Picking the right rock

Many relationships seem to start off perfect; everything is perfect, you’re in love, and you’re finally with someone who loves you back. You’re constantly smiling, and happy about your current status. You feel glad that there’s someone there for you, someone to spend time with, someone to share your happiness and sorrows. And no matter what happens, you’re just happy you’re with them.

But slowly and surely, you enter into a more comfortable stage. A stage where you begin to feel bored, or start to notice the other person’s weaknesses and faults. You start to become frustrated, angry or upset to a point where you start to make excuses for not seeing the other person. 

Choosing a partner is like choosing a rock. When you pick up a rock, most of the times, there will rough edges, or sharper corners where you may scratch yourself on. But as humans, we possess the ability to change and the ability to adapt. If you have the courage, patience, and love, you can take that familiar rock of yours and smooth out the rough edges. 

But I am a Christian.

Romans 8:28 states: all things work together for good for those who love God

While speaking to one of my mentors today, she pointed out that this phrase is well known to many Christians but is often interpreted in various ways. She told me that the ‘all’ in this phrase doesn’t only refer to ‘good things’. Being a Christian and believing in Christ doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen to us. Good things, bad things, horrible things, amazing things, they all happen to us in life. But ALL these things work towards the good; even the bad things. 

God often places obstacles and challenges in our life and in the spur of the moment we’ll think that they’re bad things. Events that occur that make our lives harder. But all these events are God’s messages to us teaching us something new, allowing us to grow as humans and to grow in our faith. 

For the past few months, I’ve been struggling with many aspects of my life. As a Christian, I’m supposed to live life a certain way, think a certain way, and have my mind think a certain way. But i’m also scientific, and think with a lot of logic before I make decisions. Looking at how my Christian friends live their lives, I constantly think to myself: Ah, wouldn’t it be awesome if I were to be able to live my life just like them? Being faithful to God and doing everything in the name of God? And then I look at my non-Christian friends, and think: If only I could live life freely, unbounded by these ‘rules’ we have as a Christian and just enjoy life. 

Most of my best friends are non-Christian and many of the times when I have problems I would talk to them. Because I know they will give me the honest truth and what is best for me. They will not sugarcoat their words to make me feel better or tell me to ‘be patient and pray’. Because half the time when I do pray, I have no idea what God wants to say to me. And I hate it when people don’t say anything and tell me to pray because that is what I’ve been doing this whole. freaking. time. 

Many people have told me before that I can lead a Christian life and still be happy. But what I’ve always imagined my life to be is nothing like how a Christian SHOULD live. I want to be able to spend nights cuddling with my S.O. in bed. I want to be able to go out partying with my friends. I want to be able to flirt with guys and not worry about how my Christian friends see me. I want to be able to date non-Christians because they allow me to view life in a different way and open my eyes to the many wonderful things in the world. 

I feel horrible sometimes thinking that sometimes I wish I wasn’t Christian because then I’ll be able to make my own decisions without having to be judged by my fellow Christian peers, or being told that ‘God would not approve’. 

But I am Christian, and I’m slowly dying inside restricting myself to what I want to do compared to what I should do. I think I’m going to go insane.I feel like I’m being torn in many directions on how I live my life. So God, please help me. 

Strong relationships

Some time ago, I read somewhere that a man is successful when they can earn more money than their woman; a woman is successful when she finds a man that earns more than her. A part of me believes this is true, whereas another part of me finds this slightly offensive. 

I can say I’m a feminist. And to clarify, feminism means establishing equality in political, economical, cultural and social rights between women and men, NOT that women are better than men.

To be honest, I would love to find a man who makes more money than me. A man who can support me even if I lose my job. A man who is a good role model for our future kids. But also a man who can respect that I am, in my own way, successful as well. 

I work in the field of engineering, an industry dominated by males. As a female, I already expect to get a lower salary than men would at my experience level. The fact that I have already accepted that fact is quite unfortunate. Yes, I believe for physically demanding jobs, women may not be able to handle as much work as men. But regarding jobs that require no physical work, there should be no difference in salary based on gender; that’s just not fair. 

