Have you ever believed God for something and failed to receive it? Have you ever trusted God and he failed you? This blog is certainly for you.
You were on fire. You read the Bible and every word you read seems like it has wings flying over and above the book you were reading.
You have high hopes. You certainly believe that the Lord will answer because you have a “bible verse” to back-up what you believe.
Not only did He said it once, twice and thrice but many times He reassured you through His word that He will give you what He promised so specifically. Then the results came out and the answer is NO.
My past job hunting season was a series of great tests. It’s like I get into a roller coaster, it goes up and down and upside down, sometimes I get thrown out and I hit my head, but I crawl back in again and the moment I’m back in, it just keeps on going and going again.
Like most people who are aiming to help more abundantly their families, I belong to the group of people who is most responsible for supporting my siblings and I love what I’m doing. But this decision of leaving my country, Philippines, went a long way before I even accepted the calling of being an Overseas Filipino Worker. I have a dream and plans of my own and that is to study law and beat Miriam Santiago. But oftentimes, life will put you in a situation where you have to give up your own dreams to fulfill someone else’s dream. I can still remember that day when I was asking God if I should stay in the country or go abroad. And like any playful conversations with the Lord, I only got a question in return instead of an answer: “Will you pursue your dream or give up your dream to fulfill someone else’s dream?” He used Joseph the Dreamer’s story to confirm His calling for me. Joseph was sold as a slave by his brothers, such a tragedy to happen after doing something which is right. Sold as a slave, imprisoned for many years until something happened and Joseph found favor in the sight of the Pharaoh and he was put in charge of the whole Egypt. This is only to find out that God purposely put him in those situations because He knows that there will be a famine in their home country. God prepared the way by using Joseph’s sorrows to preserve his family.
Chapter 1: First Exit
I answered the calling of God to do the same thing. I went ahead of my brothers and sisters here in Dubai to prepare the way for something I still do not know. You would think that with this act of obedience, God will at least make it easy for me to find a job, I also thought the same. I even set deadlines to myself that I should have a work after 4 days. When 4 days are over, I said to myself, “Alright, 10 days.”Until the first month is over and I needed to exit Dubai to renew my visa.
That. Is. Just. So. Disappointing. Like. I. Don’t. Freaking. Know. What. To. Do.
The reason why I reacted this much is because I needed to travel and STAY for at least 3 horrifying days of in Kish Island of Iran. I have read reviews, news and blogs about what is happening in Kish especially to Filipinos who are exiting there for visa renewal. I’m really afraid. Since I don’t have the choice, My Uncle and I booked the flight. I brought with me a pocketful of advice and precautions.
In my stay there, it wasn’t as terrifying as I expected. It’s actually the exact opposite of what I have read and what other people are saying. Kish is a quiet place and I found so much solace and tranquility while I am having my vacation break there. I met a friend at the airport who is also exiting to Kish, her name is Kimberly. We stayed together in hotel room and shared each other personal stories. While we were conversing about life, she told out of nowhere that lately, it’s like God is pulling different people to her life introducing different beliefs and religions. She met a Hindu, her boss is a Muslim and she met me a Christian. Until with no intentions of really sharing the Gospel, I just heard myself talking about what Jesus did for her. She cried and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
Chapter 2: And the job hunting goes on…
After 3 days in Kish, I traveled back to Dubai filled with so much hope and excitement. Before I exited to Kish, I still did not mention that I already received 15 job offers. I declined these offers for one reason, low salary. Also, before leaving Dubai, I got interviewed in one of the most prestigious hotels in Dubai, Rotana, for a Marketing Executive position. When the HR mentioned about the job description and package offer, it’s like she is mentioning herself the job I prayed for. She told me that she will call me back once they already have a Marketing Director on-board.
I continued applying for jobs while at the same time waiting for the hotel to call. I received various job offers, 6 more job offers to count, some are low and some are close to my target salary. I prayed to the Lord for each one of them whether I should accept them or not and the answer I always get is WAIT.
