This is the third and final part of a series of stories for the #followthewhisper campaign. These stories may be exceptionally long, so why don’t you get a cup of coffee, relax and read at your own pace.
by Cassandra Chung
In the corner of Queen’s Medical Centre
About two years ago, in May 2015, I had to sit for the most horrendous paper of my undergraduate degree: Land Law. Despite having done all the past year questions and memorising journal articles and my lecture notes front to back, I barely passed that paper. This particularly part of my undergraduate is a part I don’t particularly enjoy recalling. However, if anything good came out of having to drag myself to the Land Law exam, it was what I saw outside the exam hall. At just over one metre tall on the wall of famous alumni, there it was: a portrait of Dato’ Seri Najib Razak. Alumnus of Nottingham, Prime Minister (PM) of Malaysia.
Fast forward to March 2016 and Najib wasn’t just a PM or alumnus. He was now also a recipient of RM2.6 billion into his personal bank account. A political donation he claimed at first before changing his explanation to him being a trustee for his political party’s money. Everybody- me included- suspected it was from the government investment fund, 1MDB. In other words, that money was taxpayers’ money. But nobody would ever really know. After all, he had just fired the Attorney General and basically replaced anybody in his Cabinet who showed even the slightest hint of dissent. As these course of events developed, everybody around me began to feel increasingly helpless: what could we do against a man who was only further cementing his position of power?
It came in a split second.
Wouldn’t it be a great idea to lobby the Nottingham Malaysian Society (NMS) at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to lobby the university to take down the portrait? Collectively, we as Malaysian students needed a way to express our disagreement at the way the PM had suppressed anybody who tried to hold him accountable. Otherwise, how would we ever be able to know the truth about 1MDB? Conveniently, on the Thursday before the petition went public, Justin had just returned from Cambridge having attended a talk by Clare Rewcastle Brown on 1MDB. As the idea had just come to my head, I asked him if he would second my motion as was required by NMS. He happily agreed.
But then there were more issues to think about: surely the Society would shoot down my motion immediately. It was too politically sensitive, too dangerous. I needed a way to pressure them into- at the very least- letting the motion pass through for debate. This was where the petition idea came from. I asked Justin if I could include his name in the body of the petition. Like before, he happily agreed. So at 3pm on 9 March 2016, I typed furiously on my keyboard, a petition asking for support. Support the petition it essentially said. 100 signatures and Justin Ong and I will submit the motion for debate at the AGM. Public pressure after all, is usually quite effective.
I asked one or two friends about what they thought about the petition before officially publicising it.
“haha i support but i think many students will have difficulty to pull out the courage needed to sign the petition”
That particular comment made me a little sceptical of the idea of obtaining even 50 signatures. Despite the support of Justin (who was the main proof-reader for the petition body), my best friends and my then boyfriend, I didn’t think people would bat an eyelid at the petition. Yet at the same time, I was pushing myself to publish it. Maybe I would be wrong I thought. So on 9 March 2016, 10:36pm UK time, in the corner of the Queen’s Medical Centre computer lab, I made the finishing touches to the petition and the Facebook announcement and hit the “POST” button.
The bear with shark arms
I stayed in the computer lab that night initially with the intention of finishing up my tutorial readings. Instead, I ended up personally sharing the petition with my friends on Facebook Messenger. I asked many of them to share it on their Facebook walls so that word would get out. The responses ranged from excited to a simple viewing of my message with no response but the petition would appear on the person’s wall anyway. When I got tired of personally messaging friends, I decided to go on the petition page and continuously refresh (Justin was already doing this from the comfort of his house). I thought I would be out of the computer lab by 12am latest but as I randomly refreshed the petition page, it became clearer and clearer that that was not going to happen.
Within one and a half hours, the petition had broken the mark of 100 signatures. As I watched this happen through the computer screen, my phone began beeping. I opened Whatsapp on the desktop and saw that it was Cia Yee- the then NMS President- who was trying to reach me. As I scanned through the messages, my excitement slowly turned into fear: the Malaysian High Commissioner was looking for my number, presumably to call me to ask/tell/threaten/persuade me to take down the petition.
