Draining Day

Its been a very draining day for me. It’s hard to work and function properly when you have a lot of things bothering you. It feels like there always something poking you and making you feel uncomfortable all the time. Yesterday in my sharing session I asked the team to put aside their personal agenda and baggage to make this trip a success. I feel so bad that I am not able to do it myself to a certain extent. I have been thinking of a lot of things and other then when I am in those high sounding meetings and discussion I sort of keep to myself. I try to spend time with the students as I find more joy being with them.

I hope I am strong enough to face the things I need to face when I am back in Singapore. Only God will know the outcome of this issue I am in. How I wish God can reveal to me what will the outcome be. I really don’t know…. May the Lord help all of us!

the gatekeeper

Still Recovering…

It’s been a very tiring day for me and for the rest of the team. I am sure that every students and teachers are finding meaning in doing this. I feel my effort in coordinating this project has not gone to waste. There’s so much learning taking place today, with the students and the teachers as well. But I am really very tired after the day. I am still recovering. Don’t think I have fully recovered and I am really very concern and have been thinking of the many things that I have to face when I go back to Singapore. I am praying for a lot of courage to face them. I know it’s not easy for me and its also not easy for people whom I have hurt during my moment of distress and depression. I am praying for God to prepare me for any outcome and give me the grace to accept whatever that may come my way. I know that it’s not easy for both sides and I recognize that it will take a miracle for a reconciliation. I don’t know how this miracle can happen but I am trying very hard to leave this to God. I am trying very hard to leave the outcome to God. Why? Because on one hand, I would like to see a particular outcome out of this issue, and on the other hand, I don’t know if that is what God wants for me. After all I have hurt people who have been my pillars and help during my most difficult time. I have hurt people who have been an encouragement and comfort to me. How can I ever do such a thing? How can I ever allow my heart to run wild and result in this consequence? I pray to God for mercy. That’s why I am feeling very painful. I have hurt people whom I don’t have the slightest intention to hurt. However, because of my moment of foolishness, I have allowed my heart to take over and now….sigh!

I need God to help me with this.

the gatekeeper

A Breakthrough

For those who have been following my blog, you should know by now that I was going through a difficult time of my life. I must say and declare for today that I have experienced a major breakthrough in this situation. This afternoon after my visits to the various schools, I started crying and crying over many things. I miss the group that I always hang out with. I groaned over the pain and hurts that I have caused on people whom I really care. I asked God for His forgiveness. I know different people would take this breakthrough very differently. I know some people may even question the genuineness of the whole episode. Some people may even question the breakthrough. The fact is, because of this dark moment, I have done things that I am not supposed to do. I have made mistakes that I am not supposed to. I have hurt people whom I care a lot and I have caused them much pain and disappointment. I want to reconcile with them. I want to seek the forgiveness of these people. This will be a very difficult task but I know that I have to undertake this uphill task in order to see full liberation, not just for me, but also people whom I have hurt and caused pain.

I realized that I have been hiding. I have not been able to come face to face with my mistakes. And I need to come face to face with the wrongs that I have done and the people whom I have hurt. I need to face them. Yes, what is done cannot be undone…but I hope against hope that there will be a miracle in this reconciliation. I hope against hope that the people whom I have hurt and caused pain will once again accept me. I know that it’s not easy on their part as well. It’s not easy to trust the person that tried to harm you. I do hope that people will give me another chance to believe in me and trust in me. I don’t know how is that possible but I am going to give it a try.

I don’t feel lonely anymore. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need friends and buddies. I do need them. I hope that people whom I have hurt can give me a chance to compensate. I really hope that I can be given that second chance to prove myself again. Everybody deserves a second chance. This is going to be difficult. This is going to be tough. But its something that I need to do. Its something that I need to go through. It’s a cross that I have to bear. God, help me to do this.

the gatekeeper

Day 3 to Recovery – Visiting Schools in Korat

Its been extremely difficult to work especially when you have so many things in your mind. I have been struggling the whole day trying to be focused with my work and the many discussions with so many people. I have never been to so many schools in a day and each school, we have to sit down and jot down lots of details. At some point, my mind really couldn’t take it anymore. I heard that Didi is not feeling so well….I am pretty concern and genuinely concern. I hope he can take care of himself and hope he recover very soon. How I wish I am able to chat with the PLC group at the moment! But I know that it is not time yet for me to chat with them for now (typing in tears). How I wish to have someone to listen to my complaints and the struggles that I have today. For some reason, I really miss the PLC group. I have been telling myself that this is not the time to go in. I am not ready to go in yet. I know that I am certainly on the road to recovery but I have three more days to go. I don’t even know if anybody would ever trust me again as a person. This sense of loneliness has caused lots of damage on my part and the part of people whom I really care. I really do not know how to recover this. I have hurt so many people and I really don’t mean to do it at all. I do not have the slightest intention to hurt anyone.

Having said all of these, I know that God is slowly bringing me to recovery. I need to get out of my mental situation before I hurt even more people. I really miss the whole PLC group….my Didi, Shu Shu, JH, Kim and Eleora….(in tears again). I wish that I can still chat with you guys the way before now…can you guys text me….so that I feel that I am existing….

I am very tired…very tired….very tired….very tired…..very tired….

the gatekeeper

Arriving at Korat…Day 2 to Recovery

Finally arrived at the hotel at around 10:30 Singapore timing. Feeling very exhausted after one whole day of traveling. Thought about a lot of things along the way. Some good and some bad. I felt the Lord speaking to me again but still I am feeling very painful over the people that I have hurt so much. I really do not know what’s the chance of reconciliation but this will be the most difficult part of the recovery. It pains my heart, really pains my heart, to know that because of my foolishness, people whom I care  about are hurt. I really don’t know how I can finish this part of the recovery. I am praying to God for strength and courage to face it. I guess it will take a miracle for a reconciliation to happen. I never think too much about the word “reconciliation” until yesterday. I wish to be reconciled but I really don’t know how this is possible. I really don’t know. I guess only God will know what will happen at the end of this recovery. God, help me with this. I need your help!

the gatekeeper

Rebuilding Broken Temple

If I am a temple of the Holy Spirit as the Word of God says, then today will be the start of a rebuilding work for this broken temple. I am a broken temple and this temple is really broken all over. It’s so broken that I do not know where to start the rebuilding work. But I guess before you rebuild anything you will new to have a picture of what’s its original condition. I guess this is where I will begin. I need to find back myself and who exactly I am. I need to know the person that Christ has intended for me to be and not what I want to be. Now that’s a difficult task cos I am really quite lost about myself at the moment. But I need to resurface the floor plan of the temple to know how I look originally. God, help me with this and reveal to me who am I in You….

the gatekeeper

Depressing Loneliness

It all started about 2 to 3 months ago. I was getting this periodic sense of loneliness in me. At first, I was still able to suppress this feeling and always tell myself that it would pass away after sleeping. Yup, for the few weeks, sleep does help to cast this feeling of loneliness away, however, as time went by, I realised that each time this sense of depressing loneliness came to me stronger and stronger. It was so overwhelming that I simply couldn’t suppress it anymore. I felt that I was alone and that feeling that you are alone can be so scary and so frightening. This sense of loneliness always leave behind a vacuum. Each time this loneliness knock on my door, it will leave behind a greater vacuum. This greater vacuum means that I will plunge deeper and deeper into something that I don’t even know. At some point, I even couldn’t recognise myself anymore. The things that I do, the things that I say and many more just do not make sense to me and they are all so foreign to me.

It’s always in the dark night, when I knelt beside my bed and pray to God I would come face to face to my real self and I realised the darker the night, the clearer I see myself. But then very often, I would lose sight of myself again. I don’t know what’s going on. To some extent, I couldn’t feel that I have a human body. I don’t even know if I really exist as who I am. I remember telling someone that I long to hug someone and start to cry aloud. I needed the hug because I needed the affirmation that I am still existing. That I am still alive. There was nothing in me that seems to affirm my existence as person. I felt that God has left me. I felt that He has abandoned me. I know shouldn’t feel this way, but I really needed someone to come and tell me that I am alive and well. Being in a crowd or with friends no longer able to affirm that. For a while, I even thought I was going crazy.

Since then, the only person that I can share anything with is God Himself. But I told God, I need Him to embrace me, to hug me and to kiss me. I just needed that affirmation that I exist. I felt so bad that I even question the very Presence of God. My Mind and my Heart have been in constant battle with each other. My Heart is longing for love, to fill that vacuum and for that physical touch. My Mind keeps telling me that I have to hold on to my faith…I have to hold on to God…I have to hold to who I am. They have been in constant struggle. One night, I grew so tired of the struggle that I told God, let my Heart and emotion take over. I couldn’t control it anymore. The danger of this is that I don’t know where my Heart will carry me. It may carry me to areas that are not even pleasing to God. I felt totally defeated and simply allowed my Heart to run wild. I realised this was my greatest mistake. But I really didn’t have anymore energy to fight back. I really didn’t have any more strength to stand up anymore. So I gave in to things that are not me. I gave in to things that are totally foreign to me, because my Heart would grab hold of anything that would fill that big vacuum in me, created by this depressing loneliness.

I know very well that because I have allowed my Heart to run wild, I have also hurt people around. People who are dear to me. I am very sure many of them couldn’t understand why I was behaving so differently. I was losing sight of myself. I don’t want to make this to be an excuse but I was really losing it. As I have mentioned, sometimes I don’t even recognise myself.

