Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 ~ A Life is for Changing

Once I thought I was going to do something big, not change the world, but make a mark on it for the good.
Then I mucked up.
Then I struggled back with the marks and the stains and the scars.
Then I got married.
Then I realised that my life was going to consist of losing/distancing friends, working incessantly, budgeting like crazy, a few hard-clung-to times with my new husband while realising more and more that family and parents are getting older, bigger, growing, moving on. There are new goals in life - saving money, buying a house, having kids.
Social life reduces down to a few shared news articles, playing a few e-games people tag you in, and sharing other people's posts. Any significant news in your life may not want to be shared by another person, so you leave it in the quiet.
People 'like' or 'read' your news in decreasing numbers.
Your impact on life is minimal.
And your days march on.

I like change. Within a controlled or known measure.
I don't like uprooting. Or limitations I haven't imposed.

When writing my husband's Christmas card, I included a little timeline of all the achievements from this year...and realised that most of them were his.
He moved in on January 1st. We applied for the marriage licence on January 11th. We got married on March 5th. He left his job on the day his visa came through - April 11th - and started his new job in London on April 17th. He travelled between the two for three months, and then got a new job back up here in August. In October, his friend recommended him at another company and he got a fourth job there in November. He started driving in September and passed his test within a few weeks on a crash course.
I got married, worked and gained a new job role in December this year (for which I hasten to add, I am very, very thankful) as Coding Supervisor. Oh - and I got my family started on drinking raw milk again. :D

Am I being jealous? Maybe. Maybe it's an aftermath of the Rebelution - we can all do great things. Well, we can - I'm not dissing that. But not everyone in life is going to be captain of a Navy ship at the age of 14. Who would be the cabin boy? I tell myself. But it doesn't feel very good to be the cabin boy.

Does it feel great to be shoving through life in a half-depressed state, wearing away at myself and the people around I'm clinging desperately to. How to let go? Verbal batterings of "welcome to the real world" or "about time you got your head out of those clouds" don't help the adjusting. In fact, it makes life look even darker.

There's a list of goals here that I've set myself for 2017, but looking at them, I know that even half of them won't be achievable, because of - mainly - trying desperately to make money (see first goal).
I guess the courage behind that is carrying them forward until they are achieved.

*Buy a house
*Attend a Con and cosplay again
*Pick up my friendships again
*Get a singing coach and work towards becoming a professional singer #dream
*Learn Hindi to converse in basics
*Pick up learning Welsh
*Start dancing
*Learn rock/mountain climbing
*Travel round the UK with my favourite guy

There's a verse in the Bible that it's really hard to do right now.
Colossians 3:1-3 reads: "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God."

I have only one life. Yes.
I want to live it to its fullest. Yes.
I love/d people. Yes.
I can't do everything. Yes.

And when all of this passes away and only one thing is left - eternity - my soul is the only thing that will matter; not necessarily what I've done in my life, but what I've done with it. The small things done to the best of my ability, for Him; the money raised for my family, for Him; the work done hard and faithfully, for Him.

I keep telling myself all this, but struggle keep track on it. Eyes are down, not up. I'm glad not many people read this any more!

Keep marching on.
In Christ,

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Walking Through Forgiveness

I apply the last bit of mascara and blink. There. Perfect. Only wearing mascara today because, with blonde lashes, I look bald without it. My husband prefers no makeup on me, because he says I'm beautiful with and without, so I'm trying to accept myself without, spots and blotchy skin and all.
I'm about to leave the house in half an hour to go and meet him after work. He finishes at 4, and then I'm going to talk him into an evening walk in the park with me before we go home.
Ever the romantic!
Plus, it's healthy, and it's Autumn. Haha! One of my favourite months.
I did something today.
I've been changing a lot recently. Marriage is a great changer of people. Especially when compared often with the relationship of Christ and His church.
Today, I made a plan and ditched it. Ever since my life messed up five, almost six years ago, I've had a passionate fondness of plans. Order. KNOWING what is going to happen. Living in a situation where you don't know what's going to blow up around you next for a long time makes you like that. 🙂 So making a plan and then it going to ruin - that's hard for me to accept. True, I forgave myself for messing my plan and order of the day up, which is probably a LOT easier now than it will be when I have kids and am homeschooling and have to do that one far more frequent occasions, but it's a start. I've learned to accept baby steps and cheer them as victories. If you belittle baby steps, it's far harder to recognise or take another.
One of a woman's - especially a wife or mother's - greatest skills is to make a plan and then ditch it at a moment's notice - with a smile on her face. I don't know how I'm going to do that one, but I'll pray and try!

