Re: Delayed Delivery

I’ve looked at the Amazon order tracker everyday since my order was confirmed, while being fully aware that deliveries are delayed because of the global pandemic. How irrational is that? It only took me 14 days to admit that I’m absolutely stricken with the need for instant gratification even when I know that somehow the order will eventually be fulfilled. 

Instant versus delayed gratification is not a new concept. Actually it is so ubiquitous that we often forget that it exists in our everyday lives. We want something, anything really, and we want it at the moment that we want it. So what happens when the thing that we want will take longer or would require more effort or would require for us to overcome a challenge? Does it mean that the thing that we want will never come? Does it mean that we should settle for what’s within our reach? 

Here’s the thing I’m not supposed to say but will say – We don’t know and we may never fully know. 

God promises us goodness and blessings throughout the entire Bible. And throughout the entire Bible we can read stories upon stories of men doubtful of His promises mixed in with characters/disciples exemplifying incredible faithfulness. Why is that? Some might say that the circumstances we are dealt with makes it feel impossible that His promises are coming. Others may wonder why God allows pain and heartache in our lives to begin with when He has unimaginable power to eliminate it.  

Here’s the other thing that I’m not supposed to say but will say – We don’t trust beyond what we conceive to be possible, ignoring that our view of the world is imperfect. 

Imagine losing your family, your financial wealth and contracting a disease that drastically changed your appearance. Then include losing everything else you might care about. How do you think you would feel? The Book of Job tells a story of a man who experienced exactly that, yet he didn’t lose faith in God. Although, I’ll admit that at some point in the story Job did question why God allowed this much misfortune. He questioned because Job is human. He is like one of us – only seeing the present devastation, relishing on the riches of the past, and feeling completely anxious of the future he doesn’t have control over. This may look like an extreme example, but in reality isn’t this what I had been doing by checking my Amazon order tracker every day? 

The package will come when it’s meant to come. God has the most sophisticated fulfillment and logistics system. We just don’t see how the supply chain is progressing. Our job is to make sure that we’re ready to receive the delivery when it does come. 

Always, 

K

P.S. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Dear Malta

photo of St. Julian Bay at Mlata
St. Julian, Malta

I came to know you from Paul, the Apostle Paul to be exact. Reading the verses that mentioned you in the Book of Acts, there was something that was pulling me to you… 

In retrospect, I needed to see you. You gave me the space and time to breathe again. You led me to my refuge amidst my very own shipwreck. 

Oftentimes, I’m very good at compartmentalizing between my personal life, work, and my inner thoughts. It’s one of the reasons why it may shock some people when I say that I’ve been feeling anxious, in pain or sad. They don’t see past the smile, where the pain and disappointment like to dwell. But when things got too much, Lisbon taught me that it’s okay to sit in that moment. It’s okay to feel sad because sadness is as real as feeling happy.

Riding around the island on your rubble roads and steep hills, I saw your most protected ruins, vibrant fisherman village of Marsaxlokk, eclectic city centre, and fields of fertile farmland. Everywhere I turned was the crisp blue Mediterranean Sea sparkling and endless. There was always something about water that gave my heart peace. And you, Malta, are surrounded by it in every corner. 

photo of woman sitting above a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea
Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temple, Malta

Taking a few moments to myself before getting back to the sightseeing bus, I sat cliffside in awe and hope. The kind of hope that I didn’t have much left of before landing at your footsteps. You see, I had a vision of a future life I thought could happen. It wasn’t a life of extravagance or incredible success. In fact, it was a simple life with very ordinary ways, nonetheless I cherished it dearly. Unfortunately, that life disintegrated right before I booked my plane tickets and hotel accommodations. Seeing the vastness of the Mediterranean Sea as I sat down by rocks and overgrown weeds reminded me that I have absolutely no control of my life now, in the past or in the future. Much like how the water has no choice of which beaches its waves crash onto. The water just goes with the flow yet somehow it has the power to move through mountains. How is that?

Malta, you taught me that having no control of my life does not mean that I should lose hope. Quite the opposite actually. You taught me that my life is guided by someone far greater than me. Someone who knows me better than I know myself, and has planned out a life far more fulfilling that I ever could. You led me to my refuge by faith. 

I couldn’t fathom how Paul continued to have so much trust and faith despite being shipwrecked in an unknown island. It would have been easy to be persuaded with fears and anxieties. Afterall, he was human. And, I’m not saying that going to Malta has helped me gain a full understanding. Although, I do know this. Hope is not wishful thinking. Truly hoping for a better tomorrow means having the confidence to expect a better tomorrow through faith and trust that God has already created it for us. That’s the refuge He has given all of us. 

Always, 

K

P.S. For we walk by faith and not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

Dear 17-year old me

February 22, 2020: Last day of your first culinary arts course

It only took us 10 years before taking our first culinary class at an actual culinary school. It was worth the wait! It only goes to show that oftentimes the thing we always wanted, truly wanted, will come with patience and faith. 

Looking back, had you taken that road defiantly would have changed your passion and appreciation for food. You had to learn over the course of ten years why it matters, how cooking makes you feel, and what about food makes it a big part of your identity. The uncertainty of waiting, yearning for the thing you wanted to do only made the experience that much richer. 

Wearing the pristine white chef’s coat, top hat, and apron for the first time became a proclamation to genuinely and openly put yourself into the world with confidence. 

This is me. This is the woman that God is making me to be.

And what an exhilarating feeling it was! The 6:30 AM wake up routine during cold winter Saturdays won’t matter. Showing up was more important. Acting on your values with integrity matters. 

Though the next 10 years of waiting for this moment may seem too long, frustrating, and most of all exhaustive, the day will come at the right moment. You will feel with every bone in your body that this moment is the right moment. So simmer down. Take time to discover. Making a master stock requires the right ingredients, time and patience to marry all the flavours together. So do you. 

Always, 

K

P.S. Faith is the salt that will help you heal, bring you hope and determination. Sprinkle it in every aspect of your life, generously. 

To my future husband

I don’t know where you are, when we’ll meet or whether we’ve already met. But I do know that I will always choose to love you and have faith in you when the time comes. Every single day. Until then, this is an open letter I’ll keep close to my heart.

Dear K, 

You will fall deeply and unconditionally in love with a man who cares to understand and accept you. He will show his empathy towards you through his speech and actions. He will love you unconditionally and faithfully, the same way you’ve fallen in love with him. He knows the value of a good woman and will choose you, and only you, especially in moments of fear, anger or disappointment.

When it comes to his time, he will show you that you are a priority. No work could ever be big enough or more important. Nonetheless, you will show him respect as work and his ambitious goals are equally important as yours. He will similarly treat you with respect and admiration. And he will not be ashamed, but proud of you as his partner and best friend. 

Over time you will grow together and align in values. You will have beautiful children and build a home together. This man will not only want you to be a part of his life, he will build and cultivate a Christ-centered life with you. A choice he is not hesitant to make because having a family is something he has truly wanted for himself. He will never leave you or make you feel alone. He will protect you and care for you and your family as a symbol of his appreciation and gratitude for your life together. He will not take you, your commitment and love for granted.

You will grow old and have wonderful squishy little grandchildren running all around the house. Each day may not be perfect but always filled with a grateful heart and a joyous smile. 

Stay hopeful. Have patience. 

Love always,

K

P.S. This letter is to those relentlessly putting their hearts on the line with the hope of a happier ending. Loving someone is the most courageous choice and action any of us can take. It requires trust, hope, friendship, integrity, vulnerability, commitment, and most of all, faith. 

Your day will come, just be ready to receive and accept the love freely given to you.