the sinkhole.

the sinkhole

It’s about time that I write another post – apologies for being MIA people. Not that I am busy or anything, I have been saying “later” to writing for the past several months and look at how long this has put me to! But anyway, I’m back, and hopefully will be back to the blogger world for a while!

Let me start by telling you a somewhat funny story, or at least in my opinion. So on Monday at around 11 AM, I was out on a City construction project site to do my weekly site visit. As I was walking doing my usual rounds, putting one step after another, one my foot just sunk deep into the fine-looking ground. I landed softly on the ground as one of my foot got stuck in the sinkhole of sand and water. I was able to pull out my foot just fine but my right leg is all soaked up in a think sandy fluid up to knee-high. Some of the construction guys were very nice and approached me with concern – they also offered me a pair of clean socks, etc. (THANKS GUYS!) Long story short, apparently, the water main underneath the ground was broken and so water has been leaking and causing the soil to soften, creating a sinkhole. One of the guys jokingly said that if I hadn’t stepped into it, they wouldn’t have known that the water main was actually broken haha. So it was actually one of those moments when I felt pretty good about making a discovery on site – though going through the hard way. I went home with two things on my mind that I was thankful about: One. Thank God I just got 1 foot on the sinkhole, imagine if it was both of them – cannot imagine how deep I would have sunk in! Two. Thank God it was the water main that was leaking and not the sewers – I absolutely don’t want to find my foot drenched in waste matter.

Why am I telling you this? Because me being me, I was reflecting on what happened on-site and was somewhat reminded of how we tend to live our lives. The ground looked fine at the surface, and yet, it wasn’t a strong foundation because there is something underneath that is broken. And is destructive. And at one point or another, it will sink. Isn’t that how we tend to live our lives? For the most part, we know we are imperfect and have brokenness in every corner of our hearts, but we never really are a big fan of exposing it and dealing with it. So instead, we pile up our brokenness with a load of good deeds that we do, a load of achievements that we worked hard for, a load of a bunch of other things that can wear us out. Just to cover up our imperfect self and seek approval from the outside world, hoping to look okay in the surface.

Don’t get me wrong. There is no doubt we still need to strive for righteousness, or you may want to call it ‘good deeds’, despite our brokenness, but when we do it out of the intention to hide who we really are deep down, it can be pretty dangerous. Just like how the sinkhole can grow even deeper if the broken water main was just left as if for weeks, or months, or years, we too can fall even deeper. So that afternoon got me thinking: wow, I have been doing that in some aspects in my life, trying to prove that I am not as broken as I actually am, trying to come up with all the rationale in the world to make myself believe that I am not doing too bad myself. Then I remembered this verse that serves a ton of encouragement to me:

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

A daunting question came across my mind, then. What is so wrong about being broken anyway?! In a world where everyone seeks perfection, it seems pretty hard not to try to put a mask on what is broken. But I was put in a place of awe, knowing that Someone who has seen all our imperfections, all our failures, all our negative thoughts – yes, Someone who has seen it all, and yet, chose to stick around, to love us still and to even exchange all of our crap with His righteousness. If there is one thing I want all of us to be reminded of from this post, is that it is okay to be broken, and God has called us to come just as we are. No, there’s no pretending. There’s no hiding. There’s no covering up. He wants us as broken as we are.

Today, let us be overwhelmed by the love that He has for us in our brokenness. Let us not be in fear coming to Him with all the scars we may have and enjoy His never-ending grace that see past all our imperfections just to find beauty in us.

Instead of sinking in all the wearisome deeds we do to hide who we really are, let us sink in the mercy of Jesus Christ who loves and accepts broken people like us.

Instead of sinking in all the guilt that we have for not being so perfect, let us sink in the love Jesus Christ has acted upon as He bore our guilt on the cross.

Instead of sinking in the whole lot of list to do that may correspond to ‘acting righteously’, let us sink in the righteousness He has given over to us.

