In Times When You Do Not Understand, Hold On To God.

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It’s been a while since my last update here on this site. God is good even when we are struggling to understand what He is doing in our lives. Today, I would like to share our testimony of how good God is. In life, we have problems and challenges to face, sometimes, even on daily basis. But in times, even when we cannot figure out what God is doing in our lives, stay close to Him and hold on to His faithfulness and what He had done for you in the past. Most importantly, trust in knowing who He is.

Monday (August 1st 2011) was Dan’s first day at work with Fresno Community Hospital since he resigned from his former work on September 2009. It was an awesome feeling to make breakfast and sent him off for work knowing that he was in good hands. As some of you knew how much we had struggled trying to understand why God took such a long time to answer this prayer of ours. But, today, we can testify that God’s time is always perfect even though according to some of us, His answer seems late. And the waiting time was excruciatingly painful. Yet, through it all, we finally realized what God was trying to accomplish behind the scene.

For almost 2 years of waiting before Dan’s new job, we had to address several questions.  The fundamental question we had to address at that time was ‘What is God’s direction for both of us?’ We both felt the need to live close to Michelle, so Dan’s focus was looking for jobs in the Bay Area. We had several good prospects coming from huge organizations situated in the Bay Area such as Google, Yahoo, Kaiser. Yet, none of them materialized. As it got harder in the job search process, we began to question if Bay Area was where God would call us to serve Him. We finally widen the search to include Fresno, seeking God that somehow if it was His will, God would provide even when it seemed much harder to get a job in Fresno than in the Bay. Our church intensified their prayers for us as we seek God for His confirmation. And finally on the 15th of July 2011, Dan went for his final interview with 3 panels of interviewers at Fresno Community Hospital. We received the good news on the 18th of July. We believe God has His plan for us here in Fresno and His ministry in store for us, serving in Fresno City Blessing Church. One of our beloved brother in Christ passed away in June. We became God’s answer to his prayers for us to stay and serve in FCBC. We are thankful to our brother’s faith and his consistent prayers for us. We are where we are today was part of his labor of love and care as a leader by example toward us. Thank you brother Denny! We miss you and we’ve not forgotten your kindness shown toward us.

One of the struggle I had at that time of waiting was believing God had forgotten us. Has he truly? It was painful to think that after all He had done in my life both in Singapore and Australia, God would abandon me here in United States. That was the greatest fear I had to deal with during the time I had to wait on Him. Would I become like Job”s wife, instigating my husband to curse God and die? No!! No way!! I was ever more determined to be like Job himself. I had to come to that point to decide as Job did, to honor God despite my inability to comprehend the situation. There were moments both Dan and I questioned God. We had our moments of anger, disappointment, anxiety, confusion. All the classic emotions you can name them, we’ve got them and fought with them. But, each time, we could do nothing but ultimately surrender ourselves to God and His Sovereignty. Was it a tough journey? Honestly, it was a painful growing process. But, God has more in His mind than just us.

Michelle worked really hard during her last year in her high school. She graduated with a high honor. We were so proud of her accomplishment. In the middle of our struggle, Michelle won a scholarship for her College at UC Santa Cruz. It was the best news for us knowing that despite of our struggle financially, Michelle’s college years will be taken care of by the provision of the Scholarship. Our helplessness soon turned into hope, through God’s way of providing for our needs. Later we learned that even more amazingly, whatever Michelle got from her scholarship would not be affected by how much her dad would earn in this new job. God had arranged it in such a way that everything would fall into place perfectly. Obviously, God did not only have us in His mind, Michelle too. He made a way for Michelle’s needs as well. When we thought God had forgotten us, He has something in His mind much bigger than we can imagine. When He seemed so far and silent, He is ever near and present working behind the scene. ‘How long do I have to wait Lord?””Be patient my beloved, till all I’ve set to do and accomplish is done!’ ‘Is God’s timing too late?’ No, His is always perfect!

Today, we give You the praise O God, not just knowing Your ways and thoughts are higher than ours, but through it all, we actually tasted it this day. Nothing is far more precious than knowing and experiencing Your goodness in our lives. Father God, You are good even when we cannot comprehend all that are happening around us. We know this day, that You are truly in control even when our lives seem to spin out of control. Thank you for Your goodness in our lives! May our lives bring honor and glory to Your name.

In the name of Your Son Jesus Christ I pray,

Amen!!

 

 

Living in God’s Goodness in the midst of Pain.

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When we are living in pain and constant struggles, can we truly see God’s goodness in the midst of it? This is one of the thoughts I have to come to terms with this Thanksgiving in 2010.  Since last year it has indeed been a faith-challenged year for both Dan and I.  But also a year, we cannot deny, filled with defining moments where we saw God’s hands at work created miracles for a greater good in our situation. Can we give praise and thanks to God in the middle of our pain?

God has put in my heart, a passion to work with children and adults with disabilities.  It’s my life-long passion ever since in my mid twenties I started this path, working in the disability field.  When I arrived in California, I thought I have to put my dream and passion aside to focus on my marriage and family. And that was what I did, for the last two and a half years. As some of you knew from my previous sharing, that in May 2010, I finally obtained my permanent residency in United States.  I was so excited that I could finally get some form of work in California.  Due to the economic situation in United States at present, getting a full-time job is not easy.  I decided to enter into the job market slowly for example, through becoming a volunteer for an organization. I finally decided to do volunteer work for EPU (Exceptional Parents Unlimted).  The deciding factors were firstly, the location (within walking distance),  secondly,  EPU provides services for children with disabilities under 3 from professionals such as teachers to various therapies.  An environment in which I was closely familiar to. Thirdly, EPU is a great organization to get involved in.  So, shortly after I received my permanent residency, I applied to become a volunteer worker with EPU.

The initial process went well. I was called in for an interview with the program co-ordinator as well as the department head.  I thought the interview went really well with them.  I was assigned to carry out a finger printing check by the Department of Justice.  I was told that this process would take 2 weeks to accomplish but, due to some unknown delay, took me months of waiting before it finally came to pass. In the midst of this waiting time, in my mind, I really thought this door was completely closed. God kept this door open but, I have to learn to wait and trust His timing would be the best.  It was a tough lesson to learn.

Is God cruel when He teaches us to wait upon Him? Sometimes, it seems so.. but I believe He must have a good reason to make us go through it in His silence. Now I can give praise to God.  Every tuesdays and thursdays, I spent my mornings from 9.30 – 11.30 at EPU playing with the kids and totally loves it for the last 3 month now. It’s an awesome dream comes true for me.

Last Thanksgiving was a very special one for both Dan and me as God taught us how to trust completely in Him again. Through this retreat, God dealt with us individually concerning our personal time with Him and our struggles we have had because of the unknown future before us. We had a great time of learning, and fellow-shipping with brothers and sisters in Christ. One awesome  surprise I received from our Father in Heaven at the retreat happened in the morning before we set our heart to return home.  I have had dreams of seeing snow fall. And have often in my heart desires to see and feel what it is like having snow falling around me. I woke up at 5.30am that morning, went to the window and saw no snow as predicted. Disappointed I returned to bed. I finally woke up at 7am, went to the window, peeped through the blinds and to my amazement, I saw light snow falling.  Apparently, I was not the only one excited about the snow fall. We had a great morning taking photos.  It was a great joy for everyone at the retreat.

Even though this time of waiting was tough. We saw God’s blessings in the midst of it all. I believe sometimes God chooses to remain silent for  a while to teach us to rely on Him totally.  That we may grow in our faith and master perseverance.