About Me

This blog is dedicated to the glorification of my King Jesus Christ.

Friday, July 6, 2012

how god completely transformed my life

three years ago on this exact day, july 5 2009, my life was forever changed and to this day i will never be the same.

it was the summer after my high school senior year, and i was preparing to enter into college. i was invited to do this program called Summer Bridge at UCI, which was going to be fully paid for by the school and the government. I was hesitant and even adamant about not attending summer school, because this was my last summer to be with all my highschool and church friends. i didnt want to be weighed down by more academics and therefore add to the stress; instead, i wanted to rest, spend time with my family and friends, and spend more time with god. during this time, my mom strongly advised me to go into the summer program, which would prepare me for college—and after much wrestling, i eventually consented.

summer bridge was a 6-week long program, but unlike any regular summer school, this program could be more closely equated with a prisoner boot camp. we were put into the most stringent rules i had ever known, such as : absolutely no cell phones, laptops, or ipods. there were even boundaries set up for us at UCI; we could only venture up to a certain parameter in the school, and the rest of the school was forbidden to us. If we ever wanted to go anywhere outside of our set scheldule, we were required to go with a partner, and we had to sign in and out whenever we would go out somewhere. we had a 10 o’clock curfew, and if anyone broke any of the rules or disobeyed, we would then get a curfew cut. there were times i remember going straight to my room after dinner at 6:00 pm. we couldnt even go home on the weekends to visit our family; we were required to stay on the parameters and have minimal outside contact.

what followed the first few weeks of this program was one of the hardest, barrenest, and most depressing times of my entire life. i was so hopelessly lonely; i remember going to god every night and praying and praying, not knowing why i was there or what my purpose for being there was, or even if i was supposed to be there. i remember being extremely hurt by betrayal and friendships that i had made, and the drama that happened in my suite that i was living in. i remember being overly stressed because of the amount of homework, tests, and the workload that was increasing my anxiety and stress. i remember loathing and hating myself so much, feeling as if i was so incapable, so unintelligent,so disgusting, and so unlovable. but most of all, i remember being so spiritually barren because i was displaced from my regular church community back at home, and i wasnt able to find a spiritual home at that time in irvine; i desperately missed going to church and fellowshipping with my fellow brothers and sisters in christ.

one night i came to god, broken on my knees, desperately crying out to him. alone in my room i just needed him so much, for the overwhelming pressures that i was facing seemed too much for me to bear at that time. i remember this prayer that i prayed as if it was just yesterday.

God…lord, i feel so, so lonely. are you really here with me?

oh lord jesus, are you truly real?

if you are, can you show me that you love me, and that you are with me??


not long after i prayed this prayer, actually only a few days after, the lord answered my cries in the most miraculous and overwhelming way. it was sunday july 5, 2009, and this was the only weekend i was allowed to go home since it was a holiday (independence day). i was so happy to be able to be back at church and i was walking around, wanting to see some of my friends. suddenly, a man approaches me— and says, “can i pray for you?”
surprised and bewildered, i looked at him. i dont even really know you, you dont even come to this church! why would you want to pray for me? you dont even know what im going through! curious, i ask him, “why do you want to pray for me?”

he replies, “the lord told me to pray for you. this morning when i woke up, god told me that there was a girl i needed to pray for and he told me to come here. when i saw you walking by, the lord showed me that that girl was you.”

my attention fully captured now, i wanted to know what god had “told” this person about me. “so…what are you going to pray for me for??”

suddenly, he starts praying, and the words he spoke into my life completely changed my life forever.

“god says, do not worry about school. do not worry about your tests.

as this man started to speak, a thousand thoughts flooded into my mind. at first, i didnt know what to believe. is god really speaking to me? is this really you god? he probably didnt even know i was in school, since its summertime. the crazy thing was, right before i came back home for the weekend, i had taken my midterms—and i had completely failed all my tests. i got the 2nd to lowest score on my math exam, and i got a D- on my computer midterm; it was the absolutely worst i had ever done in my history of academics. i was so devastated.