Before I could properly process his messages, Cia Yee proceeded to type down that he had given my number to the Kelab UMNO Nottingham President (Izat), someone he claimed I could trust. By this time, my boyfriend who was based in Malaysia had woken up and naturally, I told him what happened. Unsurprisingly he began to worry. Trust nobody he said; what did Cia Yee think he was doing? By this time, Cia Yee had also started a group conversation on Facebook (“Surprise birthday party”) to try and arrange a meeting with Justin and I. With the petition gaining so much traction so quickly, it became “obvious” that we needed to discuss some stuff.
I walked home at 12:45am that night with my head spinning. By the time I left the computer lab that night, the petition had broken the mark of 200 signatures. While excited, I could barely stop myself from playing in my head the line the High Commissioner would take when he would finally make that call to me. By the time I arrived home, washed up and lay in bed, it was 2am. I finally fell asleep at 4am after spending two hours trying to calm my thoughts and a phone call from my best friend at 3am telling me the petition had broken the mark of 500 signatures.
I was jolted awake at about 8 or 9am the next day by nothing in particular. Unsurprisingly, I barely felt rested. I didn’t have much time to dwell on my thoughts because almost immediately after getting up, my best friend called me. Excitedly she told me the petition had broken the mark of 900 signatures. By this time, she was constantly refreshing the page on her end and stayed on the phone with me until it broke the mark of 1000 signatures. While her excitement grew, I began feeling increasingly uncertain: I was still processing the events of the previous night. When my best friend finally hung up, I collapsed in bed, overwhelmed with emotion.
When I finally did get up at approximately 12pm, I knew there was no time to waste: Cia Yee had requested a photo of the said portrait. Immediately after my classes and tutorials, I rushed to Kings Meadow Campus to take a picture of the said portrait and in doing so, realised that I had got its dimensions wrong. I barely had enough time to pen the motion and as the deadline was on that day itself, I had asked Justin to take on the job and I would just proof-read it before submission. Cia Yee had also asked Justin and I to meet that night itself to discuss issues. He took the opportunity then to express his annoyance at me for not having approached him before starting this petition, as he felt that I had pushed all the responsibility on NMS. This occasion was one of the many occasions I ended up apologising for.
After submitting the motion some time in the afternoon, I headed to church for Bible study as I had been doing since my second academic year. I should probably add at this point that it was at my church where I first met Justin and where he first told me about his experience listening to Clare Rewcastle Brown. Unsurprisingly, on this particular Thursday, quite a number of Malaysian students at church were asking me about the petition and telling me about the news portals who were reporting the incident. After our Bible study, Justin and I walked to Cia Yee’s place to discuss how to move forward in this very sensitive issue.
Truth be told, I don’t remember much from what took place in Cia Yee’s living room. What I do remember is Cia Yee telling me about the phone calls he had been receiving and that he was going to discuss with the NMS committee whether to let the motion go through. If memory serves me right, Cia Yee did express concern about what this whole situation would mean for government scholars. I also remember leaving Cia Yee’s place that night confident that despite the stress he was under, everything would be alright.
Exhausted, I did not have the energy to update the signatories on the fact that the motion had been submitted. But I knew there was one thing I had to do before heading to bed that night.
My boyfriend had told me that I had to change my Facebook profile picture. People needed to see a the face of the initiator of the petition to be able to take this more seriously. So just before I slept, I switched my bear with shark arms to a photo he had taken of me on Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh. This proved to be a wise decision: whenever journalists covered stories on me, the Arthur’s Seat photo was the photo they used.
Hiding in Hallward
Within 50 hours, the petition had broken the 3000 signatures mark. As it was a Saturday, I finally had more time to be able to update the signatories on the submission of the motion and take a good look at what online media was saying about the petition. I was also expecting a call from Izat that day- a call my boyfriend urged me to record. My boyfriend was a bit hesitant about me opening up to Izat on the premise that he could be pretending to be nice to me so that I would let my guard down and then he would proceed to threaten me. Thankfully, this did not happen. In fact, Izat was very open about the harassment he was facing from his Kelab UMNO Nottingham committee members. I opened up to him about why I decided to take the route I had taken and long story short, Izat agreed that he would do his best to protect my details from being leaked out.
By this time, a friend of mine had used his PhotoShop skills to produce a banner to keep the momentum going.
A significant number of popular news portals had also reported the petition. Among them were Sarawak Report, Malaysian Outsider, Yahoo Singapore, Asian Correspondent and Malaysiakini. I was a bit annoyed that my name was being reported as ‘Cassandra Hooi’ only to realise that this hiccup was a fault on my part: for some odd reason, my last name on Facebook was set as ‘Hooi’ rather than ‘Chung’. At this point, I proceeded to immediately amend my Facebook details.
