Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Finding the Light

Wow, it’s been a while since my last post, which I’ve just checked is on 22nd September 2007 and how blissful things seemed to be then. Well, there’s a reason why I’ve been neglecting this blog, not having the strength or courage to write anything. I guess, you could say that I’ve just gone through a life-transforming 6 months since 29th September 2007. Trust me, this is going to be a pretty long post☺

But before I jumped the gun, probably let me just take you through events that were happening to me prior to that fateful day. As most of you probably know, I’ve been praying for an opportunity to do my Masters in UK since I’ve graduated in 2002. Went through quite a lot of disappointments every year applying for scholarships and getting rejected. But, lo and behold, in 2006, I’ve finally managed get a fantastic scholarship called the Erasmus Mundus, under which I was supposed to study a course called the European Masters in Informatics. This is a two-year double-degree program whereby I would get a chance to study in Edinburgh, UK for the first year and in Bonn, Germany for the second year.

And what a year Edinburgh was for me. I had a great time being part of a vibrant Christian fellowship (PCCF), enjoying the opportunity to serve God amongst young and energetic people. I also enjoyed my studies tremendously once I got over the initial rustiness of going back to classes. I was able to even finish my masters thesis one year ahead of time. Best of all, I was blessed to finally meet someone special who shares a lot of common interests with me, a person I felt I could confide in. And so I left for Germany early September to settle down for another of studies, thinking nothing could ever go wrong for me, that I can just glide over any problems that ever come my way. How wrong I was!!

And now, comes the part where things started to slowly unravel before my eyes, and not in a very good way. I came back to Edinburgh from Germany on 29th September because classes were only going to start at the end of October. In the evening, PCCF was organizing a welcome event for freshers, which I participated last year and was so blessed by it. And so, at about 5pm, my now ex-girlfriend (think by now, you’re might guess what’s gonna happen) and I left her place and walked to the nearest bus stop to take a bus to the venue of the event. And as we saw a bus approaching, I vaguely remembered seeing a black and large vehicle (which I later remembered that it was a Lexus Harrier 4x4) coming towards the bus stop at quite a speed. Things happened so fast! The next thing I knew, I suddenly felt myself flying some distance away from the bus stop. My left eye was bleeding profusely, I couldn’t stand up and my whole world crumbled before my eyes, literally and figuratively! To cut a long story short, I was later sent to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (it’s quite amazing cause apparently a few minutes after the accident had happened, an ambulance from the Infirmary that was on its way to another hospital, passed by and stopped to help. The paramedics made sure we were ok and then called for another ambulance)

I had very light injuries relative to my ex-girlfriend and another victim. I had a fracture on my forehead, just above the left eye (which explained the bleeding and allayed my fears that my best eye was going blind), fracture on my right thumb and slight ligament and cartilage tear on my left knee.

I would like to say, that like a fairy-tale story, everything ended up well and we lived happily ever after but unfortunately, things were far from that. Due to a lot of factors and issues (which I’ve given up on deciphering), things did not work out well between me and her. It was initiated by her and I have to say, it broke my heart then. Within a short period of less than 3 months (it started in mid-August and was over by end of October), things went from heavenly to hellish. The pain that I felt then was much worse than the physical pain that I went through. And to make things even more dramatic, I had to moved in to her place after her mum went back, to take care of her cause she couldn’t walk properly (wont elaborate on her medical condition since it’s irrelevant to this story). The two months that I was staying with her, cooking for her and cleaning the house, was the one of the most difficult times I’ve ever experienced, emotionally. The fact that I’m trying to seek closure and forget the pain and hurt isn’t made easy by seeing her everyday, being reminded what a failure I’ve been. There were a lot of times when I really felt I wanted to run away from all these and just go back to Malaysia. I’ve finally was able to leave all this behind when I went back to Malaysia in February. Even after that, it took awhile to get over everything. We’ve stopped talking cause I felt that this was the best way to move forward. It wasn’t easy but it was the right thing to do.

