God Welcomes the Mess and Brokenness

I’m back here with lots of thoughts. I’ve been kind of lost in my head these days. I’m a big dreamer. I’m always thinking; I always have ideas. But in all honesty, I haven’t liked to think much lately. Especially when that thinking involves myself, my life, my emotions, or my thoughts. Why? Because it has been a dark place recently.

If you know anything about me, you know that I love people and being around people. It is a rare occasion that I don’t want to be with people, but that is what has been happening more often lately. I have a lot of moments went I just don’t have the energy to be with people. I’d rather hide away. I don’t respond to texts or messages. Everything takes so much more effort. I don’t feel like I can be my “normal” self with people so I’d rather not be around them at all. Instead, I spend a lot of time sleeping.

On the other hand, sometimes I go to the opposite extreme. I attempt to fill my time with things to do. I like to work as much as possible because it keeps me distracted from my thoughts. I work on school. I spend time with friends and attend every event that I possible can. I spend way too much time scrolling through social media losing myself in other people’s “perfect lives,” not interacting with anyone. The “busyness” helps me to not think so much.

But I’m realizing that no matter what I do, I can’t stop myself from thinking entirely. I try to push it all down and move on with life, but it still creeps in. It effects my mood, attitude, and emotions. I am very frustrated and irritated all the time. I feel like crying so often and I can’t be entirely happy because my thoughts are still “there.” It effects my energy levels. I am constantly tired and would rather sleep than do anything productive. It also dictates whether I want to be around people or not.

What’s worse is the fact that I know it’s there. I know that my thoughts are dark. I know that it’s effecting everything. I know there are things that I need to address and process. There are things that I need to work out, but I don’t do that. I avoid anything involving having thoughts. This entire cycle makes me angry with myself.

To tell the truth, turning to God has been the last thought on my mind. I have distanced myself from him just like I have tried to do so with my thoughts. Thankfully, I can never truly distance myself from God. I try to though. Why? I know what I should do. Why do I not do that? I believe the answer may lie in the reality that I’ve never felt this broken. I’m a broken mess. I always have been. Everyone is a sinner and broken to God.

But I believe this is the first time that I’ve felt so deeply broken. To the point that I question God and his planning. How is he working? Can he fix this mess? Does he even want to fix this? Everything happens for a reason, but I’m not seeing any kind of point to all of this. God is good and he desires the best for us, but sometimes I wonder if that’s true.

Here’s what I’m learning though. God delights in us. We are a blessing to him. Is that not a crazy thought? That we are a blessing to God? There is so much talk about how God blesses us, but we are also able to bless the Lord. We are a blessing to him. Another aspect of God, he does deliver us from our struggles and suffering.

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

-Psalm 34:17-19

God does deliver us. He knows our mess and brokenness more than we know ourselves. Despite how deeply and fully he knows us, he still desires a relationship with us. He welcomes the mess and brokenness. He is near to the brokenhearted. He sees us. He hears us.

“As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!”

-Psalm 40:17

More so, God thinks of us. He wants us to bring everything to him. He truly wants us to live our best lives and we can’t do that without him. While we do not always understand God’s timing or plan, it is still good. It will always be good. Though we may doubt how something or other can be good, our definition of good is limited by our sinful human nature. That is not the case with God. God is perfect and so his definition of good is perfect.

Knowing this and believing this are two different things though. That’s something I’m working on. Trusting God with the mess and brokenness. God can and will deliver me. All I need to do is run to him and bring it all before him. I’m not too far gone.

Hoping to lighten your burden,

Gabi

Mere Fragments #1 // Lost in Taichung

i guess that it is about time that i share about some of my adventures in taiwan. hahaha.

maybe i should start with this past weekend. i think what happened this weekend will give you a good taste of what taiwanese culture is like.

originally i didn’t have any plans for this weekend. so i decided that i needed to do something, but i didn’t know what. at the time, i also didn’t have any friends to do anything with so…

it’s not that i’m afraid to travel by myself. i did somehow get myself to taiwan, didn’t i? i am going to be living here for an entire year too.

