This summer will forever be remembered as one of the greatest summers of my life. I graduated college and got to be part of two of my best friends' weddings. Then I went on a road trip of a lifetime across the United States where I hiked the Grand Canyon, earned $102 singing till 5am in the Las Vegas Strip, forged lifelong brothers, just to name a few. Just when the summer could not get any better, I got to spend five quality weeks serving at the best summer camp in the world.
Tomorrow marks a new season of my life.
I will be moving into my permanent home for the next year with my new family - the CDH family otherwise known as CDH8. CDH stands for Community Discipleship Home where I will be spending my next year living with eight other cdh-ers and my house parents, Zach and Ashley.
I shared my heart about CDH couple months ago on my old blog and thought it will be good to revisit it. You can read more below. I hope this quick update told a good story, let me know if you'd like to chat sometime.
In college, there were beautiful girls and brilliant minds everywhere, a highly concentrated, thick – you can cut it in the air - atmosphere of social interaction. I get star struck every day seeing other students and would long to be their facebook friends let alone get to know them personally. You can find instant gratification in others approval, you can dress to impress every single day, you can strive every single day to be the most popular person on campus. It was a drug.
Then I arrived in Northwest Arkansas, 16 hours away – no godly girl reading her bible after class, no guys to start a fire or jump a bridge with, the people who adore and support me are the senior adults, I don’t get cool points for the clothes I wear or the jokes I make and I live life with people from a different age group constantly. i.e Glenda the church receptionist, Billy Cotton our custodian, fellow staff members who are 20 years older than me, and about 120 high school and middle school students. It’s been like rehab for the social butterfly like me. Nothing cool to tweet about, forget updating your status on facebook. Not even photos to tag yourself in.
That’s how my ‘Liberty bubble’ popped. I didn’t get to have intellectual discussions between classes, no professors, no motivational pastors/teachers/speakers 3 times a week, and strangers that will have a spiritual discussion with me. Liberty was the most life changing experience I had ever had, and don’t get me wrong, everything I stated in the first paragraph is good but I think we can all agree that being self absorbed is really short of a life goal.
In the midst of my worlds colliding, I got to know myself. Just like finally tasting out of the slow cooker, I finally got a grip of who I’ve become over the past few years. It was refreshing, scary, but exciting. The aftertaste? Well, let’s just say it needed more salt.
What does the next world look like then? I chose CDH, a small community in Boiling Springs, NC where I’ll be under one roof with 8 other interns who are in similar stages in life as I am, we’re planning our next steps. My friend Matt Orth has accurately put it this way: Boiling Springs, where the finest rebels in the galaxy are uniting.
This ‘world’ is one glanced over by many, it’s the book that was sitting on your bookshelf your whole life but because of its dull and dusty cover written by an unknown author, it never changed your life until you accidentally discovered it.
I applied for Crossroads Worldwide Summer Camp in 2011 simply because I couldn’t afford to go back to Malaysia therefore needed a job in the States. I did not expect for it to change my life forever. In Boiling Springs, I found the most authentic Christians I have ever met, individuals who have braved the brokenness of the world, people who have learned things the hard way and realize that their relationship with Christ and fellow believers are all they have. They were not persuaded by crowds, money, or the ‘drugs’ of social interaction. Their instagram feeds were made up of their loved ones who were tagged out of sincere love, places and events that brought them together. They were more interested in excellence in their worship, teachability and humbleness in their attitude, intentional and affectionate in their relationships, committed to the great commission, and the most magnetic, infectious people I have ever met.
My faith came alive like never before through the most normal everyday life situations. It wasn’t an audible voice from God, or a miracle that took place. It was the truth of the Gospel demonstrated by words, actions, reactions, and thought. I saw the Bible come alive in daily intentional conversations at a coffeeshop, purposefully cheering for students for four hours under the hot sun when they arrive at camp, facilitating the same activities every day for five weeks with consistent excellence, staying up till midnight to engage others and even planning every single detail to ensure quality time is spent with the staff.
It was a lifestyle that the Bible seemed to talk about, that a sinner like me would never be able to grasp and imagine. It was a mountain top experience, a spiritual high, but the difference is that it paved my valleys. I carried this lifestyle with me and it has never failed. It never fails to reach out to a person to have a genuine conversation by actually planning a time and place to do so. It never fails to make the most mundane, boring life situations an adventure upheld with excellence as it is an offering to God.
What lies ahead of me is a year of submission under Godly leadership, being around some broken folks like me who are willing to be honest,learning and planning for the unbelievable, immeasurable, impossible tasks that Christ has set before us. Through the peace and wisdom from God that floods my heart and mind, I’ve chosen to open the puzzle box and piece it together rather than collecting the world finest paintings and hanging them in my living room. It certainly is not the world most prized and beautiful painting, yet.