three weeks in.

2017 09 20 three weeks in

It has been exactly 23 days since I landed in London. So, am I officially a Londoner yet? Well, not quite. There have not been enough days where I’ve become a tourist in my own city – yes, it’s been quite busy these couple of weeks settling in my new home and business school. If there is one word to describe my experience in London so far, it would be overwhelming. I am not entirely sure if it is in a good way or otherwise.

Overwhelming it has been indeed, and honestly, it is more so in terms of the “more important” things in life – school and career. To be fair, I should have seen this coming. I am in a post-grad course where we are expected to figure out or at least have a sense of what we are doing in the real world after we have completed the course. But yes, being in business school is something out of the ordinary. And no, I am not just talking about the business attire I am expected to wear every now and then (although I am not too fond of it either). I am talking about all the company presentations, recruitment evenings, CV/cover letter reviews, interview preps, career workshops and just about anything else that kind of help you get a job. Oh, not forgetting all the courses I have little or no prior knowledge about. It gets to a point where I literally have to play the “I need to check my calendar first” card before setting up a lunch/dinner plan with a friend. It’s intense. Believe me.

It is easy to be drowned in all these events and to-do lists, but I actually did not fully realize my current state until these past few nights. I had a hard time falling to sleep – it must be because of the countless appointments and deadlines spread across the calendar. So, what do I do when I get to this point? Kim being Kim, she takes a walk. A long walk (FUN FACT: scientists have proven that walking can soothe your brain; AND it helps me close the move wring on my apple watch haha). And what does Kim do during her walk? She reflects.

 

Well, I don’t actually have to sign up for all those events.”
Hmm, but it is essential for my future – I gotta start before the time runs out.
“What if they tell us something important at the presentation?”
“Uhh, everyone is prepping for case interviews already, and I have like zero experience.”

 Fear of failure. I guess know that has been driving me all along. I mean, it’s great – it has ‘motivated’ me to be where I am today, but I know it is only healthy to a certain extent. There is just something inside me that continues to push myself towards perfection, which then leads me to have this mindset of I-gotta-do-this-I-gotta-do-that, or else I won’t succeed.

One phrase stood out during my walk home though. Rest and remember.

Rest, not because I know it is not the end of the world if I don’t do everything, but because I know that everything has been figured out by the One who made it all. What was I thinking – I am here not supposed to have it all together or to know it all, I am here to be human. Human who, in all her imperfections, can fail at times but eventually pick herself back up, discover and become who she was made to be. There is so much noise around about what you should accomplish and the standards set by the society you need to meet. Heck, everyone is on a different journey, and we need to embrace our own.

Remember, not for the sake of listing my achievements, but for the sake of building up my own confidence in myself. Look how far you’ve gone – how did you even find your way here? With all the ambiguity thrown at you, how did you make it to where you are today? So I force myself to take a step back today and acknowledge the journey I have been on – the struggles I have overcame, the hurdles I have jumped over and the failures I have learned from. Remember and be reassured that we’ve got this. No, things will not get easier, but we will get better and stronger than who we are the day before. Press on. We’ll get there.

To rest and to remember. That goes to the top of my to-do list today, or for the rest of this crazy year ahead. Let us not allow the situation to dictate our actions, but let us instead take initiative over the things that are within our control. Rest and remember, but don’t quit. As much as I want to just let go of everything and instead go to all the places in UK/EU and indulge on all the amazing food here, I think this season of discomfort is good for me. Don’t take it easy, take it one day at a time.

Much love,
Kim

“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

 

 

 

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stepping into the unknown.

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Who here loves to be in a situation where there are just too many fuzzy variables that can significantly affect the outcome of the situation? I bet none of you raises your hand. Well, I won’t blame you. Ever since we were in school, we were trained to not settle with the unknown. In algebra class, we were always asked to find the unknown variable, x. In physics, we were constantly asked to find the correct values of variable after variable in order for us to derive the final answer to the problem. And so, I won’t blame you for being so restless as you step into a situation with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of different possibilities, in which you have no idea how it will turn out. Our natural tendency is to worry and panic when we don’t have it all together, and it spikes up when we are not in control of it all.

