Life Story

All is good

It’s been months of struggles, from marriage drama to growing my business. Everyday feels like another problem and obstacle to solve, but I can’t even figure it out. Every day tempted me to give up and to just quit all plans and dreams. I cannot see any way out. Then there is this one song, sang at my pre-marriage course and it made me cried my heart out. How I have been struggling alone, leaving my God out, using my own strength. I feel ashamed of myself. I used to have a strong faith that God will help me through anything. This song reminds me that God is still there, He has planned all the goods I cannot see.

The song is in Bahasa Indonesia

Smua Baik

Dari semula, tlah Kau tetapkan
hidupku dalam tanganMu
dalam rencanaMu, Tuhan
Rencana indah, tlah Kau siapkan
bagi masa depanku yang penuh harapan

Smua baik, smua baik
apa yang tlah Kau perbuat didalam hidupku
Smua baik, sungguh teramat baik
Kau jadikan hidupku berarti

Maybe I cannot see what is standing in front of me. I am afraid to overcome my future. One thing I am sure, God has planned a beautiful future for me.

Ness

Life Story

12 Hal Bodoh yang gw Percaya

One of the inspiring article I’ve ever read.

Tulisan Krisnanda

a journey a journey

12 hal bodoh yang dulu gw percaya dalam perjalanan kekristenan gw. Beberapa masih susah dihilangkan dari prinsip hidup gw karena sudah tinggal di otak gw selama bertahun-tahun. Beberapa hal bodoh ini mungkin juga nantinya terbukti tidak bodoh since I have high probability to be wrong again. Who knows? But for now, I think they are stupid. Dan maaf kalau banyak kata2 keras (moron contohnya) di tulisan ini. It just tells me how moron I could be. :p

 1. Kalau orang Kristen  pasti harus healthy, wealthy, and happy dan sukses di market place

Ini jualan paling laku di mimbar gereja. Ditambah bumbu-bumbu iman dan menjadi berkat. Kalau emang konsep ini benar, kedua belas muridnya Yesus atau Paulus mungkin tidak qualified untuk jadi orang Kristen. Paulus punya sakit yang ga hilang-hilang dan terdampar di perahu. Healthy mananya? Petrus meninggal dengan disalib terbalik. Happy mananya? Yesus perlu mancing dulu buat dapeting uang…

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Life Story

This too shall pass

You expect to confront all sorts of trouble – betrayal , loss, and illness – along your path. Although you cannot expect to evade misfortune … you can try to be prepared for it – Songhay sorcery

Today I found an interesting article on the internet from Professor Paul Stroller. Image

Professor Stroller was diagnosed with lymphoma and has undergone several treatments. He wrote his journey fighting cancer in his book, all his fears, his pains, and how he survived. It’s interesting that Professor Stroller found comforts in Songhai* words and wisdom.

Somehow, pretty much or less, I could understand the words Professor Stroller tells, as I have the same cancer as the one he had. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. How those frightening thoughts and worries quickly possessed me and completely crumbled my world at the moment the Doctor told me the prognosis. My heart sunk and everything seems unacceptable. Cancer has been one terrifying word, I never thought would be labelled in me.

Here are some thoughts that Professor stroller wrote in His book :

  • Feeling confident about the outcomes of our choices gives us a sense of control over our lives – something that most Americans strive for. Most Songhay people see the world quite differently. They believe that they have little control over what happens to them … uncertainty, rather than certainty, governs their journey through life. Like many Americans, I have a difficult time dealing with ambiguous uncertainty. In our main stream culture, we prefer quick, clear, concrete answers to difficult problem. We’d like to believe that we are able to control our destiny. If we get sick, we expect a quick fix. How many of us are able or willing to jump into a fast-moving stream and let the current carry us to an uncertain destinations? Most of us would feel that we were being foolhardy if we did so.
  • You have been told that you have cancer, an event that marks a point of misfortune. Events have compelled you to decide which path to follow into the village of the sick. You also know that you alone will bear the consequences of that decision. When I found myself standing on this point of misfortune… I desperately wanted someone – anyone – to tell me what to do. As Adamu Jenitongo would say, they must find their own way. They must choose which path to take and bear the consequences. Cancer patients must make the same fateful choice. That is the reality that the newly diagnosed cancer patient faces; it is a hard reality to bear.
  • Many of us can’t even accept inevitable changes to our aging bodies, a sign that life is finite, let alone the specter of death. In the world of sorcery, however, illness is ever present in life. In that world, illness is a gateway to learning more about life. As for death, it is your continuous companion.

