Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Part 6 - The Unresolved Conflict

Year 2001 started.

KK and I very naturally found our ways back to each others life once again. Both of us resolved in the name of the new millenium to cut off all the entanglements of our past and start clean. And finally for the first time in the history of our relationship, it was just us. And we stayed that way for a long time. But did I finally enjoy that relationship?

I, on my part, was totally committed to him. I had given my heart fully to him. I would do anything...compromised, sacrificed in all inconvenience to make sure he would never leave me again. But strangely, no matter what I did, I was still unconvinced about his devotion to me. No matter how many times he reassured me with his words and actions, in my heart I kept sensing that one day, he would still betray everything he said. Trust was absent.

That summer, we went to an all night prayer vigil at the Lutheran's Chapel. God spoke and gave me a vision of my FEET touching the ground of many places, specifically bringing the gospel just like in Romans 10:15. If I were not involved with KK, I would be jumping with excitement and hope and maybe even in tears but that night, I was so traumatized. I had given up my dream of going on missions because I was terribly afraid KK would not be willing to go. I really hoped that it would not come to past because being with KK was more important already then. So, I didnt tell him anything about the vision because I couldnt trust him nor God to deal with that information. And even I eventually forgot about it too (until 2003).

Meanwhile KK also graduated that year. I met his family, both biological, and spiritual when we went back to Malaysia for a summer break. We were in a sense going 'steady' and official with important people of our lives. However in my heart there was still a big gap. I wanted a more substantial planning for our future. KK just graduated and even though he already had a job, he wasnt established enough that he could make out realistic plans of what he had. But I took it as an excuse for not wanting to make more defined commitments.

I was so preoccupied with my own thoughts that I didnt really evaluate my own readiness if I even knew what marriage means. Everyone else were getting married while they were still students, so why not KK and I? I was not happy enough that we were going to get married. I wanted to know WHEN exactly that would happen.

It was the ongoing conflict that went on from 2001 till we finally broke up in 2003. That was the overall climate of our relationship during the whole time.

KK returned for good to Malaysia July 5th, 2002. I was trying to finish up with my graduate studies so that I could also make further plans. KK was hoping that I would return and join him in Malaysia as soon as I finished my degree. Then we could make plans. But I had other thoughts.

Winter Break 2002. I went to Malaysia to visit KK. I had an ultimatum for him. I wanted him to decide on when to tie the knot and I offerred to go back to Malaysia 6 months before the date, otherwise, I shalt remain in America and pursue my own career and life until he was ready. It was my reasonable request and offer. I didnt want to break up with him but I didnt want to keep waiting. I would not let myself to return to Malaysia with uncertainty and regrets. And for him, it was absurdity to put a wedding date before he knew how I'd adjust to the Malaysian life. And for my own goodness sake, I shouldnt burden myself with marriage while learning to live as a Malaysian once again.

Guess what? I still couldnt accept his reasons and he couldnt accept mine. Go figure. And Year 2002 ended.

Three months later, he called and apologized saying that he still couldnt give in to my request and since the conflict was serious, we'd better seek God what we both should do next, laying aside our plans to get married and even asked if we were supposed to even get married. Even though I was disappointed, but I thought that was fair enough. I should seriously be asking God what I should do after finishing school, anyway.

Then missions came to mind. It was then, or never.

I was leaning very strongly towards DTS offerred by YWAM. After discussing with Neek, an ex dtser, he encouraged me to seek God for that specific base. He told me too that I was supposed to simplify my life, i.e. take a break from any special relationship and commitment as that was required by his school. I thought, couldnt that be a better timing. So, my heart was set for YWAM.

And during that quest for the right base, God reminded me of the vision in the summer of 2001, the day after I received an info packet from YWAM Hong Kong which I almost discard after I saw their DTS fees. The second time I took the packet out from the envelope again, my eyes caught the four letter word FEET imprinted on an very unimpressive grey brochure (which they still used until today). Not only that, Romans 10:15 was also printed on the front of the brochure. I was almost sure God wanted me not only to do a DTS but also FEET and not only that, he wanted me to do DTS in Hong Kong specifically even though it was so freaking expensive. I couldnt believe how fast God answered my question. It was as though He had everything lined up for me, just waiting me to pop that question.

When I looked back, it was really good for me that KK made that call. My three years in YWAM HK was the best years Ive ever lived.

Back to 2003....
I made my discovery known to KK. He was indifferent about it. Later he made another call that was to call off the relationship altogether. I was so sad. I wanted a good reason and he couldnt give me any and I hadnt done anything wrong. We've both agreed to seek God and God didnt say I should return to Malaysia. I was left without a proper understanding of his decision.

But when he said these words " I dont think you are not the one I m supposed to be fighting for", my fury was ignited. He had crossed the line. It didnt matter if I understood his reasons anymore. That was our last conversation that year.

I took my time to process through the entire relationship from the beginning. Since Ive gotten involved with KK in 1999 till 2003, how much of those times had I been truly happy? My unhappy days far outnumbered my happy days. Why should a smart girl like me put up with that kind of torture? When seriously think about it, I was unhappy whether he was in or out of my life. So, since I was already unhappy, why should I insist on it or even try to understand the madness?

