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  • Writer's pictureJenni Lien

Hong Kong to Canada... Why?

Jenni Lien at the Ozone Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
From my food writer days in Hong Kong :) thank you, God for the adventures

This morning, I felt God nudge me with a “Write about what you’re going through.” To which I responded, “Lord, give me the words. I don’t even know where to start.” At the moment, I’m typing this from my new home office space which was formerly my brother’s and before that mine back in high school. It might sound like a weird thing, giving up an independent expat city life to move home, but for half a year I couldn’t *wait* to get here. Six months ago, I was on the phone to my mom crying about how difficult things were and how I wanted a break, a change, time with my family. But back then, I’m not sure I had the courage to make such a big change. (Also I was half way through my lease, felt it wasn’t quite time to leave my job, we were just getting into the fifth wave in Hong Kong — the timing wasn’t right.) I didn’t want to feel like I failed. For as much as I want to do whatever God says whenever God says (honestly, there is nothing better, amen?), sometimes it takes some time for me to get there. Praise God for his goodness and patience.

If I’m super honest, for a long time I didn’t want to leave Hong Kong without being married and maybe with kids. It just felt like something I wanted before I moved again. There’s so much in this, it might be a useful podcast episode one day (lots and lots and lots of prayer on this throughout the years haha), but long story short I went through a dating experience a few months ago (a glimpse of this on the You Are You podcast episode “So Dating”), and it was such a learning experience for us both, I think/hope. Just speaking from my point of view, on “paper” it was so many of the things I wanted — he said he was sure of me, had heard from God, happy to be the provider so I could do ministry full time (same situation as his parents), started asking me about kids and rings… and for various reason I just didn’t think it was right.

home office space
My new desk :) Excited for what's to come

I hope situations like this encourage us to seek God more rather than less. It’s hard with free will and thinking we’ve heard from God and having the other person think differently (I’ve been in the reverse situation too). But while we may be confused sometimes, God never is. While the situation wasn’t easy, I think one blessing is that it removed the final specs of marriage as an idol from my heart. Even when a Christian guy wants to get married and have kids in the timing I thought I wanted, if it’s not right there’s no way I’ll do it. I hope that doesn’t sound super self-righteous. Perhaps it’s more stubbornness (conviction?) — but what I want is peace and joy before the Lord. And if those things aren’t there, may we move on and seek God and move as we believe he is leading. Lol when I started typing this, I had in mind something to do with how I’m sitting in my brother’s black gaming chair which is not at all my aesthetic but it is *so* comfortable, and how in this season of my life I want to relax more. Enjoy the blessings that God is/has provided without picking at how it’s not *exactly* my taste. Then all these thoughts about the heart came tumbling out. Which perhaps was the point of this post after all — was it, God? That so many times in life, our thoughts/days aren’t wrapped up with a neat conclusion. He’s revealing and we’re learning. In the process, we seek him even when we don’t understand because we know he reigns over all (so so mighty!!) and is pure love.

The Yay Project by Jenni Lien

In sum (for today at least, I hope it’s helpful for someone), I believe I’m where I’m supposed to be this season. So many little details have been confirmed. Finally I’m where I’ve wanted to be for so long… A few months ago, I felt God gave me a vision. I was in a cave, and could see a new season right outside. Jesus was right outside the cave looking at me… but I hadn’t yet stepped over. I think I’m over now but… Lord, lead my steps. There are still soooo many things I don’t know. Take my hand every step of the way. Mold me, shape me, use me, lead me into your paths. May I/anyone who reads this shake off any shackles of man’s expectations (ourselves or others!) and learn to seek you first and foremost. There’s nothing better than a life lived for and with you. Thank you for being our shepherd. Lead us Lord, I pray. Amen.


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