“god says, ‘i know you feel very lonely, but i am always with you and i love you. have faith in me, for i will never leave you or forsake you; i am with you always. submit to me in everything you do, and i will bless you always. desire me above all else, and your joy will be complete. most importantly, trust me and have faith in me, for i am with you.’ ”

i melted. time stopped. tears came pouring down from my eyes, streaming down my entire face, dripping off the corners of my mouth and down my chin. my heart was rapidly racing,pounding, and overflooding with so much love; there was no longer any traces of doubt in my heart that god was speaking to me and that he was so,oh so real. only god could have seen me praying in my room that one night as i implored him to show me that he was real, that he loved me, and that he was with me. and god— he knew! oh, how god knows me so well that nothing, no detail in my life would ever escape his notice! he saw me in my utter distress and in his love and compassion, he came and revealed his love to me in such an astounding and unmistakable way!! he loves me so much that he wanted to do everything he could to reassure me of his unending passion for me, and his presence in my life. jesus had utterly captivated my entire being so completely, so entirely, and in that moment, all the sorrow i had previously felt melted away and was replaced by an overpowering, superseding joy like nothing i had experienced ever before.

everything that i had encountered at that moment seemed so foreign to what i knew growing up in the church. puzzled, i asked the man who prayed for me, “how did you know? how do you hear god speaking to you?”

he explained to me that god speaks to him in an audible voice, and that god had commissioned him to be the mouthpiece of god, to speak into other people’s lives just as he did mine. god still speaks to people in miraculous ways today, just as he did in the past. he invited me to come to his church, where hearing from god was the norm and where miracles and supernatural occurences was as natural as everyday life. captivated, curious, excited, and hungry for more, i eagerly responded and told him i wanted to visit his church. what happened after this brought me though the most breathtaking journey into rediscovering god and encountering him in miraculous ways that i was not even aware existed before. going to his church was like revisiting the book of ACTS all over again, where the power and love of god was so evident through the supernatural workings of the Holy Spirit. this was a completely different side of god that i had never heard of or seen, and i was wholly enamored and captivated by god’s magnitude and the depths of his Spirit.

during one of these church gatherings, god had imparted onto me the gift of speaking in tongues; i was almost unaware of what was going on. people laid their hands on me to pray for me, and as they prayed for me, my stomach began to burn and grow hot and shivers went up and down my spine. as i began praying, i could no longer pray in english and i was trying so hard to speak properly, but my tongue felt heavy and ladden; i no longer had control over it anymore. suddenly, i found myself speaking in a foreign language and i realized at that moment that god had graciously gave me the gift of tongues to expand my prayer language so that i could become more intimate with him. the holy spirit was praying through me, deepening my connection with god and expanding my expression to him! during this time i realized, wow, truly, anything is possible!! god is so much bigger than i had ever dreamed of, hoped for, or imagined!! god is so absolutely AMAZING!! this was the life and this was the god that i had always dreamed of since i was a child because i knew that there was so much more, and coming to this church was like a dream come true.


since that day, i am no longer the same person— god has transformed my life so completely, and i will never be the same. my journey with god since then has been the most unbelievable three years of my entire life. he’s taken me through so much and has revealed so much of himself to me. over and over again, god continues to amaze me, he continues to expand my understanding of who he is, he continues to defy any limits that i place on him. and most of all, be continues to reveal to me his infinite, unconditional, zealous, passionate, and gentle love— a love that i am so undeserving of, and i am forever indebted to him for all that hes done for me. knowing jesus has been the most rewarding, the most satisfying, the most fulfilling thing of my life, and i would not trade his love for all the riches in the world combined. he has given me a joy that is indescribable and a hope that is unshakable. i love him so much, and my only desire is that i may encounter his love more and more each day, that i may grow in my understanding of his love so that i may in turn love him back so much more and love others as much as he loves me.

oh jesus, that i would fall deeper and deeper in love with you!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

the gospel of grace

a few days ago on saturday night i struggling with the weight of my sin, and i felt as if my heart was black. i had been avoiding him the whole week, maybe because i was busy, maybe because i was studying, but mostly because i was trying to avoid turning to him and i didnt want to face my problems.

saturday night i finally came to him... weeping, because i was broken. weeping, because i saw how black my heart was, i realized how sinful my true nature is, and i finally saw how i was grieving his heart by not turning to him. over and over again i see how strong my will is, how great my pride is, how selfish my nature is--that most of the time, i dont do what he wants me to do. overcome, i came to him, saying lord, jesus, help me because i do not know what to do anymore. lord, you said that you can turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. can you do this for me please, because i cannot live the life that you want or do the things you are asking me to do unless you are there with me, helping me, giving me strength, giving me your grace...change my heart oh lord...only you can...

while i was praying, i felt a flood of accusations hit my head. of the many, some were--you dont do what god wants you to do, you are a rebellious child, you will never be able to surrender fully to Him, it is better to remain in sin...--during this time when all these accusations were all cascading onto me, a flood of them hitting me sharply like rushing waters, god brought to my mind zechariah 3--

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan[a]standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! TheLord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”

Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.