I am amazed that Professor Stroller has undergone cycles of chemotherapy phase. I was told that the side effects would be so horrible. I prefer not to proceed with chemotherapy. I know that my life won’t be normal anymore once I get to the beginning of treatment. Not just the chemotherapy agents destroyed the cancer cells, it also kills your healthy living body cells. The drugs will make your body ache. So, I geared myself to fight this cancer without chemotherapy.

Lessons from this misfortune (taken from Professor Stroller’s book) :

  1. Respect for cancer – or any illness – does not mean that you meekly submit to the ravages of disease.  Following the ideas of sages like Adamu Jenitongo, illness is accepted as an ongoing part of life. When illness appears, it presents one with limitations, but if it is possible to accept the limitations and work within their parameters, one can create a degree of comforts in uncomfortable circumstances.
  2. When you learn you have cancer, the world spins out of control. You are thrown into a world of medical procedures and inconclusive diagnoses. You find yourself in the vortex of a whirlwind. No matter what kind of support you have from friends, family and professionals –  ultimately  you … must face your fate alone. No matter the degree of support that they gave, cancer patients must confront their illness alone.
  3. Optimism, which can be learned, enables people to live longer, healthier, and happier lives, as compared with the experience of pessimistic people. Pessimism can lead to a sense of helplessness and trigger depression. Helplessness and depression, in turn, weaken the immune system, priming the body for serious illnesses and even premature death.
  4. Being optimistic should not blind us from reality. You can be pessimistic, but not in a way that clouds your vision completely. Above all, you should attempt to be prepared to confront whatever life presents – pragmatic optimism laced with a practical pessimism
  5. To respect the power of illness, which means that they attempt to incorporate it into their lives. If illness is incorporated into one’s life, people can use it to become stronger in body and wiser in spirit.
  6. Cancer propels you down a difficult path on which it is important to be humble. If you are arrogant about life and believe that you can master illness, a disease, like cancer, can force you into a needlessly desperate corner.
  7. Having been diagnosed with and treated for lymphoma forced me to reflect deeply about the meaning of my life. It is unthinkable to be grateful for a diagnosis of cancer. No one desires the pain and suffering that come with a serious illness. But once you’ve got it… why not incorporate it, as the Songhay would say, to bring to your being a deeper understanding of life’s forces and meanings?
  8. Learn to respect the unalterable presence of illness and live with it. If you learn to live with illness, your being becomes stronger and stronger.

When you do fight a battle, make sure it is an important one. Knowing when to fight is the mark of courage; it prepares you for battles worthy of your power.  Winning is not the goal of everyday confrontations. – Adamu Jenitongo.

Keep your spirit up, my fellow cancer patients. Do not be afraid.

This too shall pass.

Cheers,

Ness

*The Songhai Empire, also known as the Songhay Empire, was a state located in western Africa. From the mid-15th to the late 16th century, Songhai was one of the largest Islamic empires in history.[4] This empire bore the same name as its leading ethnic group, the Songhai. Its capital was the city of Gao, where a Songhai state had existed since the 11th century. Its base of power was on the bend of the Niger River in present day Niger and Burkina Faso. (wikipedia)

Life Story

Everything in its time

After a while, we learn that life wasn’t as easy as it used to be. It seems that it’s such an endless walk, and we don’t feel like move another step. We have a thousand reasons to cry, and it’s okay because pain is inevitable.

If you are starting to feel like your desires appear to be getting further and further away, Stop. Take a minute to breath. Take a glance to look back at your steps behind. You’ve come this far. And yes, it’s you who have walked this far. Take times to remember how strong you’ve been all this time. And you learn you really can endure…

You are amazing, we are amazing.
Our steps ahead won’t be easier, but always remember the strength lies within us.
If you have to cry, then cry hard.
If you have to scream, then scream.
But don’t you ever let yourself down by quit from your journey.
Hold on, my friend.
It would be wonderful in the end, It would be worth it.

