Click here to read the background of this series.
Interviewee: Olga Xu
Olga and I have walked through many different seasons together – falling in love, falling out of love, nursing broken hearts and disappointments, searching for purpose in life, searching for more of God… and it seems that God continually brings us through similar seasons at the same time. Right now, we have both found the man that God wants us to be with for the rest of our lives, and we are learning to let go of fears caused by past hurts. This beautiful lady has been a blessing along the journey! There are precious gems in her sharing, and I pray that Holy Spirit would deposit the gems in hearts according to each reader’s need.
1. What are some of your favorite things? (:
Renting a DVD & cuddling on the sofa with my boyfriend with a cup of hot chocolate, reading under the sunshine, playing with my cat’s face, making collages, traveling, music, baking and cooking (if I know how), BIBLE THE TRUTH!!
2. Tell me a little bit about where you are/what you are doing now, and the journey that got you here.
These 2 years, I’ve been serving in a Christian organization called Youth With A Mission (YWAM) – it’s a non-profit missions organization; our aim is to evangelize the lost, train disciples, and send them to the frontiers.
I just finished a 9-month bible school. It’s been the most intense 9 months, but also the most amazing time with God in my life. Now I am just trying to slow down and enjoy my Christmas break, and next yearI will go back to work as an administration assistant in the main office of YWAM.
The journey that got me here? Gosh… it’s a long story, but I’ll try to keep it short..
So 5 years go I had the chance to serve in the UK just as Samantha did. That’s the first time I heard of YWAM. I had no idea what it was, but everyone around me really recommended me to join their Disciple Training School (DTS). At that time, I thought it was impossible because my plan was to finish my 1-year commitment in the UK and then go back to Taiwan and have my “normal life” back – Get a job, stay at the job, make money, and stop dreaming too much.
However I came back to Taiwan but still couldn’t settle down, so I found a couple of part-time jobs and was able to save some money to travel around Asia. It seemed that I was able to pursue what I liked to do, but I still didn’t really know what I wanted for my life. I was still searching for something… until January 2010, when I had the same dream for three consecutive nights. In my dream, I was always about to jump from a really high place. God was trying to reveal to me that I wanted to make a big decision for my life but I didn’t have the courage to do that.
But I wasn’t sure what kind of decision I was facing. All I knew was that I was eager to know God more. I felt the 1 year I spent in the UK was just a beginning of seeing Christianity not as a religion but as a relationship between the most high God and a sinful man. I knew there was definitely more than that, but I didn’t know how to get to know Him more. I didn’t have the courage to let go of the normal life and to pursue God, because I thought only the fool will give up the chance of making money and to pursue a religion.
So I stopped thinking about these 3 dreams until one day in March, I was chatting with Sam (yes, you Samantha) on Facebook (that’s two years after I came back from the UK) and all of the sudden she mentioned, “hey we should go do DTS one day together.” This idea came out of no where, but deep down I knew right away “that’s it!” that’s what I’m going for, and I can’t wait for the day to do it. And without even waiting for Sam, I applied for the March DTS, which is one week before the school started. And it was then that I was accepted; there I began the journey of knowing God.
But it doesn’t end with knowing God, because after knowing God, there comes the most exciting journey, and that is to make God known.
3. Let’s talk a little about fears and insecurities.
When we start to feel insecure, we forget how to appreciate the good things that God has given us. Instead, we start to be jealous of other people’s blessings. However, once I’m able to fix my eyes back on God, I find my identity from God and not from the expectations of others. Then I can focus on being faithful with the small things, and see how many great things that God has put in me.
Instead of stewarding the gifts and talents that God has given to us, we often spend our time looking at the things that others have that we don’t, wishing that we could be like them. We do not cherish that which God has given to us.
Inevitably I find that it leads to me the most basic of sins – Pride. Sin is simply “I” in the center. Pride turns our focus on to ourselves, and makes us think that we deserve more and better. Instead of devoting ourselves to please God, we try so hard to please man. We try to attain to what the world defines as “success”, instead of being the kind of daughter that please God.
When I observe men & women of God that I respect, the confidence that they exude is very different from pride. I have seen that they have such confidence and a sense of security because they know what God wants them to do, where God wants them to be, even how they are to spend their time and money.
When we fear man, we will not fear God, and we will not be able to fulfill the purpose God has called in our lives. The greatest lesson that I’ve learnt from these men & women of God is to be like the prophet Jeremiah – perhaps in the eyes of the world he was an utter failure as he proclaimed the message of repentance for 23 years, yet not a single person would listen. But in the eyes of God, he was a huge success because he had done every single thing that God wanted him to do. He knew that his identity was to be a servant of God, and he knew his task was to proclaim the Word of the Lord.
In all the things I do and in my speech, I must constantly ask myself this question: “Am I doing this to please God or man?”
4. Can you share your personal views on womanhood – our design, destiny, and divine place in the kingdom.
As it is written in Genesis, woman was created to be a Helper. Because it is not good for man to be alone. But I often find that women have a misconception about this and end up feeling like just a tool, just to be an assistant to the man – they feel that they aren’t really significant.
But how about looking at it from another angle: When someone is in need of help, who is the weaker one – the one who needs help, or the helper?
However, I don’t think the main point should be about who is stronger. I believe that when woman is created, she is given an innate quality which man cannot replace. I believe that when God made man and woman, He made them in such a way that in looking at each other they would come to see their own lack, and find completion in the other person. Thus they would become each other’s blessing.
I think nowadays women are very capable and strong enough to handle everything for themselves, so instead of waiting for men to man up, we start to do everything with our own strength. We don’t want to wait for men be the man, and let men be the one who takes responsibility. And we start to rule over men.
The men also start to withdraw, and not use their authority from God to manage things.
So I think it is really important for women to know how to be a helper, knowing how to allow the man to be the leader. For example, often times I see a lot of men start to man up when they fall in love with someone, they start to have this passion to protect the woman and want to take care of a family, so they leave their parents and start to learn to take responsibility. They start to see their ability to lead, and see the opportunity to help women and they are useful.
However if the women don’t give chance for men to do their part, they either get aggressive or withdraw. Personally, I am pretty independent and prefer to handle everything on my own, but because I now have a boyfriend, I am realizing I have a lot to learn about life together. It’s no longer just all about my own decision.
Therefore as a woman I think the most important thing for me to learn everyday is to ask for wisdom from God, knowing when to speak and when to shut up. And after having that wisdom, to ask for humility to actually be able to do it.
6. God has recently brought a godly man into your life (: Could you share a little bit of your journey?
The journey definitely also began with me being very insecure about myself. Because of past experiences, it’s hard for me to trust guys and to have the expectation of having a godly man who would love and cherish me.
So I’ve had to learn to protect my heart very well… actually too well, and not to let a man come into my heart. But last year in December, I had my very first date with Zack. We knew of each other since coming to YWAM in 2010, but we didn’t really know each other or have much of a friendship. However, I can never forget how much we enjoyed our conversation together during our first date at the restaurant – we just enjoyed each other so much that we both forgot to order our food.
So after getting to know each other for about 3 months, we then had a basic friendship and found out we both like adventure. So one night after a dinner with my friend, he asked me if I was tired and if I was up for an adventure. Despite feeling a bit tired, once I heard the word “adventure”, I had my energy back again.
Then he drove his scooter and took me toward the beach… once we arrived, he took out a guitar and a backpack that was hiding behind the bushes, and took out a blanket from the bag and asked me to sit down. He started to play the guitar and sing a song that he wrote for me, and asked me if I was willing to be his girlfriend… so romantic heh!
And after all that, I was too stoked to speak, so I remained silent for a few seconds before I finally answered him “do I need to give you the answer tonight?”
So that night I didn’t become his girlfriend, but we ended up talking about lots of my past experiences, and all my fear… I have to admit that wasn’t me trying to be conservative, but actually more because of my own insecurity. But after praying for 3 days, he asked again and I had the peace to finally say yes. So we started our new relationship on the same day as my bible school. And after 9 months of dating, I knew God had been faithfully guiding us, and teaching me to not try to protect myself. Because I can’t protect myself, but God wants to be the one who protects.
And I have to say that if it’s not because of God, I wouldn’t have joined this adventure of pursuing God, I wouldn’t know this amazing guy, and I wouldn’t be brave enough to let go of the past. And I also wouldn’t be here writing this blog for Sam.
Then I was reminded that it was Sam that got me to begin the journey in the first place. And after pursuing truth in this school, Sam once again showed up with the offer to write this interview, which has helped me to process what is a Godly woman.
As I was writing my answers for this interview, Zack read from Proverbs 31, which describes the kind of woman that he is looking for. And right then, he stood up and pulled out the ring from his pocket and asked, “Will you marry me!” Thank goodness, this time I knew I wouldn’t have to wait for 3 days to answer him.
Because after pursuing God for 9 months, I realize that although I don’t know what the future will look like; instead of being distracted by all the unknowns that the future does hold, just focus on the one thing that I do know, and that is GOD IS WITH ME.