Community, core and a lifelong commitment

I spent one walk home thinking and trashing it out with God. Do I formally step out or do I just see what community comes up with? I can’t say I don’t want to, I tried arguing with God, I lost. Time for a quick litmus test: “I will be in the next LOG core!”, “I won’t be in the next LOG core!”, and it became quite obvious what I wanted for myself, and what I felt called to do.

It also came down to this main idea about new life, beginning this journey as one unit on a fresh slate. It’s the same reason why we rejected getting a BTO before a proposal even happened. No strings attached.

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The tedious side of group discernment

So today, we finally completed election of the new core team in LOG. For myself, it was 2.5 years of a roller coaster journey. At the start, it was exciting. It’s like, 8 years as a supporting actress and finally this was my lead. I was really comfortable and happy where I was at and thus hesitant the new role would burst my happy bubble. It did.

It has been the biggest growth in my spiritual life so far, and even though you can’t really attribute these things solely to being in core, it has been a diving board to a rather infinite pool.

  1. Praying out loud

For the life of me, I could not pray. I could hardly utter a word. How do people sound so coherent and say these ‘politically correct’ things to God? I struggled with it but always shrugged it of as “not my gift, I’ll just draw”. One of the earlier days, I was conducting a session, August 2013. To get round the idea of having to pray or give any input (should I say something wrong) I did a session where I just got people to reflect, write and share, their spiritual bucket lists.

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My bucketlist which apparently isn’t very bucket-ish

I have actually managed to get all done to a certain extent. Writing it down was the very first step in walking towards it. Kong and Swee cornered me one night when they sent me home and asked me to lead prayer, I think I almost cried from embarrassment. Liu made me pray with him and I couldn’t say no to that. So without this push from doing a session as core (oh obligations), I might be a little further off from these targets.

2. Improving communication and understanding limitations

I’ve also come to realize how precious actual face to face communication is. Growing up in the MSN age, it is just easier to be more honest, less shy and less emotionally wrecked when you’re hiding behind a screen with a considerable amount of time to craft a filtered response. Whatsapp is incredibly linear and does not cater for several conversation threads at once, thus the announcement and prayer chats were born.

Miscommunications happened so frequently even though we all agreed on the same point but just worded it differently -.- Structures were never my strong suit, if anything, this was more of an administrative skill, at least community also sought to confront each other about it when I stepped on too many toes. Being a comms student always humbles me, we embrace being one of the worst communicators around. I washed a lot more feet than I ever had to in the years before that.

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3. Understanding and patience

Talking about emotional wreckage, I felt so ‘hormonal’ the past 2 years. Maybe it’s from being the only girl in core (there is a maternal instinct that kicks in after the cool-big-sister vibe fails). A lot of times spent talking to people until I got so tired of it, I think I objectified them. So there I am, lying limp on the ground or punching the wall exclaiming “what else do you want me to do or say?! come on!”, there isn’t much choice left but to drag myself to Jesus and say “do whatever you want, I’m exhausted from trying”.

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There was one car ride where I was so emotionally affected by something a community member texted that I just ceased to function anymore. In that front seat next to Liu, I crumbled and officially called a time out. We probably prayed through it but I don’t remember, craziness is a little like being drunk.

But I cannot deny that this has made me incredibly more understanding than I thought of myself. You know, that feeling when you can say to yourself “Wow! I’m actually not really angry, cause I get it, you have the right to be angry or upset”. It is usually followed by some strangely loving action that would best meet the person where ever they are at, because that is the most important thing right now. Magic!

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A Po quote.

————

So those were my biggest lessons, amongst many other small opportunities that really kickstarted my giving back to community. Long story short: Media and Marketing ministry in SFX, 1cor12, creativity sessions, masscomminfo, family and relationship sessions, more intentional journeying and discipleship.

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Not to show off how many things I have accomplished (which still astounds me really), but it’s indeed praiseworthy to the one who gives the grace, strength and hope to live this life fully. As I said to LOG, I am deeply honoured by their trust and the support in nurturing me the past years. I can only feel gratitude at this point.

Community is indeed good training ground for accountability, selflessness and not quitting when it gets tough. A lifelong commitment? No problem. :O It’s a slightly new journey ahead and I’m glad I made it through one big fire of purification. On to the next one.

Thanks be to God.

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