Instead of sinking in the fear of what others may think of us, let us sink in the confidence knowing that He who has seen it all accepted us as if we had never sinned.

Instead of sinking in the despair thinking that there is no hope for people like us, let us sink in His victory knowing He has conquered sin and death.

May these words encourage you in whatever situation you are in right now. There certainly is no place too far, too dark, or too dangerous that is out of reach for Him. There is no reason to hide – He has seen it all, your past, your present, and your future, and yet, He chose to love you still now and forever more.

Sinking in His Love,
Kimberly Subianto

PS. Maybe I need to have more moments of stepping on a sinkhole to get a post up on the blog :p But in all seriousness, I promise to try and be more intentional in writing! Hope to see my next post up soon too.

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living past the saturdays.

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I’m sitting down here on Easter Monday, trying to remember the last time I took the time to put my thoughts on paper (or blog you shall say). All memories are a blur. Yes. It sure has been a while and I’ve missed it. So, here I find myself pulling myself back from the so-called ‘busy’ schedule, reflecting on my life and sharing it with all of you. Hope this can somewhat speak truth in your life one way or another.

First things first, HAPPY EASTER. For us Christians, it definitely is such a huge celebration. it is indeed the greatest day in history. It meant that Jesus rose from the dead. It meant that He has overcome the power of death. It meant that there is literally nothing – no power so great, no bondages so strong, no pain so agonizing, and no darkness so overwhelming – that is able to defeat the resurrecting power of God. It meant that He is who He said He is. And yes, that truth is what I’ve known since I first became a believer. That truth is what I’ve been telling people about when they asked about my faith. That truth has been what I’ve been proclaiming with my mouth, really, without realizing that at some point along the way, doubts and disbelief start creeping into my heart.

The past few days were an eye-opener to me as I reflected back the story of the cross and the resurrection. I was just walking back home from the office and a thought brought me to a place of… unease. Flashback to the year of 2011, when my dad left for home. Suddenly I was reminded of an idea that emerged in a sixteen-year-old me as I was standing by the casket in denial. I remembered at that moment I thought, “If God is so strong, if God is who He said He is, He must be more than able to do this. He must be strong enough to turn things around. He must be powerful enough to grant me my deepest desire at that moment, and that is, to bring back my dad.” That thought lingered in my mind, and I held on to that hope – at least at that time, that was what I called hope for the ‘better’. Clearly, my thought remains as thought, and life moves on… Though some part of it did not. That same thought has somehow got planted in me, and just a few days ago, I realized I have been holding on to that too tightly. One thing led to another, and there’s a heart with disappointments and doubts all over. I was disappointed, and I had doubts on His so-called resurrecting power – He can’t even turn things around when I asked Him to. At that point, I sense an overwhelming unease and was called to turn around and run to Him.

I have been too focused on wanting THE miracle, without realizing that miracles happen all the time and all around – sometimes in ways we don’t expect.
I realized that I have been defining God’s power in my own terms, when in fact, His power has been working so amazingly throughout my life.
I have believed the beautiful love story of the Cross that happened on Friday, yet have doubted the hopeful story of the Resurrection Sunday.
I have fixed my eyes on the ever-so-loving God for sending His son as the perfect sacrifice for me, but not the ever-so-powerful God who can bring new life.

All this time, I have been living the Saturdays.

Yes, I thought that His power will only be shown in ways I thought seem powerful, i.e. bringing the dead back to life. But in fact, He has done it all along. He has brought my dead hope back to life. He has turned my sorrow into an inexpressible joy. He has led me from the dead end to a new path. He has overcome the darkness with His light. He has been so powerful, and He has been so real. So I don’t know what else is there to prove Him otherwise.

As I read back the story of Good Friday leading up to Easter, I wondered what the disciples must’ve felt like on the Saturdays. I mean, they expected Jesus to save them, and yet, He was found so helpless up on the cross and eventually put into the grave. They must really be struggling in wrapping their head around what Jesus said. They must really be starting to doubt on the very words of Jesus. But in their disbelief, God showed up. He never stopped pursuing us.