6 The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have chargeof my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.

- Zechariah 3:1-6

the lord is so good! it was that moment when i realized the reality of the enemy schemes, the reality of spiritual warfare--that these hateful thoughts are coming from the enemy; he is the one that condemns me because he is against me, while god is for me. he condemns me because he wants to keep me from running to god in order to pull farther away from god, while god wants me to boldly approach his throne of grace in my time need, in my weakness-- especially in the times when i feel so dirty or stained with sin. satan wants me to feel hopeless, helpless, ashamed and in despair while Jesus brings me life, forgiveness, righteousness, joy, peace, hope, and love. satan is always the first to accuse me, but while satan can accuse me of being black as ebony and point out all my faults though i know they are many, jesus has proclaimed me as his own and has declared that i am white as snow--jesus has cleansed me!! although satan has every right to accuse me for my sin, jesus turns and covers me by his grace so that i would be innocent, guiltless, and free from the contamination of sin!


sunday morning i went to church, and as i was worshiping in service, the presence of the lord dropped on me so strongly that i started to weep. i felt his healing waters of grace wash over me, flowing over my heart, over my entire body. despite all the turmoil that was raging within my heart one night ago, his presence brought to me a peace that was undescribable, and i realized--it was his grace--and i heard him tell me over and over again,

"joyce, you dont have to be perfect. you dont have to be perfect. let me cleanse you. let me heal you. let me change you. you dont have to be perfect."

suddenly the burdens began to lift off my shoulders. then god gave me an image of myself: i was in the bathroom, holding a bar of soap, and furiously rubbing that soap over my wounds and my dirt. i kept continuously scrubbing and scrubbing but nothing was happening; all the dirt still remained. the lord knew. i had been trying to clean my own wounds, scrubbing ferociously at any remnant of dirt that was still clinging onto me, pouring soap and taping on band aids to hide my problems that were buried deep inside my heart. i was carrying the burden all on my shoulders because i didnt want to turn to god and thus allow him to give me his light and easy yoke. but it was his grace that was able to see past my sin, heal my heart, and transform it so that it will be made more in his likeness.

the grace of the lord is that he gives us so much more than what we deserve, that he, the holy and majestic king, allows us to come to him with our sin and in our weakness, that he, the most worthy and almighty god, loves us despite all the vile crimes that we have committed against him. Jesus loves us like no other--with an unconditional love that is not conditional nor ephemeral nor temporal; thus, no matter what state we are in, no matter our circumstances, no matter what we did or will do... his love remains, and will never change.


If God is for us, who can be against us?32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? ... 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died —more than that, who was raised to life —is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

- Romans 8

Jesus, in the richness of his love and mercy, does not condemn those who believe of our sin because he has come into the world to save us from our sin! he died for us all, and he, instead of accusing us and pointing out all of our flaws and iniquities, intercedes for us passionately and prays for us fervently day and night on our behalf, pouring all his love out onto us, that we might overcome any trials and come into deeper intimacy with him!

This is the good news! this is the wonderful gospel!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

complete satisfaction leads to overwhelming joy

on reflecting on my relationship with god in the past and what it is now, i realize i had lost a lot of my purity of heart and my child-like pursuit of him. i miss those days when i was wide-eyed with amazement and awe-struck with love at god's majesty, and all i wanted to do was to pursue him and please him and be with him. when my sister asked me what had changed, i realized--

i stopped believing god was enough.

that was it. the moment that i didnt believe god could satisfy me completely was the moment that i lost my complete joy in him and him alone.
and that was when i started looking for other things to satisfy me, turned away from god and towards other things--approval from man, lust of the heart, worldly treasures, material things, identity in ministry or the way people saw me, desire for physical beauty, security in relationships and friendships... and the list goes on.

satisfaction in god alone is the prequel to experiencing a joy that is neverending, a joy that is superseding, a joy that is all encompassing. the moment that you feel as if youve lost the joy you had in the past is probably an indication that you are trying to draw love love and placing your security and trust in something other than the lord jesus christ.

it means that something other than jesus has taken the throne of your heart, that we, just as the israellites, are just as prone to making golden calves and placing idols before worshipping the glorioius king. that i am susceptible and guilty of trading the eternal GLORY and pleasures of worshipping the lord almighty with the oh so fleeting and gilded lusts of the world, that there are idols in my heart that need to be dethroned. for me, so often i feel as if the golden calf is myself. my desires, my plans, my way of doing things, or my lack of willingness to submit to the lord when he calls me to do something.

As i went to my room to pray, i no longer knew what to do with this on-going battle between my flesh and my spirit. i share this struggle of mine because i deem that there are many people other than myself who are struggling with the same issue of lacking joy or not fully believing god is enough.
as i was on my face praying , the lord began to speak to me. these are the words he spoke to my heart, but i pray that this message he gave me does not only benefit me, but also gives you comfort, hope, clarity and direction.

you are drinking from broken cisterns that will never be able to satisfy. only I give the living water you need, and if you truly drink of Me, you will never be thirsty or in want ever again (john 4:13-14). for I, yes I, will satiate every barren place in your heart and in your life. not only will I satisfy your desires, I will bring you life and life in abundance. As you keep drinking of Me, as you keep coming to Me, my waters will keep filling you up and will begin to overflow in you, it will continue to overflow into wellsprings of living water until you are a fountain of life for everyone around you.

do you believe that I am enough?

do you truly love me above all else? your level of contentment in Me is an indicator of who I am to you and how much you love Me, for where your treasure is--there your heart will be. (matt 6:19-24)

thank god the lord is so gracious and so patient with me, especially in my struggles and my sin. i want so desperately for god to fill my heart again, but not only fill it, but completely overwhelm it until i am overflowing in his waves of love and grace so that everyone around me can be touched by the love of jesus christ.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

jesus, the hope of our nation

I had an odd but profound experience today. I was flipping through my US passport, and to be honest I have never really took the time to look through the pages of the passport. Yet for some reason I felt compelled to examine the little booklet a little more closely as I picked it up, admiring the beautifully printed and designed pages. Each page had a quote on the top, and as I was reading each quote I began to be more inspired and fell in love once again with America, because I saw the fingerprints of god written in our documents. I felt as if I was going back in time and revisiting history and the building of the foundations of our country—and that’s when it became so so clear to me: our nation was founded upon Christ!! When our fathers drafted the constitution, they had made God, and essentially the laws of this nation, upon the values and the beliefs of the bible! Truly, jesus was the CORNERSTONE, the center, the foundation, in which everything else was built—and my heart melted.

As I held my passport in my hand and looked at the front cover which says, “United States of America” and I felt as if I was living in a surreal moment. For a split second, I could not believe that I was actually living in America. The phrase “land of the free” and “in god we trust” was just ringing in my ears... and I began to be overwhelmed with thankfulness. Wow, I am blessed, I am blessed, I am blessed, I am so so blessed! I couldn’t fully grasp the reality of me living in America, because I feel like for me to be living in such a privileged and prosperous nation is also so surreal—you have no idea how blessed you and I are.

Can you imagine??
Do you know many people die a day from starvation simply because they do not have the financial means to acquire food? To think that there are people who are literally starving at an unbearable and inhumane rate until their stomach eats themselves up from the inside out, until their bones fall apart, and until they feel so weak that they can no longer have enough calories to even take another breath of oxygen just completely wrecks me from the inside. If you think that you cannot go one day without food, and if you cannot have the energy to function if you do not eat for a couple of days, can you imagine what it is like for a child who can only have 200 calories a day? How can one even sanely survive without such a basic necessity as food?

Can you imagine??
Imagine a world without technology and internet. In the first world countries, our whole lives depend on technology—what would it be like without phones? Computers? Or even electricity? Goodness, we would not be able to last a week! Or even imagine what it would be like without the opportunity to learn, to go to school, to get a college education? Even as im writing this, im stirred to remember how absolutely priviledged I am to have the rare opportunity to study at a university—wow.
And what about the fresh, nutritious, delicious food that we eat, the clean and refreshing water that we drink, and the nice homes that we live in? there are soo many people in this world that don’t even have homes, but live in slums, have no access to clean water, and don’t have the luxury of eating fresh food. To think that there is extreme wealth and extreme poverty co-existing together in the same planet makes me think that we are actually living in worlds apart. So apart are we first world countries from third world countries and so great is the dichotomy that most times we do not even care about the sufferings of others—they literally don’t exist.

