We tend to look back and reflect on last year when it comes to the new year. You may have asked yourself some of the following questions: Did you achieve what had been planned in the beginning of the year? Did you make full use of the time? Was there more regret than joy?
When pondering these questions, I realise that thanks be to God, the past year has been blessed and fruitful for me!
In retrospect, my spiritual life has grown vigorously last year. I joined a new church family, which is led by a bible-centred American pastor, in late February. I had a good few first-time experiences with the church which benefited me in different ways and deepened my determination in knowing God more.
My first-time retreat experience inspired me to always be putting my relationship with God in first place; my first-time forty days fast encouraged me to limit myself and pray for other church members’ need during the course; my first-time involvement of festival preparation, such as Easter, Pentecost, Thanksgiving and Christmas, enabled me to be enlightened when I realised that Jesus is the core of every celebration.
All those experiences were God-given gifts which helped me to understand His church and Himself better and more this year!
With the growth of spiritual life, my mentality towards other people changed this year, especially with my family.
Being the eldest in the family, I always feel heavy responsibilities and high expectations. One the one hand, I’m supposed to be obedient to my parents and reassure them with my independence and capability. On the other hand, I was inclined to perfectionism and want to set an example for my brother and sister.
Bearing this thought in mind, I often put extra pressure on myself and led a stressful life. I forget about my limitation and family members’ true needs. When responsibility was distorted as a burden, bitterness and unwillingness were permeated into what I did for the family, which I thought were done for love. In the end, I found that my relationship with the family was getting tense.
Learning from Bible principles, I spent less time struggling with the over-high expectation and wanting to have things done in my own way. Instead, I started to do less and pray for my family relationship more. In the meantime, I began to communicate with love and patience rather than emotionless result-oriented talk.
Later on, positive changes happened in the family. Intimacy and trust were restored as we gradually found each other’s place in our family.
As a Christian, my greatest satisfaction shall not come from either the fulfilment of my family’s expectation, nor my own assumption of being a good example, but from enjoying God in my life. Things will be on track once my relationship with God is right.
It has been one year and eight months in my current job so far. To be honest, the idea of resigning would cross my mind at least once a month. The main reason is because of my manager.
At some time, he is irritable and hard to get along with. In some circumstances, he would lose his temper and shout at me without respect. At other times, he is patient and kind. He taught me loads of tactics and tips in doing my job well. Personally, I’m grateful for the progress that brought forth through him.
The bittersweet feeling haunted me during the past year. I know that must solve the problem if I still want to stay. I thought about my situation for a long time and figured out that they were my problems as well. I didn’t face them with a right attitude and tend to blame my manager for all the problems. I understand that I wouldn’t grow even if I changed my job, as the problems are still there.
Last week, my manger and I had an open conversation regarding my performance and his temper. At last, we both decided to take a step back. For me, I will need to improve the skills that I lack for my current job. For him, he will need to adjust his way of expressing his emotion. I’m glad that things are finally moving in the right direction now!
Thanks to God’s grace! I have been blessed in walking with Him last year. May the Lord grant our heart’s desire in seeking His kingdom first in the new year!
Cheng Xingyi (known as Cindy) was born and brought up in Central China. Cindy enjoys travelling and reading history books. Cindy is inspired by talking with local people when travelling abroad experiencing different parts of the world, as well as herself.
Cheng Xingyi's previous articles may be found at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cindy-cheng.html