Dec 2 2013
Hey, how are things in Penang?
The start of a beautiful and meaningful correspondence ensues after this message on Facebook. 🙂
Jan 23 2014
We will find each other, I hope.
Finally, we are in the same time zone!
Jan 24 2014
Our first date at Mizi Bistro before our respective CGs that night. 🙂
He made it very special for me that night. In our whatsapp conversations, we each had our respective nicknames. He was the “boar” or “hairy monster”, and I, the piggy. He spent that afternoon printing the emoticons and turning them into stickers to stick them on his T-shirt, and made two hand signs for us too. Prior to our meeting, I had jokingly told him that we should hide behind printed emoticon signs should bashfulness overcome us at our first meeting proper. (We knew each other from our parents’ CG but had never talked to each other personally before that, not even a “hi!”!!)
He handed the two signs to me with a big smile, as well as a beautiful piece of batik fabric from Indonesia. I handed him a package of goodies from my recent trip to NZ.
I didn’t notice the stickers on his T-shirt, till much later on. Nick kept getting up to replenish his ice-cream in hopes that I would notice the stickers. When I finally did notice it, I burst out into giggles, tickled pink by such a funny gesture.
It was a rather quick dinner as I had to rush off for my Young Adults CG meeting while Nick joined his parents for their CG meeting.
Though it was a long and tiring day, I remember smiling a lot that evening when I thought of Nick’s gestures. Instead of lavish and extravagant gifts, Nick had blessed me with more. His sincerity, thoughtfulness and attention to details.
Jan 27 2014
Nick’s first meal in my home.
I made him prawn fritters in a salted egg sauce, corn and carrot soup, taw yew bak and sambal petai.
I love the way he engaged with my family in conversation, especially the passion he exudes when he talks about the gospel and missions.
My journal entry that night – Lord, help me love him less? 😥 (haha)
Jan 30 2014
Nick brought me out for a walk around the neighbourhood in the morning.
To this day, something I really appreciate about “us” is the strong foundation on which our friendship is based upon – Christ Jesus as the centre and rock, of without which, we would never be where we are without His grace and divine hand.
I felt a strong sense of comradeship with him. We could speak our minds freely with one another, talking about deep issues as well as laughing and chatting over the mundane, silly or hilarious. Nick was someone in whom I found true companionship. We share the same values and beliefs, as well as the same brand of jokes and humour.
Feb 2 2014
Nick & I spent some time together at the dam, walking for quite a bit, and then sitting. Mostly in silence, contemplating on our soon to be separation. We knew that we would not meet again until Reuben and Mei Kuan’s wedding in December. Not having the freedom to share about what was truly pressing in both of our hearts, we could only share that quiet moment together in quiet reflection with heavy hearts.
Feb 3 2014
Nick came over for one final dinner.
I made him fried wantons, spinach with salted and century eggs, preserved vegetable soup and tomato chicken. Nick, my brothers and I were all hanging around the fish pond when Chris, my older brother, signalled to my two younger brothers to leave. He had sensitively guessed that Nick & I would appreciate some alone time together. We sat by the pond, this time with deep sadness in our hearts. We could not bear to look at each other.
After a long interval of silence, Nick asked me to play something on the piano. I didn’t know what to play! I asked him to pick out four random notes on the piano, and then I slowly began to form a melody based on that four-note motif. I was aghast to realise that this guy was recording my playing on his phone!
Nick called later that evening, and we had our first phone conversation.
Feb 4 2014
Nick leaves Penang for KL, where he will spend a few days there with his family and mentors before heading back to Indonesia, en route Kuching.
This was the day he expressed his interest slightly, when he sent a text “Miss hanging out”. Hehe.
We continued with that “call thing” later that evening.
Feb 13 2014
I come home from work one evening to find someone sitting in the kitchen with his back faced towards me.
He flew all the way back from Kuching to meet up with his dad to talk about the possibility of us. Us.
And daddy said yes!!!! Oh the timing and providence of God!
And this, is how Nick & Rachel began.
There is so much more to write about, but I’ll need to save it for another occasion.
The months ensuing February included starting a relationship long distance, Nick’s parents and I visiting Nick in Indonesia in June, many happy moments shared together, but also times when perseverance and faith was needed when we had no tangible assurance of our future. Those challenges served us well as opportunities to look to God and trust in Him. God has been faithful all the way. He provides for us in such impeccable timing and in ways we could never imagine.
There were times when Nick & I were grappling with issues and could not find an answer, lo and behold, an article dealing exactly with our issues would appear on Facebook/Christian websites the next day.
This is not just it. We have seen His hand upon us, time and time again throughout this past year.
Nick and I, would never have met, apart from His grace.
And I believe it will be by His grace, that I will walk down the aisle to Nick on February the 7th next year to be his wife, as we join our lives to His service on the fields.
We can only look back at all these blessings with deep gratitude and thankfulness to God for all He has given us.