And for me, the greatest privilege of all, the thing that I am most thankful for, is that I am living in the land of the free—that I can have the right to practice religion freely, that I can have acess to a wealth of resources on the internet as well as novels on Christian literature, that I can go to church and pray freely and publicly. Wow! Let me never take my freedom for granted, or even the ability to own a bible for granted lord!

Sorry...I did not intend to go off a bit tangent and pour out my thoughts regarding America and what our country was founded upon. I guess, my point is...i feel like god is opening my eyes to see truly that HE is the one who blessed us, because we were founded on HIM. Our nation was able to stand because the temple of the constitution was built upon the solid Rock, Jesus Christ, in whom He is the only one who can hold all things together. He was truly our cornerstone, the focus of our country and thus we who trusted in Him and built our lives upon Him will never be disappointed or put to shame. Seeing who we were before and how far weve gone away from Him reallybreaks my heart. Lord have mercy on this nation... bring is back to you lord, bring us back.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

- last stanza from Star Spangled Banner

Thursday, March 8, 2012

break my heart

my heart is burning for the children in uganda and the horrific sitauations they are being forced into because of a corrupt leader named joeseph kony. Every fiber of my being is crying out for justice to be done, for the reign of the kingdom to be restored, for all the wrongs to be made right. i am left utterly speechless at the immensity and density of the great dimensions of evil and injustice in this world—this evil is simply paralyzing.

reality check.

where has my life been these past few months??

have i been only engaged in myself, too consumed with my own life and problems, too weighed down with my insecurities, too focused on my ever revolving thoughts that i could not take my eyes off of myself in order to see god or other people?

sadly, the truth is, I realize that i have been wasting too much time looking at myself and the suffering in my life that i could not notice the cries of another. There are so many people in darkness, so many people in need of hope and light, so many people in need of authentic love, so many people undergoing extreme hardship and pain. life is not worth living until you are living it for a cause that is bigger than yourself. a life that has not been given up everything is not worthy of gaining anything—to die is to gain, and in dying one can truly live as christ lived, because to live is christ.

father i want to live for a cause that is so much bigger than myself. life in abundance is truly a life that is poured out onto you and onto others; it is not a life in which the oil in the alabastar jar is selflishly kept intact and unbroken. help me live a life that is completely poured out to you. help me not to withhold even a single drop of oil in the jar, but help me to willingly break my life so that I can be wholly poured out onto you and be used to the greatest capacity. help me to be a broken and empty vessel for you to use in whatever way you please. help me not to hold on to any of me, but for the sake of your glory, let me empty myself i order to gain all of you.

I want more of you and less of me. as you break my life, would you also break my heart for what breaks yours. would everything i am be for your kingdom’s cause alone. would you help me to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before you all the days of my life. open my eyes to see, open my ears to hear, open my mind to know, open my heart to feel the sufferings of others in this world.

Father, i need so much more of you, and so much less of me.

***please, watch this invisible children video and support the cause for justice—>http://s3.amazonaws.com/kony2012/kony_5.html

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Worth it all

having such a hard week and realizing more and more how crippled and desperate i am for his redeeming love and his grace in my life. every day and every moment i am fighting for his joy to be my strength, fighting for his truths to become a reality for me, and fighting for his love to overcome every fear and obstacle there is in my life.
sometimes i ask god when these struggles will end; i can feel myself being bombarded with temptations and worldly desires, other times i feel myself drowning in waves of negativity and not being able to see the light and His truths. i guess i just didnt know how to express all that i was going through... until today i just threw my hands onto my piano and started letting the holy spirit play the keys with and through me. And all of a sudden i was led to play the Dessert Song, by Hillsongs

and i was playing the verses and the bridge of this song i started to break down and cry.

