No Say

When I was born, my parents sought the help of a Chinese naming expert to give me an appropriate Chinese name. Neither of them spoke mandarin particularly well – a legacy of their unique family histories .

Even through my Father came from a Chinese speaking family, his father decided not to “put all the eggs in one basket” and while his 5 siblings went to Mandarin speaking schools back in the 1930s and 40s, my father was the only one that got sent to an English speaking school – Gan Eng Seng.

My mother grew up in an English speaking family with Anglo-Saxon and British Christian missionary influence. She ended up studying in Christian Schools: St Margaret’s and Methodist Girls’ School.

The Chinese name expert gave me the name 李友荣 with one caveat: he said to my mother, “make sure she writes her name the traditional way: 李友榮.”

There’s a minute difference between the two, so in the traditional Chinese format the last character has “fire” in it while in the simplified format it has “grass” instead. The old man said to my mom, “The fire represents the fire of The Holy Spirit which burns in her”

My mom shared this legacy with me when I was in my twenties and I always thought it was cool.

I wanted to embrace the fire in me, but found myself feeling sheepish about it especially in Singaporean society which puts enormous pressure on individuals to conform. I often got flack for speaking up or just being myself.

After emerging from an abusive marriage of 9 years where my self-esteem was completely butchered, I was able to reclaim my self esteem, rebuild a whole identity and find healing with the divine help of The Holy Spirit.

Many of the healing processes and insights I went through as I processed the trauma from multiple assaults and persistent emotional abuse over the years were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

One day I decided to write a poem to pay tribute to The Holy Spirit, it is title is “No Say” Hope you enjoy it!

Hit me up if you would like to talk more about the Holy Spirit and how to know Him.

No Say

You have no say over
My spirit and my soul
My rhythm and my flow

But the words you used
Always unmade me
And I was a shipwreck
On a glacier

But the Captain saw
The wreckage you created
And he sat with me
And cried

He didn’t treat me
As a problem to fix
But as one to love
And cherish

Patiently He waited
Till I became unmoored
And lovingly pieced me together

The ice melted
The oceans parted
And soon I was able to
Move again

The sapphire sky spread out
Against the deep blue sea
Beckoning me on
Into time

Goodbye old flame
For all your worth
You couldn’t extinguish
The fire in my name


As if life wasn’t hard enough
You and I danced a beautiful
Dance of dysfunction

As I look back
There were all these signs
But why did I ignore them?

Was it because I was
Drawn to the fire
As a moth is drawn to
The flame?

You told me life was precious
But you didn’t know
Just how precious it was
Until you walked out on me

You sang a song of freedom
But there is no
Freedom without surrender

I’m tired of running from the pain
My love
So I’m letting you go

The story you wanted to
Write of a nuclear family
Tight and close knit
Constricts my soul,
Like a vice around my neck

Because that’s not what I was designed
I fought so hard for us
But now it’s ashes in the dust

Hot coals in the fire
The forgers fire
Is calling out to me

I must surrender to His call
And you must reckon with
Your creator

Broken eyes
Broken heart
Broken soul

I’ll see you again on the
Other side

16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith
    who fans the coals into flame
    and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17     no weapon forged against you will prevail,
    and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
    and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.

Isaiah 54: 16-17

How Do I Let Go?

How do I let go
Of someone that was never there
A person that was not real
A concept
I fell in love with

And did 10 years
Of my life with?

Flesh and blood
Dust specks all around
He sat in front
Of the computer screen

He was mine
Mine to hold
Mine to love
Mine to touch

I was his
His to use
His to plunder
His to control

I learned from him
And grew stronger

I broke free
One day,

When he broke me

But letting go …

How do you
Let go