it is just that usually i have at least someone with me (even if i don’t know that “someone” very well) or at least i am traveling to a place to meet up with someone. either way, i am going somewhere and i will end up being with someone.

anyways, through a roundabout way, i met this girl on instagram who recently moved to 台中 (pinyin – táizhōng) from the u.s. taichung is not that far away from me, a mere two hours at most by public transportation. (it’s kind of funny when you get to the point that you think two hours of travel time isn’t that much.)

we made plans to meet up for lunch. so i got up, a little before 4:30am, and headed to taichung. i finally arrived at the taichung main station at 8:00am.

this is the original old taichung station. it is now right in front of the taichung main station.

i went by the nearest 7-eleven and grabbed a 飯糰 (pinyin – fàn tuán). just a side note, 7-eleven and family mart can be found anywhere and everywhere. it doesn’t matter how small the town you’re in is, you’re 99% likely to still be able to find these convenience stores.

i didn’t have any plans until lunchtime. so i started googling what to do in taichung. (it’s not because i’m a last minute planner or anything. haha.)

i had been formerly told by a friend that i should visit rainbow village when i get the chance. it was only 30 to 40 minutes away (partially by train and partially by bus). so i decided i had the time so i might as well go there.

easy peasy, right? i don’t actually have that much confidence in taking the bus, but i figured since they are numbered and since i had google maps it shouldn’t be that hard.

shouldn’t be. well, i promptly got lost when i tried to go from the train to the bus. i missed the bus station and ended up walking down a highway to another bus station that took me to back to the train station. then i found the right number bus and got on it. only to find out that it was going in the wrong direction.

i got off it as soon as i thought i could, but i still had to walk a ways back to find another bus station. the bus i got on took me back to the station for the second time that day. everyone started to get off the bus, but i stayed on for it was supposed to go to rainbow village. then the driver said something in chinese and one of the passengers asked me “where are you going?”. you do not know how happy i was to hear english. i told him and he told the driver.

i won’t tell the story behind rainbow village here, but it is definitely worth looking into if you’re interested.

i finally got there…2 hours later. what was supposed to be a 30 to 40 minute trip took 2 hours. i wandered around and a lady approached me and with gestures and a little english offered to take some photos of me. i was much appreciative, since i am honestly awful at selfies.

later i saw a family of four and what looked like the grandparents trying to take a picture selfie style. i gestured, offering to help them take their picture. well i did so and what to do you know? the wife knows a little bit of english and they had many questions for me.

anyways, i found out that the family lives in new taipei city but they were visiting their parents in taichung. i got the wife’s line (the most popular messaging app in taiwan) and she messaged me later telling me that i could stay at their house when i come to visit.

most of you reading this are probably from the u.s. and you know that that kind of hospitality is very rare. strangers just don’t offer you to come visit them and stay at their house.

but i have found it to be much more common here. wherever you go, if you spend enough time with the people, you are taken in as family. and in all honesty, it doesn’t take that much time to become a part of their family.

i was able to get back to the taichung main station in 30 minutes, much to my surprise. haha. i met up with sarah and she was kind enough to bring her battery pack to charge my phone because my phone was practically dead. (that’s what happens when you get lost and are using google maps for hours.)

we wandered around, found a place to grab lunch, bought some tea, and just chatted for a few hours.

just ignore the fact that i started to eat it before taking this picture.

after she left, i walked over to taichung park, not before grabbing a 奶油餅 (pinyin – nǎiyóu bǐng). i love those things so much.

the park was really relaxing. it was cute to see the families or grandparents with their grandkids playing together.

at one point two ladies came up to me, saying something in chinese and pointing at one of their phones. i thought they wanted me to help them take a picture, so i nodded. only to have them both get on either side of me and take a selfie with me. lol. i don’t know if they thought i was someone or if maybe they don’t see white people that often or maybe it was for some other reason entirely. either way, i’m on some stranger’s phone out there.

this is just one of the two cute bridges i found in the park!

well, i’ve gone on for long enough. i could go on further, but i think i’ll stop here for now. i hope that you’ve enjoyed a little taste of my adventures. it’s only a mere fragment in the story of my life. there will be plenty more adventures to come, i’m sure!

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi