It took me some time to write this post. Partly because I don’t know where to start. The story is beautiful and intertwine with God at work. Perhaps, the first question I can start is when Christian say…this is God at work.
What does that mean?
If I wish for something, say a new job. I pray for it.
And I get it, is that God at work?
Or if I don’t get the job? Is that God at work?
Of course, one of the basic truths we dare to proclaim is that God is at work in everything. In good and in bad. There’s no separation where we classify, ok this is human part. And this is God’s part.
When it comes to relationship and marriage, we often talk about Godly relationship. How does that look like? And sometimes I think, myself included, we impose what we have in our mind as in a Godly relationship. To some, this might be a person who goes to church. To others, this might be someone who is leading a fellowship.
As for me, I know that in part in what I look for in a relationship is not just about the relationship. Many of my friends often joke that I will find someone who likes triathlon or into endurance sports. Though that can be quite lovely as we have many things in common. But rarely do someone (not that I can recall) come up to me and say, you gotta find a person who can go reach out to the poor or do mission with you.
Though we talk about and most of Christians will agree in a Godly marriage to seek God first, rarely do the pursuit for mission is an attractive or selling point as a potential lover or a husband or wife.
And I must admit, relationship is not my strong point and I don’t dare to claim as expert in relationship and define this as the PERFECT and only way for Christians to get together. This is just my experience and I am still learning as I am moving along…
One will think that just because you are single you are looking for a relationship automatically. This might be true and there’s nothing wrong with that. But for me, the past few years, I wasn’t actively seeking for a relationship. Yes, there are sisters in Christ which I found attracted to. But I made a decision that for me, the person who I am marrying to must love mission and love the poor.
It is impossible for me to be in a relationship where I have to explain her why I choose not to take a higher pay job because I can associate more with the poor. Or explain to her why I go out on the street at night. Or spend money for those who cannot afford a meal instead of buying brand name things (insert car, clothes, gifts, tvs, gadgets etc. etc.)
If that’s the relationship, I rather stay single. In fact, I have little or no problem to be single in pursuit for His Kingdom. In 2007 Dec 25, I already signed a contract to God that I will seek Him first in everything I do. My life is in His hands..this also include my relationship (or not).
And so God, in His splendid ways, decided to send someone to my blog and left a comment. As I start reading her blog and finding out more about her. I start to realize how much we have in common. In fact, I admire her very much. She has a heart for the poor, goes to Nepal and help fund raise for a Nepalese girl who needs ear surgery. She writes children book.
But…a big but is that she is in Singapore and I am in Canada. That’s an ocean away. Twelve hours of difference.
I like her but there’s not much I can do. I know at that time, I wasn’t going to Singapore. It would be crazy to just move over because of someone you met over the Internet. I never really pray too much about it. With our email conversations, we started to see how both of us have a lot in common. Love for the poor. Mission. Triathlon(!).
I once joke with a friend that I found an exact version of me…except she is much smarter.
It wasn’t until earlier this year when I went to Cambodia that I came to Singapore to visit her for the weekend. Or at least that was the plan. While I was in the plane that was about to take off, it had an engine problem and I stayed in Singapore for two extra days. Of these two days, we got to spend one night talking with Grandpa Zhou. This Grandpa who she sees regularly.
It’s also a ‘coincidence‘ how the same time she started to visit Grandpa Zhou, that’s the same time I visit a homeless guy, R, in Toronto (back in 2008). As I sit next to Grandpa Zhou and speak, she started to tear. She was so touch that I acted so normal to this Grandpa.
Before flying back home, I told her that I would love to get into a relationship but at that point, not knowing when I will come back, it wasn’t a good idea. I told her I would be back. But I will have to pray to God first.
When I came back home, Canada, an Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) missionary offered me a role in Singapore. Of all the offices OMF has around the world, it’s in Singapore. Another ‘coincidence‘.
It was during my application to OMF when God and I had a discussion (maybe more like a monologue). What if things didn’t work out in Singapore with her? Then what happen? Nothing is guarantee. It was during this conversation I asked myself, will I still willing to sell everything, go, and serve Him? Without a doubt in my mind, I said yes. Not because I figure this will be some way I can sneak in and get the relationship. Because, as I said before, I seek God first. Everything second, including my life. And this gives me great confidence in going to Singapore. Yes, there’s no guarantee and things might not work out. I know why I am going (and I told her so too). And no, it probably ain’t that romantic or so charming for courtship. But I feel she has the right to know where my heart is.
I told her a while ago that we would be a great couple to do mission together. I still believe this is true. Perhaps of all the things great about her is her heart and compassion for the lost and for the Lord.
A few days ago, we took Grandpa Zhou for dinner. The way she talked to him and the way she took care of him, I was touched. In serving Grandpa Zhou and buying him grocery, the little things which is deem inconvenient she took the time, effort and money to do so. She did it with joy and gentleness.
|Me, her, Grandpa Zhou, and a friend.|
Two nights ago, she asked me two questions:
She: Do you love God more than me?
She: Do you love me?
Me: Of course!
She: Yes and that’s how the order should be.
With talks over adopting kids in need, going on missions and building orphanages and preparing a guest room to invite the homeless in to stay with us, I think this is what it means to be in a Godly relationship. Where we strive each other to love God and love others more.
Where the relationship is not merely the love of two people toward one another. Or the love of a couple toward God in a private manner.
Rather, it should be the love of God shining toward the couples and the couple expresses to those around them. Especially to those who are lost.
This is not the relationship I expected. It wasn’t even a relationship I was seeking. Through it all, we see how God places coincidence after coincidence together. I am still in awe of how things are unfolding.