I remember an ex-boyfriend saying to me before that he couldn’t handle having a girlfriend who was smarter than him. And to this day, that statement he said still haunts my mind. The story of us is that we met in the 9th grade of secondary school. And at that point, I have already established a group of close friends, as well as network of friends with various groups/cliques within the school. He, on the other hand, was a newer student, still in ESL classes, and was pretty much not known in the school yet. Somehow, God placed us together and we began our relationship. Towards the end of our 2 year relationship, he started feeling bad about his grades, and his lack of popularity within the school. He constantly asked me why I’m so smart. I reminded him that I didn’t choose him for his talent in school or his ability to make friends instantly, I chose him because of who he is. When we finally decided to stay separated, for the second time, he told me how he always felt pressured having a girlfriend that would excel in academics and other parts in life. How he would feel belittled because of the amount of friends I had compared to him. And his last sentence to me was “Good luck trying to find a boyfriend who can handle having such a smart girlfriend.” And even after my valedictorian speech for our secondary school graduation, he said “I told you, not many guys can compare to you.” 

One might think that these are compliments, but since then because of those words, I refrain from telling people my grades or academic status when they ask (I never bragged anyways but I wouldn’t mind telling if people asked). I don’t tell people my major in school unless they ask. When I meet potential guys, I don’t tell them what I do. All this because I fear of history repeating itself. And so I find myself struggling with my heart trying to find a person who is more intelligent than me, but at the same time can respect that I, myself, am intelligent. 

I believe that a strong relationship rarely has two strong people at the same time. It is both people that take turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.  

 

God’s taking all of them away from me.

Sometimes I feel like I have no idea what God is doing in my life…. He does various things were messages are sent loud and clear but at other times he does things that make me ponder his intentions.

Growing up, I’ve always seemed to have a lot more male friends than female friends. Not that I didn’t have close female friends to hang around with, but most of my closer friends just happened to be guys. And it’s all great because I don’t mind. But as I step into the next phase in life where everyone is graduating from university, I find my closest male friends all leaving me.

I do understand that as a Christian, I’m supposed to marry my best friend. So, is that why God is deciding to take away all of my closest guy friends? A friend of mine is leaving for good for America where he will be studying his Masters there and probably remain there and not return in the near future. Another one is going back to Hong Kong where he awaits his acceptance letter to HKU and if he gets accepted, he’s going to stay there and take over his dad’s company. My friendship with another has started to grow apart since he started his career and dating his girlfriend (which I totally understand, but it still sucks).

So all of my close guy friends are leaving me one by one. All either having their own lives to go forward on, or pursuing their individual careers. I’m happy for them that they get to move on with their lives. But God, please don’t forget about me. 

The thin line…

Every time you talk when you first meet someone, you find out new things about the person and in your mind you make a mental note of if that meets your requirement of a possible partner. But as you get to know them, you become more comfortable and relaxed until the point where you need to decide if you’re only going to view this person as your friend, or anything more. The small window of opportunity gives you a chance to establish if you’re going to stay friends, or become a couple. Sometimes the window is so small that you don’t realize that it was opened and when you do, its already been closed. 

As humans, we tend to protect ourselves with a facade. We don’t like to let other people around us know our vulnerabilities and weaknesses. So we put up a front in where we show that everything is perfect. In other words, we like to play hard to get. Girls will always say “Oh, I want him to make the first move” or “I’m not going to reply fast because it makes me look like I’m desperate”. But deep inside, we fret that the guy won’t reply, that he will find someone who’s more ‘perfect’ for him. 

The reality is, when you feel like you are starting to develop feelings for someone, don’t play hard to get. Don’t wait to reply messages because it makes you look “desperate”. Don’t pretend to be shy and wait for the other person to say something. Because when you realize that you want that person in your life, they might already be with someone else who wasn’t afraid to take the leap of faith.