Dear God

Dear God,

All packed up.

I’m here right now sitting in front of my almost empty desk, staring at my almost empty wall. The only things in front of me are the necessities – my change of clothes, my shampoo and toothbrush, my purse, my hairbrush, and my mirror. Oh, and my laptop. Everything else is already packed up, cramped into four bags, one plastic storage container, one laundry bag, and – tsk, tsk, tsk. When did I accumulate so much stuff? Guess I’ll be building some muscles tomorrow. Have to lug all these things out of my room because it’s checkout season here at the dorm once again. But I thank You because my Malaysian family is here to help me relocate.

Sigh. Last night here in this room. But hey. I’ve only been in this room for two months. I’ve already been through five rooms (this being the fifth) so it’s really no biggie. But I guess it’s different this time, because as I sit here preparing to move, I’m also mulling over my stay here in Malaysia.

It’s been a year already.

Well, almost. I got here on the 24th remember? Flew off on the eve of the 23rd, landed in the morn of the 24th. And got swept away at once to the Sungai Buloh Hospital.

Funny, Lord. But that was one crazy experience. A one-in-a-million kind of experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world. Seriously. I thank You for that experience. And I thank You for all the other experiences here – good, awesome, weird, crazy, dramatic, freaky, whatever – as well.

Thank You. Terima Kasih. Maraming Salamat po. I guess that’s the very thing that this heart is saying right now. I just want to thank You for all that You’ve done in my stay here, all that You are doing, and all that You will continue to do.

I thank You because You’ve brought me to situations that bring out the strength of my heart, the courage from within, showing that this little crybaby is really more than what meets the eye. I thank You for giving me friends who understand that crybaby, who are always just an e-mail or a buzz away. I also thank You because You have given me a family here as well – I know I’m not alone in this land – I will always have them to share trials, triumphs, tears and laughter with.

And I thank You because You have given me a family supportive enough to release this little girl into a wild, wild world (according to Dad and Cat Stevens), allowing her to chase and live out her dreams.

And I thank You, Lord, most of all for believing in me and for bringing people into my life who believe in me as well. I cry whenever I hear and sing these lines: “I have never walked on water, felt the waves beneath my feet but at Your word Lord, I’ll receive Your faith to walk on oceans deep. And I remember how You found me in that very same place. All my failing surely would have drowned me But You made a way…” (Here in my Life by Hillsong United)

Me. One year ago. :)

I thank You, most of all, because you believed in me first.

I would never be who I am right now, doing the things I do, if it were not for You.

I love You, Lord. I always will. Thank You for this first year in Malaysia. And I look forward to “the more” up ahead.

Your Daughter,

Mari Anjeli

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I’ll Stay Amazed

For quite some time, I’ve been swinging back and forth between two extremes: being overly emotional and being excessively emotionally “numb”. On one hand, I’d be too busy with busyness to feel rapture and despair, but on the other extreme hand, during those days of un-busyness, I would tend to feel too much, ending up sleepless because of all the unsorted-out emotions.

I woke up one day realizing that I needed to strike a balance somewhere. I needed to find a middle ground. Because if I didn’t, I’d probably end up being bipolar or something. That wouldn’t be good.

So how do I strike that balance? How do I keep myself from switching back and forth between Ice Queen and Emo Girl and stay… stay… stay…

… stay as what? Stay as what, Mari?

Well, as a child, I guess.

A child.

Whoa. How do I strike a balance? Lo and behold, there’s the answer to my question right there. To strike a balance, I simply need to stay as a child. Become a child. Remain in that childlike state. For it is in that childlike state – it is in living in my identity as a daughter (and a precious and deeply loved one at that) – that I can chuck the Ice Queen and Emo Girl costumes away and live out my true, non-bipolarish identity.

While listening to the Friday meeting this evening, I received this picture from Daddy God.

A child in His hands. Staying amazed.

It’s a little girl, clothed in the color of royalty, shining like a diadem in the hands of the Father. The rapture on her face exhibits delight (her Maker amazes her), and okay, her outfit sort of looks like some sort of pajama, but I can explain that. In Cambodia, we learned that pajamas are the fashion for the rich and elite. You would see people wearing pajamas in broad daylight. But the thing is, it is only those who could afford the outfit who would dare strut around the streets in those matching teddy-bear or checkered prints. Well the little girl isn’t wearing prints, but she’s wearing royal pajamas nonetheless, showing that she is of a more than well-off status.

And she is hugging her knees, the same thing that I was doing as Jovelyn Saligumba was belting out “Stay Amazed” in the Destiny Livestream.

To put it simply, that child is God’s picture of me. And so that will be the picture that I will continue to be.

But that drawing isn’t just simply intended for me. Sure, it is a reminder of my identity, a reminder to remain as that child whose staying amazed blocks out both numbness and emo-rides. But I believe that picture could also be for you. For you might have been wearing some sort of costume (not necessarily the Ice Queen and Emo Girl ones) when God is just calling you to simply live as a child in His hands. You know. Delighting in Him. Staying amazed.

Know what? I’ll stay amazed. Let’s all stay amazed.