A journalist from the Malaysian Outsider contacted me on that day asking a few questions about how I was feeling about the whole situation- quite unfortunately, because the Malaysian Outsider had to be shut down, the article is no longer available.
It was at this point I also became aware of an online threat by a person of the Facebook name Ab Jalil Backer. I regret not taking a full screenshot of his Facebook status because as soon as it got media coverage and social media condemnation, he proceeded to take it down and delete his account.
My blood was boiling and my heart beat furiously. He was urging the Deputy Home Minister to take action against me. There were also subtle allegations that the only way my parents could have afforded to send me to the UK to study was because they obtained the funds illegally. I remember thinking How could he say such a thing? My parents worked late nights for many years of my life to be able to give me this education. One of the suspected reasons why I can’t sleep early is because my parents kept me up until midnight for the first few years of my life. They had to; if not, they would have barely been able to spend time with me.
After the anger had died down, I remember feeling terrified. I had absolutely no issues if people came after me over the petition. I would figure something out: church friends had already willingly opened up their homes without initiation on my part. The emotional stress came from having to see people I love suffer greatly from my own actions, actions which I felt were completely justified. This is what a broken world looks like I thought. To see your loved ones take the fall for you doing something right.
I knew at this point that the emotional stress I was experiencing in that moment was only the tip of the iceberg. Despite the racing thoughts, I managed to update the signatories that night on the motion submission. I made it a point to ask everyone to respond to these threats in rationality and compassion. The last thing I wanted were over-zealous supporters, unnecessarily picking fights online. I also pleaded in the update for people to leave my family alone; I did the same in the Malaysian Outsider piece that was published the next day.
By Sunday, media coverage on Ab Jalil’s threats was all over my Facebook wall. Most of the mentions I got were from friends and acquaintances publicly condemning his acts and expressing their support for me. It was during this period that I received many personal messages on Facebook and Whatsapp from friends and acquaintances telling me they were praying for me or commending me for my courage in seeing this whole process through. I was encouraged but given what was happening at home, I let my guilt overwhelm much of the excitement and affirmation I was receiving.
I remember tuning out of Facebook and Whatsapp for a while. Hallward Library, which was initially the place I turned to to focus on my books, became a temporary refuge place for the next few days. I felt at peace sitting among the Law journals and burying myself completely in tutorial readings. I barely turned on my Facebook during that period and only went on Whatsapp to keep my boyfriend updated about how I was doing. When I wasn’t busy thinking through the right words for petition updates, I was in the library.
Unsurprisingly, I ended up not going to church that Sunday. I had too many phone calls to make to Malaysia and these phone calls were often succeeded by me calling up my best friends or boyfriend or church friends in tears. If I wasn’t engaging in any of the above, I was often curled up on the floor of my room, crying out to God as I battled with my conflicting emotions and thoughts.
Despite the stress I was experiencing, I was sober enough to process the news Cia Yee proceeded to convey to me. There would be a members meeting on the evening of Monday 14 March 2017 to discuss this issue more thoroughly.
There was no turning back: the motion had just been approved.
“I cried more in that week than I have in the past one year and as a very introverted person, dealing with media attention was safe to say, a very overwhelming experience after the excitement quickly died down.”
Road to the Annual General Meeting
A few hours before the members meeting, I posted update number #2: that the motion had been approved and there was to be a members meeting that night to discuss the issues more thoroughly. I don’t remember much of that day except that I spent a significant amount of time in Hallward studying and that I made many phone calls to Malaysia and subsequently to church friends, my best friends and my boyfriend. Thankfully, by the time the meeting began, I was calm and composed enough to answer questions and not break down.
This occasion was also the first time I properly met Izat. Prior to the phone call and this meeting, I only knew his face from the picture of him in The Star newspaper, reporting that he had been stabbed nearby the house I was living in the previous year. In that year, I also remember him attending a farewell party at my house and I noted that he was a lot more buff as compared to the scrawny boy I saw on The Star.
Izat and I shook hands, formally introducing ourselves. It was during this meeting that I found out about the harassment on his side. Despite that, he constantly stood his ground in the face of his committee members and outside harassment. He did tell everybody at the meeting that as the Kelab UMNO Nottingham President, he had an official duty to challenge me during the AGM. As I already knew I could trust Izat by this point, I was alright with this. I knew that he wouldn’t challenge me with unreasonable suggestions despite what his committee members were pressuring him to do. I remember leaving the meeting thinking everything will be okay.