“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.” (Luke 24:5-12)

 In the midst of my disbelief, I want to be found like Peter. Rising up and running to search for the truth. To rise up and seek the Living. To rise up and be reminded of the resurrecting power that has been so evident in my life. And to rise up in awe and wonders as I marvel at what had happened.

Friends, let this be an encouragement to you all! In whatever season in your life you’re in right now, maybe some things went in a different way than what you’ve expected, or maybe you felt like your hope is gone and it seems so dark all around you, rise and run. Don’t get stuck on your Fridays or Saturdays. As much as it is amazing to dwell in His love for us demonstrated on the Cross, seek for His powerful truth and live past your Saturdays. Rise up on Sunday and run and seek for the Living. He is ALIVE and His resurrecting power is alive in us too. Truly, He is who He said He is.

Faithful He has been; faithful He will be ♡

In Awe and Wonders of Him,
Kimberly Subianto

twenty fifteen.

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Where do I even start. 2015 has been one crazy year in many different ways. The uphill and the downhill, the thick and the thins, the joy and the mourning, the laughter and the tears, every single of them makes my 2015. My year has been filled with tremendous amount of blessing and favour, but to say that it was an easy year for me to get through would be a lie, because it certainly isn’t. And well, through it all, I can sincerely say that I am grateful everything that happened, happened. As I reflected back on my experiences throughout the year of twenty fifteen, I realized that there are at least four lessons on life that I can learn from my life.

  1. Life is short. Real short.

    I think many of us know this at the back of your mind. I mean, people tell you all the time. Life is short, so you gotta live it right, they said. But almost all the time our actions just don’t follow through. I learned it the hard way, but I finally get it I guess. Sometimes I kept on saying to myself, if only I knew my brother’s life is THAT short, I would have shown more that I love him, spent more time talking with him, went the extra mile to reach out and enjoy life with him. Yes, I have my own regrets, but you know what, it just means that I gotta learn from that. I started asking myself these questions as I approach 2016. “If life is short, what am I going to do with it today? If life is short, what can I give that will make a difference in someone’s life? If life is short, have I spent enough time and said enough ‘I love you’s to those who I hold dearly?” Ask yourself these very same questions. Let this be an encouragement for you all to embrace life. Embrace every single part of it. Embrace all that made you laugh. Embrace all that produced tremendous amount of joy. Embrace all that broke you. Embrace all that hurt you. Embrace relationships. Today, let the people you love know that you love them. Call your parents, give your #bae a hug, send your friends a text or two. And along the way, don’t forget to see others who are indeed in need of love – it might be a stranger sitting alone by the food court or the people in the streets who have nothing but themselves. Embrace life.

  2. Life on Earth is simply temporary.

    This one is an eye opener. And a life wake-up call for me. I think over the several years of my life, I have lost a bit of what (who) is precious to me that started to make me realize that life is not only short, but it is also temporary. The course of life we are living right now is nothing compared to what lies beyond death itself – eternity. I have experienced enough loss that has taught me to start running after things that are eternal. Not possession. Not fame. Not fortune. You name it. It puts me in a new perspective of almost all the things that I do. Just a few weeks back as I was on my exam week, I was studying so hard. (Yeah I’m your typical nerd!) But I was reminded of a question I ended up asking myself, “Am I studying this hard simply to build up my pride here on this temporary life, or am I doing this for something more?” For me, it challenges me to see past beyond what this world can give and to reach for His Kingdom. If there is one thing I started doing differently in my life, it’s to set my priorities straight. Let’s start treasuring and putting values on what’s really valuable and that will last forever, and let’s stop chasing after what’s temporary and can be gone tomorrow.

  3. ­Life is what you make out of it.