For how many weeks this is His word and I know exactly what He wanted me do, that is to believe for what I’m praying for which is the job in Rotana. It was a hard thing to do, to wait for something you do not see. Every job offer I decline feels like a lost but I know I needed to trust God when He said WAIT. I held fast to my hope that He will give me a grand reward for patience and obedience.
Weeks passed by and it’s again the last week of my visa’s validity. Just then, Rotana called to invite me for the second and final interview. The schedule of my exit is November 3 and they set the final interview on the same day, just 4 hours before my flight.
The. Struggle. Is. Real.
Chapter 3: Second Exit and the Final Battle
And the day of the final battle of my waiting has finally arrived after two months. Just when I arrived in the hotel, the HR called to move the schedule of my interview from 10am to 4pm. Seriously. Since it feels like I have to wait again for one last time with the chances of missing my flight, I decided to just wait at the lobby. 12 noon came and luckily the Director decided to do the interview on that hour instead of 4pm. After the interview, I was even able to attend another job interview for an immediate position for a learning center of a university in Dubai.
After the interviews, I rushed to the airport for my flight to Kish. Arriving in Kish for the second time almost feels like home. Since I’m the second timer and all my companions are first timers, I led the group where to go and what to do. We stayed altogether in one hotel room and met other girls who are already staying in the room. During my stay there, I am confident that God will fulfill His word regarding His promise to me for Rotana. I maximized my stay and rested a lot since I know that when I come back I will already start working. On the other hand, I am also battling my thoughts of “What if I failed and did not get the job in Rotana?” But my hopes and trust are higher than my unbelief during that time.
One lunch time, I was just alone in the big room of the hotel. I thought everyone left for lunch when I suddenly saw Anne in her room alone. I approached her and handed my book for her to read because she was doing nothing. While I was outside beside the window writing down my daily musings, I felt a leading inside to approach her and share the Gospel. It’s like a John the Baptist spirit suddenly enveloped my whole being to preach it right away to her. She was already teary-eyed when she said, “This is exactly what I need. I have been asking to know Him more but I don’t know where to start.” I left her room finding myself relieved and amazed again. When the group of girls who went out for lunch came back, I was chatting with one of the girls whose name is Bea. We were just talking about her relationship with her boyfriend. I told her my practical thoughts about the situation then suddenly our conversation led to her asking about my faith. I shared once again the Gospel. She accepted Jesus with the most tearful eye while I found myself almost oblivious to what God is doing. I really can’t believe what is happening now.
Then I remember one of His words when I came to Dubai, “I’ll send them out as missionaries to preach my glory among the nations. They’ll return with all their long-lost brothers and sisters all over the world.” – Isaiah 66:19
I stayed there for 4 fruitful days and went back to Dubai with high hopes of receiving what God promised.
Chapter 4: Judgment Day
So I’m back and waiting for the results of my labor. This time, I saw a huge difference about myself; I became more patient, less worried and stronger than ever I was before. The learning center I had an interview offered me the job and demands my answer on November 17. The thing is, Rotana doesn’t have a result yet. I said to myself that if Rotana still doesn’t have a result before the date, I will automatically accept the offer in the learning center as I am already wasting so much time and energy. Night of November 16, Rotana emailed me the result.
“First of all, we would like to thank you for the time you invested on us in your application. Unfortunately, we cannot continue with your application…bla bla bla.”
I. Do. Not. Know. What. To. Feel.
I just lied down where I was and the questions started to flood my head. “What happened? But You promised this Lord? So if you do not keep your promise, you nullify your own word? How can I believe your Word if you nullified your very own word?” And the questions go on and on.
I just cried there, thinking that I love Jesus and I know what He did on the cross is real but how do I trust again a God who did not do what He promised. That is my argument.
The next day, right away, I called the learning center accepting the job offer. I asked them if I can start on November 21, Saturday. This is also to pick myself together and prepare my mentality before I start working.
