Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Senegal, life and changes.

This year is full of crazy changes. 

It's funny how you may start planning and thinking lots of things for the future...but so many things can change from one day to another. You can never predict how people or situations may change. But one thing you can do is to trust in God and follow your heart.

God laughs at our plans, because they are so small compared to the great things that He has prepared for us.

This week has been a rough week to say the least - I had to let go of something dear to my heart. I've been trying to distract myself - going to the fresh spring pools with my cousins, eating street food, hiking rain forests, engaging in incessant chatter and laughter, journaling, sipping unto those moments of deep silences and serious conversations with God. I've learned to accept the reality of things, soothe the emotional pain and move on.

One thing that keeps running into my mind is the value of honesty with oneself and others. Faking it or compromising your deepest values can damage relationships and lead to an unhappy life. Though there may be sacrifices and pain, I have chosen to follow my heart. And live out the life that I have envisioned since I was 15.

Stay true to yourself.

My true self belongs to God and missions. To give up missions for a life of comfort would be a life of utter misery. I keep longing and thinking of those days I spent as a missionary in Fiji and Africa. I tasted the joy, and I keep thirsting for that joy. And that joy can only be found in the mission field.

And thus...

I am going to Senegal this Summer. I am planning to stay a month as a guardian for a children's home - basically I will be a mom and a big sister. I will be blogging about my endevours and adventures. I can't wait for what God has in store for me.





Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Routine

It's been 9 months since I moved back home.

A lot has happened during these 9 months. I got my first full-time job as a teacher, I met someone and there has been spurts of growth in my professional and personal life. 

But at times, I miss traveling and the thrill of adventure. Back in Canada, my life was unpredictable  and somewhat nomadic. I would spend 3 months studying, 2 months traveling, 2 months home, etc etc. I loved the experience of adapting, learning and the sense of newness that traveling and moving brought me. Being home offers me stability, but at times, it feels boring. Stagnant almost.

I long to travel again.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Conversations

"Ms Chang, I want to quit the Symphony after my first day."
"Why?"
"I was humiliated and I played alongside the younger kids. I felt bad."
"Let me tell you my story: I stopped playing the violin for three years when I first joined the Symphony. I was rusty and inexperienced compared to others. Like you I felt bad, but I didn't give up. I practiced and even went on tour to Washington DC. Growth starts outside of your comfort zone."
"Mhmmm."
"Do you like challenges?"
"No."
"Do you want to become a mediocre violinist?"
"No."
"Then, don't give up."
"Thanks, Ms Chang. I will take up the challenge."

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The One who governs Dreams

"The One who governs dreams, and gives
Us everything we need, and lives
On ev’ry inch of ground we tread,
Will be with you. You will be led;
And lest you feel alone, he spoke
These words, ‘My soul will not revoke
The promise I have made. Go now."

------John Piper in Esther

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dear M

Dear M,


I saw your father today. He came to the restaurant and ordered food. I barely recognized him...he looked much different since I last saw him in 2007, when he came to pick you up from German classes. His hair was grey, and he sighed for you.

I felt his pain.

We talked about you - about your wonderful way of living life, your smile, your accomplishments at such a young age. Even though we met briefly in life, you taught me so much with your joie de vivre attitude. The day I found out you passed away in a car accident, I cried on the bus.

I cried some more today after talking to your father. He reminded me so much of you.

The world misses you. God was gracious in creating a person like you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Radically Transformed [and Amazed]

It's been a while since I last wrote in my blog. A lot of things have changed over the course of these past months.

My life has been deeply transformed by God's grace. He continues to [radically] amaze me with His love and blessing towards me. He has given me a full time job as a Secondary Teacher at a Christian School, a wonderful earthly beloved and beautiful friends. My understanding towards life and humanity has deepened as I experience an abundance of love from others.

Everyday, I hear God whisper to me: [[[You are so well-loved.]]]

No longer do I dwell in a legalistic Christian mind-set -on judging others or seeing the world as a place of right/wrong. Or wasting my energy complaining or worrying about my future. But rather, I have learned to embrace life and humanity as it is. I've learned to love freely and dearly towards those around me, specially my students. I feel more free, joyful and nourished by imitating and giving God's love towards others. 




Sunday, December 7, 2014

Words from the Beloved

[While I was meditating during the deep hours of the night]

"Will you let go of the past to embrace new beginnings?"

"Let go of them, because I have greater things ahead for you."

"Let go."

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a pertaining tradition within the Chang Family. Ever since I was a child, I remember waking up early to visit the graves of my deceased relatives. This day carries a symbolic meaning to my family, since it's the only day of the year in which we honour our migrant ancestors who spent their entire lives sojourning for the livelihood of their families. 

It also happens to be one of those rare instances where members of my immediate family spend time together (we lead very busy lives). To be honest, nothing compares to the sight of your Asian dad pouring liquor over a deceased Salvadorean president's grave to celebrate the fact that "he was generous with us Chinese." Nor the sight of your Asian aunt getting jealous over her husband as he pours liquor over the grave of his 'almost girlfriend' while fondly reminiscing moments when they worked side by side back in Communist China.

Themes of transmigration, diaspora and identity came into my mind as we visited the different grave sites. As a child, I did not realize the importance of family oral tradition and honour. Yet as an adult, I know that these factors play an important part in my identity. 

Photos to commemorate our visit:





My Mexican Great-Grandmother's Inscription

Family's Tomb

A myriad of artifacts that represent bits & pieces of family history: a Spanish Church
A Chinese Pagoda, An Airplane.

Family Breakfast at the Pollo Campero in Metrosur

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Update on life

My sincere apologies for disappearing from the blogosphere, but life has been crazy busy! Here is an update of my current life situation.

Due to family and personal reasons, I decided to come back home (El Salvador) instead of taking a full-time teaching job in Mexico. August was a stressful month, but I give thanks to God that I took the best decision for my family and me.

Here are some highlights during my absence (September-October)

-My brother got married!
-I am playing at the Christian Symphony as a violinist after a 10-years hiatus. We had a concert last Friday.
-The Symphony will be going on tour in December in Washington DC! One of my close friends in Seattle will be joining us too.
-I got a part-time job as an English Teacher at a Language School. It's been a great learning experience so far. I am thankful for supportive colleagues and a friendly environment.
-I am taking intensive French lessons and I'm planning to become fluent during the next year and half.
-I am taking cooking classes and it's great fun.
-I started a food blog with my cousins. It's still under construction.

Please pray for:
-Emotional and spiritual healing after an unpleasant Church experience in Vancouver.
-I can find a new Church community where I can find love, encouragement and spiritual growth.
-Personal and professional growth.
-A full time teaching job for January - June 2015.

Hopefully, I will be writing more this month. Stay tuned!



Friday, September 5, 2014