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The Boulder

Bedroom, July 25, 2017 3:52 a.m.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

—Colossians 3:13 (NIV)


For some time now, I have this image in my head. I seem to be walking on a beautiful country road. To my left is a line of trees lightly swaying in a gentle breeze. To my right is an open field with a carpet of green grass and wildflowers. It reminds of the scene in the first Lord of the Rings movie when Frodo meets Gandalf on the outskirts of Hobbiton.

Up ahead, there is a bend in the road. I know very well that this is a path I’m destined to walk on. But blocking the way is a huge boulder sitting in the middle. I understand somehow that I needed to get past it to move forward. This boulder has a name, it’s called Unforgiveness.

Every day, I pray for God to give me strength to overcome it. Little by little, I chip away at it until it became the size of a wooden crate, small enough for me to jump over. However, I find out quickly that I couldn’t. So I continue with my labor, carving and chiseling away at the rock in front of me. After much work and prayer, it finally shrinks to the size of a soccer ball. Buoyed by my selfish pride and sense of accomplishment, an idea strikes me. I can just roll the rock to the side of the road then I can go on my merry way.

The problem is, it rolls backward, gathering bits of dirt and moss along the way until it grows back into almost the size it was before. Because of all the dirt and slippery moss on it, it’s now harder to break. So not only was my way blocked again, I am now farther away from where I started. Lord, give me strength.


Just before I was going to publish this,  an incident unfolds with the object of my unforgiveness. It looks like this builder is not going away anytime soon. I tried, I really did. But I’m exhausted—physically, mentally, and spiritually, so help me God.




“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Vivian Greene


I made plans ahead, trying to think of the best way to honor your day. Unfortunately, life had other plans. I picked the worst time to get sick. I was stuck in my room, snotty-nosed and hacking all over the place, while rain poured in torrents all weekend long.

“I miss you!” was the last text you sent using someone else’s phone, which my sister glared at me for and demanded to know why a friend of hers (his roommate and neighbor back home) would be texting me like that. It took the better part of an hour for her to calm down as I explained the text actually came from my best friend who was borrowing his neighbor’s cell phone. If I knew back then what fate had in store for you abroad, I would have held on tighter and never let you go as you whisked me away for our last dance together.

Words cannot begin to describe how big a hole you left in our hearts. I miss you, my friend. Until we meet again!



Asthmatique 2.0

“The contraption was necessary because my lungs sucked at being lungs.”

John Green, The Fault in Our Stars


How to lose 3-4 lbs instantly:

1. Get asthma or some other chronic diseases with a sporadic trigger.
2. Eat one of the random triggers, and do not anticipate the consequence.
3. Ignore the chest-tightening and labored breathing. Continue with your day as if you are not fighting for your life with every breath.
4. Cough involuntarily and liberally.
5. Prepare to empty your stomach with multiple fits of projectile vomiting (at least four or more times a day).
6. Do not eat anything at this point, as most of it would eventually be regurgitated on the floor or in the toilet.
7. Get off work early and go home as soon as you can. It’s not like you can function effectively and be productive anyway.
8. Stay in bed for the rest of the day, since lifting even a finger hurts too darn much. Each shallow breath feels like contractions of a woman close to giving birth.
9. If at all possible, get some sleep before the masseuse arrives.
10. During and after the two-hour-long and rather painful massage, which was punctuated by tug-of-wars and acid reflux every five or so minutes, try relax as much as possible.
11. Then take some antinausea, anti-asthma, antihistamine, and decongestants immediately. Throw in an Advil or two for good measure.
12. Try to sleep off the pain. From all the meds you’ve taken, hopefully it won’t be long before you get knocked out.
13. Wake up every two hours from either cough or heartburn.
14. As soon as the fever breaks, get to the weighing scale and prepare to be
15. Finally, after little to no food within the last 12-24 hours, be amazed at seeing a drop of your weight to almost 5 pounds.


I woke up yesterday morning weighing 120.4 lbs, but by the time I went to bed, I only weighed 117.6 lbs. When I woke up this morning, I was lighter at 116.2 lbs. This is not good.

(Disclaimer: Asthma is not contagious, but it helps if you are born with the condition, especially if it was passed down two generations of your family tree.)