Chapter 5: I’M ANGRY WITH THE LORD
First day of work came and you wouldn’t believe, as much as I do, that this work I get after receiving an unanswered prayer is worse than waking up in the morning battling against anxiety and fear because of being jobless. I thought to myself that maybe she was just having a bad day or maybe I am just adjusting so it’s too soon to judge. I still went to work and after 5 days of almost always crying inside the comfort room after the shift, I decided to tell my Uncle what is really happening. He only had one question and that is if I already signed a contract. When I told him I did not sign yet, he asked me to leave the company. This is only to find out the next day, that the company just used me for a couple of days, unpaid, because they are leaving for Lebanon and will be closing for months.
So I got an unanswered prayer, got trapped and used by a wrong company and my visa is about to expire in a week; not to mention the pending bills I have to pay for my rent, ticket and visa.
Tell. Me. Right. Now. How. Not. To. Panic. And. Get. Angry.
I left the learning center job and I’m angry. I’m angry with the Lord for what He has done in my life. Am I seriously just going back to my country with so many debts left unpaid? And am I seriously going to start all over again, sending 200 job applications per day, attending various job interviews? Can. You. Not.
Chapter 6: THE RESTORATION
Right after I left the learning center, I started sending job applications. This time, I am refusing to read the Bible. I focused in sending job applications because I do not really know now what and who to believe after all that has happened to me. I mean, I still believe that God is real but I am having the hesitations to trust Him with my life and work because He did not keep His word. I know this is crazy but this is also true.
While I was busy sending my applications, a friend chatted me on Facebook and asked how things are going with me. I told her all my disappointments and anger with the Lord then she reminded how God loves me. How ironic it is to hear that I am loved when my situation is at the end of my rope. But I realized, it is true that when you lost what is most dear to you, only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. I prayed, repented and read the Word again. It was not an easy process to rebuild my faith and trust but it gets better day by day.
It’s when my trust is simple that I saw the hand of God working in my situation. One day, I was browsing my Facebook and I saw a job posting for immediate hiring. I really don’t trust companies who post on Facebook groups but I tried it for the first time. After 30 minutes, I received a call for a phone interview from that company. That same afternoon, I received again another phone call for the second interview. They told me that when they email me tonight for personal interview it means I passed the initial interviews. The next day I read their email and invited me for a personal interview. We were four ladies waiting to be interviewed. We were advised that they will only contact the person they have chosen for the job. That same night, I received an email with the offer letter.
Simple as that?
HE FAILED ME
Yes, He did fail me. He failed to answer my prayer. He failed to give what I want in order to preserve me for what He wants. He intentionally failed me to test me, to shake what can be shaken in me and in doing that; He succeeded in accomplishing His purposes through me. He succeeded in purifying me, making me trusting and more faithful than ever.
Oftentimes, in our waiting, we thought that the waiting in itself is the battle. But it is in those countless twist and turns that the tests are happening. If He did not purposely put a long timeline before I got the right job, those souls I preached the Gospel with could have never been saved. If I accepted the job offers I turned down, I could be facing a serious financial lack in the future. If God did not tell me to wait, I could have never learned how to say no to the things that are not for me. If He only gave what I asked for, I could have never learned how to trust Him when He says no.
And if I did not go through 3 months of waiting, 2 exits, 1,000 job applications, 60 job interviews, declining 22 job offers, 1 unsuccessful job application in Rotana and 1 unsuccessful job I accepted in the learning center, I could have never realized that I only have one permanent job title, that is to make disciples.
All the bruises, wounds, scars and bumps on the head I got in this roller coaster ride happened just so I can take that and write all these things. I remember myself waking up in the morning and saying, “God, I don’t want to be in this roller coaster anymore.” But when I think about it now, if I’m not right here, then where would I be? On the sidewalk? I wasn’t born to stand on the sidewalk; I was born to fly around crazy in the sky!