TWENTY ONE

I already knew that I was different and that my life wasn’t normal. I already knew that my classmates didn’t like me. I already accepted the fact that I wasn’t important. I already wished that I had a different path. So, here I was, already knowing all of this – in my mind and in my heart. And then this happened…

One day while I was in IT class. I made a promise to myself saying that I will never do a course that involves using the PC 24/7 (I hated that IT class). Fast forward to the year 2013 where I was enrolled in a graphic design course. As the weeks went by, the promise that I made to myself back in the IT class came circling back in my mind. Why was I taking this course? As the months went by, I started to really dislike this course. But still, this was just the beginning.

On the ninth day of the ninth month (2013) me and my family flew to Malaysia. And there, I celebrated my 21st birthday! Yep, I had a wonderful time. I’ve got pictures to prove it.

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cousin and me
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the epic cake

After a few weeks of fun time in Malaysia with friends and family, reality was back. I was back at graphic design and the rest of 2013 was a real drag. For some reason, I started to feel really down. And it wasn’t just because of my course. It was something else, and thank God, I knew that I was not okay. The next year came along and I was still depressed inwardly (because outwardly I did a fantastic job of not showing it). Whenever I was alone at home or in my room and at night, I would start to feel down in the dumps. “So not looking forward to twenty fourteen. Back to graphic design again. This year is just going to be like last year. Every year is always the same, not exciting whatsoever.”

I still believe that it was all part of God’s plan. I mean, I have been to many churches and this? Ya, never happened before… On my first Sunday at – let’s call it church C – at church C, 1) I met the pastor’s wife, 2) I met the pastor’s daughter/cell leader, 3) I automatically joined a cell group/Sarah’s cell, all this, in one single Sunday morning. Everything happened so fast! But at that time I didn’t know that it was all God’s doing. I didn’t know that going to church C was what He wanted me to do. In fact, I wasn’t very interested in attending another church, because I was already happy with Crossway. When Sarah invited me to an event on Friday, I wasn’t so sure about it. To cut it short, I started attending Sarah’s cell, I made new friends and I was starting to like this cell. It was a place where I knew that I could ask for prayer, share my story, learn about God and see my new Asian friends. I was even able to contribute to the group by volunteering to do worship, games or supper (small and simple to you, but to me, it was like a whole new level of something that I’ve never done before. And yes, I’ve never done anything like this before in the past. Haven’t you been reading my blog?). And speaking of things that I’ve never done before, thanks to this life group, I got to do it! So, there were a lot of great things that was happening outside of my inner depressed world. Oh, and this happened too! This special, memorable day…

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me at Regent theatre ready to see Wicked

Let’s go back to the year 2008 when I was in year 8. This was another year where I had no friends, and as I was going pass the theatre with the large “Wicked” sign, I thought to myself, “how I wish I can see this. if only I had a friend to go with. and besides, I don’t have money to buy the ticket anyway”. Who knew that four years later I would be seeing Wicked with a friend from school and, wait for it, be able to get VIP tickets!

In the meantime, I was still extremely disturbed on the inside. At one time, I cried myself to sleep for days. I wasn’t enjoying my course, I wasn’t doing well in it, I didn’t want to tell anyone, especially my immediate family. “What would mum and dad say, especially dad, and Nicko?” “What would they think? Definitely not telling them.” I was failing in my course – Diploma in Graphic Design. And this ain’t a good thing when you have an educated father, and a brother who’s doing a double degree – Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Commerce. Impressive huh? Yep, I thought so too. So, take all the things that I already know about myself (mentioned in the first paragraph above) and add these to the mix… “I’m such a failure. I fail in my studies, I fail in my social life, I fail in my relationship with God, I fail in my love life, wait, I don’t have a love life…” and we have…

One day whilst I was alone at home. I remember looking toward the kitchen area and, I wanted to end it. I wanted my life to end. I was so sick and tired of being bombarded with lies and negative thoughts in my head – day and night, night and day – that I wanted to commit suicide. This was the darkest point in my life. The shadiest season of my life. I literally kept condemning myself. I brought all those things that I’ve experienced in the past to life. I convinced myself that I needed to just sleep and never ever wake up. I told myself that I was in a dark place and that I wanted to continue staying in the dark place. I mean, I wanted to get out of this dark place, but I just didn’t know how. There was no hope and I gave up on myself. This, all because I failed my course, and all because I was depressed (or as I call it, spiritual attack). “Failed my course. That’s it. I can’t tell anyone. I can’t escape. Just die. Problem solved.”

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listen now

Dark place wasn’t just part of my life in 2014, it was also a song that I wrote called, Dark Place.