If you’re interested in reading what we discussed in that meeting, you can find it in update number #3 of the petition. My main concern when I was presenting my case to the members was that I did not want to come off as someone with little regard for the welfare of others, particularly the scholars of NMS. I don’t know to this day if I achieved that but I certainly hope and pray that I did!
The next few days were a blur because right after the meeting, I knew I had to deal with a lot of the things that were going on in Malaysia. Cia Yee had his fair share of problems by this point: he informed me that the Malaysian High Commissioner was insisting on sitting in during the AGM. I remember panicking when he told me this: nobody would want to vote in favour of the motion with him sitting in, staring at all of us. We would have gone through all this trouble for nothing!
On hindsight, perhaps the panic was a bit unnecessary. I had first met Cia Yee about a year ago when I was invited to share my NGO experience to the Malaysian Society members. He had absolutely no qualms bombarding me with questions and his questions revealed his intelligence and resilience. My opinion of him was further cemented when I invited him to apply for a KPUM internship programme I was helping to run that year: both of us ended up working together in the same office that summer. I should have known he would have figured out a way to wriggle out of the very sticky situation.
He did of course, as you’ve probably read from his account. By the time he had settled this issue, I had also come to a compromise with various affected parties back home.
AGM would go on as we had all planned.
Annual General Meeting
AGM was fairly normal apart from the committee member outside the hall screening through the persons who were entering. We never had that in previous years but given the situation, this was clearly a necessity for the occasion. After the elections and reporting of finances, the time to debate motions came. As anticipated, Justin’s and my motion was scheduled to be the very last one to be debated. Whenever I made comments about the substance of other motions, Cia Yee- who was chairing the meeting- would jokingly comment that I was getting warmed up for the very last motion.
Given all the drama that had happened leading up to the AGM, one would have expected the debate to be fierce one. But it wasn’t. Izat himself was calm and collected in presenting perfectly reasonable alternative suggestions i.e. writing to the High Commissioner to express our disapproval. There certainly weren’t any tears or shouting or any epic background music for that matter. There was also no indication that we were being watched. Like every other motion, we spent 15 minutes at most going through the issues we had already gone through in Monday’s meeting. At the end of it all, I remember Cia Yee saying to everyone there that even if NMS ended up having to push for the portrait to be taken down, they would somehow make it out alive.
Quite unfortunately, the motion was defeated by an overwhelming majority, the main concern being how this may impact the future of government scholars within NMS. I was disappointed but not surprised. After many pats on the back, I returned home and messaged my boyfriend, best friends and family updating them on what happened. Some took to the Internet to rage about the outcome while some echoed similar sentiments as mine.
At about 1am, I began preparing to close the petition. I typed out the final update- update number #4– to let signatories know what had happened in the AGM. Right after I hit the ‘POST’ button, I crashed in bed and stared up the ceiling, processing the events of that week. It was exhilarating to think about what would have happened had the motion been approved. Yet, at the same time, I was relieved that this saga had come to an end- perhaps it was the exhaustion speaking. As I slowly nodded off to sleep that night, I remember whispering my thanks to God. Given how exhausted I was, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was thanking Him for. I just knew I was thankful for this episode that I still continue to look back on to this day.
When I woke up the next day, I realised a small detail I had no time to process the night before: the petition had garnered 5251 signatures just as I had closed it.
When Cia Yee first approached me asking to write this story, I was a little hesitant. I couldn’t pinpoint what was making me feel so but after going through the process of typing and scribbling all this down, I began to understand why. Writing this meant having to re-live the stress of that week and while I do look back at this point in my life as pivotal, nevertheless, it was not an easy stage to go through. I cried more in that week than I have in the past one year and as a very introverted person, dealing with media attention was safe to say, a very overwhelming experience after the excitement quickly died down. There was also the issue of publication to deal with: was it wise to publish this given the reactions the petition had triggered? Would I be unnecessarily putting people at risk again?
