Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A decade of growth

Seems like the done thing to take stock of the past decade, and why not. 2020 has such a symmetrical ring to it.

My business grew. I went from having 2 writers to 14.

My kids grew. In 2010, Lesley-Anne had just started secondary school and Andre was in p4. They will be graduating from university and polytechnic respectively this year.

I grew. I became a published author (15 books!), even gathering some awards along the way. If you’d told me this in 2010, I would have spat out my coffee.

Most importantly, my faith grew. I’ve been a Christian for a long time, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts and questions. In 2010, my business was fulfilling but since its primary objective was to pay the bills, it came with its fair share of anxiety and stress. My kids were doing ok in school (one more ok than the other) but the education system seemed like a necessary evil we had to soldier through (I say “we” because all parents know it’s a shared pain) more than a process of discovery. School, homework, CCA, piano lessons, ballet lessons, badminton training sessions. Certainly, all good to have, but keeping up with the routine was a chore. I had started a blog on kids and education with a good number of followers but it was directionless. I often thought despairingly, “What’s the point of all this?”

But over the last decade, I saw God’s wisdom and guiding hand in life events that seemed random at the time. If not for the blog, I would not have published a book. Early ballet lessons led Lesley-Anne to discover and share her passion in dance. Being a social butterfly in school showed Andre his gift in hospitality, which led to his choice of study and internship. Little pieces fit in a larger puzzle now and it gives me confidence that others will too, in time. Nothing’s wasted in God’s economy.

And through various personal encounters, my eyes were opened to this fact: we’re not on earth killing time until we can get to heaven (hopefully). It’s about experiencing bits of God’s kingdom every day, through the people we meet, the process of living out who God meant us to be. Like how I started Hedgehog as a means to earn a living and I later learned that it’s been a channel of blessing for some writers. To be used by God as a conduit to bless others - that’s a privilege.

This is my belief: It really isn’t about our “accomplishments” which is a fallacy anyway, since by themselves, they mean nothing. Rather, there is a point to our lives on earth, which is to prepare us for the next chapter. Ironically, there is freedom in surrender, and as I’ve experienced, freedom comes with much joy and peace.

As we move into 2020, I wish for all of you God’s love, joy and peace, that you might see how precious and special you are. Your life matters.

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