I can’t say much anymore, listen to every sentence in this song by corrinne may. I hope it could cheer you up. 🙂

Sometimes I wonder what lies ahead
How long till my hunger is fed
They say it’s hard to make it in this part of town
So many people on this merry-go-round

Some folks try astrology
Some turn to crystal balls
To find an answer,
To get through it all
I just fall on my knees and I try to pray
In the silence I can hear Him say

The river runs and the river hides
Out to the ocean and under the sky
I promise you, the answer will come
Hold on to patience and watch for the sign
Everything in its time

I often feel like I’m two steps behind
Somebody must have moved that finish line
There are a thousand reasons
Why I should give up
But I’m stubborn in the things I believe

The river runs and the river hides
Out to the ocean and under the sky
I promise you, the answer will come
Hold on to patience and watch for the sign

’cause maybe there’s another plan
One I still can’t see
A little surprise, like your love in my life
Funny how time changes how we see

The river runs and the river hides
Out to the ocean and under the sky
I promise you, the answer will come
Hold on to patience and watch for the sign
Everything in its time
Everything in its time

Vness

Life Story

It is well with my soul

In the midst of dullness, life is beautiful in its own special way. That is what I believe (and keep reminding myself over and over again everytime I hesitate). Each passing day, I’m grateful to find a thing or two that makes me smile (or at least feel better).

With only 4.5 hours sleep, I woke up this morning lazily. Tired, super sleepy, and so much tempted to pull up my blanket. As usual, I can’t fall to the temptation (although, I wish I could!). I had an appointment to go to church with my friend, and a lady never takes back her words (ha!). I have so many tasks to accomplish today, but last night I felt the urge to rest my soul for a while in a Sunday service.

Christmas atmosphere radiated, by the time I walked in. Christmas tree, Advent candles, mistletoe… The service was different this time. It’s so simple and humble, yet amazingly beautiful. A piano and an acoustic guitar, played by a very blessed American couple, brought us together to a moment of peace with God. One song to another song went on… Mr.Lewis invited us to take a moment of silence in prayer, while he sang a song softly, with his wife played the piano. As he sang it, I felt like every word of it was talking to my terrified soul tenderly.

The song is simple, direct, and it still resounds in me until now. It’s a beautiful song and somehow it lighten my tough day. I would like to share it and hope that it could also help brighten your day. 🙂

The River-Carman
It doesn’t matter who you are
It doesn’t matter where you’ve been
It doesn’t matter what the scar
It doesn’t matter what the sin
It doesn’t matter how you fell
‘Cause somewhere along the way
There’s healing for your life today

There’s a river that flows
From the fountain of God
And it heals everything along the way
I have tasted and known
That for every broken heart
There is healing in Jesus’ name

He looks beyond how far you’ve gone
He looks beyond how you were hurt
He looks beyond who stole your song
He looks beyond what made it worse
He looks beyond where others failed
To reach out to you and say
There’s healing for your life today

There’s a huge mountain in front of me that I have to climb, and with my limited power, I know that I can’t do this alone. My faith is shaking and I’m running out of strength. All my life, He’s been faithful to me and strengthen me when I’m weary. So now, I want to trust my soul and let Him heal my weariness. It is well, it is well with my soul 🙂

”For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.” – Isaiah 41:13

Vness

Life Story

Tie a knot and hang on

“When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place”

This simple sentence was a thing that brought me back to the point where I was about to leave. Lately, I have been in a rough patch and confused with what I am doing at the moment. Earlier in this year, I set some goals and plans to fulfill by the end of 2010, and I promised to get it done with excellence.

However, things were not as easy as I thought. Not that I underestimated it, but I never imagined that it would be this tough. Ones said that time is golden, yet I would like to say that time is uranium. Every time I open my eyes and by the time I have to rest, I always in a rush. ‘Hectic’ is too simple to describe my daily’s.

At first, I thought that I’ve prepared myself from all of the consequences, until I found myself cried in front of IELTS Cambridge preparation e-book. I was in so much anxiety and fear, that I will not be able to reach my target (IELTS score). I don’t want to be just ‘passed’, I want to get my target. And once I set a target, I got to fulfill it, otherwise I will be in deepest guilty (my bad, the ambitious trait in me rules :/). I have never felt this scared for the past 2 years. I have been studying for more than 5 hours/day for months, preparing myself for IELTS exam, yet still I feel not good enough. Despite all everyone’s determination that I will do good, I couldn’t felt any less better.

At the moment, I found that I was so scared to fail. I can’t bear any more failures, for I have been working so hard, sacrificing my whole-me, for the sake of my goals. Just when I felt like losing my hope, I came to my common-sense. It brought me to an awareness that in the end, the result is beyond my capability to decide. No matter how good I am, how much efforts I have done, I can only be in charged in the process, as best as I could do. The rest, I have to acknowledge that it’s belong to The Almighty One.

Thomas Alva Edison once said,
“If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves.”

As much as I want to make sure that I will be just fine, I have to have a little faith in me and Him. I will give my very best and leave the rest to be His business. Whatever the results may come out, I will try to humbly accept it, for I have done my best part.