Using the same analogy as above, I just got far enough into the algebra exam where I am not only faced with an unknown x, but also an unknown y and z. To say the least, I have no idea what to expect. Though many of you may have known already, this might be news to your ears today. With my recent graduation in May, I left Vancouver for good, but have not gone back to Indonesia for good. At least just yet. I will be continuing my studies, in pursuit of a master’s degree, in London Business School. I am looking forward to this new journey, yet, the thought of being in a whole new city with only a few familiar faces scares me. To start, I don’t have the slightest idea of how London looks like as I have never been there. And just to make things a little bit more interesting, I am flying out solo. Sure, it can be exciting meeting new people and living in a new environment where I can so easily travel around Europe, but I can never guarantee that everything will turn out just fine. Can I adapt well in London? Can I cope with the different learning style in graduate business school? Would I find a positive community where I can grow in? Would Tim be strong enough to resist any temptation as we go through this long-distance relationship once again? (Hahahah just kidding, I’m sure he will. Bool, if you are reading this, just know that I’ve got eyes everywhere spying on you :p)

And then, there is this question that might possibly linger in the minds of my family and close friends. Would I be safe? With all that has been going on around the world, especially in London and EU, such question is undeniably disturbing. As I tell people about my plans for London, I almost get the same look and comment every time. Ooohh, that’s good for you, but why London? Did you hear about the latest tragedy that happened there and in Europe? Oddly, as concerns after concerns come my way, I did not feel worried or fearful. In fact, I felt a sense of peace. Of course, I care a great deal about my safety and well-being, but aren’t we living in a sea of uncertainties all the time? Where anything can happen whenever and wherever.

As I prepare myself for my journey to London these past few days, I am reminded of the time in Vancouver when I went for a sunrise hike at 4 AM in the morning. It was dark. Really dark. All we have for lighting were flashlights and our phones. I could recall the anxiety and worry I felt as we take step after step into the pitch-black woods, into the unknown. Every sudden noise was followed by a thought that runs in my mind. Could that be a bear? Every pathway that we choose to take was followed by a dilemma and doubt. Could this be the wrong way? After 90 minutes of dread and being lost on the trail and finding our way back to the right path, we were able to make it to the top to enjoy the beautiful morning view. We were able to reach our destination in the dark with just one flashlight. You see, often in life, we don’t have it all figured out. The future might seem dark and fuzzy and so full of uncertainties, but maybe we don’t need to have a clear vision of everything in order to take that next step. As long as you carry a flashlight, you will be able to navigate through it all until you reach your destination.

And so, here I find myself sitting on the plane to Bangkok before I set for London feeling thankful for the ‘flashlight’ I carry. The ‘flashlight’ that has directed me through all these years of uncertainties. The ‘flashlight’ that has kept me at peace in times where fear comes knocking. The ‘flashlight’ that has exposed the wrong direction and led me to the right one as I make decision after decision. The ‘flashlight’ that will never fail in guiding me as I embark this whole new adventure. That sounds like an out-of-the-world kinda flashlight, eh? For me, that ‘flashlight’ has been the Holy Spirit. Yours could be different – it could be your very own instinct, a mentor’s advice, you name it. But whatever it is, know that what makes a good flashlight good is that it drives out darkness and it remains certain in the midst of uncertainties.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Psalm 119:105

Friends, facing the unknowns in life is inevitable. After all, is it any fun to know it all? Maybe today you find yourself in a place of total darkness, and you have no idea which step to take. Maybe for some of you, you are on the brink of taking a step, but there is an immense fear of not knowing what the outcome will be after you take that step. Or maybe you are like me, overwhelmed by the numerous different possibilities that could happen and restless knowing that you are not in control. Why don’t we together take our flashlight and let it guide us through the dark. One step at a time.

Written on the plane to Bangkok en route to London // 28 Aug 2017

volume control.

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You are watching your favorite YouTube travel vlogger (check out @abangjalanjalan for a great laugh as he takes you around the world) showcasing his most recent adventure in Mexico with your earphones on as you know he is well beyond credible (and humorous too) with regards to traveling. Beside you are your friends chatting about some scary stories they have heard regarding people traveling alone to that country. As both of your ears are trying to listen to the video as the vlogger shares the unique culture he encountered, the friendliest people he met, the amazing food he tasted, oh you name it, you can’t help but tune in and tune out to the chattering voice of your friends as they freak out every now and then as they listen to each other’s creepy stories about Mexico. You are then left with two options. A, you turn up the volume on your earphone altogether and listen to what your trustworthy vlogger has to say. Or B, you tune down a little bit on your earphone and listen to what those who have not been to Mexico have to say. So, which one is it – is it A or B?

