Wounds and Scars of the Past

Did you know when a bowl is broken in Japan it is put back together with the cracks filled with gold creating a beautiful lining. This was to emphasize the beauty in what was once broken. They believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history. It makes it more beautiful.

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Therefore, everything you’ve been through, everything that you’re going through, it doesn’t make your life uglier. Although it may seem that way when we’re going through it. But it’s up to us to choose to paint our struggles with gold and make it beautiful. You are not broken beyond repair, you can pick yourself up and learn from what has happened and become a better person from it because of the struggle you’ve been through.

Believe that God can heal the wounds and scars of the past because He really can. Don’t be ashamed of your scars. Use pain for God’s glory. Scars won’t define us, but it let us spur forward in love, forgiveness, and humility. God made the human body amazingly resilient. For example, when you get a cut, your body immediately goes to work to heal it. You don’t have to think about it or coordinate it—it just happens. And often, once the body has finished its work and the wound has closed, there is a scar. The scar is evidence of closure—no more blood, no more scabs, just skin.

Once the Lord has helped you work through your pain, your life will be a compelling testimony. 🙂

The Lies We Believe

I remember one particular afternoon when my family went out to watch a movie and have dinner. With everyone away it was an opportunity for me to have some quiet time and get a lot of ‘studying’ done for the exam the next day.

Much to my surprise, however, I felt tremendous loneliness and sadness after they left. I thought about everything was wrong with my life as a medical student, it made me hopelessly depressed. It was so bad I couldn’t think about anything else. These thoughts paralyzed me to such a degree that I didn’t open up to my accountability friends and ask for an advice. I didn’t get any studying done. I just sat in my table with an open Bible in front of me, I kept scanning and reading encouraging verses, reciting God’s promises over and over to comfort me but the tears just kept on streaming down my cheeks.

“Lord, what’s the matter with me and what I should do about it,” I prayed.

For the next 5 minutes, I listened to Christians praise and worship songs. I prayed. A short while, I sensed the heavy blanket of spiritual oppression lift. It lifted so suddenly and completely that I realized I had been dealing with a direct attack from the enemy. It wanted me to feel alone, invisible and not cared for. It wanted me to feel sad about my calling of becoming a doctor because it can be really stressful and lonely most of the time. Trust me, if you’re a melancholic person, the exaggeration of thoughts will drown you.

TAKE CONTROL

2642The other day, I was having a deep conversation with my best friends. I told them about how I struggle with overthinking and being so hard on myself. I realized that I didn’t have to entertain every thought that came into my head. I had a choice about whether to listen to them or not; That worrying changes nothing. NOT. A. SINGLE. THING. And the truth with worrying is, 90% of the time, the scenario you play in your head is much worse than reality. That moment on, I decided to have a new vision for my life and my future, and a renewed commitment to identify and resist the enemy’s lies. I realized I should have caught his lies the minute they entered my mind instead of entertaining them as truth.

A big part of standing against the enemy is taking control over our minds. Therefore, we must learn to bring every thought into captivity because when we are not raised to discern the voices in our head, we won’t recognize the voice of the devil. He is really a clever deceiver who will come to each one of us and try to speak lies into our minds. So, be ready. Get ready with bible verses as your weapon.

THE LIES WE BELIEVE

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Do you every have certain thoughts that play over and over in your mind like an old broken record? Have you ever had a thought come to your mind that produces feeling in your body, such as a pain in your heart, a queasy sensation in the pit of your stomach, tightness in your throat, weakness in your arms and legs, tears in your eyes? Do “what if” thoughts ever plague your mind, such as “What if I jumped off the balcony?” or “What if I get lost in the woods?”. The harsh reality is, suicidal thoughts are overlooked by many. Have you also had “If only” thoughts? Such as, “If only I hadn’t done that.” In my case, “If I only knew that medical school would be this hard.” “If only I had been there.” “If only my husband looks like him.” Do you ever have self punishing thoughts? “No one loves me.” “I’m such a failure. “I’m no good.” “Nothing I do turns right.”

If you’ve had thoughts like these, please know that this is not God giving you revelation for your life. It is the enemy trying to gain control of your mind.

People has much suffering because of lies we believe about ourselves and circumstances. In fact, we accept the words that are spoken to our souls by an enemy who wants nothing but destroy us. That’s why if we aren’t aware of the enemy’s deceit, it can make us fearful, depressed, lonely, angry, doubtful, confused, insecure, hopeless, and full of self-pity. But again, we are to choose if we would believe such thing. So the antidote to this is overcome each one of these lies with prayer, faith, and the truth of God’s Word. It’s always truth over feelings.

CHOOSE YOUR THOUGHTS CAREFULLY

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You have a choice about what you will accept into your mind and what you won’t. You can choose to take every thought captive and “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5), or you can allow the devil to feed you lies and manipulate your life. If you don’t take control of your mind, the devil will.

That’s why we must be diligent to monitor what we allow into our minds. What TV shows, magazines, and books do we look at? What music do we listen to? Do they fill our minds with godly thoughts and feed our spirit so we feel enriched, peaceful, and blessed, or do they deplete us and leave us feeling empty, confused, anxious, and fearful? God is not the author of confusion but of peace. When we fill our minds with God’s Word and godly books and magazines written by people in whom God’s Spirit resides, and listen to music that praises and glorifies Him, we leave no room for the enemy’s propaganda.

