“And it will all be wasted.”
Seven years ago on this day, those words hurt like pelting hail.
As the news reporter threatened to ditch the interview story unless I provided her with more sensational details, I stood my ground on truth.
But after having published Rainbow, a book which was meant to raise awareness of eating disorders and depression among youth, after my own recovery from depression and anorexia, it felt like it had all gone wrong.
The calls persisted till midnight.
“If you don’t tell me more, our paper won’t run your story. Your book will be a waste.”
At the age of 24, it was then I experienced one of life’s deepest, most existential fears- to even think, that the pain and struggles we experience, have all been for nothing.
Back then, with hands holding a tear-stained face, I remember wondering what a way it was to turn a year older, with the weight of failure and hopelessness upon me.
In the following years, Rainbow was shared with patients in a few clinics, occasionally at schools, but nothing more. Because of its limited reach in Singapore, its impact hardly grew.
As I received the occasional email from a parent struggling with a daughter with an eating disorder that was killing her slowly, I would hope it could bring them some encouragement.
But a big part of me ached to do more.
One crazy day, I dreamed of speaking in the States, for Rainbow to make a deeper impact among women struggling, on a larger, global scale.
Call it stupid. It was.
Fast forward seven years later, here in USA, God rekindled the dream for Rainbow to be used to bring hope to those struggling with depression and issues with weight, self esteem and identity. But as I knocked on several doors for partnership opportunities, none opened.
I remember sitting in front of a well-known specialist at her office, praying nervously that after having knocked on so many doors, that perhaps she would consider using Rainbow for therapeutic programs for her patients.
“Your book is very nice,” she said. “But I have no use for it. Look at all these books people give me for my patients. Yours is not special.”
I walked out of that office in that famous hospital that day, wondering if it had all been a mistake.
Rainbow was useless. What a stupid dream.
Who here would listen to me speak anyway, with my localized Singaporean accent. I’ll never be a good speaker, at least never for an American audience.
I grappled with God sending me to the States. Really? Did You really spend more than $100’000, orchestrate three impossible scholarships and create this inexplicable block of time for us to come all the way to the States… just to start Kitesong Global? Seriously? And I can’t even seem to find open doors for the books. Is it not a waste, God?
At times, that’s all our struggles seem to be- expensive, exhausting, and altogether meaningless.
Yet, perhaps we often forget, that only the passage of time and the trust of hope allows the dusk to melt into dawn, and for treasures gleaned in the darkness to be shared in the light.
A week before the launch of Kitesong Global on Sarah-Faith’s birthday, just as I was preparing my talk called “A Chance to Dream,” I received a phonecall from a woman, a conference organizer from Tennessee, who was the ex-marketing director of renowned Christian bands like Delirious.
It was an abrupt phonecall, connected by a friend of a faculty member, who had chanced upon Rainbow when she picked it up in my professor’s office.
” I want you to come and speak at my conference this June. Come to Nashville. Talk about Dreams. Talk about Kitesong. Talk about Rainbow and how God healed you to do what you’re doing today. Will you be my keynote speaker? Will you come?”
As I stood speechless, it suddenly dawned upon me, that just when we think that our pain has all been for naught, God has His timing. And His timing is perfect.
The truth is, we all have been created and called to a purpose far greater than we know. Yet, for most of our lives, until we arrive at the crossing of preparation and opportunity, our lives will seem fragmented, lost, and at best, meaningless.
Yet, God never forgets our dreams. He never does because before the passage of time, He created them, us; He had called us each by name, and put those dreams in our hearts before time began, pulsing and burning with a longing for eternity.
A few days after that phonecall, as Cliff drove us through the most beautiful sunset, I started to ask God what my life was meant for. That if I were a candle, what would the flame my life was laid down for be used to bring light to?
And right there in the sunset melting into a million hues, He reminded me of the meaning of my name: 蔚 (Wei/Wai) which describes the splendor and glory of the skies, and 佳 (Jia), goodness and excellence.
And as I watched the sky melt into the glimmery twilight, I started to tear as the full meaning of my name came to me- the display of God’s goodness in the sky.
That was what Kitesong stood for, what its purpose is, and what my name means.
He had written it before time began, before my birth 31 years ago before this day.
So often, we think our pain has been for naught, a thought that exemplifies our pain further.
Yet, do we not realize that very often, before arriving at a sense of destiny, that perhaps, our entire lives are a series of preparatory steps, a probationary rehearsal waiting and anticipating for something greater?
People often look at the awards and accolades of others and think, “Oh wow, what a success.”
But the preceding years, decades even, before that point of convergence, where the nexus of passion and purpose meet, is a painfully mundane and seemingly purposeless course called preparation, waiting patiently in trusting hope for a spark called opportunity, to catalyze it into God-ordained Purpose.
At the Kitesong launch, I was surprised to see eyes filled with tears as I shared my talk- as people related to the stories of this universal, unexplainable thing called pain, so inextricably tied to our purpose. And just yesterday, as a I led a young woman who had come for the Kitesong launch to Christ, she shared with me the bizarreness of her pain. It was a pain I could relate to, without which I would never have heard her heart.
I am learning- that what the enemy tries to rob from us, is often the very thing God has planned for us to triumph over, to bring victory into the lives of others.
As I turn 31, I thank God for the seemingly senseless pain in our lives, that finds its purpose in His hope. I thank God for you for journeying with us through those moments, and for exulting in the joy He gives us when our pain turns to purpose.
Because that is only pain worth living for, the kind that never goes to waste.
Here’s sharing the video-recording of the message at Sarah-Faith’s birthday and the Kitesong launch:
Thank you once again for journeying with us.
We are always looking for people whose hearts are longing to make a difference.
If you have a gift, however small-
writing, photography, videography, reaching out through social media, teaching etc,
and you would like to
take a risk to be a blessing through Kitesong Global,
please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.