So instead of getting up, eating breakfast, washing my hair, tidying our room, making FIMO characters, watching my TV shows, chatting some friends and then going to meet him after work, I've got up, watched a wedding video, written an email, sat and chatted to my stepdad while eating lemon tart, had a shower, washed my hair and am tidying my room. Not much of a plan change, but still, annoying. I have my mother's bad habit of getting angry with myself if I feel like I'm underachieving, or not living to equal her busy schedule. 😝

The email I wrote was to long-ago friends who, coming three years ago in Feb/March, hurt me badly. Three months after my heart had been ripped open by the guy I loved finally giving a closure to us. Bad timing. It didn't hurt so bad at first, until they completely kicked me away. Then it grew into hatred. I knew I shouldn't hate, so I bottled it down with a couple of other things and pretended it didn't exist. But I knew it did. The flashbacks and the hatred kept happening, especially when some news reached me that made a heck of a lot of sense of things. So bad I knew that if revenge was in my power, I would. Which scared me so I bottled down harder. Earlier this year, God started dealing with that.

If there's one thing I've learned over this many-times-painful six year so far growth into maturity, it's that you cannot rush healing - and you cannot rush forgiveness. Both need to be lived through, worked through and battled through. But they - like your Christian life - cannot stay bottled up or stagnant, or they will ruin something. Usually you.

I wrote to them to tell them I had forgiven them for what they did, and asked their forgiveness for my hatred. I don't care if they never respond. I hope they don't. The friendship can never come back. But I needed to, because I can no longer take the Lord's Supper or worship with His people, knowing this blackness in my heart for those He loves too.

It doesn't mean that a magic wand has been waved and I'm full of love. Nope, forgiveness has many battles on its way to victory. But I've physically started - it's all well and good saying 'Oh yeah, I've forgiven them' and possibly even fooling myself, but a physical action of gruelling humbling means that I have to mentally acknowledge without lying to myself.

So here goes.

I said to Atul recently that I'm changing. Growing. I'm ready for stuff now I wasn't even ready for a year ago when we first started talking about marriage - a house, kids, a life. You're never actually 'ready' for stuff until it hits you, but I'm mentally ready now.

So hi.
I'm Siân Kumar. I'm 24 years old; I have a past, which I like to be brutally honest about. I'm married; not the most idyllic marriage, what with our culture, nationality, faith and language being different, but to the best man for me, whom I firmly believe God brought into my life at a time I needed him most.
I've been through a lot; people tell me God has great plans for my life, though living in one bedroom, working a lot to make ends meet and barely talking to any of my friends (my fault, so tired all the time!) doesn't seem like a great plan. I'm not changing the world, I just live and talk about it.
So if you like that kind of thing, stick around. 🙂 God's not done with us yet.

In Jesus' mighty Name and His love and peace,

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

To Walk By Faith and Not By Sight

When I rededicated my life to the Lord in my late teens, I began what seemed to be a lesson a year. First it was love - God began to teach me how to love with His love, to see with His eyes, as I prayed for it. The next year was faith, and the following faith and trust. It wasn't like I picked these to work on - love was what brought me back to Him - a breakthrough from my friend Taylor W. - and faith and trust have always been struggles, partly because I like to understand things, and partly because I've never learnt to trust deeply, easily.

Faith, as you know if you live by it, is a walk in trust. The two, though different, are deeply and intimately connected. To walk by faith is to walk in trust, and to trust fully means utter and complete faith.