I think and I know this happens to us quite often in our day to day lives. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with traveling, but I am pretty sure you’ve been in such place before. You are trying to go on life trying to push through anything that is thrown at you, but at one point or another, your problem suddenly becomes too big and the resistance becomes too strong and your willpower weakens and you simply stop trying. You are inadequate, it says. You don’t deserve it, it asserts. Who are you to think you can, it plants doubts. This is because of what you have done, it accuses. No one cares about what you are going through, it robs the joy out of you. Lies after lies after lies after lies. Lies trying to bring you down. Lies trying to steal away the hope and peace in you. Lies trying to question your true identity. Lies trying to steer you away from who you can become. They are all lies after lies after lies after lies.

“What you choose to magnify will dominate your life. Make a decision of what you will magnify – your problem or your Lord,” Carl Lentz said it in one of the session in Hillsong Conference 2017 I get to attend two weeks ago. And of course, he had to quote one of the psalms in which King David had just gone through a time of danger. “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!” (Psalms 34:3) It’s true. What we magnify is what will seem big in our perspective. When we are faced with a problem, it is so easy for us to drift away from Him and His promises for us as they just simply seem too impossible to believe at that moment. But would we answer the call to magnify. I believe that when we magnify the Lord, He will change what we see.

Oh, how happy would I be to tell you it is so easy for us to do so. But no. It is so darn difficult. It takes a huge leap of faith and some serious effort to tune in the right voice and turn up its volume. I’ve been there – admit it or not.

At times when it seems like things or people are taken away from me, I’d hear the voice questioning, why does a good God take good things away from you? Only after a tad bit of volume control did I know that nothing is ever lost, only gained – the love, the peace, the comfort, everything. Yes, I tuned in to the promise that for those who love God all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).

At times when it seems like things are just too hard for me to handle, I’d hear the voice saying, you won’t be able to fight through this – you are weak. Only after a tad bit of volume control did I know that I don’t have to go through life alone. Yes, I tuned in to the truth that though I am weak, in Him I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).

At times when it seems like all the uncertainties and the unknown are too overwhelming, I’d hear the voice casting doubt on me, you are all alone in this – no one really cares about you anyway. Only after a tad bit of volume control did I know that as long as I got Him, that is more than what I need. Yes, I tuned in to the assurance that God will never leave me, nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6).

At times when it seems like all I do were useless, I’d hear the voice exclaiming, you can’t even do such simple thing – you are not worth it. Only after a tad bit of volume control did I know that it was never about what I do, but all about what has been done. Yes, I tuned in to the fact that I am immensely loved and cared for that it cost Someone His very own life (John 3:16).

Today’s world makes it especially hard for us to filter off the lies from the truth. We are constantly bombarded with messages of every kind – about ourselves and the world surrounding us. And not just messages we hear from the television, social media, word of mouth and many other media, our impressions, feelings and reflections, too, have very likely been contaminated by lies. What lies are you tuning in today? What truth do you need to hear? Magnify. Magnify the truth and the lies will soon have less effect on your life. Magnify the Lord and your circumstances will seem much, much smaller. Will it go away? No. But it will be dominated by a bigger and stronger God who got your back every step of the way. In whichever situation we are currently in, be it a stormy season or a nice walk in the park, we have the choice to make. Let’s choose to magnify Him and what He has to say in our lives. Let’s choose to tune into the right frequency of His love and promise. Let’s choose to turn up the volume of Truth and switch off the voices of lies altogether!

Much love,
Kimberly Subianto

P.S. Here are some snapshots of the Conference. I will be writing a couple more posts on the things I’ve learned from the Conference and my experiences in Sydney/Melbourne. So, stay tuned! (Follow the blog to receive instant notifications on my latest post!)

unchanging hope in the everchanging world.

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Is it just me, or is time flying by faster and faster each year?! This is crazy. Can’t believe another year has passed. Anyways, HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017! Hope you all had a terrific first few days of the new year with family and friends. Let me tell you a little bit about mine, and I’ll let you describe how the first few days of 2017 made me feel.

