I Wanted to Give Up

Journal, TCK's Articles, Writer's Articles

Dear Friend,

Ever since I started writing seriously two years ago, I’ve entered a battle. Well, a Christian’s battle begins the day they’re saved. Specifically, this relates to writing. One side is the work God wants me to do. The other side is the devil urging me to quit. Both sides have intensified as I continue writing. God wants me to take challenges beyond my craft level, and the latter became louder and stronger. On top of the battle, I’ve been recently struggling to accept that I can’t escape grief in life.

I thought of giving up. I could close my email ministry, delete this blog, delete all my drafts, and stop writing. I didn’t want to move anymore and just stay in one place. But these doesn’t solve anything. Yet, I want to continue for Him. Writing wasn’t my decision initially. My choice was to obey Him.

I was at the verge of breaking when He used a friend, a sermon, and His Word:


“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Psalm 91:1 KJV



It was also the whole chapter of Psalm 91. While the battle is on, I trudge on a narrow path up the mountain. But I’m at peace in the midst. I’m at peace because He’s my Refuge, my Fortress, my Habitation, my Deliverer, my Protector, my Shield, my Buckler, my God and my Saviour. I’m at peace I’m under His shadow and His wings. When He’s silent, I won’t fear because


“…he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Hebrews 13:5 KJV



Now, I’m living with the Lapidary’s hand cutting and shaping me, the fire refining me, and the hammer beating me. This will last for the rest of my life. And as long as a Christian is doing God’s work, the opposition opposes.

The adversary is a roaring lion that wants us to quit because he hates it when God is glorified through a serving vessel (1 Peter 5:8). It’s a battle we go through each day, fighting against the devil’s shoutings. The devil even uses other people to discourage us.

Therefore, make sure you’re wearing the whole armour (Ephesians 6:11-18); continue to trust Him, and He’ll give you strength and peace (Psalm 29:11). Remember, Christ has already won the battle.


“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 KJV



Thus, if He wants me to go through this, I shall continue until I reach Home. The opposition can’t hurt me because my soul’s secured by my Author.


“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2 KJV



Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train


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Clarissa is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she’d lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds, and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry. Or read more posts.


I Lived My Whole Life Through Grief

TCK's Articles

Dear Friend,

Grief is not a stranger to me. It followed me since I was a child. It contacted me hundreds of times. I’m exhausted. Sick of crashing into It. Whenever I move, It hits me.

But staying put in one country doesn’t avoid it for it’ll occur again. Either when someone close to me leaves Earth, or when another trigger happens. Flooding me with past memories of countries I used to live in.

I’ll be moving again this year. Which means Grief will again fill me with pain and sorrow. It probably started already. But there’s Someone else with me,

Christ.


I accepted that I’ll continue to live through grief. I accepted that He allows it for a purpose (Romans 8:28). That grief will fill me with sorrow only for me to empty myself to Him.

So that He’ll fill my life with Comfort, Love, Hope. . .

and Joy.


“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows …”

Isaiah 53:4 KJV



~


“… weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Psalm 30:5 KJV



Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train


~

Clarissa is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she’d lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds, and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry. Or read more posts.

My Home Is Not Here

TCK's Articles

Dear Friend,

Today, I encountered a well-written article describing TCKs such as me in a nutshell (Mayberry, 2016). I hope it would give you a better understanding of people who grew up in multiple countries. While reading it, I stumbled upon a quote from a fellow TCK:

“Everyone knew everyone and no one knew me.”

(Tapp, 2016)


That was exactly how I felt when I moved to Singapore, my birth country, in 2010. Being born there, I felt the expectations of society and myself that I need to fit in because I was born a local, but I couldn’t. I could try to fake it, but that meant lying to people and to God. So I presented myself sincerely.

However, my different accents and behaviors possibly made some locals think I’m faking it or that I’m too proud of my background that I refuse to change myself. My lack of patriotism to Singapore (I’m not patriotic to any country) made me feel guilty, and that I shouldn’t even have a local identification card.

It took me two years to adapt to the place that was supposed to be my “home” partly because I was caught in between these: being foreign and being a local that I should be. I struggled with my identity.

My long adaptation also resulted from this preconception: I already have an established social community there. I didn’t. I moved out of Singapore when I was five. I didn’t attend their local schools nor did I grew up in the same socio-cultural environment as them. In other words, I didn’t share the same childhood.

Thus, I barely had connections outside my relatives. I eventually decided to treat Singapore as I would to other countries I’d lived in. By simply adapting without changing myself. Then I made new friends (again) by being the friend Christ wanted me to be.