    This year, I have the pleasure of journeying life alongside my lovely boyfriend, Tim. I am so grateful for him and how he has been such a great impact in my life. One of the many things I’ve learned from him is to see the glass half full. No matter how terrible a situation is, there is always something to be grateful for as long as you open your eyes big enough to see it (although his eyes is not too big anyway :p lol just kidding bool). Sure, sometimes it’s just almost impossible to see where everything is going, but that’s where faith really comes in. And we can always come back to point number 3. Aside from that, more often than not, Tim continues to remind me that our life is not defined by the circumstances that happened in our lives, it is defined by who we really and how we make out of it. We should not let the things occurring around us determine how we act and respond. I mean, it’s true. We can plan life, but the truth is, we cannot control life. We can arrange so many things in our lives, but sometimes things just don’t go our way and that’s how life works. And anyway, if life happens just as how we have planned it to be, where is all the excitement? And so yes, what matters is how we respond to those. We do not have control over the things that happen in our lives, but we do have control over how we respond to those. So guys, know that when storms hit you, you have the option to keep paddling or to drown!

  4. Life apart from God is a life I do not want.

    Saving the best for the last, it’s my faith journey. It was an adventurous one this year. Tears were shed along the way, mourning was not a stranger to me, old scars were healed while new ones were made, but despite all of those, God is proven faithful. There is this one night just a couple of months ago where I was brought to a place of total peace and comfort, knowing that God is more than able to give hope. Because really, I couldn’t have survived this life without that hope He gives in my life. That same night, I can boldly say that to be in the hands of God is the safest place to be. Yes, even though you are drenched in your tears, even though you are broken from head to toe, even though the storms are just out of control, as long as I’m in his hands, I’m more than okay. Today, I thank God for His life and His presence in my life, and I don’t want to live this life out of Him.

There are so many things I’ve learned from 2015, and I am deeply grateful for that. Grateful for all the things that happened this year. Grateful for all the challenges that shaped me to who I am today. Grateful for all the people who have stayed by me through it all. Grateful for all the love poured upon me day after day. I can say that I am better than who I was a year ago, and I cannot wait to explore more of myself and His will in my life in the coming year. Definitely excited for what’s to come in the new year. Excited for the hardships that will make me stronger than who I was. Excited to meet and get to know new people. Excited to witness how God will work in my life through my talents and my brokenness.

  1. It’s gonna be a good one. Come at me.

Happy New Year, 2016, everyone! Live more, laugh louder, and love harder!

Cheers,
Kimberly Subianto

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. // 1 Corinthians 15:10

 

the present of presence.

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Granville Island // 15.12.15

There in the middle of a bunch of engineers wearing red jackets caroling around campus, playing their musical instruments with so much joy, giving strangers their warmest smile and holiday greetings, a little thought came rushing through my mind – what are we celebrating, really. As we sang “joy to the world”, where does that joy come from, really. Christmas has been such a huge festive in today’s world – people are getting busy checking off their Christmas shopping list, streets were decorated with mistletoes, parks invested on millions of little lights to bring the spirit of Christmas, people held contests to show off their ugliest Christmas sweaters, so yes, you can literally see Christmas decorations everywhere at this time of the year. But what are we celebrating, really.

Have we lost sight of the true essence of Christmas? Have our minds diverted from celebrating the presence of He who made a difference to the presents we are getting each year? You know the cliché slogan that says, “Keep Christ in Christmas”. But really, how so? As I was going through an Advent reading plan, I came across this verse:

“For to us a child is born,
             to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder,
             and His name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
             Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
-Isaiah 9:6

I took the time to reflect back on my life in how this verse has been quite real in my life. I think over the past years of my life, I have encountered goodness and blessings through the experiences in my life in many different ways.

A Wonderful Counselor He has been. I thank God for His continual guidance and counsel all these years of my life. Sure, sometimes I’d like to think that I know it all, that I know better than He does, Creator of my mind. But there He led me still. Four years ago when I had no idea where I would be going for university, I prayed a simple prayer asking for counsel. Boy, I didn’t expect UBC to come visit my high school the next day to give a presentation, and I fell in love with this school right there. His guidance never left me ever since. Sometimes I’d go off my own way, but He somehow some way pulls me back in. I wouldn’t say that it is the most pleasant thing to me then, having to let go of the plans I have set before myself, but I can 100% assure you that to walk in His will is the safest path to be in. Today, I praise You, God, for the wonderful Counselor You are.