"all of my life, in every season, you are still god, i have a reason to sing, i have a reason to worship"

the words that i had trouble articulating in order to express my mind, my thoughts or my heart were found in the the flow of the verses. This song spoke through everything that i was going through and everything that i wanted to be-- to ultimately bring praise to the lord even in my desert, even in the fire, and even in the battle. If god is always my god, then i should be able to rejoice no matter what i am going through, no matter what season i am in, no matter what my earthly lot or circumstance is. i began to weep as i realized that my worth was not founded on him and him alone, and that my joy came from my life circumstances, what I had, or what i did. A part of me places too much worth on these things, which is why i grieve the loss of the ability to sing and speak so much. My grief in these losses reveals the condition of my heart, that i am not yet fully satisfied in God alone because i give so many other things worth in my life. Can I truthfully say that it is well with my soul, even if i am stripped of everything, absolutely everything in this life? Honestly, at this moment i dont think i can. If i truly am satisfied in Him alone, then i would be able to say to him Blessed be Your name despite what he gives or takes away, just as Job did the moment that all his mighty and numerous possessions got stripped away and his sons and daughters suddenly died, and everything he knew to be his world all crumbled in an instant--
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.[c]
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised

-job 1:20-21

god i am in so much need of your strength.
i need your grace to praise you in times like these...no matter what season i am in. i need your love to sustain me... i cannot love you on my own. i need your strength to help me surrender. help me to see the absolute magnificence of your worth and beauty so that all these afflictions will become but light and momentary. help me to remember that you are faithful, that you are good, and that you deserve the utmost glory and praise. help me to take my eyes off of myself and my circumstances so that i can lift you high and give you the praise and the glory that you deserve. please lord, let this to be true in my life, let this song to be the cry of my heart--

I believe it, i believe it--when i see your face, its going to be worth it all. Even through trials and tribulations--
when i see your face, its going to be worth it all."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

i need your grace

i need
your grace.
i need your grace to get through my day, to sustain me through the night/ darkness and into the daytime, where there are new mercies each day and a joy that comes in the morning.

"But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness ”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
-2 cor 12:9-10

when i heard this verse being spoken on a friday night worship, it stung my heart. i have been wrestling with my loss of voice for over 3 months now...i strained my voice while singing the wrong way, but ever since that day, my voice has been oscillating and spiraling between an inability to utter sounds, to an ability to speak just loud enough for people to hear me in a quiet room. it has certainly not been easy--to be honest, its been a huge struggle. i remember nights just intensely trying to battle the warfare of the enemy and my mind because I was in such a state of confusion and fear; i lost sight of god's truth and love. I remember some nights where i couldnt pray, didnt know how to pray, didnt know what to pray for, days when i felt discouraged and wanted to give up seeking god's love. i thought my voice was getting better, but then all of a sudden it would spiral down and i would lose it completely again. like paul recieving a thorn in his flesh, i never realized how crippling it could be to lose something so simple-- the ability to talk, and even to sing/ worship--until it was gone.

but just as god spoke to paul in his weakness (while he had a thorn in his flesh) and told him "my grace is sufficient for you," i want that to be the same for me during my time of weakness. by his grace, each day is a new day. each day is another day that i am desperate for more of his grace to wash over my life, to sustain me, to keep me from falling, to remind me of his truths and his love. lord, where would i be without your grace? i would be long gone, i could not keep living.

yesterday i was talking to a friend and expressing my struggles to her, and she reminded me again that it is in my time of weakness that god will be strong. it is in my weakness that his power and his love will be made perfect in me. for the things that i used to be able to do so easily, i will now need to rely on his strength and his grace alone. now i cannot do anything without his grace. perhaps he wants me to emphasize loving people through actions, not just through words. perhaps this physical incapability is an opportunity for me to be solely dependent and desperate for god alone. i am reminded of how utterly weak/ incapable i am, how weak my flesh is,and even, how weak my faith is. but despite this struggle, there have been many times when god's grace would comfort me in my pain, when god's love would carry me through the night. these are the things that i want to recount, these are the thing i want to remember,these are the things i want to hold tightly onto. i want to blog later about and how i am discovering and rediscovering how weak i and how his grace has been sustaining me through this time.

i have yet to see how this whole situation will unfold. i have yet to see this struggle fully redeemed. living in the present of my circumstance, i cannot yet grasp god's perfect plan and redeeming love, how he will turn around all things bad and make all things new. but i know that when i look back on this time, when i have fully overcome this struggle, then i will understand and see how perfect god's plan is, and how his love carried me all the way through.

for now, i want to be content in my lack of understanding concerning my present condition, i want to trust fully and whole-heatedly in him even when i cant see, i want to praise and worship him even in my time of despair.

oh heart, remember that when I am weak, He is so, so strong.
let your grace be sufficient for me. i need your grace.