Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Please don't leave me!"

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To whom it may concern ....

"Please don't leave me!"

Interview with Sharon Mah

By Christine Tan

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1.30pm: I expectantly wait for my interview with Sharon Mah, a full-time vocalist in a band called, Soul2soul. Soon, a confident and nicely dressed Sharon hurried into the room and we comfortably started our conversation. Throughout the one hour, Sharon was open and real to share on her past encounters of love. She would easily break into laughter as well as struggle in tears as she recalled her difficult moments.

CT: Sharon, I heard your band would be playing a few gigs on the campuses. I guess you will be sharing your journey with the audience too. Is there a side of a story you have never shared with them before?

SM: Yes (smiles)...Since my first boyfriend in junior college, I had been jumping from a relationship to another. I've always had a guy in my life since then and felt that I would only be complete with one (laughs). Being in a relationship with a guy gave me security, as this made me feel wanted and loved.

CT: So did your past relationships make you feel loved and satisfied?

SM: Not exactly. There were often arguments and hurts, but I would give in to the guy and sweep everything under the carpet. I felt torn apart every single time this happened as I was pretending that everything was okay, when it wasn't. I would just keep holding on tightly until he called for a break-up, every time.

CT: How did you cope with your break-ups?

SM: After a break-up, I would often panic and even cease to "function." It's strange, because on the outside I tend to come across as independent and strong, but when it comes to love, I am so fearful. Even my friends didn't understand why! (laughs)

CT: Why were you afraid of being single? What did you do to make your relationship work?

SM: I was too afraid to let go because I had fears of being lonely or unwanted. So I tried all means to cling to the guy, even when things were not working out for us. For example, I gave in to physical intimacy, even when I wasn't comfortable with it. It was like my means of controlling the guy and making him stay. Yet, inside I would feel miserable and guilty at the same time.

CT: You must have felt terrible. What was your last relationship like?

SM: With my last boyfriend, we got along pretty well, but after 3 years of dating, marriage became a point of tension. He was unsure of marriage and whether I was the one for him (sighed). Again, my greatest fear surfaced and inside I was crying out, "Please don't leave me!" So, I tried to make the relationship work by clinging to him. But my worst nightmare came true when he initiated the break-up. I was so devastated as I thought he would be "the One" for me.

CT: How did you survive the break-up?

SM: At this time, I reached the breaking point of my life...I could only turn to God. You see, I'd been a Christian all my life, but I had never trusted this area of my life to God. I clung to my fear of abandonment despite knowing that God's always there for me (her eyes begin to swell with tears). But this time, I finally realized I couldn't go on like this anymore. I told God that I was not going to play games with Him again...I was tired of messing around and tired of breaking-up. I was tired of feeling insecure and lonely, and trying to fill that gap by having a guy in my life. I surrendered my fears to God and remembered telling God, "I just want what You want for me."

CT: What happened after you entrusted your fears to God?

SM: Amazingly for the very first time in my life, after I decided to trust God to clean up my life, I was at peace. It's not that the pain and fears disappeared overnight. I still hurt tremendously. But it didn't consume me as much as it did before. And where I had expected to feel despair, God gradually filled me with quiet hope. I slowly realized that God loves me just the way I wanted to be loved, in a deeply complete way. To expect that quality of love from someone else is not realistic at all. God delights in me as His child, and His love does not change.

CT: How did everything turn out for you in the end?

SM: Months later, my (last) ex-boyfriend and I met up again and I told him with a genuine smile, "Breaking up with you is the best thing that ever happened to me!" I knew I was a changed person then.

CT: Wow! That's amazing. What was your ex-boyfriend's response?

SM: To my great amazement, my ex-boyfriend told me God was also teaching him things in his life, that he needed to love me the right way.

It was at this point that he asked for us to get back together again. This time round, I surprised myself by telling him that I'd pray and think about it (I think he was surprised as well!). You see, my old self would have jumped right back into the relationship, but this time, I was at peace with not being in one. After a week, I eventually agreed. I think that must have been the longest week of his life!

Two months after we got back together, he proposed and we've been happily married for three and a half years now! God knew I needed to be changed before I commit myself into marriage.

CT: Indeed, break-ups, feelings of loneliness and abandonment are common heartbreakers in our lives. Some leave a deep scar behind while some leave us screaming in pain. But I guess the irony is that in spite of knowing the danger, we still willing get ourselves entangle in relationships or go in a wild search of the perfect lover. Something I learned from Sharon's story is that Sharon finally got her happily-ever-after, not because she found her Prince Charming, but because she has found security and love in God. God has taken away her fears of abandonment and replaced it with an assurance of His perfect love for her.

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