I give up.
There, I said it. I just can’t do it anymore.
I’ve never really talked about it on this blog and I only shared about it to very few friends, but let’s get it out in the open now.
I graduated from university almost two years ago with the idea that I’ll pursue either pursue world missions, further studies, or work straight after traveling for a bit. Slowly getting my options in a row, my e-mail was full of messages from Stanford MBA Admissions and London Business School, with job-interviews for Rockwell and Ayala lined up.
And so I still recall sobbing on the phone outside Apartment 1B a day after I got back from Taiwan, my brother beside me as the news that I had to put a hold on all those plans because God had other plans hit me out of nowhere. The only consolation I got that night was Wes ordering all the dessert from the menu to comfort me and Janna standing out of a balcony with me as the Ayala lights flickered away from across the street.
Not that I’m sitting outside a restaurant right now bawling as strangers did their best not to stare at me, but I find myself in the same internal setting once again: bewildered, a little lost, plans in a disarray as I turned down yet another job interview earlier this week because God told me that I can’t do so until He says go. I honestly can no longer count the number of times I’ve had to say no because He said so, and it’s been wearing me thin.
Don’t get me wrong. As much as I’ve been jobless and living in the province, the past year has been the most wonderful year of my life as it has been full of surprises, adventures, and so much of Him. 2015 made sense.
2016, so far, not so much.
You see, He told me beginning of this year to sit back and watch everything unfold because this year will be far better than 2015. But all I could see unraveling is my heart; the frustrations and doubts buried beneath layers of “God, it’s okay”, “I trust You”, “I surrender to Your will” coming out.
The first quarter of the year is almost through and let me tell you, nothing quite spectacular has happened so far. And so when He whispered a date to me twice earlier this month, I held fast to it.
I counted down the days in fear and anticipation. But March 19, 2016 came and went without anything significant happening, and I felt my fears being justified. That is, until He told me again.
“March 19. Ask Me why.”
Those three extra words, and my head fell in shame. Out of my desire, I assumed instead of clarified. And when I clarified, I found out we were talking about two completely different things.
He asked me to check out my journal entry from March 19 of last year. I was baffled because I knew full well that there wasn’t anything special going on this time last year. But I wasn’t going to make the mistake of pushing what I wanted, so I did.
I approached my bookshelf praying dearly to God that I didn’t mishear Him on this one, and upon scanning my entry on March 19 of 2015, I knew I hadn’t.
Staring right back at me were words I have spoken in the past, words that resonate in me in the present.
“Teach me how to wait on You. I want things to come to pass as I like, but I know You have something better planned. It’s only March 19, and I know You have so much more in store. I will not go ahead of You. Teach me to enjoy the anticipation. As much as I want to pull off the blindfolds and see where I’m headed, I trust You. It’s hard. Some days, I feel like I’m just being stupid. But I know no word from You will ever fail. I wait for Your work and story to unravel.”
The stark contrast between my perspective last year and this year humbled me. I have allowed impatience and discontent to get the best of me. I have wanted to take control of circumstances as I have before.
He so perfectly knew that the best person to remind me of how I gave up before was me from a year ago. He perfectly orchestrated this meeting of past and present. And I know He will perfectly weave the past, the present, and the future.
That’s why, yet again, I give up.
I give up trying to predict You. I give up trying to chart the future and mapping out in my head all the things that were to come my way. I give up fixing my eyes on what is seen.
Rather, I fix my eyes on the One who sees the unseen; the One who already knows the journey, the climax, and the end of my story; the One who, as we speak, is working behind-the-scenes.
I don’t know what I’m waiting for, but I know whom I’m waiting on.
For if there is one thing I’m not giving up on, it’s this: that He is.
My dear, no matter where you’re at, know that He is. He is faithful. He is sovereign. He is trustworthy.
It’s okay to give up to someone like that. And when you do, He will give back. Indeed, it might not look like anything you’ve expected, but it just might be beyond your wildest dreams.
“For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”