More blessings — more battles

Just back from an okay relaxing day — no work, a bit of classes, and a lot of hanging out with friends. It’s been a long time since I last woke up early — I always sleep in since moving to the new house as it’s really close to the school now. But 3 sips of strong coffee didn’t put me to bed well, so I was obviously didn’t have the energy to do anything: We had a meeting to plan an event and I was definitely “sleeping” the whole time…

Everything is good. I feel happy with what I have now, overcoming those times feeling as though I am left alone. I try to change myself a little bit every day, filling myself up with good habits and with new knowledge.

More blessings create more battles.

I have been going through ups and downs emotionally, but when I got the chance to sit down with my mentor, what she told me was after a long time not meeting with me one-on-one but still getting to observe me working and interacting with people, she found a really new me — a me that becomes more patient, more welcoming, more loving to others. I invite people to hang out and talk with me, which is not something I used to do, just because I am not always in the talking mood. And I would say I have become a blessing to many new students — becoming one of their very first friends when they come to study in a new country. But that blessing doesn’t come as an outcome. It comes with a process of me fighting my own battles, fighting to find my place in the world, my place in me, in my family, in others’ life. God’s gift for me is not the gift that I might just keep for myself. What He asks me to do is to transform it into a self-giving love, to benefit others, because He has given Himself to love me. I know my battles are overwhelming to me. I clearly couldn’t stand them all by myself. I clearly struggled a lot to get through them, but God never tells me to do more that what I can do — He asks me for things in my capacity, and He even gives me more than what I needed.

A small story of Jesus that has rescued me every time I wanted to take a step back from my mission in God’s kingdom.

// One day, Jesus heard that John the Baptist — his cousin but also the greatest prophet in history — was put to jail because he was faithful to God. Jesus grieved, and he went out by Himself to pray to His Father — like a way to relax after a long tiring day.

However, on His way, there were many people heard that He was in town and they wanted to see Him. There were many of them that they covered all the surrounded area. Knowing that Jesus needed rest, and that this is a countless amount of people, the disciples told Jesus to let everyone go because the sky was getting dark and those people needed to find food.

However, Jesus disagreed with the disciples. He asked them to feed the people. At this point, the disciples became annoyed because they had barely enough food to feed themselves — 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus did not mind, though. He asked the disciples to give Him what they had, and then He praised to the Father over five loaves of bread and two fish. After that, they started giving out everything to the people.

What happened was that the food did not run out. At the end, they counted and there were 500,000 men, together with their wives and children and servants. They all got really full, and the amount of food left was enough for the twelve disciples to share among themselves.//

Growing up in church community, I have heard this story many, many times, but I never actually get to understand its deeper meaning. Before, I’d just say, “Oh that’s cool.” But now I am amazed. In his grieving moment — trying to get away from people because of his sadness over John the Baptist’s imprisonment — Jesus did not stop loving others. He did not want to leave that many people behind just to find a place for Himself. He took pity on them and decided that He would provide them food. The disciples’ reaction remind me a lot of how I sometimes would react too when being in my down mood: “I cannot be with people anymore because I needed my own quiet time!” However, it is important to remember that I always CAN. God never asks me to do more that what I can. He just asks me to give me what I already had and trust that He would finish the rest. It’s just like how Jesus asked the disciples how much food they had left — He didn’t ask them to go buy more!

And so when I think of this more and more, I think it is worth it to give my best to others — loving because I am loved. Fighting my own battles because those are small compared to the ultimate price Jesus had paid for human sins. I always have something to put on the table — I just need to open myself to others, to love.

Another thing that has helped me a lot through dark days is others’ caress for me. My tutor today helped me with my class for more than an hour while I gave him only a cup of coffee. My former roommate treated me lunch while I left her to live at the new place. My roommate now always give me thing

s when I cannot provide myself while what I give her is a pile of dirty clothes in the middle of our room. I receive unconditional love from people. But I forgot to love back, just because I sank too deep when grieving over my small battles that I created my own.

More blessings go with more battles.

More love goes with more sacrifices. But it would all be good, because at the end, whether we receive anything back from others or not, there has always been Jesus’s or God’s love there — He loved us even before we knew Him and love Him.

Published by Thi Le


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