Today, I made the decision to finish this battle in 6 days time. I really do not know how this can be done…but I am going to believe in God one more time. I am going to believe in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter of my soul. I am going to believe that God is my Helper in this. I don’t want to hurt anyone anymore. I don’t want to lose friendship anymore. I don’t want to time-out anymore. I want to be who I am in Christ Jesus. I really don’t know how. If I have hurt anyone, I sincerely beg you for your forgiveness. I didn’t mean it. I know what’s done is done….but still I really want you people to believe that I am struggling and battling. I really want you to know that I feel as miserable as anyone of you whom I have hurt. God help me to overcome this….God deliver me from evil….

the gatekeeper

Notes to Four – A note to Librarian

Dear Librarian,

How’s your day today? I am not sure that this letter will be emotionally moving or not…but let me try not to get too emotional about things. I have written to two of our friends, JH and DiDi…now the third letter is to you. I really think that there’s a reason why you ended up in the school’s library. And I really think that the condition of our library aptly reflects you. Let me say about our library before talking about you.

I have been in this school for 10 years and I think this year is the year that visited the library the most. Not that it’s particularly nice or what but that the library suddenly comes alive with people like you guys, JH, DiDi, Shu Shu and yourself. The library now has becomes a little corner in school that we can talk loudly…though as a librarian you are supposed to stop us from doing so. One of the things I realized about work life is that talking loudly is not a privilege that all enjoy. Many like us, will go to a corner to talk our heart out about this and this person or that and that person. It’s interesting that you have become that agent that facilitated our many discussions in the library. I must say that it is most unfortunate that the library is in the hand of someone who doesn’t love it at all….you know who I am talking about. Anyway, she shouldn’t come into the picture at all.

Back to you and library. I mentioned in my previous entry that our library is very lethargic. It’s been very tired trying to serve the students in the school. It’s in one corner of the school and longing to be embraced by the students; longing to be loved. I remember my niece would come back from school and share with me that she loves her school’s library. I wonder what would our library say if it can talk? It would probably say something like this, “I have been much neglected over the years. I was not treated like a library in the first place. I feel that I am more like a spare classroom for people who have no where to go. But seriously, I don’t mind being that cos that’s really one of my functions I guess. However, I don’t want to be just a spare room. I want to be the room that students love to hang out in…I want to be a room where the students can do their reading…I want to be a room that is of utmost importance to the everybody…a room much treasured…a room much loved. ” Not sure if you get what I am trying to say here. But I really find this parallel between you and the library. I may be wrong…but at least that’s my impression of you.

I am no different as well at some point of my life. It’s hard to really stand out among the crowd. At some points of our lives, we want to be recognized and we want to be appreciated. We want people to affirm us and accept us. However, acceptance is very hard to come by in this world. Really…not easy. People can die because of rejection and abandonment. But I don think anyone of us have reached that stage yet. Sometimes the feeling of being rejected can be so overwhelming that it is so unbearable. I went through it myself too. Sooner or later, we will find that acceptance can always be found when we first accept one another. It has to start from ourselves. When we began to embrace others, others will began to embrace you.

I really hope that in this circle of friends that we are all in, you can find your acceptance in us. You are definitely not a spare room to us. Thanks for being there. Thanks for being who you are. Yes, the library needs a revamp…so do many of us. We need a revamp to our heart.

That’s all for now…actually I am not too sure if any of you realize the reason why I am writing these letters. But anyway, the reason is not important….Librarian….continue to be faithful to what you have been called to do! Take courage to walk out….be bold to accept and to be accepted. I have one more letter to write to Shu Shu…

Yours Truly

the gatekeeper

Notes to Four – A Note to DiDi

Dear DiDi,

I think you are the most positive person among the 5 of us here. There’s so much of positive vibes in you and your positiveness can be contagious at times…not all the time…hahaha! You are always so eager to learn new things and always eager to contribute to whatever you are doing. I like those times that we share over “candlelight” and I will keep all those sharing in my heart. Seriously, when it comes to you, I am really stuck as to what I should be writing about you. Or perhaps, I should say that I don’t know where to begin. I really don’t think that anything can happen by chance…that includes us knowing each other and you becoming my DiDi. Although we have only known each other for about a year, but it seems as though we have known each other for pretty long time. Maybe that’s because we see each other almost everyday.

