I got to answer one of the questions during our small group icebreaker activity. The question is, “How did I experience God’s grace in my love life?” I could not give a fit answer as I’m not in a relationship but it reminded me of something very important.
I know I’m not alone in the journey of waiting and for sure a lot of single women like me would agree that waiting is never easy. In my own season of waiting, I have failed so many times. This is not just in the context of waiting for the “right” person but in all other areas of my life that God had asked me to wait.
Why did I fail? Because I thought that getting ahead of God would not really cause much trouble. Because I thought I will be able to handle it. I thought I could be in control. And because I was foolish, consequences were not just painful but they left scars. And those would not happen, if I waited.
We fail to realize that the purpose why God allows us to wait is because we are not yet ready. Not yet ready of what He wanted to entrust to us. Just like when we were in school, we can’t wait to finish and get a job. But a degree is needed to be able to find a nice paying job. So there must be preparation.
God is actually gracious enough not to let us do or have something we could not handle YET. It is God’s way of protecting us from things that we are not yet ready of. In the time of waiting, He lets us see what truly are in our hearts. He reveals to us our true motives and desires for the things that we ask of Him. He allows us to also get to know Him more and His will for us. It is a season of pruning, molding, preparing and growing.
So how do I experience God’s grace in my love life? For now, it is through WAITING.
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Last year, I asked God to test my faith. Not to give me what I want but to see more of Him. I get to know God more each day when I read the Bible but I wanted more. I wanted to know and experience God more in my own walk with Him. And so, I prayed for Him to take me to a more deep faith.
That’s 5 “more” there…
Just like when Elisha asked Elijah a double portion of his spirit, I asked God for more of Him.
Just rewinding a bit in 2012…
God gave me this burden to consider going for a full time ministry work. It is a privileged joy to be able to serve God fulltime. However, I also wanted to fulfill my own dreams for myself and for my family. I can’t see my dream getting realized if I’ll go fulltime.
In a retreat that year, we were asked to write something that we want to surrender to the Lord. Right there, God asked me to surrender my plans and dreams to Him, to just totally let go. It broke my heart. As I wrote and committed it to the Lord, I was in tears. I felt like a portion of me was taken away.
After that, I just told God, I have done my part, now do Yours.
Forwarding to 2013…
There were no doors opened for a full time ministry work. God even gave me a better opportunity for growth in my IT career. It was a dream role I never thought I could have. I thought maybe God wanted me to stay after all. I got so energized with my work that somehow I forgot that desire of going full time for a ministry.
Then latter part of the year, a door for a ministry job opened. Work in my company became stressful and “spiritually” exhausting. I applied for the ministry opportunity. I considered resigning.
Not certain if I’ll be accepted for the position, I took a big leap of faith and submitted my resignation. And on my last day at work, I received the news for my ministry application that I was not accepted.
That’s what happened when you asked God to test your faith. Things don’t go your way. But it allowed me to experience God in a very, very, very personal way. Indeed, He wanted me to grow deeper in my faith.
I asked God why He wanted me to resign when He knew that I will not be accepted for that ministry. The response I got from Him – your character, your heart, more important than where you will serve me. The condition of my heart was not pleasing to Him anymore. Disgusting enough that God, full of grace and love had to remove me from something I might not be able to handle.
As I started 2014, I have never been more uncertain with my life. But that’s when deeper faith happens. All I know is that I have a SOVEREIGN GOD who cares for my heart more than what I can bring to Him.
Remember that dream I surrendered in 2012? Years before that, I wanted to apply for a permanent residency in Canada. However, I did not make it to the 2 years of full work experience. I got short of 3 months. I told God that if He really wanted me to apply, He will find another way. Start of 2013, the qualification changed. From 2 years, they only required 1 year. I was qualified. Then, hesitation came. I told God I surrendered this dream to Him already. I’m choosing to go full time.
But God is just amazing. He used someone to push me to apply. Did you ever have that peace that transcends all understanding? I had this sudden peace in me, confirming that I’m doing the right thing. Amazingly, everything went so smooth with my application. And with all the uncertainties I had at the start of the year, I received an email last February. My application for Canada got approved.
I gave God a jaw-dropping expression (literally). A face in awe of SOMEONE I can never fathom and describe but very real, very personal.
I’m excited how this year will turn out to be. 2013 has been a very interesting, growing, exciting year for me. This year, I’m just letting God continue to mold me, surprise me, amaze me, change me. After all, that’s just the way HE is – An Extravagant, Loving Father.
Last year, my theme verse was Hebrews 11:1 as God took me to a deeper faith. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
I started this year – no job, plans surrendered, and full of uncertainties. I was only holding on to the ONE certainty in my life, my Lord and Savior Jesus.