My irregular puzzle shape doesn’t fit in not only Singapore, but also any other country. I may not be completely a Singaporean, a Korean, a Chinese, a Czech, or an American (I say this due to my education). My accent and behavior may consist of five cultural parts, but I’m not any of them. I’m a person just like you in God’s eyes.

My rootlessness ultimately drove me to depend on Christ instead on my “homes” and the “national identities” I picked up. That being said, I formed the two statements:


I may be rootless, yet my root is in Christ. I may not call any country my home, yet His Home is my Home.



His Home is the best Home because I will be with Him for eternity (Hebrews 11:16). After all, everything on earth is temporal, including countries and national identities.


Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train

P.S. Friend, regardless of your being a TCK or not, where is your home? And what is your identity?



Reference:
Mayberry, K. “Third Culture Kids: Citizens of everywhere and nowhere.” November 19, 2016. In BBC Worklife. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20161117-third-culture-kids-citizens-of-everywhere-and-nowhere?fbclid=IwAR39E10Ph1MwyO3EBtwZA7aFInQNvFtMYWBgGKBKRQXeYZsYmq3YwelE96I

Tapp, G. 2016. Quoted in Mayberry, K. “Third Culture Kids: Citizens of everywhere and nowhere.” November 19, 2016. In BBC Worklife. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20161117-third-culture-kids-citizens-of-everywhere-and-nowhere?fbclid=IwAR39E10Ph1MwyO3EBtwZA7aFInQNvFtMYWBgGKBKRQXeYZsYmq3YwelE96I

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Clarissa is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she’d lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds, and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry. Or read more posts.


It Was Hard since the Beginning

Journal, Writer's Articles

Dear Friend,

As I practice on, I thought the tracks would gradually be smoother than it initially was. I was wrong. The plain steeped into a slope with rocks, holes, and lumps.

I typed this partly because I never thought creating and continuing an email ministry could take so much out of me. Then there’s the new Book E which He wants me to start soon.

The literary romance novel may be one of the biggest projects I will write (the allegorical might be as big or even bigger). It may involve layers of complex moral themes and perhaps, multiple main characters. It’s outside my craft level and my comfort zone. The reason is that I dislike the genre. Then again, it’s not a typical romance book. Think War & Peace style, but less intimidating. Now that I think about it. Should it even be categorised as a romance? Or is it merely a literary fiction with romantic elements? Anyway. . .although I love reading and writing themes, this project will be far too complex for me to even plan. Yet, He wanted me to write it. I rather write a straightforward plot with simpler themes. He chose a multitude of mountain ranges while I eyed the hills. No. He wanted the ranges. Thus, I conceded.

Pondering on when I started writing seriously, I realised it has always been arduous. And it will be more arduous as I trudge forward. The serpent offered me thoughts of quitting and will continue to do so. I admit, I accepted his lies multiple times throughout the journey. Whenever that happens, the Conductor urged me

Don’t stop!

“I can’t. It’s too hard.” I replied.

Then lean on Me.


Thus, I gave up depending on myself again, and again. It’s impossible for me to climb. But as long as I look at Him instead of the mountains nor myself, the Train can go through ranges.


“Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:”

Isaiah 26:4 KJV




Friend, it was actually difficult since the day I accepted Christ as my Saviour. He even said it Himself that life will have challenges and sufferings. If the Christian journey is smooth sailing the entire way, then why do I need Him?



“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 KJV (Emphasis added)




Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train

~

Clarissa is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she’d lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds, and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry. Or read more posts.

Does It Matter?

Writer's Articles

Dear Friend,

Blogging, drafting emails for my email list, and trying to reach out to people to increase the numbers took up a significant amount of my time and energy. As I trust and leave it to Him, God reminded me that He’ll reach out to certain people He wants to reach through my writing. It doesn’t matter if my books never become bestsellers. Likewise, it doesn’t matter if they do become bestsellers. God has a purpose for everything. He wants me to write because He would use it to reach certain people and draw them closer to Him, Christ.


So what if I only sell only two copies or if I sell 70,000? So what if I only have my friends in my email list or if I have 300 subscribers? So what if I put in so much effort only to reach 1 person?

From the parable of the lost coin, the woman searched high and low for one coin (Luke 15:8-10). From the parable of a lost sheep, the shepherd left the 99 to look for one (Luke 15:3-7). And from an experience at my church, we handed out hundreds of flyers, only for two visitors to attend the event. Christ gave up His life in order to save me, one helpless soul. When I strayed far from Him, He kept prodding my heart, again and again, continuing until I returned into His opened arms. Because of what He did for me, I’ll persevere and give Him my all to reach just one.

The numbers don’t matter.
One soul does.


“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV



Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train

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Clarissa is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she’d lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds, and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry. Or read more posts.