There were a lot of other unhappy incidents that happened as well within this short period of time. I was supposed to have an operation on my left knee (to remove bits of torn cartilage) at the end of October but due to many unforeseen circumstances, I could only do it in mid-January. So I had to actually go through the rehabilitation process twice for my knee. I was on crutches after being discharged in mid-October and could finally walk normally by December. The operation in January meant I had to go back to crutches, albeit this was just for 1-2 weeks. My KLM flight back to Malaysia had to be postponed for a day as well because on the first flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, one of the engines caught fire, an hour into the flight. So, we had to turn up to North Sea to dump some fuel so that we’ll be light enough to land and then flight back to Amsterdam. Thank God, the second flight the next day was okie☺

2 weeks before I was supposed to go back to Germany, I found out that my room in Germany was rented to another person without my knowledge by the Student Accomodation service in Bonn. My things were shifted to the basement, apparently. And this is despite me signing a 1-year contract with them that was supposed to end on 30th September 2008. They claimed that my lease ended on 31st January 2008 and they’ve tried contacting me to no avail. It’s partly my fault for not letting them know I was out of the country for 6 months but still, what’s the point of signing a 1-year contract!!

I hope you’re still reading this at this point cause I’m not writing this to vent my frustration or to seek sympathy. I’m happy to say, I’m pass all that! Amidst all the frustration and confusion, I was trying to determine the reason for what has happened in the past few months, i.e. looking for someone/something to blame. I’ve blamed myself for not doing enough, I’ve blamed the driver for knocking into me (by the way, it was a lady driver who wasn’t drunk. My only explanation was that she lost control of her vehicle after trying to overtake a bus and then suddenly seeing a car coming from the other side. That’s my hypothesis without being a sexist:P), I’ve blamed my ex-girlfriend for heaping more emotional pain onto me, I’ve blamed the devil and I’ve even blamed God. At the same time, I was also impatiently seeking to move on from these events and so, I’ve started to desperately plan what I should do after I finish my course, should I go to UK, or Australia or Canada or be a missionary in a poor country. The more I tried to pinpoint something to blame, the more I try to seek out a road that I do not need to take yet, the more confused and frustrated I became. I was always asking God, tell where I should go, what I should do, I need Your wisdom and strength, I want to make a difference in this world!

But you know what, ultimately, I finally found comfort in the simple truth about God. The truth is despite all that has happened, He loves me and will always do. And the God who created the universe, who created you and me, is still the same God. I don’t know how or why, all the baggage and burden that I’ve allowed myself to carry just disappeared. I stopped trying to pinpoint who is to blame and what a relief it's been. Regardless of what ultimately caused these things to happen, I still have so many things to be thankful.

And there are really so many things I should be thankful to God for. The topmost being having a family who has been there for me through thick and thin. If it has to take an accident and a breakup to make me realise it, then so be it. The way my parents, my sis and my aunts have shown genuine care, concern and love has really warmed up my heart!

It doesn’t matter where I go, what I do after I graduate, the God who provides the birds and the bees food and shelter day in day out, will do the same for me☺ why am I allowing my future to be restricted by how little I can see now! The world is so big and wide and wherever God places me, He will be with me too. It has taken me a while to get this and to finally find the courage to write abou what has happened to me recently. I didn’t want to write about this while still having bitterness and hurt inside me. And now, I can objectively say this, I am set free!

So what’s next after this? Well, I’m going back to Bonn on the 22nd March to continue two more semesters of studies. Ohya, remember the room problem I mentioned earlier. Well, guess what? I’ve solved it within a few hours of finding out yesterday. Somehow, God led me to talk to a fellow coursemate through GoogleTalk and I found out that he’s actually moving out of his room in mid-April back to Edinburgh. So, I can take over his room! And the best part was, this place will be nearer to my university and has better facilities too! Isn’t God great!

I simply have no idea what’s gonna happen in the future and there’s no guarantee something this dramatic might happen again (not that I’ll purposely go look for it:P) but what I do know is that the truth remains the same.

Let me end by sharing this story I read in a book called “A Man of God” by Jack Graham. Few years ago, a series of tornadoes struck Oklahoma city and the surrounding areas, destroying a lot of homes. In the city of Moore, A lot of people came out from their shattered houses, wandering about in the dark, looking for their families and friends. Rescue workers needed a base to setup their operation and so they got a few huge spotlights and shone them on the cross at the top of the steeple at the First Baptist Church of Moore. And then, they took megaphones and started shouting “Follow the light to the cross and you’ll find help there!” We can’t guarantee that we’ll lose our way sometimes and fall to darkness, but the light at the cross is ever there to guide us back to safety and help. We just need to fix our eyes on that light!