A week ago, I was sitting on a train to Munich.
The train was busy, so Tobias and me were seated separately.
I was extremely tired from traveling and had not had enough sleep.
As I glanced out of the window, I happened to see my reflection in the glass window, a tired face.
“Two days ago I was in Barcelona woke up at 4:30 am to catch a morning flight, yesterday I was at the hospital at 7:30 am for chemo and then spent hours on the train to Augsburg, and today I’m on the train again to Munich. The weather is grey, windy and cold. God, I’m exhausted, I cannot bear more”, I said in my heart.
(The reason I am tagging along Tobias’ business trips is because our time together is precious for me and for him too).
After we arrived at Munich train station, we had to take a metro, then change lines, then we walked for 20 minutes to our hotel. I immediately jumped into bed and was too tired to go out again for dinner. It is in these moments that I very much miss the ordering-food-by-app habit as part of everyday culture in Asia.
Tobias found a restaurant close by, only a two minutes walk from our hotel. I gathered my last strength to get up and put on my shoes. We strolled the dark neighborhood and arrived at the restaurant. It looked so bright and inviting, wrapped with Christmas lights.
We entered the restaurant and were welcomed by a live concert zither (traditional German music instrument). The restaurant was packed, but fortunately there’s one table free.
The ambiance lit up my mood and the menu looked delicious.
As we waited for our meal. Suddenly Sankt Nikolaus came into the restaurant to bring presents! Everyone was surprised. The excitement made me forget how tired I was. Then, St. Nikolaus approached our table and handed out a bottle of Prosecco for me and another bottle for Tobias. “Oh la la, I must have been a good girl this year”, I laughed.
Then, before St. Nikolaus departed to the other tables, he brushed my cheek (a 38 yo cheek) with the soft fabric of his white gloves. Then my heart whispered “you’re loved Titien, Heavenly Father hears you”.
My heart felt warm.
::: TO BE LOVED
It’s better to have an experience of God’s loving kindness. Not only known in the head but also felt in the heart
I can’t make myself feel the love of God.
Only the Holy Spirit can do that.
Yep, it’s supernatural.
When my heart finally sees and understands the ravishing beauty of His love in that glorious moment in history, Christ died for my sins 2000 years ago.
I became undaunted in my confidence that we are loved by the living God.
Since then, wherever my life is, ups and downs, I am enjoying His goodness in my life. Whenever my heart is tilting towards fear and despair, I incline my heart to the testimonies of His love.
I know that these sweet and precious experiences won’t ever happen without Him showing His love first through Christ, and I responded with a receiving heart.
::: TO RECEIVE LOVE
We finished our meal. Our dinner was entertaining and satisfying. Tobias was waiting for the bill and I went to the restroom.
When I opened the door I saw two entrances, one for the gentlemen on the left side, and one for the ladies on the right side. In the middle, there’s a saucer standing around for guests to leave a tip. I saw only three coins of 50 cent. Sitting next to the table was a cleaning lady (she’s an immigrant and around my age).
After I finished, I went back to the restaurant and I asked Tobias for cash 10€. I was thinking that I want to share my happiness with her. Unfortunately, we had only 70 cent cash.
Then, Tobias suggested that we can give her one bottle of Prosecco. I was glad and was excited to share my happiness with her.
As I opened the door, she saw me and raised her palm to me, said “No! No! No!”
I was a bit confused, but with my big happy eyes and big smile, I approached her and said “Hello, I had a great evening, I got two bottles of Prosecco, and I wanna share one with you”.
She replied with a venomous glance, “I don’t drink”.
Still confused with her reaction, I smiled and said “oh I’m sorry…, merry christmas”.
She replied only with her sharp-eyes.
I went back in the restaurant and told Tobias what happened back there. He said that maybe she’s not celebrating Christmas.
Back in the hotel room, I was still thinking about what happened in the restaurant.
It struck me that some people may feel an awkwardness in being able to receive love from other people.
Modern culture has telling us that we are performance based. Our love exchange with each other is so conditional.
Many of us may have the capacity to help and do great things to other people, but we don’t know how to truly receive love for ourselves.
Well, I’ve been there, too. In the beginning of our relationship, Tobias often said “you have to learn to accept that I love you unconditionally”. Also, in my past relationship with God, I thought I do good things in hoping those acts will override the bad one, and finally show a sense of worth to God, but yet there’s no sense of being able to receive the love of God.
Until I understood His unconditional perfect love. God demonstrated His love while we were sinners, Christ died for us. So even though we reject God, God still has a love that is pulsating from heaven to our life. Even though we reject it, He’s still sending His love.
Finally, I could make the transition. To be able to act in faith, knowing He loves me even before the feelings come. When I know that I am loved, I choose to love God, to love myself and to love others with a love that I carry in my heart.
I’ve learned what it means to simply be loved unconditionally. I hope you too.
::: INTERACT WITH LOVE
A few days ago a video popped up on my YouTube. This channel wants to educate viewers by defending false claims towards Christianity. However, this one particular video was about answering a question wether divorce is allowed or not allowed in the Bible.
To conclude, this video taught publicly that divorce and re-marry is not allowed, except for sexual immorality.
My heart was heavy. I usually don’t comment on a YouTube video, but this time I did.
I commented, “To answer about divorce, it’s wise to explain also what is the biblical meaning of marriage and love. Please be mindful of your teaching and do not discourage a spouse who wants to leave an abusive relationship (physically or emotionally). In cases where a spouse and children are experiencing violence and abuse, separation becomes inevitable, and even morally necessary. We should not enslave ourselves, God has called us to peace”.
Of course, my comment got both some likes and some negative feedbacks. I didn’t reply.
I don’t like it when people take some text in the Scripture to give them permission to take a sledgehammer to other people, and they didn’t carry the deep compassionate heart of love.
Our words should be helpful for building others up according to their needs.
Our words should be beneficial to the hearers of those words.
We should speak truth in love.
I learned that to communicate the truth,
we don’t need to make it as a rocket science,
just recognize and become more self aware of things we point on other people.
Look at ourselves first.
Interact with life and with others from the perspective of love.
God is love.
He doesn’t just have it, but He is the very essence of love.
Be a receiver of that love.
Because everything that we give out comes out of what we received.
I choose to receive that love in my heart.
“and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:5 ESV
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 ESV
::: UPDATE ABOUT ME
2 Years 7 Months Post Biopsy
Midline Pontine Glioblastoma/DIPG Grade IV
On Wednesday, December 18th I will receive the 22nd round of Avastin.
Tobias and I will go to Seoul on 19 December, and will spend 2 weeks with my family there (my parents, and my brother with his family will fly in from Jakarta. My brother’s wife is Korean, so we’ll have a local guide/ translator hehe).
My symptoms are pretty much the same.
Please go to “My Medical History” for more details.
Thanks for keeping me in your prayers 🙏
PS: Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing my posts.
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