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These were the sort of campaign slogans I used to work with every day. My first job was in advertising, and it was important to impress, amaze and capture an audience’s mind.
What would make people go “wow”? What would make me go “wow”? Thoughts like these were constantly on my mind.
FROM PURPOSE TO PANIC
It started out really well.
I graduated from university four years ago, bright-eyed, curious and hungry for opportunities to excel. I took all the right steps, secured the right internships, put in enough hard work and placed sufficient trust in God to lead me into deeper waters.
I was ready.
There was no end to God’s grace in my life and career. In the beginning, there was so much curiosity over a new job and the new experiences that would follow. There was the eagerness to do well, the relentless pursuit for excellence in my work and the confidence of being rewarded eventually.
I started out well — or so I thought.
Months of toiling away went by and people around me — people who loved and knew me — began telling me how unhappy I had become. Overworked, tired and unhappy. But most of all, they told me I looked restless; my attention span for everything non-work related lasted less than a few minutes.
What had gone wrong? Where was the monotony coming from? Why did I feel purposeless? How could I account for the constant ennui?
I worked from morning till midnight every day. Work was on my mind constantly and nothing else mattered. I got immersed in chasing deadlines and ticking off the checkboxes on my to-do-lists.
Things at work got stressful. I experienced panic attacks at random moments in a day and my hands would tremble at my keyboard, refusing to move.
I was lost and confused. Things were not meant to be this way. What had gone wrong? I had given my best in every task and strived for excellence. Where was the monotony coming from? Why did I feel purposeless? How could I account for the constant ennui?
YOU CALL ME OUT
God reached out and got through to me. One day, as I was going about my usual routine at work and listening to songs on Spotify, Hillsong’s Oceans started playing.
One particular line struck me: For I am yours, and you are mine.
I remember tearing up the moment my ears heard the line. I was struck by how far I had turned away from the initial hope and trust I had once placed in God. I had forgotten that I had a wonderful God to call Father in times of need, and that He was there to be called mine all along.
In the drudgery of work, I had misplaced my hope and wonder in the pursuit of personal success, instead of seeking God’s purpose for me in my career.
I had sought awe in material things, distracted by instant gratification.
I had forgotten my source of inspiration and strength.
I wasn’t interested in what God had to say for my life.
By the end of the song, I knew it was time to go back to God.
I have since found my wow in God.
Too often it becomes easy to let dread and restlessness slip into the heart. It takes so much more to retain awe and anticipation for God’s wonder to take place in our lives. Tuning back in to God’s channel and being reminded that He is the only one who can inspire the best in us takes more than just a moment of adjusting our mindsets; it’s a constant choosing to fix our eyes on Christ.
He works in the most marvellous ways to help us go back to Him. God wants us to remember that He has wonderful plans for us, that we were created for bigger things.
It blows my mind to know that such a powerful God would be interested in the tiniest details and concerns of my life — that He would constantly reach out to one such as I.
WOWED OUT OF WEARINESS
“Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.” (Psalms 40:5)
I have since found my wow in God. Being in awe of what God can do in my life gives me purpose. I live my life now knowing that I have His plans and an eternity with Him to look forward to.
If you are someone who finds herself constantly bored, restless and dreary about everything, perhaps it is time to think about why this is so. Is a life of pleasure failing to satisfy? Are the countless overseas eat-pray-love trips not cutting it?
Being listless and unhappy is definitely not the way God intended us to live! He wants us to be victorious and to live life to the fullest for Him, but we cannot do this without first drawing inspiration and direction from God.
This year, my friend roped me in to join the programmes team for a conference for teenage girls, with the theme of “His Glory, Our Wonder”. This conference was born out of a desire to restore the wonder of God’s glory in ordinary girls’ lives.
Since I had realised an awakened wonder for God, I knew that more girls needed to experience it for themselves. I wanted a shot at helping young girls recapture their wonder for God, so that they can live a life knowing that they are fully loved and have something to look forward to in a world that is full of distractions and short-lived solutions for despair.
I recaptured the wonder. I hope they will too.
#KALLOSCONF2017 is a 2-day conference that will help young girls discover their true identity and understand that they were set apart for a God-given destiny. The only nation-wide Christian conference designed specially for teenage girls in Singapore this year, 3 main themes – body image, sexuality, and love for God’s Word – will be explored. Spread the world, bring your cell group or youth group and tell as many girls as you can! Register here.