I know I havent blogged for the longest time, its been like 9 months. But it has always been an annual affair me to reflect on the past one year, and most importantly, to thank God for everything. And so.. here I am :)
For the very first time, I started 2012 without setting any specific new year resolutions at all, even though it has always been a habit for me to do so. I just wanted to see where God would lead me without setting any expectations for myself.
I remember I blogged this one year ago:
My wish for 2012: That I’ll have the grace & strength to conquer all the mountains ahead of me. I want to grow stronger and tougher on the inside.
And indeed, 2012 has been a very… bittersweet yet special year in an indescribable way. My heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness for all that God has blessed me with this year, and when I look back, I can’t help but feel amazed at how far He has brought me. But together with the mountain-top experiences came the valley moments as well, and many things didn’t come very easy this year. I felt as if 2012 was a year of Battling -> Victory! -> Battling -> Victory! -> Battling. And it just goes in a cycle on and on. To sum it up, it was just like a rollercoaster ride.
Life as a GSK Intern
I spent the first half of the year fulfilling my marketing internship at GSK’s Dermatology business unit . Even though I accepted the internship with much uncertainty, the entire experience was something that I have never once regretted, and I knew that there was no other place I would rather be.
I had a great direct supervisor, friendly colleagues, and most importantly, the privilege to experience the entire process of launching a product by myself (with the help of my supervisor of course). I was given many opportunities to learn and be exposed to the industry practices, and I really had so many takeaways from the 6 months. I really really wanna thank God for the grace and favour He has given me to excel in the marketplace even though I was just an intern. I honestly did not expect that my internship experience would be such a meaningful and fruitful one and I am really thankful because I know, and I know that this was a door that He opened for me :)
I think my internship has expanded my interest in pursuing a marketing career, specifically in the product marketing aspect. I feel extremely thankful that I know which direction I should be heading towards, at the very least. I have been praying for a specific direction for very long, and through my first 3 years in SMU, I was still very lost and directionless about where I should head. Now that I’m graduating in the coming year, I am really trusting God that He will open up the right doors for me :)
Emerge 2012 – Your Best Shot
I guess many of you would have known that this year’s Emerge was particularly significant for me. Even when I look back and think about it now, I find everything that happened really surreal, haha.
People say that “Best friends are people you can call at any hour to laugh, to cry, or to complain.” But I am extremely glad to find best friends whom I can not only laugh, cry or complain to, but also best friends whom sing together with me, act crazy together with me, and take part in Emerge Your Best Shot with me, haha!
It was a really fun experience taking part in a competition with my favourite girls right from the videoing of our Youtube video (with Valerie’s classic “Shoot Me Down” moves). I just checked our video and we actually have over 6.4k views to date! Haha. And nowadays I think people recognise me more by the “MJ Girl Band one!” than my own name, haha.
It was a really exciting journey for all of us, especially when we got into the semi-finals followed by the finals. I still remember us telling each other that even if we dont win, it was an awesome privilege to be able to stand on stage to bless the church with the mesh-up of our songs, which had a very special message to it especially when our church was going through the harsh period of the trials. Honestly speaking, when I think back about YBS, I dont really remember how it felt during the few minutes when we stood and stage and performed in front of every one.
But what I remember very clearly are the times where we came together and practised so hard and had fun at the same time; the countless recordings we did for our video submission and how we jumped around like crazy girls; that day when we stood in front of the mirror and laughed at each other for not knowing how to dance; and how despite the “tensions” we had in the discussions, we still stayed through with one another and loved each other more than winning the competition. I guess this is what is really the most important of all :)
I just want to specially say, thank you Carmen and Vanessa :) Thank you for the wonderful experience of performing with you all, and for accepting me for who I am. You girls are really the best friends anyone can ask for and I love you both!
Emerge 2012 – Youth Band
Being part of the Emerge Youth Band is probably one of the greatest milestones of this year. Words really cannot describe how thankful I am for this opportunity, and all I can say is.. God really works in mysterious ways and time and again, He always saves me at the very last minute. There are still many times where I wondered how would things turn out if not for that one thing that turned everything around, that one talk that changed my life, and that one chance that I gave it all at. And I am just so amazed by how God usually moves in our hearts before He does a physical miracle for us.
I never thought that I would have a chance to lead the church again so soon after SOT Graduation, and I am really so thankful for such a privilege. God really used this to speak so many things into my heart and opened my eyes to see things in a broader perspective. God… You are faithful, and I will remember this always :)
Following Emerge, we also had the opportunity to lead in our main English service – which was another significant milestone! It is always a joy to serve together with the Youth Band, probably because most of them are my close friends. But also because many of us “grew up” together since Teenage Band days, and its amazing to see how God is using us together today. There are so many things that we still have to learn, and there are many things that we may not know, but I really believe that there are greater things in store for us :)
My 4th Year of Serving
It has been four years since I officially started out serving God in Choir, and I think this year God has really been pushing me to enlarge my capacity in the ways I serve Him. I am very very grateful for the many open doors for me to serve in, like in teaching the Choir, leading the cellgroup and the zone, and even in Bible Boot Camp and Friday PMs. Even little opportunities like singing for weddings, Campus Meetings, Church Camps and Meetings are little treasures to me as well!
