s how wonderful the God I serve. And true to His word in the Bible, as He has blessed my family abundantly, having all that we need. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

So when you see this ‘silly’ woman share bible verses and faith messages on my Facebook status, know that I am walking out and truly experiencing this life with God. These verses and words are like fire, fire in my heart and in my bones (Jeremiah 20:9), I cannot hold it back, simply because He is so good and He is a true and living God.

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I would have never expected that one day I will be able to create a nesting place that hb and I both envisioned.

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It has been exciting seeing the transformation of our new home step-by-step. Even with this stripping down to bare walls and floors, with only ugliness and mess, I am still reminded of God’s goodness for my family.

This is a milestone for my family, as it is only because of Him, that I am able to share this process and the joy of building up this dream home for my family.

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Who do you say I am?

This very question was asked by Jesus to Peter, in the book of Matthew.

Probably many Pastors and Christians with the knowledge of Christ written in the Bible will be able to answer the same way as Peter did, as his reply to Jesus was, “You are Christ, Son of the living God.”

What we hear from the leaders in Church or even read from the bible or books about God is termed as Knowledge. To put it simply Knowledge is the information or awareness gained through experience or education.

While Understanding is defined as knowing or realising the intended meaning or cause of something, it can also mean an intepretation or view of a particular thing.

It is said that Knowledge is greater than understanding, and one without another is incomplete.

I think this concept of Knowledge is greater than understanding can be applied over many things. However I realised that when it comes to making sense of this thing known as life, understanding is just as important.

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How do we apply knowledge and understanding to our own lives?

Case in point, when it comes to difficulties we experience through life, knowledge is not enough.

I might know that I am experiencing some form of difficulty or problem or even what caused it, but understanding will be more crucial here; why I am going through it?

Often we just see on the surface why we have to encounter a difficulty or trial in life.

When we analyse the situation from a logical perspective, it may be a consequence of an earlier decision we made. Also surrounded with well-meaning friends or relatives, who will remind us constantly, saying “It’s your own fault, you did this and that, you made the choice.”

Or it might be that we are participants of decisions that others selfishly make (i.e., in a family unit), or a victim of circumstances (we are just placed in that situation without any intervention of our own action).

If I take the regular church-goer Christian perspective of, “I am experiencing this, as God wants to humble me. Or that I need to count my blessings…” I would have just skimmed the surface of something deeper.

When I look deeper, I believe there is a purpose for difficulties and trials to change us to be a better person.

 

What if, it is more than just ME?

But what if, we took it a step further and see things from God perspective, everything we encounter a difficulty and trial, and ask this same question. “Who do I say He is?”

If I choose to see it simply, I think trials and difficulties fulfilled these 3 things;

1. Refine our characters

2. Build a greater revelation and understanding of God in our lives. This means to know God personally, as He can and will speak personally to address our problems and trials (this includes the solutions). Not just what is preached in the pulpits, or shared by others.

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3. Help us develop an identity of ‘who we are’ and ‘Whose we are.’

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It all comes down to our relationship and understanding of who God is; which translates to developing our identity of ‘Who we are in Christ’ and a greater revelation of God.

If we can seek God to refine us, and also come to an understanding of these things every time we face any difficulty. The purpose of these difficulties and trials would have fulfilled its purpose in our lives, and that’s when it will usher in the breakthroughs.

A life journey walking with God is not rocket science, it’s religion that complicates it. It is actually very simple, yet profound. I know this works, as I have experienced it in my life.

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It’s often our quest for knowledge that complicates, as I don’t need a theological degree to share all that. All it takes is time seeking Him.

Don’t resent your difficulty or trial either by shaking your fist towards God, and feel resentment towards Him for allowing the trial.

Instead, start asking yourself this question, “So who do I say He is?”

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It’s worth spending that 47 minutes of time to listen to this and think about how much of these Names of God you truly know and understand.

Click on this video below and listen to the lyrics in this song ‘Names of God’.

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A Walk of Gratitude down Katong Road

There are certain places that we go to that will bring back memories, and often we don’t have to travel very far.

Just early this afternoon, despite a sweltering hot day, I took the opportunity to park the car at 112 Katong, to take a stroll to Katong Shopping Centre to visit the Optometrist, then walk back to 112 Katong. This short walk evoked plenty of memories and feelings.

It brought back memories just barely 4.5 years ago when I was a regular in this neighbourhood and used to take Photo-walks. Katong have gone through some changes in that short 4.5 years.

In April 2013 the tired looking Red House Bakery was undergoing major refurbishment…

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Now, it seems to have been restored its former glory,

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The glimpse I had of the shophouses from the overhead bridge of Roxy Square in 2013 were deserted, looking dreary and old..

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Now, these shophouses have been given a new lease of life and likely are occupied by new tenants;

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Seeing these changes take took place these 4.5 years, is very much like a metaphor to how things have changed for me since the day that I took those photos in April 2013. My state in life in 2013 was rather similar to these old and tired buildings.

Taking this walk down Katong Road, I found my heart bursting with gratitude to God, as I knew that I have so much to be grateful to the Lord for. Life today is drastically different from my life in 2013 or anything before 2015 for that matter.

Life then in 2013 was a struggle, our family have sold our first home the year before and had to stay in alternative arrangements, which we had to call home for that season. It was hard to lose most of what we own. In retrospect, we needed to experience losing almost all that we own, to come to a point of trusting God wholeheartedly, and letting Him fully take over our lives and our will.

Spending these time in the ‘pit’ was necessary as it has been God’s training ground for me. What I chose to focus in the ‘pit’ helped to bring the breakthrough. I chose to minimise complaining and worship Him instead, to reflect, ‘What does God want me to learn out of this?’

Seeking God first and the Kingdom of God was pivotal during this time, as it is only through putting Him above all these things (providence, faith, security), these things will be added to me. It was a difficult choice but I decided that I needed to surrender all to Him fully, everything will be His will and none of mine. He can do what He want with me, just take care of my family. I really did not have any more expectations during those difficult times.

God really went out of His way to prove to me even in my doubt and unbelief, He will be faithful and He is a good God.

God knew the deep desires of my heart, as He has taken care of everything in my life. It is only when we come to a point of losing everything in our lives, before He is able to restore it fully for us. And when He does, it will be above and beyond what we can ask and think of!

September 2015, it has been the start of the turnaround for my family. And my family is totally bowled over by His great love and faithfulness time and time again. We have been staying in a rented home these past 2 years, and it has been a comfortable and peaceful sanctuary for the family.

Prophetically, 2017 in the Hebrew calendar year of 5777, is the year of Jubilee when all inheritances are returned and people are set free from everything which has bound them. Indeed, I can attest to this, we may have lost our home in 2012, but in mid 2017, we have officially bought a new place we can call our home! Something that I never dared to dream of since 2012, but only made possible by God.

2017 is indeed a year of restoration for my family.  On a personal note, I am reminded and restored to my calling for intercession as well.

What I have learnt during difficult times of my life, it is important to seek Him, stay in His presence daily, stay obedient to Him, stay humble always, and always chose to do the things that honour Him. Seek and Focus on His Kingdom and He will surely take care of all things for us. He is a good and loving Father, who like to give good gifts to His Children. If He cares for the birds and flowers, how much more will He care for us!

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So naturally, after sharing this happy milestone on this blog, I will be starting a new series in the next couple of months on the topic of Home Renovation and decorating my new home 🏠

And definitely more write-ups on Spiritual Walk and Faith in the coming days, as the Holy Spirit leads!

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