I am an Asian Australian writer, committed to sharing honest words from a hope-filled heart. I love a strong coffee, getting lost in the Marvel universe and pumping 90’s R’n’B and Hip Hop beats.
We are also proud parents to Talitha Rose and Simba (the cutest dog in the world). I write about life, faith and culture at: www.heiditai.com.
Do you seek to have a daily 'quiet time'? If so, what does this time look like?
I like to carve out time in the early morning – preferably before anyone else is awake – to spend time with God and his word.
I read a section of Scripture and journal my reflections, reasons for gratitude and prayers of response. This task is supplemented with a strong coffee in hand, hymns playing in my ears, and my mobile phone far, far away.
How do you read the Bible?
I am awful at following guides and reading big chunks of text so I tend to choose a book of the Bible and digest the verses in bite-sized pieces.
I have found devotionals by trusted authors very helpful for learning new theology and for accessing parts of the Bible that I wouldn't normally turn to. I recommend New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp and None Like Him by Jen Wilkin.
What practices have you found helpful for engaging with the Bible?
Studying a one year degree at Sydney Missionary & Bible College really helped me to engage with the Bible and to think theologically. It wasn't an easy degree (I hate reading and exams!) but it was definitely a worthy investment of time and brain juice.
What does your prayer life look like?
I find that my mind wanders easily during prayer and what helps me to focus is to write down my prayers in a journal. Writing helps me to stay engaged and focused, and it helps me to see God's work in my life over time.
It can be very easy to forget the prayers you have prayed for yourself and others, but rereading old journals helps me to see the ways that God has chosen to answer my prayers in the timing that He believes is best for me.
Who has been an example to you?
In 2014, I started a new job at Katoomba Christian Convention. Being the youngest employee, I suddenly found myself surrounded by a wealth of godly wisdom that I never had before. Through everyday interactions and conversations in the office, I began observing and learning from my colleagues. Very quickly, they became influencers in my Christian walk and began to shape the way I saw my work, money, family, marriage, singleness, hospitality, friendship and perseverance – all in light of eternity.
Although I have moved interstate and many of my original colleagues have moved on, we have continued to keep in touch via WhatsApp and to share our lives and prayer points with one another. We give each other permission to speak honestly into one another's lives and we can trust that the feedback we receive is always in love and with the gospel in mind.
What wisdom would you share with a younger Christian?
This is an excerpt of a letter that I wrote to encourage my 'younger self' in our 5th year of church-planting.
In Bible College, you learned that the greatest gift you can give to your people is your personal holiness. Over the next five years, God will allow you to feel incompetent, little and lonely because He cares for your holiness and will train you to depend on Him alone.
God loves you enough to allow for circumstances that will break the cycle of pride and self-sufficiency. He cares enough to stop you from believing that you have to carry the weight of the world in your own feeble hands. God desires your heart so that what motivates you isn’t naive optimism, but the ability to “be still” before the God of providence.
I know that you are someone who cares deeply for others, but I want to remind you that you are incapable of being anyone’s saviour–and that’s okay! You are flawed and finite. You will get weary and sick. You will suffer from anxiety and failure. And yet it is precisely in your inability when God’s power and promises will be magnified.
You won’t have the power to solve everyone’s problems, but you can point them to the One of infinite knowledge and wisdom (Isaiah 40:12-14). You can’t physically be available for everyone, but in prayer, you can entrust them to the One who is always present by His spirit (Psalm 139:7). You will never satisfy people’s longings for friendship, security, hope and salvation, but you can continue preaching the gospel and reminding them of the One who can.
Pray that you will never be broken by inability, and that every challenge and disappointment will only serve to empower many more steps of faith.
Pray that your awe of God’s providence will increase, so that you will be the type of leader who boasts in Christ’s power alone.
Pray that you will never grow weary of doing good, and that our Saviour’s “well done” will be sufficient in times of loneliness.
As the pastor’s wife, may you never lose sight of our big God’s faithfulness to little, forgetful you.
What have you found helpful when you feel spiritually dry?
I recently read a quote by Andrea Nwabuike who affirms the value of art in gospel ministry.
"God in His infinite wisdom, prepared a response to our forgetfulness before our minds were even formed. His response was art. The creative God designed us with the capacity to create so that we could make, see, touch and taste reminders of him."
Seasons of spiritual dryness often stems from a period of forgetfulness. My sinful nature causes me to deny God's presence, dismiss his power and to suppress his voice of truth. In these times, I find that engaging my emotions through writing poetry, listening to music or observing God's paint strokes in nature can help soothe spiritual dryness because art in its many forms inspires awe for my Creator.
God recently used a child's artwork on the pavement to remind me of his faithfulness. I was walking my dog when we stumbled upon a rainbow painted in chalk. The artwork prompted my heart to hum a famous tune, "Somewhere over the rainbow". Although the song is not a hymn, the lyrics reminded me of God's divine promises behind every rainbow. Even in a pandemic, my hope in God is unshakeable, for there REALLY IS a day where troubles will melt like lemon drops and a land where dreams come true: ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 22:4)
That evening, I felt like the heavens had burst open with chalky colour, to encourage my weary heart to drink deep from the promises of eternity. I really do believe that God gifted his children with art as a way to inspire awe.