Loved by God, Freed in Service

By Hannah Yeo, NUS

Illustration by Vanessa Setiawan

Before stepping up to serve as coordinator, I was excited but also nervous at what this role of service entailed. The excitement to dream for the Arts community and the opportunity to journey closer with CGLs was what drove me to say this “yes” to Jesus. Yet, with this excitement came along many unrealistic expectations I had of myself. Swimming in my mind were scripts like “I cannot afford to make mistakes”, “I am too broken to love others”, “I better have my life in order”. I was living life fuelled by my fear of not being loved for who I was and my fear of not loving others “well enough”. As I served I realised my woundedness and brokenness. I felt consumed by the discouragement when I recognised how imperfect my love was. This discouragement created a sense of loneliness and inadequacy in this leadership journey. 

Bringing these thoughts to light in the safe space of community, I was reminded that Jesus often drew to lonely places to pray to God. The Lord desired to meet me in this lonely place and make it into a sacred place by speaking Love to this littleness I felt. Instead of trying to find comfort in friends which I would usually do, the Lord invited me to be consoled by Him and Him alone. He gave me the opportunity to rely on Him, to offer all I have to him. 

One night in prayer, I poured out my heart to Jesus. The sense of inadequacy was overwhelming and I just sat honestly with the Lord saying “Jesus, I really don’t think that I can be in this role to carry out your will anymore. I don’t know why I keep struggling with these feelings of inadequacy, I don’t know what to do”. There was this frustration in my heart knowing that I desired to be on mission for Him yet, I felt so timid to carry it out. As I sat with this more through prayer and brought these thoughts to the light in the safe space of community, the Lord gave me lenses to see that though I may be little,I am not lousy. He reminded me that it was Him who loved and chose me first before I responded. This littleness was an essential part to His plan of restoration for me. This was how God’s tender mercy broke through my pride and feelings of inadequacy and I began to claim the truth of being a beloved daughter of God. 

The Father’s love set me free from the expectations and fears I had carried and invited me to simply dwell in the heart of the Father.  It was when I offered my brokenness in Hope instead of resignation that the rebuilding began. He brought healing to the flawed perceptions I had of myself and leadership and restored it to communion with Him. In reclaiming my identity as his beloved, the Lord invited me to share with others their belovedness as well. 

Through this year of pastoring brothers and sisters, Jesus has stretched my heart to Love and to be generous. I remembered that one line in the litany of Trust that struck me in that season: “From the fear of what Love demands. Deliver me, Jesus”. Planning faculty events, meeting and accompanying God’s people in this journey has revealed the beauty of how Love can move. Hopping on a zoom call with fellow faculty members to plan for Arts Game night or Christmas Social, sharing meals, going on walks with people have been opportunities for me to witness God’s Love moving in and through their life, overflowing to other people! 

He multiplies the love I have for others and grows the generosity to care for his flock. I can claim today that there is so much freedom in living for something more than myself!!

The Lord is the vine and I am his branch. As I abide in Him, He will continue to provide me with the Joy in labouring. There was always so much joy after a check-in with a brother or sister, witnessing how the Lord was moving in their life or how the Lord relentlessly pursues them even in the desert. Sharing life with one another has given me lenses to see the greater glory of God. The freedom to be in awe and never lose my wonder in who God is! I praise the Lord for drawing into my lonely place and making it a space of encounter with His mercy and Love. I praise Him for the gift of mission, for this love that has been freely given to all.  Experiencing this restoration has changed my disposition to serving, being assured that God gives me much more than He asks of me.

Dear brothers and sisters, our Lord’s love can restore and rebuild us and this invitation to freedom for you begins today. If there is a desire in your heart to serve the Lord, I pray that you may be courageous in your response to God’s invitation because our Lord gives us much more than He asks of us!