…that the Lord, our God and Father, has a bigger plan for us than what we have planned for our lives is happening in my life right NOW.
The first step of faith was going through with this scholarship, leaving everything, my family, friends, my relationships, and my job behind. If it was not for God pushing me to do this, I would not have gone through it. I wouldn’t have even started. You see, I took this opportunity to study abroad because I initially felt satisfied with what I already had, for me this is a bonus, a gift with no trade-offs. I have even prayed to God that if I should not do this, do not let me get so far with the application process. But even after delays, I got it. I had this clear vision of me graduating with Masters in Business Administration with people I have expected to be waiting for me and giving me a bouquet of flowers for a job well done. But this vision did not last long, from the very beginning, my conviction and faith have been tested. And the Lord knows how ready I was to just give this up and go back to my “normal” life. I was losing a lot of things, the very things that motivated me to take on this endeavor, and I was on my knees, emotionally bludgeoned to bleed until I dry up and die.
Nonetheless, I pushed through. Not because I strongly decided to but because of all the plans I had made, this was the only one still on its place. The first month away was fine. It was a new country after all so there are a lot of new things to see. However, when all the dust of excitement have settled, when my eyes got tired of looking outside, I looked at myself and realized where I was and what is happening. I have exhausted myself trying to put up a strong face that I didn’t realize that I was fading away. I do not know how I got through those days but all I can remember was that I prayed. I cried to the Lord and prayed. I do not deserve his mercy for all the mistakes I have done in my life but I refuse to run farther away because I know there is NO OTHER WAY.
I am now on my third semester of graduate school but I still could not say that all those days of weakness are gone. In fact, I am still as “weak” as ever. But what I have learned from this past year is that God has more plans for me than I have for myself, bigger plans than I have never even dreamed for my life. Applying for a graduate school abroad has been a leap of faith in itself but getting the opportunity to go farther away as Norway is an even bigger leap of faith for me. In South Korea, I have met a lot of wonderful people from different countries but during the ISFIT 2013 I felt like I was walking around the world everyday as I meet amazing people from across the globe.
I have never imagined my life to go this way during this season. When I was younger, I have just seen myself inside an office, working and getting a salary each month, a salary enough to make me go to the beach during summer. What I am doing now is very far from that. I am just starting to envision my plans again for my life but I know God may still have other plans, again. I can not claim that I am now fully joyful about that, but be that as it may, I pray that I always surrender. That no matter how hard-headed I am, how far I stray, the Lord will always be there to cushion my fall and escort me as I start again.
Losing everything that I lost hasn’t been easy. The first semester broke my heart but what was taken from me last semester was totally unexpected, my Aunt passed away and I wasn’t home. What kept me up was God’s blessing of family and friends. I have also feared that I would be forgotten when I leave, but the Lord knew about my worries. He strengthened my relationships with all these genuine people and even gave me more. For what he was taking away from me, He was giving me back the best.
As for now, with less than a year left in graduate school, I am praying for God to give me an opportunity to serve my country. For all the places He has given me the privilege of visiting and the experiences He has blessed me with, I have always thought of one thing, that I long for my country to experience that kind of development and prosperity. No, I do not want to be a politician but we do not know God’s will. But what I do know now is that the Lord has a bigger plan for us than what we have for ourselves and by that, I also believe He has a great plan for my country and its people. 🙂
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your pathsstraight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.