One of the joys of following Jesus has been to see His love through different aspects of my life - as I like to say, "God's love is of the same beauty and diversity as a many faceted diamond."
First, I learned His love through parent-child relationship - with me as the child, obviously.
Next, was His intimate love as a wooer and lover, as my best Friend through the lonely years when my life turned upside down and, more recently, in the traumatic last three years of abandonment by the man I loved and my supposed "friends/family group" in the US.
I learned how He could love the dirty and the societal/Christian "unforgivables"; how He could bring in strength when emotional and physical strength was gone. I've seen Him through wonder and laughter and tears, in the baby sparrows and in the vast sky, and how He could love someone so small as me and make me so big.
And most recently, marriage.

My husband and I haven't had the easiest start to our marriage. (!) He and I often laugh and say that nothing in our lives has been easy. He sees it as a test, a challenge - I see it as a trial, a storm in which the eye is God's peace and...well, the end is Heaven? :)

We began dating in September, September 17th; we talked to my parents about the possibility of marriage around the middle/end of October. He proposed to me on November 28th and we were married in a beautiful ceremony on March 5th of this year. (If you want our love story, ask. I want to write it up some time anyway. :P)

Within three days of our honeymoon, we had the stress of his marriage Visa kick in. (If you think I'm a worrywart, he can stress as bad as me. :D) He'd had a job offer lined up since the end of February, but his company wanted us to try for his marriage Visa before they'd attempt a work Visa. Once that was approved (thank God!) on April 11th, he left my workplace (where we met) and began his job in London on the following Monday. Now, you may not think Britain is particularly big, but when you get up at 4:30am, leave at 6:30am, get into work at 9am, work until 5:30pm, catch the 6:20pm train, reach home by 8:45pm and be in bed for 10pm, every day of the week, it suddenly becomes enormous. With the travel strain and the financial cost of the ticket (£1062.60!!!!), we decided it would be best for him to stay in London and come home weekends - or when his shift starts, to work the four days and come home the four days he's off.

Well, my head decided. My heart didn't.
I'm too emotional. :P Always have been.

I was really grateful last night - and today - for the Bible verses my parents made me memorise as a child, and those that I've learned since. Praying as I was trying to sleep in tears, two came to mind:

"...and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b (NASV)
" Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)

But still, tears and quiet depression today. Which of course isn't making my poor husband feel any better.

I text him earlier: "...I was just saying I trust you to do the best for us, even if all I can see is the present." (With my head; it's still getting to my heart. :P)
He replied: "Yes, and I'll always do the best for us. Sometimes it's hard in the present, but if you think about futuristically, you'd see the benefits."

When we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, He instantly becomes all the things I mentioned earlier - Husband, Father, Protector, Keeper, Shield, Lover, Closest Friend, Brother...etc. It takes a lifetime of knowing Him to even start to understand all of the ways in which He relates to us in the perfectness of His love.

He is our Husband Who has gone to prepare a place for us - Atul has moved to London to try and gain experience, more money to provide a better life for us and any future children we may be blessed with in the future.
He always does the best for us - even though we can't see it. And how often can we!

I feared the breakdown of communication with Atul away - he calls me three times or more a day, texts me, Whatsapps me, to reassure me that he will stay, he will come back.
God also communicates with us, while He is away - through His Word, the never-changing, never-failing Bible. He has told us, "In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going." (John 14:2-4, NASV) As we wait for His return, we communicate with Him through prayer and song.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder," the old saying goes. I find that absence increases doubt and fears, which have to be conquered by faith, trust and communication. We choose where our hearts go and what they dwell on - and that is the only way to grow the "fondness".
In these last days, our love for the Lord has grown cold. We do hear people say, "“Where is the promise of His coming?" (2 Peter 3:4a, NASV) We prefer the comforts of life and the joys of the now to the dwelling on the distant and invisible. We hate to be scorned and hold our heads down to avoid the mockery of living by faith. (That's me, too, by the way.)

When I fear Atul will go, when I remember how brief and short our lives are, I think about the memories and his promise.
I know the Lord won't leave. And maybe that is a reason why I hold His promise and the memories of His grace so lightly.

I messaged Mama Lauser the other day, asking how she was. She replied, "Learning to trust the Lord again." I thought, Again? Is there ever a point where we rest completely in Him without falling back? And I guess not. (Thank you, Mama. That was encouraging in a strange way. :))

Trusting God.
Trusting my husband.
Learning to trust again. I guess that is the lesson for this year, still. And forever.