This is my theme verse for 2014 – Philippians 3:7-8: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. “
Please pray for me as I seek God to give me a fresh vision before I leave for Canada. More than a fulfilled dream, this journey has always been about Him. I just want to make sure that when I move, I have a clear vision to remind me of why I went there in the first place.
Thank you to everyone who prayed with me on this journey. (Philippians 1:3 – “I thank my God every time I remember you.”)
In this life, it only takes a faith as small as a mustard seed to believe that God loves you so much and He cares about you that He wants to be involved in all aspects of your life. God will not force you. You have to decide if you want to believe. (And, I hope you do.)
To the only amazing God be all the glory!
In my Bible reading, I’m now in the chapters of the Book of Exodus when God gave instruction to Moses in building the tabernacle, altar, etc. You know all the details and measurements. Every time I read these chapters, I’m always reminded of how God cares even to the smallest details. He was very specific of the color, size and length and materials to be used. The small details mattered to Him. Another thing I’m also reminded of, God is not complicated. When He gave the instruction to Moses, it was direct and complete, no guessing games or whatsoever.
As I reflect of who God is also in my life, He is also the same. He cares for the smallest details in my life. I remembered when I was trying to catch the last bus trip and I was still in the train. With my estimate, I know I will miss the bus but I asked for a little miracle from God. I made it to the last trip. I realized God cared for my transportation going home. There have been a lot of instances in my life that I never thought would matter to God, but every time I whisper a prayer, He would give me those little miracles which made me love God more. Indeed, He is also into the small details of our life.
If there’s such thing as “It’s Complicated” status in Facebook, with God, nothing is complicated. How He gave instruction to Moses, everything was laid out. Moses did not need to figure out what God was trying to say to Him. God gave all the details for Moses to execute. In my journey with God, He has shown the same. His yes is a clear yes and no a clear no. We sometimes think that God’s plan for us is something that we need to figure out or it’s a mystery. As I learn to totally trust Him, I realized that there is nothing to figure out. All we really need to do is to trust and obey. God gives answers in the proper time. And when He answers, it is always clear.
Last week, I became impatient with God. He asked me to resign last year and I thought that He would let me work full time in my church. The first position I applied, I was not selected. Another position was offered to me, I got excited and I thought this was what God really planned for me. Then, I was told last week that the start date was uncertain due to change of priorities. I felt sad and cried. I was being a brat with God asking what He really wanted me to do. God was giving me a clear “No”. Twice. Very clear, right? And so, I conceded.
But God does not give us a “No” answer for no reason at all. Last Saturday, I received the email that I have been waiting for a long time. It was for my PR application in Canada, the immigration is requesting for my passport so that they could give me my visa. This was something I prayed to God and deeply asked Him not to give me a “No”. And indeed, He did not! My application got approved! 🙂 And now, everything is making sense!
His No to me is a Yes to what is best for me and for His work for the church. God is not complicated. We are the ones making it complicated because of our impatience and lack of faith.
“God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33
Nobody likes difficulties, failure or disappointments in life especially when it comes to our work. As we spend most of our day in our workplace, we only can wish that each day gets smoother and better. But then, reality is, sometimes, it gets worse than the previous day.
I can’t say that I have fully maximized my experience working in corporate. I might have not tasted yet the much deeper hardships others have been through especially those who have worked for how many decades in different fields and companies.
However, one thing that will always be common for everyone regardless of the years of experience is principle. As much as we don’t like a stressful, challenging, difficult work, these are times that we can choose to be grateful because we get reminded of what we truly value, what we truly stand for. These are the times that our convictions are re-affirmed or formed, our principles are re-aligned, our character molded to be better.
In one of the leadership programs I had attended two years ago, we were asked to create our own Teachable Point of Views (TPOVs). These are the things that you stand by no matter what circumstance you are in, not just in work but in life as a whole. As I formulated my own TPOVs, I realized they were the values I have formed and lived by because of my own disappointments, frustrations and failures. These values are aligned to the principles in the Bible that God has asked us to follow and obey.
My Teachable Point of Views – The 5 S
If you can’t be trusted with little, how can you be trusted with more? Trust.
“Well done, my good servant!” his master replied. “Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.” (Luke 19:17)
“I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” (Luke 19:26)
Submit to Authority
If you don’t feel like doing it, do it as long as it won’t compromise your values. Respect.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. (Ephesians 5:5-8)
Don’t be a difficult person to work with. Show some care. Relationship.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)
Secure one’s self
Don’t let position, title, wealth or your physical appearance define you. Character.
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Let God define who you truly are.
Go out of your way if you have to. A true leader serves. Humility.
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)
I hope this could also help you think about the things that you truly value. If you have compromised and failed at some point, just press on and re-align yourself again to what you believe in. I have failed for so many times but God has been very gracious to me. God helps me pull myself back again and make sure I will strongly stand for what I believe in. I’m a work in progress, still learning a lot but grateful that I am kept grounded by my convictions.