I was at a worship conference in 2017, and I remember feeling very frustrated in my own effort to hear from Him. 

More than 200 people had gathered to worship and seek the Lord, and the music and voices of different ones singing or crying out to God overwhelmed me.

Instead of having a conversation with God, I started wrestling with this question: “God, how could you possibly hear or recognise my voice in the midst of all this?”

Suddenly, I felt God gently speak these words to me: “呼唤后的相遇”, which meant when we call out to each other, there will be an encounter.

It was a simple promise that He does hear, and He does answer just like He promised in Jeremiah 33:3.

祢的荣面 清晰可见
Standing in an endless sea of people
Surrounded by a blur of movement
Yet I see Your face clearly
I just see You

As a mum, I instinctively understood what He was saying to me. Even in the middle of a huge crowd of kids, I’d always be able to recognise the unique “Mama!” of my children’s voices.

In that moment, I was deeply comforted to know that my Father in heaven was able to do the same for me. My relationship with Him is unique, and He hears me each time I call.

Out of that experience,《呼唤后的相遇》was birthed as the first song I have ever written. It speaks about the encounter every one of us can have with God, as long as we call out to Him with a sincere heart.

I started writing more songs after that, but I secretly felt that《呼唤后的相遇》was not as good as the other songs that I subsequently wrote, so I never really shared it with anyone. I saw it as raw and unpolished – the work of an amateur.

In 2018, I was attending a one-year songwriting course with Awaken Generation, and I submitted《呼唤后的相遇》as an assignment, hoping that my mentors could help to “make it sound more professional”. Incredibly enough, they selected it to be one of the songs to be presented at the annual mid-year showcase!

I struggled with this decision. There were so many other better songwriters in my class and so many better songs. Why choose mine? Could it just be because this was the only song written in Mandarin? I grappled with self-doubt for weeks. All that changed on the day of the song presentation. 

The day of the showcase was also my last day of employment at my former workplace. I had gone back to pack my things and clear my desk. However, for reasons that are unclear to me, I ended up being barred from entering my office.

Instead, a service officer went through all of my belongings before bringing them out to me at the administration area, and I was asked to pack my things in full view of everyone. Throughout this entire episode, I had my son with me. I was humiliated beyond belief.

祢的同在 让我依赖
Every time the darkness descends
And I feel alone and lost
I feel Your presence with me
I just rely on You

The moment I returned to my car, I started weeping. I felt alone, helpless and violated. But in that moment, suddenly I heard《呼唤后的相遇》being sung over me. Every word described the situation I was in and the emotions that overwhelmed me, but the song also assured me so firmly that God was with me.

I could cry out to Him because He was there to comfort me with the warmth of His embrace. And as long as I remembered to set my gaze on Him, there was no need for fear and anxiety.

Time and again
As long as I call out to You
You are sure to answer
You comfort me with the warmth of Your embrace

There’s no need for fear and anxiety
As long as I remember to set my gaze on You
This special, ours-only encounter
Each time I call out to You

It was a very amazing encounter right there in the car, where I felt the tangible presence of the Lord enveloping me and comforting me in a way that no one else could. In that moment, I also realised that God had taken the very song that I had despised to bring restoration to my soul.

I started to learn what it meant in the Bible where it says that God takes the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27).

God is the One who determines the value of the offering that we bring (Luke 21:1-4). It might look like two mites to us, but to Him, it’s a huge deal. When we choose to give what we have – as little or as broken or as unpolished as it is – God imparts divine, eternal value to it and uses it to accomplish His purposes.

It has been a year since that fateful day. During this time, I’ve received many, many testimonies from different people about how this same song spoke to them in their time of need.

Young adults who were fatherless and felt the embrace of our heavenly Father, the lady who broke up with her boyfriend of many years, the teacher who desired to know who God is after hearing it during chapel, the printer in China who was tired from tending to his sick mother and had never heard a Christian song in his life… they all found value in the song, in the moment when God knew they needed it most.

天父的爱 无可取代
忧虑惧怕 完全卸下
The Father’s love is irreplaceable
It’s always there with me
Every worry and fear stripped away
I just lean in to Him with all I am

My prayer is that this song, besides speaking into your life and situation, would remind you of a simple but powerful truth that God doesn’t despise the day of small beginnings.

And neither should we.

呼唤后的相遇 (The Encounter) is one of the songs featured on Esther and Elvin Foong’s debut album, Songs For A Season. Songs For A Season is available on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify.