"What it's like being there?", they ask. Well, here you go.
March 31, 2016
Hello there! :) I cannot believe it's the last day of March! On one hand I remember so clearly dreaming about being here and on the other hand the it feels like i've been here for 6 months! Truly though, it's been such an amazing journey... and honestly not just because it's Hillsong.
I came here really expectant, yet resistant towards becoming a "Hillsong clone". The previous year my faith had been challenged to a whole new level. I was working crazy hours 6 days a week and served in church during my off day. In all honesty skipping a day of rest was not a good idea. Soon enough I found myself exhausted, tired and a lot more insecure, being very anxious about everything. It became harder to love people and representing Jesus was less of a priority. YOLO would be more of a motivation and sometimes i really did not know what to say to people anymore. It got even worst, I went on a holiday with my family Nov/Dec last year and we didn't go to church for am entire month (we even missed Christmas in church :( ). By the time January 1st came I knew deep inside I was broken, dry, lacking faith and so so tired. But the Lord is good, and surrounded me with amazing church friends that are amazing and showered me with so much love during my last two weeks in Malaysia. However, I was most relieved to finally leave on the 18th of January 2016 knowing that whatever was going to happen- God would make what i had made wrong right.
Sure enough, week 1 of Hillsong church and I felt like I was hit by waves of God's love. The process continued in week 2 and 3, everything about Sydney was awesome, I met some really great people and life was all I ever dreamt it to be. Most days it felt like youth camp every day, classes in full swing and just attending services, what about this season was not perfect?
3 weeks in and we were assigned to our weekly "practicums", basically one ministry during the weekends and one during the weekdays to serve in. For me it was Fuel- the grade 7-9 youth for both weekdays and weekends. I used to serve in the same age group back in Malaysia, what could possibly be so hard? It felt like I hit a brick wall, like i was skipping and slammed into it. That's what culture shock felt like to me, didn't know it hit me till it did and all of a sudden all I wanted to do was cry and regret everything. Of course, that's where the journey really started, here was the process of healing, renewing and learning to love God and people all over again. At first I was stunned at the craziness of young people, the overwhelming extrovert qualities everyone seemed to have and all of a sudden i felt like the quiet asian girl who wouldn't say a word in class. It felt like the walls were caving in but to who could i go to since everyone was so different?
The beauty of being in a healthy church setting and a bible based- Jesus centred bible college was that i was constantly- and i mean constantly being led to Jesus. Many times I felt dumbfounded, having forgotten a lot of what Jesus actually meant to me, but people all around me were talking about Him, testifying of His grace, His love, how He restores, heals, comforts and makes beautiful things out of brokenness. I have been a youth leader for 3 years and have been worship leading for 5 years but for the first 2 months here and even still some days i feel like i know nothing. Not in a bad way, but my mind is constantly getting blowed, showered with Who God is and what He is doing here and around the world. Not only that but the kind of classes we have here talk about communication, culture, setting atmosphere (I will write about content i have learned from them in the next post) are things that I've considered, things I've had a few ideas about but never actually learned about. Yet, the more I learn about Personal Leadership, being a part of a worship team, how to communicate properly in ministry, I realise how vital these things are to be a leader in any church setting and I definitely want to help you by sharing them!
Well so anyway, first year girls were given the privilege to attend Colour conference (which is a conference for women held every year by Hillsong Church) and my heart just got w r e c k e d. In so many ways. I get why people pay money to travel from all over the world for one of these conferences, they're meant to be a "refresh" for any woman (and for the main conference in July, for anyone.) God just spoke to me so clearly through all the speakers about things in my heart that needed to change, about things I needed to change. It was on the last day that I really realised just how far I had moved from God, (He never left) but throughout the years I had lost my childlike faith, my burning passion to want to know more of Him and give my everything to Him. In the midst of all the busyness and serving I had become burnt out, and God slowly but surely rekindled that flame and healed parts of me I thought were attributes of growing older. In my head I had associated being more mature with less passion and had less of a desire to make a difference.
How wrong was I. It does sadden me though that people "grow up", and I had bought into the idea that growing up meant growing old. Though we grow in age and definitely wisdom and maturity it doesn't mean that we forget who God is, it doesn't mean that we love God less or that other things take His place as number 1. It also doesn't mean we expect less, we stop hoping that He can make the impossible a reality, or that our dreams belong in the trash. God can change our world and situations at any given moment but He allows them to happen so that His perfect will ca take place! Shall we just learn to be better at being His, to allow Him to captivate ur hearts and minds leading us back to Him once again. That we may never lose our wonder, our love for God and our love for people.
But guys, God heals. He really does, I don't know how He will do it for you, but if you need someone to talk to, hit me a message :)
I'm just so grateful that He healed my heart and fixed -a lot of things I thought didn't need to be fixed, that He made new a lot what was torn material in my heart, and here I am a new creation in Christ Jesus :)
Yet, He is the same, here in Hillsong Church Sydney and there in Malaysia or wherever you are :) He heals, He really does. If you want to know more, message me alright? Let me know what you think!