Testimony & Illustration Amanda Patrina Tan, Lighthouse (Working Adults Community)
After months of stepping out into the working world, I slipped into chasing worldly recognition and placed my self-worth on my bosses’ compliments and successful outcomes. This left me in great despair and constantly having an anxious heart. “Give me a new pair of lenses to help me want what You want for me” was my prayer to Him, and He indeed never disappoints. Till this day, I claim and hold on to the truth that His plans are higher than mine. All He asks from me is my openness in my heart and trust and courage to follow Him.
After attending the Graduating University Retreat (GUR) 2019 held by the Office for Young People (OYP), I held closely onto a reminder that “If you do not fight for something important, then that also means you are ready to lose it”. As I stepped into the new season of working life, there was a constant desire to serve the Lord with all that I do so as to stay close to Him. With a new-found conviction in my faith, I often shared with others that “I want what God wants for me”.
Despite this conviction, there was a nagging doubt if this was really the path that the Lord desired for me. Along the next couple of months working, this doubt grew bigger and manifested as I faced different challenges. From the anxiety and worries that my work is not good enough; to a fear of making mistakes and being scolded by bosses; to a fear of stepping out of my comfort zone and many more. I often asked God, “Are You sure this is the right path?”, “Did I make the wrong choice?”, “Is adulting supposed to be this difficult?”. With the gradual build-up of insecurities and lack of confidence in my being and in my capabilities, I could no longer see God in my work, but only despair and frustrations. There were many attempts of asking God to show me what He wants for me and I often sought my community and family for advice. However, my eyes were already blinded by my despair of the state that I was in. This led me to think that His plan for me is to quit my job (amidst the COVID-19 pandemic), so I submitted my resignation eventually.
However, the Lord surprises in many ways. One of which was needing to speak to my Director first, before getting my resignation approved. Before speaking to her, a Brother-in-Christ reminded me to have an open mind and a courageous heart. With this reminder, I prayed to God, “Give me a new pair of lenses to help me want what You want for me”. And He did not disappoint. During the conversation, she offered other roles that I can consider switching to, which I did eventually. In that time, I sensed God assuring me that He was at work and expanding my vision of what He wants for me.
This role in my current job scope is definitely not a “lucky” opportunity, but one which the Lord blessed me with. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” The future and hope that the Lord blessed me with is one of goodness and of deep love. Upon deeper reflection, my struggles and lack of self-confidence stemmed from the need to please others (e.g. my bosses, my colleagues, my peers, and even myself), which resulted in fighting for a place and recognition in my workplace. “Who am I?” and “Who do I belong to?”- These two questions have been a constant reminder that all that I am and all that I have, belongs to God. I take heart in knowing that He provides for me when I am unable to do so.
Despite my conviction in keeping faith back then, I also did not fully understand the depths of “wanting what God wants for me”. What He wants from me is to have courage and trust in Him- that He is bigger than my “bad” choices, and that His plans are better than mine. Today, I thank God and praise Him for this opportunity that He has placed me in. One that has helped me to rebuild my confidence in the capabilities that He has given to me; One that although makes me anxious and stressed still, but am able to surrender each struggle to Him, knowing it’s for Him and not for others. Looking back, I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for Him. This event has been a constant reminder to return to the Lord in my difficulties and a reminder to myself, “Who am I and who do I belong to?”
With this, dear brother and sisters, do you desire to see what the Lord can do for you? I encourage you to lay your fears and plans out before Him, and allow Him to amaze you with His wonders.