It was a good time of cleansing and repentance. I finally decided to rebuild the foundation of my relationship with God. I gathered all the memories, gifts, pictures of KK and stashed them away in a shoebox. I almost performed a funeral service for it but my best friend Tayo laughed at my suggestion.

I looked forward to what I had already known for me then. A new adventure in Hong Kong.

I had nothing to lose anymore.

And in fact, since then, Ive not lost. My lose-lose predicaments had turn into win-win stakes. God did a lot!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Part 5 - Insecurity

Winter of 1999 was cold. It was very much the opposite of 1998's. There wasnt the slightest warmth to be found. My heart was as cold as the winter snow. Even though we had decided to take a break until OneDay 2000, I really missed KK. I really wished I had treated him better, and was more considerate of how he felt. But due to pride, I couldnt tell him my regrets. I went through with what we'd agreed on.

KK went home for Christmas and there he faced his ex crush who then was eager enough to start a relationship with him. She started to talk to me one day. We had a friendly heart to heart about KK. I was torn. She was a nice girl, and I even liked her. But I just couldnt bear the thought of KK with her. Life took a very wrong twist for three of us. If only whatever that happened in winter 1998 didnt happen, KK would not hesitate to start a relationship with her right then. I became the stumbling block, the hindrance. And I myself could have married CC. The timing was wrong for all four of us. The dramas of the love geometry....

That winter I knew jealousy. It was a new experience. Even though KK didnt pursue a relationship with her and she even gave up on the possibility, the hurt was still unbearable. Over the following two months, I lost a third of myself. I just didnt feel hungry anymore for a long time. All I felt was pain, and it took over everything else I was capable of feeling.

I didnt know where I got the idea that being sad and "loving" someone that much was shameful. In a strange way, I felt ashamed to feel so hurt that I was desperately trying to hide my sadness. So I moved on and ignored the pain by participating in lots of activities on campus to widen my social circle. In that few months I developed an uncontested talent in hiding my true feelings from everyone.

My relationship with KK during that time was really awkward. We saw each other lots but just couldnt talk much. The mutual attraction was obvious and we were trying hard to control ourselves until one Saturday in April (2000) I accepted his invitation to go on a fishing trip. So, by that semi frozen lake, he asked if we could resume our relationship. We drove home rejoicing. We promised ourselves to not repeat the past mistakes and not to take that opportunity for granted.

True enough, I was happy that KK was mine again. Unfortunately, I didnt know how to deal with my hurt properly. I either ignored them or denied them. Jealousy and insecurity has taken root and the doubt concerning his true feelings and motives continued to linger. I was chosen because of proximity. I wondered if both of us (me and his ex crush) were present, would he still choose me over her? He got really upset whenever I brought this issue up. Insecurity remained. I therefore could not trust him with my heart. I reserved a lot of myself to myself. Hurt continued to build.

I guess that is the reason I continued my friendship secretly through email with CC who had then stopped coming to see me every weekend. I even felt like I could be more transparent with CC but with KK, I was just really afraid to talk to him about anything.

KK and I had a serious problem with our relationship that nobody else seemed to notice. Besides our problem, we worked really well in ministry. That summer we and other comrades like Tayo, Christopher, Edmond, and others started an off campus summer evangelistic movement (known passionately as Lincoln Revival Team), outreaching the international students in our neighborhood. We studied the bible, worshipped, interceeded, led people to Jesus, took long distance trips, played sports, and made lots of food for the community. We even bought a Camry together and drove lots of people to church. Basically we were too busy to take care of our problem.

Then fall came, summer activities ceased and we were facing the reality of our relationship again. Through my insecurity and desire to avenge my own hurt, I had provoked KK to jealousy by befriending guys whom he felt threatened by. I guess the truth was, the insecurity wasnt just one sided. Through all these struggles, he decided to call the relationship off once again with the reason he wasnt good enough for me. In the middle of that, he found out about my secret correspondence with CC and went ballistic especially when he discovered I borrowed money from CC to help him with the downpayment of our car. The insult was too heavy for a man to handle but I couldnt accept his anger at me because to me, I was just asking a friend who wanted to return a favor. When CC first came back to NE, he had no money and I helped him to start off before he received his paycheck.

KK and I refused to understand and see the situation from another's perspectives. In anger, he swore off any possibility of us getting back again. I remember that afternoon he came to pick me from college to send me back to my apartment. We talked inside our car from 230 pm till 5 the next morning. I guess when the finality was there that the relationship was out of the picture, the threat of letting him know how I truly felt wasnt there anymore. Maybe that was true for him too. So, that accounted for our more than 12 hours long of heart-to-heart.

We finally had some insights of what was going on in each other's deeper self. But everything was over. KK had sworn me off forever and I respected his boundary.

Soon enough, CC heard about my 'final' breakup with KK. He decided to take his chance. He came and offerred to marry me after I finished with my advanced degree. Not only that, he offerred to let me raise our children to be christians. I rejected him. He didnt give up. The next day, he called and offered to believe in Jesus. I understood something. He was determined to do anything to have me back in his life. I had no choice but to be 'cruel'. I told him, we could no longer be communicating. I could not let him get his hopes up in an impossibility.

Winter of 2000 arrived rather quietly. There, my heart was once again, as cold as the snow. If that were the last time I had to deal with that kind of finality, it might not be so bad. But very unfortunately, that wasnt the case.