Hence, No, I simply will not lose my hope. Yes, I’m a little lost here, there are another tough tasks to accomplish, but I’ve been through this before. My passion drive will lead me on and looking back I have come so far, I will move on, I will go on. 🙂

So, for those who are about to give up, hold on! Hang in there. Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength. Don’t lose your hope. It sustains us when nothing else can. It gives us reason to continue and courage to move ahead, when we tell ourselves we’d rather give in. Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. 😀

Vness

Life Story

36 hours self-reflection

My previous post contained of anger, disappointment, and a lot of negative energy. That’s one of my lowest points of life. I decided to have myself isolated for a while.

Thinking. Questioning. Blaming. Reflecting. Introspect. Wondering.

After taking 36 hours away from human contact ( I turned off my mobile phones, signed off my msn-skype-gtalk-fb), now I am back to my normal me, again.

My biggest question few days ago was :
“Dear God, are You there?? Why are You doing this to me? Are You happy to see me like this? Do You even care of what’s going on with me?? Frankly, I can’t take it anymore!!”

I felt God left me all alone. I felt He doesn’t even care anymore. I became a grumpy little girl who was ignored by her Daddy. I wanted Him to answer me.

At the moment when I was thinking of put my faith away somewhere, He did answer me with 2 actions that I barely understand until now. Most of you will see this was just a coincidence, but for me, who has been experiencing these for all my life (yet I am still being a stubborn child who needs lots of proof), it was true.

He sent me a stranger to strengthen me.

I had a comment received from someone in Norwegia from my prev blog. I was thinking,”How the hell on earth she found my blog? How could someone who lives half world away, left verses in this unknown blog?”

There are million blogs, and she accidentally found my blog by ‘tag surfer’ (the tag are ‘life’ and ‘faith’). I guess there are gazillions ‘life’ and ‘faith’ tags in wordpress, in fact, she bumped into mine.

I’ve never shared any of my feelings with stranger (plus, I was being a hermit for 36 hours). But this time, I felt like I can trust this person, then I sent her a message. Through email, I told her what’s going on with me.

I found it weird. I didn’t talk this agony to my best friends, my sisters, or my parents, but I talked to a Norwegian girl! She also felt that somehow God wanted her to tell me some verses. She didn’t give me any wise advices, only verses.

My dad phoned me.
I was never be a daddy’s girl. It’s not we’re not in a good relationship, it’s just we are both ESTJ person. We are both stubborn and we fought a lot. My mom is usually the one who talk things out with me without feel offended by me.

I was surprised that this evening, my dad texted me and he said he wanted to talk to me. In that almost-1 hour phone call, he explained how he’s surprised by my text message. He explained that he never meant to have me reach something that off my limit. He just wants the best of me. He told me that academic result isn’t the only important thing due to someone’s success. It’s strange because all this time he’s the one who keep forcing me about my academic results.

He encouraged me, He assured me that I’m worth more than just a visible thing. He’s not a religious person, but this time he said to me,”God wants you to be weak, so He can show you that He’s the strength, and without Him, you are nothing.”

And at the end, he said a thing that almost made me cried,”always remember, your parents are your true friends (aside form God) from the day you were born until forever. There is a word for ex-wife, ex-friend, but there will never be a word for ex-daughter and ex-daddy
I am not the type of person who take things emotionally.
I am not a drama queen.
I usually use my logic and common sense more than my emotion and heart.

But there are things in this world, that can’t be explained with our limited brain and knowledge.

Somehow I know, that God works in mysterious ways.
Somehow I realized, that God would use random people to talk to us.
Somehow I understand, that God allow several incidents to let us know that He’s still by our side.

If God wants me to be this way, let His will be done. I’ll always do my very best with super extra efforts, I’ll leave the rest with Him.

I’m not a protestant, not a catholic, not a buddhist, not a moslem, not an atheist, not a religious person, one thing for sure, my faith stands for Jesus Christ.

These are some verses from my Norwegian friend, Mathilde :
Isaiah 43:1
psalms 46:1-11
psalms 91:1-16

I quote her in her last email :
And even though maybe it doesn’t feel like it right now, he will never allow more tough things to happen to you than you can handle with his help. He promise this :
1. Cor. 10,13: “God is true, who will not let any test come on you which you are not able to undergo; but he will make with the test a way out of it, so that you may be able to go through it.”

Little note to Mathilde :
I don’t know how things happened, and I don’t need to understand all things. One thing I know, God talked to me through you. I can’t say more, just Thank you. My prayer goes with you and be blessed 🙂

Vness