A Mighty God He is. I thank God for being the God who is all-powerful and all-knowing. His hand is full of might – able to handle any kind of brokenness a person can have. All those sharp edges of the cracks of our hearts? I guess it won’t mean anything to Him. He had nails penetrated through His palms and feet, crown of thorns piercing through His head. So to say that He is not capable of handling our brokenness is a mistake. He is more than able to take them all and work His powers in making them beautiful – not to show that I am all that good, but to show that He is all that mighty. Today, I praise You, God for the mighty God You are.

An Everlasting Father He is. I thank God for the crazy love He has been in my life. That boundless love that is never failing and never ending. This hole and longing in my heart – it can only be satisfied by the love He is. So many times in my life I seek for love, that feeling of acceptance, that status of importance from different people by doing different things. I’ve done all that only to know that I am already loved – loved dearly by the Maker of this universe. I remember one night as I was driving home by myself, I nagged on God, asking Him to show me that He loves me. There is a nudge in my heart, and I know it was something. “Look Kim, how can you take so lightly the fact that you are able to drive back home safely, live under a roof, enjoy such a beautiful and privileged life. I’m showing you now that I love you.” Right there, words of nagging come out from my mouth no more. Who am I that He is mindful of me. Who am I that He cares for me. Truly, I will never be deserving of any of His love, but that’s the crazy part of His love – it goes beyond what I can think of. No, I won’t be able to comprehend what is the breadth and the length and height and depth of His love, but even the slightest glimpse of it overwhelms me. Today, I praise You, God for the everlasting Father You are.

A Prince of Peace He will always be. Where do I even start… This characteristic of God has stood out the most, especially in the recent years. In times of chaos, when the storms were just blowing hard on me, when the waves are just crashing over me, there His voice whispered softly in my ear, “be still and know that I am God”. It seems like I have so much fear of the unknowns, the unknowns of my current condition, the uncertainties of the things that will happen in the future, the anxiety of things not happening the way I want them to happen, there is just this battle in my mind of doubts and God’s whisper of His sure promises. Of course, it is a struggle, and is still a struggle, for me to win over that battle, but my experiences taught me enough to continue trusting on Him who is the True Source of Peace. So here in the middle of my storm, I choose to hang on to the God He is, to the Word He said, to the sure Hope He provides, and all the while resting in His uninterrupted peace. Today, I praise You, God for the Prince of Peace You are.

Truly I won’t be able to stand where I am today on my own. Reflecting on the roles God has played in my life just left me wanting more of Him. Yes, I long for His counsel at times when I don’t know what to do or say. I long for someone of great might because I know that I cannot do life myself. I long for a Father who loves and cares for me so perfectly. A love that goes beyond this world can give. I long for a Source of peace even at times when it seems so insensible to be at peace because I know that He is in control of all things and in Him is the safest place to be.

Over 2,000 years ago, not only was a child born. That Child took the place of a Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God, an Everlasting Father, and a Prince of Peace. Has He taken that place in your life? If He has, let’s take this moment to thank Him for who He is, and let us ask for more encounters with Him as He reveals more and more of Himself in our lives. Let us make use of this time of Advent to celebrate His presence in this world. If He hasn’t, let us continue to seek Him together. Let us open up our eyes more to His works in us and around us. Let us be more aware of His presence. I am inviting you all to prepare our hearts at this time of Advent, as we wait upon His coming, as we expect and anticipate His arrival, and as we long and yearn for more of His presence in our lives. Let us celebrate the present God the Father has given to us – His presence! I thank You, God, for the present of presence You have been in my life.

Spreading the warmth and love of Christmas,
Kimberly Subianto

PS. On a side note, check out Tim’s original song on the essence of Christmas here.