In Him alone do I stand,

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Handicap or Disability?

I was thinking about some of the people I've bumped into over the years who struggle with depression, anxiety and/or suicidal tendencies.

As I've been going through the counselling process with C., I've also come to realise that while it might trigger the "growing up" bit I missed, and is definitely help me link things together and providing coping techniques to override my body's now-natural patterns of worry, freak out, withdraw, not deal with issues, invert anger and stress until overload, it probably never will cure my depression spells completely. My man tries to reduce all stress levels for me wherever he can and says he thinks it can be healed, but I don't know.
Whether it is a "mental illness", (which, while I am coming to accept the term, is one I dislike due to its connotations of limited capability and inferiority) or whether it's some switch tripped by the years on the rough path, as I subconsciously recognise the symptoms of another bout starting, I'm beginning to realise that now it's here, it's possibly here to stay. And my job is to glorify God in and through it, whatever way I can. Some way. A job easier said than done. Maybe I'll find out some day. :-)

When you take part in a three legged race, your leg is tied to another person's for the duration of the race. It requires more energy, teamwork and logic to reach the end that if you were running alone. It's a handicap, but it's not a disability.
Disability is easily enough defined by splitting the word in two - "dis-abled", not able or lacking ability.

Diagnosis with depression, official or unofficial, is the same as any other handicap. It can only disable you if you allow it. You can choose for it to be a disability or an extra-ability.
Which is really hard when you're going through it, crawling, or when you're at my place now, watching it coming, too drained to try and avert, using your remaining energy to cope with the situation that may have brought you to it or its aftereffects and to brace yourself for it. It's hard to get out what I'm thinking, and for people who struggle day and night without stopping, please be aware that I'm not directing this at you with any intent to cripple you further. It's just some things that have crossed my mind.
That being said, if this isn't helping, stop reading it right now. :-)

Every time I have a bout of depression, I think about the guy with no arms or legs, going around telling his story as an inspiration and encouragement to others as what God has done in his life, how he copes, how he lives.
Bit of a difference to an internal mental illness, where sometimes we don't even recognise we're sick, but it's still a disability and it can still be used. Even if it's just to raise awareness that one can look fine outside and be anything but inside.

I guess you know by now that's one of my mottoes - use everything in life to the glory of God, or to see a picture of God's character, or His relationship with us, in it. :-)

There have been people I have met who get up every morning struggling to face another day, wishing they didn't have to, feeling life is totally empty, bleak, dark and pointless, feeling numb, feeling hopeless.
Some of these have allowed the pain to twist them, turning them against themselves and others, accepting the darkness and despair because it's too difficult to fight it.
And some others have made it a tool, the depression - it attempts to gore them, they grab it by the horns and ride it. It doesn't make their world less topsy-turvy; they make hope where there is none.
Healing hurts. Fighting it hurts. Worse than giving in. Getting up and trying again is so, so scary - despair beleaguers you with failure before you've even risen to your knees.

Talking about knees, that's the best place to be to turn a handicap into a triumph. God's strength is there, able and constant, if you only turn to Him. However, He's not a tool to the end. He is the end. Battles of this intensity will crush you or make you rise - either result will help shape your character.

Using strength when you have none is painful. There's a point you go beyond trying and He carries you. But you can do this. I'm not promising eternal happy feels. Gosh, just look at my grumpy face and snappy tongue to see that. XP But I'm promising you that you don't have to spend your life, the only one you have, behind closed doors. You can use everything in it for good.

Living with pain can make you cruel or make you kind. It's your choice what you do with it.
Circumstances never have to make your life. You can shape it with the tools you've got.
Living with depression will mean the choice between breathing day to day or living it.
I'm choosing to try and live in it. I don't enjoy handicaps, but I won't be disabled.

Hope this made some sense, as I'm half-asleep while writing! :P

Love to you. <3

In Him,

P.S. I am by no means denouncing medicine, remedies or alleviators for depression. By all means, if you have an informed choice on what's available to you, go for it!!