 January 1, 2017. Woke up early and feeling quite sleepy from the new year’s eve countdown. Ate nothing but porridge the whole day. Plain porridge, FYI. Why? Read on, read on. The hardest part of the day is during lunch time for sure, when the whole fambam was gathered for lunch and everyone was just eating so much good food that I have missed so badly! And there I was, sitting at the end of the table, eating a bowl of plain porridge. Yum. Not. Well, I get through lunch and dinner was a breeze. In the evening, my mom and I went to the hospital and I got admitted for the night – yup, the first night of 2017! I cried a little bit inside :’)

January 2, 2017. Woke up wayyy too early at around 3:30 AM because my tummy is just screaming for the toilet. Oh, did I mention I took some kind of laxatives the night before so I can drain everything down the toilet? Okay, okay. Let me now tell you why I am in the hospital to begin with. So I my tummy has been so bloated and so gassy quite often for the past year or so. This started to concern me and my mom, and so we decided to consult with the doctor and conduct a colonoscopy upon his recommendation. Since my time in Indonesia is a crunch, there is no other perfect time to deal with all of this aside from the new year. Now with colonoscopy, the procedure itself is so quick and painless (they use anesthetics), but the preparation is not so fun. It involves countless visits to the bathroom and fasting, which means no food (and drink!), which means Kim is not happy. The worst thing about all of it is the colon hydrotherapy – no, I refrain myself from describing the whole process as it brings bad memories to mind (Google it if you are curious about it). At around 5 pm, I was brought in to the room and given anesthetics. I slept through everything and woke up an hour after. I was already pretty excited about going home that night and eating real food, but was told that I need to stay another night for some antibiotics. I cried a little bit more in the inside. But on the bright side, the result was nothing serious. I have a colon inspection due to some bacteria in the food I ate. I also found out that I have a relatively long colon that makes up quite a maze for the ‘substances’ to travel through – and this has been causing the gassy tummy. At the end of the day, I can be thankful that everything is alright.

January 3, 2017. Woke up numerous times in the middle of the night as the nurses need to check on the intravenous infusion and prepare for my medication. But that is okay. I am going home today, and that’s what matter. The doctor did his rounds in the morning and told me I am ready to go – I was elated. Not long after, my mom arrived and we waited for the whole administration process to complete. By noon, I was out of the hospital and there was a huge smile on my face.

Quite a start to the new year, eh? Well, you know what, as much as I sound all grumpy and annoyed and what not, I am glad my year started with this experience. I did tell you briefly what happened these past three days, but what I did not tell you is what happened inside of me.

Honestly, I was scared. I am not a big fan of hospitals and medical check-ups, especially when it was my own physical body that is up for the check. I was worried about my condition. What if they found something unusual in my colon? What if the blood test showed a positive somewhere in the report? Those are the thoughts that ran through my mind as I was lying on the bed waiting for the nurse to call me up for colonoscopy. I started praying and asked God for peace. Yes, I did ask for great results. But more than anything, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace knowing that in all circumstances, God is still God and He is still in control. I left the room that day wanting to hold fast to that hope I have in God and His sovereignty.

It’s funny how right on the next day I was reassured of that truth through a book I am currently reading, How’s Your Soul. It’s talking about how Jesus is the anchor of our soul, and that nothing else this world can offer will be able to take His place. It also talks about how an anchor doesn’t give a quick escape route. Instead, it keeps us still and unshakeable right there and then, in the midst of the storm and raging waves. It becomes our unchanging foundation when our surrounding is forever changing. Wow, that is just reassuring and gives so much hope as I start the new year. It’s true. Most of us wants an instant way out when faced with unwanted circumstances. As Judah puts it, we expect God to be the ‘helicopter Jesus’ – picking us up from whatever trouble we are in and out to the calmness. But no. He holds us tight and stays there with us, keeping us still and whispering in our eat that at the end of every storm, the tranquility will come.

This year, let us all come into the new years holding on to the never-changing hope that is an anchor to our soul. Let us be forever in His grip even when all that surrounds us is drowning, because we know that in Him is the safest place to be. Let us fix our gaze on Him who is all-knowing and sovereign over all. Let us place our trust in Him time and time again, knowing that what surprises us never surprises Him, and what is mystery to us is never a mystery to Him. Let us find ourselves anchored to a firm and secure foundation we have in Christ. Happy new year 2017!

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19

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