However, I pushed on amidst the stress of reliving the experience again because Cia Yee was right: because nobody had recorded this down, what we had gone through was slowly becoming an urban legend. People were getting mixed up as to who started the petition, what the outcome of it was and to Cia Yee’s annoyance, people were also mistaking him as a girl. What we had gone through was simply too important to be reduced to an urban legend. We needed to codify this so that it could be brought up in future United Kingdom and Eire Council for Malaysian Students’ (UKEC) meetings and not be shot down on the premise that these events “never took place” or that “nobody really knows what actually happened”.
As I typed down all of the above, it struck me that Cia Yee, Izat and I are actually more normal than what people may have perceived us to be. Amidst the harassment that took place, we still diligently attended classes, studied in the library and tried to carry on with our normal day-to-day activities.
We were hailed as brave and courageous for not letting intimidation get to us but truth be told, I simply did what I thought was right and from reading their accounts, I think it’s safe to draw the same conclusions about them. I think the lesson to draw out here is that change can be sparked by anyone, anywhere at any time. For me, it was in the comfort of the Queen’s Medical Centre computer lab and for both Izat and Cia Yee, much of what they did was done in the comfort of their bedrooms or our university libraries.
Come March 2018, it would be two years since these events took place. Did anything else happen after the AGM? Of course! Within a few days of the AGM, mine and my family’s personal details were leaked online. Our house address, Identity Card (IC) numbers and other details were there for the world to see. The cybertroopers even went to the extent of listing down the name of the hospital I was born at. I remember thinking that whoever posted this information clearly had access to our records at the National Registration Department/ Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara. After all, our IC numbers are not something we divulge on social media for the world to see. Neither do I go around casually telling people the name of the hospital I was born at because honestly, who talks about that?
My Facebook photos- only accessible to my friends- were there as well. These details and photos were accompanied by allegations that I am a Democratic Action Party (DAP) member and that this whole ploy was a DAP tactic to overthrow the government. These allegations are of course, untrue.
Despite getting my close friends to report the blog(s) for bullying, many of them still remain online. During this period, a close friend of mine also revealed to me that shortly before AGM, she had accidentally wandered into the cybertrooper side of Facebook. There were similar allegations of me being a DAP member there and it was there where I constantly referred to as “sepet sial”. To my non-Malaysian friends reading this, “sepet” is a reference to my Chinese shaped eyes and “sial” is a Malay term used to insult someone. If you’re curious as to its specific meaning, Urban Dictionary provides useful definitions.
Clearly, these cybertroopers were harping on the fact that I am a Chinese. Again, to my non-Malaysian readers, often times in Malaysian media, Malaysian Chinese are painted as immigrants who not only should go back to China, but also as a community who is hell-bent on ensuring we take over Malaysia (politically and economically) and making sure the Malays suffer in the process. In attempting to accomplish these goals, we join the DAP, the majority Chinese opposition political party. This, of course, is also untrue.
As a measure of caution, I deactivated my Facebook for a month or two so that nobody else could access my photos during this period.
But it wasn’t all horrible.
When I graduated from University of Nottingham and moved on to Nottingham Trent University to complete my Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), there was still a great sense of awe in the minds of my new Malaysian classmates. When I went for my first dining session at Middle Temple, some of the new people I met recognised me from the petition saga they were following from their computers. Clearly, while everything had mostly died down, this saga was etched in the memories of many Malaysian students. The Nottingham Post had also approached me for an interview but I had to decline due to personal reasons.
As the year progressed, I was constantly being told stories of individuals within Malaysian Societies who demanded that their Malaysian Society’s speak out against the harassment I was facing. I also found out that apparently, it wasn’t just the tech savvy millennials who were following the whole saga. People from my grandmother’s generation had been discussing it and a significant number of them were expressing support. An old friend of mine wrote an article for Malay Mail discussing the sad state of student activism among Malaysian students.
I like to think that there are many more untold stories out there, stories that would not have happened had the petition not happened. Cia Yee, Izat and I would very much like to hear your stories that started because of this petition so do drop us a message if you’re willing!
Before I end this piece, I must note that I have spent a great deal of time elaborating on what I was personally going through that particular week. At this point, I must highlight that never was I a one woman show but rather, I had an entire support system behind me. If it weren’t for that, I would have dropped the petition within a few hours of launching it. As such, I think it is only right that I end this piece thanking certain parties for helping me get through that week and cope with the residual emotions that followed in the months after the AGM.
To Justin: Thank you for agreeing to second the motion. Looking back, I’m not entirely sure if all of the above would have happened had you said “no”.
