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Catharsis (Part 1)

(February 6, 2013)

I've been praying daily to find my spiritual gift. Because everyone has one.

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8, ESV)

Actually, let me take that back. I think I have always known that my gift is my ability to convey thought and emotion through writing. What I have been praying for is the way to apply my gift into a sustainable mission. That's how this website came to be destroyed and rebuilt. But, as those who have been around for awhile know, this site has been destroyed and rebuilt quite a few times in several different incarnations.

Today, I think God has shown me the way. Well, it's actually a series of events that has taken place but ultimately, I ended up at Jenni Clayville's blog reading her story. And that's where clarity came: I should start at the beginning ...

I wasn't raised a Christian. My parents are political refuges from Cambodia. Like most other Cambodians, they're Buddhists. I grew up attending a Buddhist temple which was like being sent into a culture shock every weekend.

It was as if I lived in two worlds. In retrospect, I did. I lived in an Americanized world during the week that expected nothing of me but to try my best. On the weekends, I went to a world where the language of the prayers and chants was foreign and I was objectified by a culture that not only expected but exacted perfection.

It was the same way between home and school. At school, I was a standout. I excelled at everything. I made straight-A's, I played sports, I had friends -- though none that close. At home, well ... at home I was never good enough. A's weren't acceptable if they weren't 100-percent. Being a good athlete wasn't enough, I was "no good" if I wasn't first string and start the games.

It was difficult. No one understood. The people at school couldn't figure out why I wasn't satisfied with my perfect grades and my many scholastic and athletic accolades. My parents at home didn't understand that I just wanted to be like everyone else. Then, on the weekends I went to a place where the "elders" only spoke of how great a child I was and how perfect my life was.

There was no where to turn. I didn't have a spiritual base. There was no higher power. No one told me about God. Or Jesus. Or salvation. I only learned about living in moderation. And trying to achieve Nirvana.

Now, I am in no way, at all, attacking Buddhism or Buddhists or their beliefs; it just didn't offer me what I needed. I was a lost child, stuck between two worlds, searching for understanding without any guidance.

Then, one day, someone invited me to church ...

to be continued ...

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