I’ve lived through 20 Easters, yet nothing can compare to my 21st one. It was the most emotional Easter I’ve ever had in my life (so far). I remember talking to myself, and indirectly talking to God, saying, “I feel like I’ve already drowned. How can I be saved?” My whole entire world has crashed, how can it be fixed? I couldn’t understand why God sent His Son to die on the cross for such a person like me? Here I was, wanting to kill myself – destroying His creation – and doubting His power. “You love me unconditionally, so You went to the cross for me Jesus. And in return, I’m a complete mess and I don’t even trust You. Why?” “I don’t deserve it.” I couldn’t bring myself to accept this gift of love and forgiveness from God. Same, whilst at camp we were told to write down some things that we wanted to let go of, and let God handle it, I didn’t do it. I wasn’t ready to give all my fears and worries to God. And just like how I was doing a fantastic job in hiding my inner depression, I told someone that I was good at camp. “Hi Nikki, How are you?” she asked me. “I’m good.” I replied, not wanting to tell her that I had this very strong urge of wanting to commit suicide. I was shameful of it, and I did feel guilty about lying.

One afternoon as I was lying in bed (again), I remember saying, “I give up. Here, just end my life, God” and it was either some seconds or a few minutes later I received a Whatsapp message. On that message one thing really stood out, “He will never give up on you”. And in case you were wondering, no I didn’t tell this person what I was going through, she had no idea. No one knew what I was going through. So, when she sent me this message, I thought that it was interesting. And even though that sentenced stood out for me, I didn’t know what it meant at that time.

Looking back, it’s so true. He never gave up on me. God was there. God was with me. He never left my side. He was watching me. And read this, He brought me out of that dark place. I thought the only escape route was to die – cut my wrist and bleed to death. I thought there was no more path to walk on. But as the scripture says in Matthew 19:26, “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Jesus looked at them and said, “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

-Matthew 19:26

So, you may be wondering why I’m still here. Or how I’m still here. Let me type it down for you. You see, for years, since I was a primary school kid I prayed for my mum’s family. I had one wish. For them to be saved. I don’t know why, but for some reason this stuck on to me up until today. “God, I want to pray for my family in Malaysia. I want to pray for their salvation.” It was so real, so sincere, that this was the very reason why I actually did not commit suicide. Each time I thought of ending it all, another side of me would be like, “no! I can’t do this. what would they think?” “Your whole life you’ve been praying for them and now you want to ruin it by killing yourself?” There was also another major reason why I didn’t cut my wrist, but I think I’ll leave this as it is.

I want to go back to 2013 for a minute here and explain that when I knew something was wrong I wanted a friend to talk to. I wanted a Christian friend actually. And though I knew some friends that were Christians, but I wasn’t close to them, I didn’t see them anymore. So, when we went to church C and when I joined the Sarah’s cell that was when I talked to Joy. Well, it took me a couple of months before I was sure enough to talk to her. On August 12, I told my friend, almost everything (I didn’t tell her that I was failing my course. shame, shame). But anyways, after the talk it literally felt like three bags full of rice went off my shoulder. It’s like you’ve been set free. Still, there was one more problem. Reality pointed out to me that my course is still going, I still disliked it and how on earth am I going to tell my parents (especially my dad). I have no idea. Three days later, I gave up. I finally gave up everything, let go of all my thoughts, questions, fears, worries, and let God take it. “I give You everything. Also, please tell me how I’m going to tell my parents.” That was when things changed… and I finally told my parents about what’s going on with my course (my dad approached me first).

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my journal

A few weeks before my 22nd birthday I realised something, something that I had not thought about. “Oh, I only have a few weeks left of being 21… wait, where did all the time go?” I was so caught up with the enemy’s game – Mess With Nikki – that I totally forgot about my special age (does this make sense?). And that if I didn’t enjoy it now, later it will be too late. I was so blinded that I didn’t even realise that despite all this darkness, God had put a lot of good memories too. It was only when God got me out of the tunnel that my eyes were truly open. I was so relieved! So confident, so happy, so thankful that I told God to bring on another challenge. Can you believe it? By the way, piece of advice, don’t ask God for another challenge, well, unless you are spiritually ready for it.A few weeks before my 22nd birthday I realised something, something that I had not thought about. “Oh, I only have a few weeks left of being 21… wait, where did all the time go?” I was so caught up with the enemy’s game – Mess With Nikki – that I totally forgot about my special age (does this make sense?). And that if I didn’t enjoy it now, later it will be too late. I was so blinded that I didn’t even realise that despite all this darkness, God had put a lot of good memories too. It was only when God got me out of the tunnel that my eyes were truly open. I was so relieved! So confident, so happy, so thankful that I told God to bring on another challenge. Can you believe it? .

All in all, my twenty one experience was bittersweet, but instead of the bitter as the aftertaste, the sweet is the aftertaste. Get it? Because, my twenty one story ended sweetly.

Well folks, this is my twenty one story. Thanks for reading and God bless!

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