To Cia Yee and Izat: Thank you for being brave and mature throughout that week, for never caving under pressure or harassment and for being the student leaders Malaysia needs more of. You guys rose to the challenge despite it taking up so much time off your schedule and I will forever be thankful that you did that. To Izat, thank you for sticking up for my right to voice my opinion even when it meant having to challenge your committee. To Cia Yee, thank you for taking the initiative to gather our stories together.
To my Nottingham church: Thank you for bearing with my tearful phone calls even when I called while some of you were in the middle of driving. Thank you for always checking up on me and praying for me- even though some of you had never met me at this point. Thank you for willingly opening up your houses for me to stay in the event the emotions got too overwhelming or I was put in actual physical danger. Thank you for the countless offers to drive food to my place lest I got to stressed up to cook, for immediately helping me report blogs when my details were first leaked.
Thank you also for proof-reading this piece!
To my best friends: The both of you know who you are. Thank you for sharing my emotions with me, from the excitement to the tears to the stress. Thank you for having your parents on standby for me when the situation at home was becoming increasingly unmanageable. For helping me to see the silver linings in the situation and for going through the last minute out-of-the-blue phone calls when I was breaking down, not knowing how to move forward. For going through the trouble of helping me report blogs and coming up with a list of people I needed to block on Facebook. We’ve been through thick and thin in the past decade and I’m grateful that our friendship saw us through this very difficult part of my life. I always knew I could count on the both of you and I was right.
Thank you also for proof-reading this piece and picking out all my typing errors!
To my ex-boyfriend: We haven’t spoken since we parted ways but you need to know that despite how things ended between us, I am very thankful for your guidance through this period. Thank you for getting your activist and DAP friends to speak out for me, for FaceTiming me almost every day just so I could cry or just so you could help me write the petition updates despite it being late at night in Malaysia. Thank you for following everything that was going on on my side and thoughtfully guiding me as to how was to approach certain situations. Thank you for helping me deal with my friends when I was too overwhelmed with emotion to deal with them myself.
To my close friends and acquaintances: I still keep many of the messages you sent, encouraging me to push forward and praising me for being brave. Some of you offered opened up your houses in London to me without being asked, lest staying in Nottingham became too dangerous. Some of you were asked for my number but you turned these people down. Thank you for praying for me in your cell groups, for checking up on me everyday and never wasting a minute in telling me how proud you were of me in handling the entire situation. Thank you for the numerous phone calls just to check if I was okay and thank you for extending the same kindness to my family members. Thank you for the social media shares; without those, the petition would have never broken the 5251 signatures mark.
Thank you also for proof-reading this and allowing me to use your photos!
To my family: We have had major disagreements in the past but I think it’s fair to say that this petition was the biggest of them all. Despite all that, thank you for trusting me to go all the way, for compromising and for only having my own welfare in mind in spite of all the threats to go after all of you and the allegations that the money you used to finance my studies in the UK was not earned in honesty. As some of you readers have noticed, I did not write specifically on what my family in Malaysia was going through during this period. That was intentional: some matters are not appropriate for publication.
To Christ, my God: Above all, I would not have had this amazing support system without Christ. When I look back on that week, I realise that God was indeed answering my prayers for opportunities to experience Malaysian activism and/or politics in its fullness. As mentioned many times, that week was a very difficult week to live through but through the suffering, I am thankful He provided enough for everyone involved to get through it.
The timing of this whole incident could not have been more ideal: the two best people to be the NMS President and Kelab UMNO Nottingham President were indeed as such. When I look back at the events of that week, I realise that had those two posts been held by anybody else, the motion may have just been swept under the carpet and I probably would have been subject to harassment from the Kelab UMNO Nottingham committee. Despite the online threats, my family was never harmed and to God, I will forever be thankful for that.
I lost track of the number of times I cried out to God throughout the days of that week but I am comforted that He listened to every single cry. I am thankful He challenged me throughout that week, questioning my intentions and drive in doing the things that I do. I am also thankful that He has given me the ability to mature in reflecting on these course of events. I still continue to struggle with whether the decisions I made then honoured/honours Him. I foresee that I will continue to struggle with this for quite some time seeing that having to think about whether to publish this piece induced a significant amount of anxiety. Nevertheless, I am still thankful that in His mercy, He continues to point me to His cross and resurrection and in doing so, I continue to realise everyday that I am no longer a recipient of the wrath the Father poured onto His Son.