Indeed, Awaken has left me feeling alive once again in Christ who I have found to be my stronghold and best friend.
I was really really excited to go for Awaken. I couldn’t get to bed on Wednesday night because my heart was filled with such anticipation and excitement. And rightly so for the Lord was truly faithful as he opened my eyes to aspects of my faith that I was somehow missing out on all this time. Going into Awaken, I wasn’t carrying any particularly heavy burdens, nor did I know what exactly to expect. All I carried was a strong desire for God to become the focal point of my life. I deeply admired the people (mostly you guys) who could find the discipline and will to daily devote their lives to God and I wondered why I couldn’t find the same strength within myself. I didn’t go for ado regularly or do deep reflections often. I mean I wanted to but every time I tried, I didn’t feel compelled to sit there long enough for God to inspire me, nor was I able to somehow “tune my frequency” to hear his voice. Furthermore, I didn’t feel like I had a purpose in church/community since God has already blessed so many of you with the gifts that carry us through numerous sessions and camps. There just wasn’t a need for me to “step up” or “answer” any “calls to lead” this and that. All this just left me with an unfulfilled desire to serve and a nagging cluelessness as to where and how.
But throughout the four days I spent in prayer at CSC (and I really mean throughout every single one of the days), I was slowly brought to a realisation of God’s work in my life. Since we can’t reveal the programme, I shall share snippets of the little awakenings I had, though not necessarily in the order that they happened.
I have a bit of a confession to make – I usually don’t listen when we have talks in church, like during combined session or even log sessions. I also don’t really know why. I think I’m usually bored (sorry!). But by God’s grace, I listened to His Grace in every single one of his sessions and I am thoroughly enlightened. Haha. But basically some of these things are probably not new to you guys but I just found them out so.. praise God!
Anywho, this psalm that His Grace brought up really resonated with me. We were told to pray for God to show us the sins that needed forgiving and hurts that needed healing, during one of the sessions. And my first instinct, being my proud self, was to ask (in my head, of course) ‘What could possibly be bugging me that I am not aware of?’ I mean, I thought I knew myself pretty well and this knowledge affirmed me of the emotional stability I always thought I had. No problem was too big for me, no one could hurt me so much to a point where I could not handle it, scuffles with heartbreak had left me invincible. Or so I thought.
But in a particularly spirit filled session of adoration, I found myself in tears (Buckets of them. I am not even exaggerating.) as the Lord revealed to me some of the burdens I didn’t even know I had been carrying – stuff I thought I’d forgotten long ago. And for the first time, I heard God’s voice loud and clear when he alerted me to my weakness in specific events that I (apparently) still held in my heart. This lead me to my next realisation:
Receiving the kingdom like a child
We all know that I dislike children. The idea of screaming rascals just annoys me to no end. And perhaps that is why I have always found it difficult to associate myself with the image of a child, and hence too, a child of God. I mean I know sometimes I can appear quite childlike (That’s childlike, not childish. There’s a difference. Haha.), but a part of me has always been unable to reconcile with the inherent weakness that characterises children. In short, I often like to think that I’m a strong person who is in control of my life. And so being told by His Grace that our “helplessness in the face of sin” necessitates that we rely on Jesus and trust in Him for His grace obviously did not sit well with me. And I questioned, I even asked His Grace in person why God gave us the impossible task of resisting temptation and being free from sin.
But it wasn’t until I broke down at the revelation of my entire self during that same session of adoration that I realised how much I truly needed God. It was not just that I longed for his comforting presence in my life, I NEEDED him, I could not do without him. And in that moment of weakness and vulnerability, I was able to see myself as a true CHILD of God, complete with the screaming, whining fits that I claimed to fervently hate. (Haha) But God spoke to me with nothing but compassion and I truly encountered his magnificent love that evening.
Experiencing healing, being empowered
Before Awaken, I’d been through praying over/with sessions during sec two/three camp at which time I encountered God, though rather intangibly. I mostly just felt peace and I’ve never stopped feeling joyful since. Though I wasn’t blessed with tongues or prophesy or anything ‘spectacular’. And so when I heard we’d be going through a praying over session, I didn’t really have any expectations. Even as the many before me adorned the floor of the room, I was convinced I’d be standing solid as a rock after being prayed over.
And true enough, the doubtful child that I am stood firm, though slightly stunned after being prayed over. For about a minute, I didn’t know what to think. Did God miss me out? Were there intangible manifestations that I would feel/experience later on? Was I supposed to feel hopeful or disappointed? And my stupid brain just wouldn’t rest despite countless reminders to just be “brain dead” and “surrender to God”.
But then, something funny happened. (Our God is, after all, a funny God, as they always say.) The phlegm that had been plaguing my throat for the two weeks before Awaken cleared and a strong prompting saw me sing an entire line of harmony to the song that was being sung at the time. And on that realisation, I continued singing and the harmonies just kept coming. I’d always liked PnW and I’d always wanted to sing harmonies but most of the time I’d only managed single notes. But now my joyful voice just couldn’t stop singing and I kept hearing God say “Now you can lead worship”, as if laughing at me for saying I had never wanted to do it again a couple of weeks back. And in that moment I just felt very empowered, like I could do anything. But I’m happy to say that this time, the strength that ran through my bones was from God and I sincerely hope to keep things this way.
Post Awaken, I’m still struggling to surrender to God and in the couple of days that have passed since it ended, I’ve come to realise how truly weak we are in the face of the temptations of sin. His Grace did warn us that while we have changed, the world out there, unfortunately, hasn’t. But now I know I can delight in the saving grace of Jesus as I slowly but surely put my life in his hands. I’m happy to willingly take an arrow to lead worship somewhere in the near future (BUT NOT YET PLZ :S Slowly, okay?) and I sincerely believe that with God’s strength, I can do all things. I ask that you will all continue to pray with me and for me as I live a new life in Christ and I assure you of my prayers that you guys will continue to stay firm in your commitment to living for Him too. Thank you all for being great roles models for me and for always supporting and loving me. PRAISE GOD 🙂