dare to ask

Before I left my previous job, I came up with a checklist of what I’d my next job should be. In that list, I mentioned the ideal location, type of company, field/industry, schedules, and salary. Since the time I settled the fact with myself that I’d leave my previous job, I was presenting this list to God everyday whenever I pray.

When I was in elementary, I remember one of our teachers telling us during our Christian Living class that we should be specific when pray so that God would know right away what to give us.

Growing up, I only prayed when I need something. One of the clearest memory I have wherein I put this “principle” into practice was towards the end of 2011 – when I was desperate to have a job by January 2012. (I think when adulthood drives us to desperation, we cling onto the things we used to believe in and learned as a child.)

However, when I read The Fourth Dimension by Dr. David Yonggi Cho recently, I realized that what we were told before wasn’t just some “made-up story” to make us pray. It was apparently the real deal. (That school really did so much in my life. I can never thank them enough.)

On the morning of March 9th, I was praying to God for the job interview I have that afternoon (the story behind this will be told in another post). I asked Him to share His wisdom to me, to guide me in answering the employer’s questions, to let me know if this is already the job He had prepared for me to get into next.

Then my mind suddenly thought what if they don’t offer good salary and benefits. So, I started praying for them right away. I prayed that they would offer a competitive salary, good benefits, etc. and I suddenly felt embarrassed because I felt that I was asking for too much, that I was being too demanding. I was so guilty, so I apologized.

This was probably the first time I felt embarrassed for asking a lot of things from God. I remember how shameless I was in the past whenever I pray. I did ask God to help me and my friends to secure a good spot at the JYJ open concert back in 2014! Like I said, shameless.

After praying, I opened my Bible (I was starting the Book of Psalms that day) and what He told me through the pages of His book blew me away. He didn’t tell me, “It’s okay, I understand.” Instead, He was saying, “What’s the matter with you? What you’re asking me right now are nothing. I can give you more than that if you just ask me.”

God never set a limit on our prayers.

He will never tell us that we’re asking for too much. He doesn’t tell us that we could only ask for things that come in a specific shape, size, or quantity. He doesn’t list and count the things we ask from Him. He will not stop us from asking Him for anything just because we have already asked 10,000 things from Him yesterday or last month.

God wants us to pray BIG prayers.

He wants us to dare Him to do the impossible. He wants us to give Him a room wherein He could perform His miracles. After all, God is capable of giving us unbelievable and unimaginable promises. If He can fulfill them all, then He can surely answer our measly prayers.

God just wants to astound us, but He wants us to let Him.

“I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
He said to me, ‘You are my son, today I have become your father.
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.”
(Psalm 2:7-8)


where to next?

I’m now officially unemployed. Whoo!

It’s surreal and weird to be just staying here at home, in my room, on a Friday. This isn’t the first time I quit a job, but unlike in the past, I feel as if I shouldn’t be here in my room.  Before, I would savor the smoothness of my bed – squeezing my pillows and rolling under my covers. Now, there’s a restlessness inside me that pushes me to go out and do something. Good thing, the thought of limited funds and weekend activities made me stay put in this house.

No, there’s no job yet, but I’m already looking. I already submitted my application to three companies (one already rejected me and it hurt). I know three isn’t enough considering I’m praying to have a new job next month. However, I can’t help but be strictly picky this time around. I have a checklist that I hope to fill for my “dream” job:

  • Located at the country’s top business district – it’s my comfort zone.
  • Morning shift – I’m done with mid-shifts, I want my evenings back.
  • Weekends off – my weekends are untouchable!
  • Non-BPO company – I’ve been working for BPOs since I finished college.
  • Has to do with marketing – copywriting or events will do.
  • Almost if not the same salary from my last job – I’m willing to haggle but not that much.

Of course, this isn’t entirely up to me. Though I have submitted this checklist to God, it’s still His plan that will push through. I’m not going to do this my way, but His. If this isn’t what He wants for me, then I’ll gladly accept it because I know that His plans will always be better than mine.

I have already experienced how good it is follow His plans. Never again will I force mine. Though I acknowledge that accepting, trusting, and obeying His will is not easy. No, it isn’t. It’s beyond challenging. It’s a struggle. It’s frustrating, stressful, and a whole lot of emotional whirlwind. And I know that it’s possible that I will undergo all of that again in the future because walking with God requires constant surrendering of your self, your plans, your dreams, your wants, and your needs.

When God told me that I’d be leaving my last job (as I have written last February 2017),  I cried. It was hard to accept that He was changing everything when I have already planned for my future already. However, I knew there was nothing I could do, because when God said something, it will happen. There’s nothing we can do to go against Him. We’re not that powerful. So if God says that He doesn’t agree with the my checklist, there’s nothing I can do. I’ll have to accept that.

When I begrudgingly accepted that I’d be leaving, I wasn’t in the position to leave yet. I was sent to London back in September 2016 and there was a training bond that came along with it, which means I couldn’t leave the company for one year or else I’d be paying some huge amount of money. I could’ve left and paid that, but I knew that God wouldn’t want me to spend money that I didn’t even have. He wanted me to wait and it was painful. It was a good thing though, because I still had no idea what I should do next.