Even though very honestly speaking, there were times where I really dragged my feet to serve (I am sorry for being honest), I really thank God for His grace that accompanied me through every single occasion, and He has never failed me. There were so many times where I was really forced to step out of my comfort zone, and I realised that these are the times where I learned and grew the most. Thank You, for so many of the opportunities You have given to me :)
This year I did more gigs and performances than any previous years, and it was definitely a lot of great learning experiences for me!
My Last Year as an SMU Student
After talking about all the church and singing related stuff, time to talk about my studies! I just finished the first half of Year 4, and because I took the first half of the year off for my internship, I was a little worried at first about coping back with school again. It was a rather heavy semester, and it was rather hardgoing one in fact. I’ve never faced so many obstacles in my projects before and hence I have never felt happier when I managed to clear all my reports and presentations this sem.
But thank God, I am rather pleased with my results this sem, and most importantly, I improved my overall GPA by quite a bit, yay! And I really wanna thank God for His grace and strength because it really wasn’t easy especially when I had so many other commitments. Believing that my last sem in SMU will be the best yet! :)
A Year of Relationships
Like what we have been constantly saying in church at the start of the year, 2012 was really a year of relationships for me. I thank God that I got to meet many new friends in SMU CHC through Camp YOLO and campus ministry this year, and I also managed to draw closer to some of the ones around me. I am especially thankful for the chance to get to know my cellgroup members better this year, because I never really had the chance to the previous year since I was always so busy running around. I must say that I have the most loving cellgroup members ever and I am so thankful for every single one of them! :)
Of course, there are always the sweet, sour, and bitter sides of relationships. There were definitely some friendships which went through some rough patches this year, and I guess its only so because none of us are perfect. But I really thank God these despite all these, love covers :) There may have been many broken pieces, but I trust that God will reconcile our friendships and heal our hearts. Hopefully, like what they always say, friendships will grow stronger over fire. And I want to believe that it is true.
Thank you my dearest friends, for a lovely 2012. Thank you for loving me, supporting me, and for going through all the ups and downs together. I really appreciate all your love :)
To Those Who Made a Difference :)
One of the things I really wished to see during 2012 was closer relationships with my leaders, and I am really glad that during this year, I managed to get to know Darryl and Pst MJ even better and had more chances to learn from them. These are two leaders which are very very close to my heart and I guess there are many many things in my life which would be very different if not for the both of them. Thank you, Pst MJ and Darryl, for all that you have sown into my life :)
And of course, I also need to thank Belle and Ally for being my mentors and for helping me learn so much more this year. Thank you for your guidance and for believing in me and helping me grow :)
I also want to specially thank one person.. my Connect Group Leader, Valerie :) Thank you for all your concern, and your prayers. You may have forgotten how you talked to me one very special day after service, and that talk totally changed everything and I wouldnt be where I am today if not for you. Thank you for all your encouragement and love, and for being such a wonderful friend!
Well, last but not the least, I guess you all know I’m going to thank, haha! :D
We celebrated our first year together in 2012! And we did that by coming together to make a scrapbook of memories we shared over the past one year. We’re hoping that we can make an album together every year, and it’ll be nice to look back in the future, hehehe.
We’ve gone through so much more together this year, but every single day is still full of love and smiles with this guy around :) We do every single thing together from studying, to going for classes, to going to church, to going out with friends, spending time with family, etc etc. I think its a great blessing to be able to find someone you love in church, but I think God is extremely good to me to let me be with someone who is also my classmate as well! And next year, we’ll be graduating from SMU together :)
There were many people who asked me if we ever quarrel because we dont look like we will. Of course we do! I think we had 1923874931 disagreements over the past 1 year because we are just like any other ordinary couple haha. Sometimes when we quarrel and we are still angry at each other, he would tell me, “Okay now we must look at each other in the eye and tell each other I love you until we are not angry at each other.” Hahaha and this is how we solve 80% of our arguments. And I think it is the cutest thing ever!
To wrap up, there are really so many things that I can be thankful for in 2012 despite all the behind-the-scenes battles. When I look back, I cant help but think of how we often say that our God will always “do exceedingly, and abundantly above all that we can ever think or imagine.” And He has shown that to be true in my life this past year. I would never have expected myself to achieve so much over just 1 year, and it really wouldnt have been possible without His grace. Thank You for giving me so much more than I deserve :)
2013 will be a year full of many new adventures, I know.
Not only in 2012, but in every year, let Jesus’ name be glorified :)