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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Letter to my Dad

亲爱的爸爸,
今年对我来说很不容易,我从来没有想过 那成熟的过程 也可以这么痛苦. 这是我很难用言语表达, 但在我内心谨记着你的话。 今年我辍学, 今年我分手了, 今年我失去了一个兄弟, 今年我从教会失去了我的朋友 并且在加拿大忍受了太多的寂寞 不过,我记得你的话 信仰 最重要的是信心 请耐心等待 我可能不会很成功 但我相信我在生活中有一个更高的目标 的宗旨,以造福他人 父亲,虽然我无法表达你的话 但我是那么爱你 你一直是在我身边的唯一 总是安慰我 总是在那里给我建议 你总是充满智慧 我很荣幸能有你做我的爸爸 你有这样一个伟大的心 我想像你一样 谢谢你养育我了 感谢您的支持与厚爱 感谢您对我的信任 我很感谢你对我这么多爱

[Kudos to my friend Xing who helped me translate this letter into Chinese]

Lessons

This year has been possibly the hardest year of my life, but it has also been a year of learning, beauty and growth.

-I finally gathered the courage to tell my parents how much I love them. I am afraid that I will miss the chance if I don't tell them.
-My heart has been broken, mended and broken again. All in all, I learned that I cannot love someone else unless I love myself first.
-I learned to ask for help. We all need it.
-I've learned to see the best in others.
-It's important to surround yourself with friends who fill you with positivity and laughter. And it's equally important to let go of people who harm you.
-Morality is fixed in this universe. Right is right. Wrong is wrong. It's futile to justify our mistakes or wrong thinking.
-Negative thinking takes as much time and energy as positive thinking. So why waste your energy when I can use it for better things?
-Things tend to go wrong when I don't plan and think ahead.
-As long as God is with me, there is always hope. Do not despair.
-I've learned to forgive, let go and move on.
-If I am not willing to change for my good, it's my loss.

Resilience

























Here is a post dedicated to one of the strongest woman I know.

A woman who has endured:
-The Cultural Revolution
-Moving into one of the most dangerous countries in the world
-Marriage and raising 2 children while running a business
-Cancer (x2)
-Hard work for her family.

Your smile and strength continue to be my inspiration.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wrestling with God

Is it possible,
that You planned all of this,
Before I was conceived in my mother's womb?
To endure such suffering and trauma?
What for? These 7 years were dedicated in search of You.
But instead, I've experience much disappointment and heart-break.

You knew all along. And this mystery might take years for me to understand.

I won't let go of You, until You bless me.

I'm waiting. Hear my cry. Don't be silent.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Surprised by Joy

“Who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words compelle intrare, compel them to come in, have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of man, and His compulsion is our liberation.”

---C.S Lewis

Sunday, July 20, 2014

When God wants to thrill a man

When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man.
When God wants to mould a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall praise –
Watch His method, watch His ways!
How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects;
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which only God understands
While his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends, but never breaks,
When his good He undertakes. . . .
How He uses whom He chooses
And with every purpose fuses him,
By every art induces him
To try his splendor out –
God knows what He’s about.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July

July has been an interesting month so far. I've made a conscious effort to spend more quality time with close friends as my days in Vancouver are approaching to an end. Their unconditional love and support has proven to be true and precious as life continues to unfold its setbacks and blessings. My days in Vancouver would have never been the same without them.

In retrospect, these past 7 years (2007-2014) have been a crazy chapter of my life. It has been a period of much loneliness and pain, but at the same time growth and beauty. But all in all, I am grateful for God's grace in my life. It is by Him and through Him that I am able to do all things.

2014 has been a tough year. My failings and challenges has plunged me into a dark valley. As human beings, we don't like failure. We tend to beat ourselves up: "If only I was stronger. If only I worked harder." But sometimes God allows certain things to happen so that we can dig deeper into our shadows and allow His light and grace to illuminate our lives. I've also experienced much healing and love after years of wrong concepts and trauma. God has taught me to fully embrace my humanity and limitations.

So what now? Life continues to change, and I can only surrender to God's timing and move forward. I will be leaving Vancouver at the end of the month and moving to Mexico. I will be serving as a teacher at a missionary school for one whole school year. I am grateful that He has provided me this opportunity since it has always been my desire to serve Him in the Spanish-speaking world. I will also be under the apprenticeship of experienced missionaries who are outreaching to the Mixtec community in Oaxaca.

I don't know what this next chapter will unfold. But I know that God will continue to hold my hand and guide me closer to His heart.