When the bond ended, the pressure was on. I was free to leave, but I was still stuck. I still hadn’t figured out what I was going to do. I had no idea what to do look for. I was thinking that I had already exhausted all of my options. Of course, I was wrong. Then one day, during a conference in our church back in October 2017, I heard God’s voice. While listening to the pastor absentmindedly (because I was exhausted and had only a couple of hours of sleep) about his one experience in the past about leaving a job, I heard Him telling me, “It’s okay. Leave.”

Just like that, I was relieved. I still had no plans or strategies. I also had no savings (unlike in my second to the last job, I had no means of doubling my salary in any way because there was no extra workload to be taken). However, despite all that, all my worries were gone. I just trust God completely with this one. Suddenly, the ideas of what things I could do next started coming to me. I knew I’d be fine. I was at peace.

Ever since that blessed October day, I have prayed relentlessly about my resignation and job hunting. I give all my concerns to Him every single day. Repeatedly. Because despite knowing that God has my back, circumstances try to force me to think that I made the worst decision in my life. They’re causing me to panic. Just like last Saturday when I couldn’t help but worry as I watch my dwindling savings, I rushed to the job portal I use to look for a job. That’s when I learned that one my of applications was rejected. I was crushed. I couldn’t sleep. I cried. Thoughts of not being able to find a job on time came rushing to me.

Fortunately, I knew better now.

Even though it was midnight, I picked up my devotional notebook and Bible and prayed. I was troubled. I thought I’d lose my momentum, my footing, and will start crashing down once again. I needed comfort and peace. His presence provided me just that. He told me that He will protect me from any discouragement that circumstances will throw at me.

“On the twelfth day of the first month,
we set out from the Ahana Canal to go to Jerusalem.
The hand of God was on us,
and He protected us from enemies and bandits along the way.”
(Ezra 8:31)

how he loves us

When all of the sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory
And I realized just how beautiful You are
And how great your affections are for me.
(Jesus Culture – How He Loves Us)

For weeks until last week, I have been feeling a bit off in some incomprehensible way. I couldn’t really point out what it really was but it made me feel a couple of things – some intangible, some concrete.

One of the concrete things it made me feel is loneliness.

I feel as if I have no friends.

(Well, aside from a couple of people who I rarely see or spend time with.)

At work, I feel so alone.

From having a solid group of friends, it seems now that I have none.

Whenever I approach people, I feel as if they just talk to me out of politeness. They entertain me but don’t totally let me in. I’m never involved in their lives. I’m never a part of it.

Reaching out has made me feel a bit tired.

I say they only remember me when there’s something they want to make happen – a baby shower for someone (though I did want a baby shower for someone), a farewell surprise for another, a congratulatory celebration for people who’ll be taking their board exams, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing these things for themI just hope that I could be more than someone who can make these things happen.

When I’m not there, no one will really – like really – miss me.

No one needs me for me.

Everyone just seems to need me for what I can do.

Then last Wednesday, a friend of mine asked me if I have something to do after work. I said I’m free and teased her about missing me. She said, “Yes.”

I wasn’t totally excited but I was happy.

I looked forward to it.

After work, we walked around outside our building to find a place to eat a very late dinner. We found one and talked. She told me about some stuff that she’s finding it hard to share to other people. I gave her my own views, explained some of her whys, and shared some of my own stuff.

It was just a couple of hours but I was filled with so much joy.

The next morning, I told a very close friend of mine about it.

I said that invitation for the late dinner meant so much to me, because at that moment I was someone else’s friend.

I was missed because we weren’t spending that much time with each other. I make someone else’s day happy and complete. I was important because I’m the only one who she could share some things with at that particular time.

I was a friend who, at that time, didn’t have to be the one who reached out but a friend who was reached out to.

That friend I shared these feelings with told me that it was God’s gift to me. I didn’t see it that way and I was thankful that she was able to make me look at it like that. So, I prayed to God and thanked Him for it.

As I was thanking Him, I realized something.

Does God feel lonely too…
When He reaches out to people only to be just being entertained for a little while?
When He realizes He’s still not a part of that person’s life after talking to him or her?
When He is simply someone people need when they want to make something happen?
When He feels no one misses Him even for a little when they don’t spend time with Him?

On the other hand…

When we invite Him for a very late dinner, 
When we reach out to Him and shared our problems and thoughts to Him, 
When we need Him for who He is instead of what He can do,
When we treat Him like a friend,
Does He feel overwhelmed with so much joy too as if His heart would burst?

While asking Him these questions, I was crying.

When I shared these thoughts to my friend, my eyes were glazed with tears.

I have known since who-knows-when that God loves us so much – greatly and unconditionally.

He sacrificed His son to save us from our sins. He forgives us repeatedly despite our stubbornness. He reaches out to us continuously and tirelessly even though we reject Him over and over again.

However, that day, it’s as if it’s the first time all over again of learning about the kind of love He has for us.

These thoughts still overwhelm me until now. Even last Sunday, while the worship team was singing “How He Loves Us” for the communion, I remember these once again and I couldn’t help but cry.

I pray that people will welcome Him and involve Him in their lives because having Him brings so much happiness, joy, and peace.

I pray that people will see God more than just their provided and problem-solver. I pray that people will see God as their best friend.