Since the day I know you, I have shared with you a number of things that I don’t normally share with people. I am not sure if you should consider yourself privilege or unlucky…that you have this Kor Kor that keeps sharing things with you. I think one of the things I mentioned to you is that its so hard to be an adult sometimes. Everyday we have to put on a mask that tell people that we are very strong…very gang-ho, when deep inside us, we are longing to be just who we are. Sometimes you can feel so lost in life that you even lost sight of who you are. Especially at night, when you come face to face with yourself, the sense of lostness is even greater and stronger…so strong that it can overpower you so easily. But I have learnt to manage this emotion. So sometimes Kor speaks very weirdly because I can be rather lost. You must forgive Kor, ok? This lostness is good at times…I have learned to see myself clearer and I am more aware of myself each time I am confronted by the same self. Sounds “cheem”  right? I know you always ask me to keep things simple so that you can understand….hehehe…basically what I am saying is this…ops…I think I am lost….hahaha…

I think if I really go to Korat for 3 months you will be the person that I will miss most among the 4 of you. Why? Cos I think we have worked very closely together and we are comrades in our VIA…so I feel very bad to leave you on your own for three months or even more. Secondly, you are my only DiDi…so must take special care of you! And thirdly, I will miss the massage and stepping on one another….hahahaha. I was quite touched when you said you are going to face time me everyday while I am there….really! Thanks for being there for Kor. I am really approaching my 3 months in Korat with a lot of mixed feelings and I hope I can sort out all these mixed feelings very quickly. You must take care of yourself while I am not around cos you always don’t take care of yourself. You always skip your meal and giving so much in your work. Although I know that’s suppose to be good…but don’t run too fast at the beginning of the race….you need to conserve some energy for later on. Important is don’t run ahead of yourself. Keep pace with yourself and finish the race well and steady ok? I don’t want to come back from Korat and you are not at your desk anymore…must at least wait for me to come back before you go anywhere hor…I will face time you everyday….hahaha!

DiDi, you always give me the idea that you have a lot of “xin shi”. Must learn to share it out ok. Don’t always keep things to yourself. I used to be like that but nowadays I have learnt to share with people as well. Of course, I may be wrong about this as well. For JH, I wrote “Come home before winter” for you I will say this: Remember to wear your jacket during winter. I know you are someone who will go through the seasons of life with a lot of positive vibes….be it winter or summer or spring….you will always be there and always wanting to do more for people who you love and care about. But must do this with a lot of care for yourself too. So remember to wear a jacket when winter comes. That should keep you warm and you will be able to walk a longer mile.

Once again, thanks for everything…you really have been very great…and remain like this ok….I want you who you are….hahaha!

the gatekeeper

Notes to Four – A Note to JH

Dear JH,

I must say that it’s been a wonderful time getting to know some of you in my lorong over the past few months. I understand that more often, I give people the impression of “Back off! Leave me alone!”. Yup, perhaps the reason why people have that kind of impression of me is that I have been around for many years in this place and must be a veteran here. The truth of the matter is things aren’t always a bed of roses to me all these years….or 10 years. When I saw the fax return of your resignation letter, my first feeling was “You have done something that I struggled to do many years back”. I am not trying to make you a hero here but if you have the time to read through my blogs all these years, teaching has never been easy for me. I never thought that teachers will shoot each other down in a way that’s so hard to imagine. I always thought that teachers are the champions of characters and they are the standard of morality and values. But I was totally wrong when I was shot down by people in a way so scrupulous that till today I still don’t know what exactly had happened. Well, I was a young teacher and I still remember how I sat in the conference with 4 of them hurling words of accusations at me. I felt like a lamb to the slaughter. I was silent. Somehow, deep within me, I heard the voice of God telling me to be silent.

When I came out of the conference room, my dream and aspiration of education in general was totally shattered. I realised for the first time in my career that I am in a real world. I felt like crying out, but I knew that in a real world you don’t cry. I withheld my tears. I wanted to go back to cry, but I knew that I couldn’t let my family know that things are bad. In the end, I didn’t cry. I didn’t allow myself to fall down. Not to bore you with my tragedy as a teacher, I would cut my story short. Anyway, what really pulled me out of this miry situation is what a friend told me. He said to me don’t ever let anything that happened to tell you that you are a lousy teacher. His words are still ringing in my mind….everytime when I really feel very down about myself. I will always tell myself that I may not be that best teacher…but I am definitely not a lousy teacher. I believe in what I am doing and I will keep the faith till the end.

JH, you have a dream. You really do have a dream.  Don’t let that dream shatter. Don’t let your dream be blown away by what happened over the past few years or months. I am so glad that even when everyone think that I am a below-average teacher, I have friends and buddies who believe in me and trusted me. You too have many friends around you who believe in your talent and your passion. Don’t let them down….don’t let yourself down. I know that you are going away soon but that doesn’t mean that you cannot fulfill your dream elsewhere. Going out is not always a bad thing. Go see the world…go experience something different…but do come back before winter… even if you have to pull yourself through winter…remember that you don’t have to go through winter alone.

Ok, that’s all for now. Write to you again before winter comes.  I wish you all the best for everything and remember home is only a stone throw away. I will be writing to the rest soon.

Yours Truly,

the gatekeeper