Of course, not everybody has the gift of overcoming this overnight. It takes a lot of effort and processing. Just keep on feeding your mind with good things. Read more of God’s Word that it would be so etched in your mind. Taking control over our minds is just easy to say but applying it is quite challenging. However, don’t be discouraged, just keep on trying. I myself admit that I am a classic over-thinker myself. My imagination is both my strength and weakness and is just so wide that I can make drama movies out from it. That instant. Haha. That’s why we really need to take control of our minds because if we aren’t careful, the devil might use this against you just like how he used it against me. But, I want to encourage you that nothing is impossible with God. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He loves you and cares for you that He wants you to have a brighter and better future. So, just surrender your ability of overthinking, your bad and impure thoughts, depression, insecurities, suicidal thoughts and more. Think upon what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy.

Medical student feels

The more I read, the more I feel so inadequate. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. Can I still do this for the next years to come?

Yet despite this internal battle I face daily while learning in medlical school, almost always when the tears just barely begin to well up in my eyes, a feeling of peace overwhelms me. Maybe I’m inadequate. Maybe I’m not good or smart enough and maybe I can’t do this…

BUT..

With my God, nothing is impossible. And with Him, all things are possible. The things that were only asked of me to do is to just take up my cross daily, follow and love Him, which right now, as much as I don’t like some of the things that I am doing- missing important events, staying up late to complete paperworks and read tons of chapters, getting stressed out with clinics, etc., means I need to do my part and try my hardest to learn this material to the best of my ability. All I can ask of myself is my best effort, and God will take care of the rest.

In a world and a life with so much uncertainty and unexpected challenges, I find comfort that my worries are irrational in light of a God that will see me through any and all circumstances and will never abandon me.

And so, I press on, trying to replace my worries with God’s love and grace, which, no matter what happens, will protect and carry me wherever this crazy life should take me.

Just Do Something

“I’m still waiting for God to give me a sign on what job to apply.”

“Should I choose this path or the other one?”

“Should I court her or not?”

Have you ever been frozen with fear of doing the wrong decisions in life or waited in vain for God to give some confirmation? Whether it be deciding what course to enroll, what path to take, what job to apply or where to live. All of us have been in that area of our lives where instead of making a firm decision, we just wait instead or better yet ask for signs.

A few years back, I was in that area of navel-gazing what to do. It didn’t take long that I received a book entitled “Just do something” by Kevin De Young from my best friend which finally answered all my questions. I used to be afraid of deciding for myself because I might be wrong or I might have been going against God’s will for my life. But this book was different and it completely opened my eyes. It invites us all a complete liberation, setting us free to do the work of the good Lord with joy in our hearts. It encourages us to go out there and just do something. The points are so simple, clear and straightforward.

So here’s what I learned:

God has a specific plan for our lives

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What are your dreams?

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Each and everyone of us has God-given dreams and desires. Big ones or small ones. Without such dreams, there will be no ambition to chase. No goal to reach. We will all be nothing without dreams.

When I was young, becoming a nurse/doctor was my dream.When I graduated College, I felt that pursuing Medicine was a calling so I took the NMAT exam out of blue. When I knew about the results that I passed a month after, I was all the more excited that I was already close to my dreams. I immediately inquired and applied at my dream school which was the no.1 Medical School in our country.

Fast forward. After the first month of class, I was in culture shock. I was exhausted. I wasn’t well adjusted. Have you experienced being enthusiastic about something recently, but then you realized that the joy you once had was gone? I was like a kid chasing an ice cream truck to get my favorite strawberry ice cream. Once I bought it, I held the luscious ice cream cone with delight then immediately devoured it and then minutes after being satiated, gone. I hardly noticed the feeling of excitement. Never did I expected that studying would really take much of my time. Time for myself, time for family, time for social life, even my Quiet time with the Lord was affected. However, aside from the bouts of stressful days, sleepless nights, caffeine overload days in order to finish reviewing four books with a bulk of chapters, I’m still grateful for it. Why?

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Paul said in the Book of Galatians, “Let us not be weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.” There will always be a spectrum of good and bad days. It will always be part of our lives. It’s like taking a surprise quiz and finding out whether you pass or not. Things won’t always work out the way we plan. But we shouldn’t be afraid because even if inconvenient situations catch us off guard, it doesn’t  catch our God off guard. These things are planned and divinely placed in our path for a reason. God uses circumstances to draw us closer to Him and to change us to be more like Christ.  It’s these moments where our faith is tested and we look down to see whether we are standing on rock or sand. Do we really believe that God is in control of all the details of our life? Do we really believe that His grace is sufficient to get us through the day? If we then continue to respond right in every way, if we allow tough times to shape and mold us- we will turn out to be better and brighter version of ourselves.

Dreams come with great responsibility. It is just not enough to dream and not do something about it. You have to work hard for it. Sweat. Tears. Blood. I always do believe that you reap what you sow.

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So whenever you feel like giving up? Pray. Pour out your heart and soul through prayer because even when you pour out your heart to a friend, they may or may not accurately interpret the cry of your soul. God always hears, always understands, always listens with compassion.

But remember this, this is what David meant when he said delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

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Delighting in Him is a command and a condition to His promise-to give you your heart’s desires. Prayer is not for gratifying our natural desires. Prayer is for satisfying the desires of people who are devoted to God’s desires. It should coincide with God’s plans. “If we ask anything according to His will.”

Just trust and believe in Him. You never know, just a few more days of believing, another few weeks of doing the right thing, another few months of staying in faith, and you could see great results!

Keep standing and keep believing because you are closer than you think to fulfilling every dream and desire He has placed inside of you!