There is no exact phrase to explain my excitement counting down the days to 2017. Our 2016 has been a wonderful year of blessings, surprises, re-alignment, re-purpose, teachings, revelations and changes. We also have some seasons of sadness, realizations, separations, building relationships, reunions, promotions, financial stewardship and many more. And with these series of ups and downs, the Lord never left us walking alone in the entire journey. He has been our faithful provider, teacher and Father all throughout this 2016 journey. It’s as if He has been there overseeing our responses to almost every situation we face.
One of the biggest highlights this year was when He dropped to me and my husband about our “family-situation”. What we thought is just okay and and it will come to pass-season, is the very thing that really matter to Him.
Our situation is very common in the Philippines, parents migrating overseas as professional workers to have better career opportunities and compensations, leaving our children for a while and entrusting the childcare to our parents during our absence is always the condition. Although, it’s a nationwide accepted situation, our government even call us heroes for choosing this path and contributing to our country’s economic growth – we still found ourselves uncomfortable with it. Some of our other nationality- friends could not comprehend the reason behind this decisions of many Filipino- families leaving their children. But that’s what we call glimmering hope for many of us coming from a 3rd world country. Hoping to make our family live better, to be able to give something different from what our country offers. And though, we are blessed with good education, Philippines with it’s poor and corrupted governance over the years has resulted to this massive overseas working phonemenon.
We are blessed because Singapore is close to home and we can plan our visits backhome (as much as we want) and if we can bring someone with us to look after our baby, then we can at least spend 2months together in Singapore – at most. This has been the situation since the day she was born.
We have been praying over the years since our daugther came, that we could be together in one country as a family. (Of course, when I say country, we mean not the Philippines.)
We tried everything that we could out of our human abilities to do something about our plans and as far as we can hold-up to the situation, we didn’t succeed. It’s tough. So we decided to just let the situation fly-by while we work things out for us, but, it’s tiring. Bringing our baby back and forth, to and fro to the Philippines & Singapore for a 2 years has been a bitter exchange for our desire of earning more sustainable and acceptable compensations to provide for what we dream for our family. Our Permanent Residence application was rejected. Our employment passes doesn’t permit us to bring her over. Hence, going back home abruptly is also something scary.
So we sit down one day, talk to God. And everything change. The first thing He did was dropped the bomb in our hearts asking a question “Do you trust me?” “Who is your provider”
As I ponder on this, my heart seems to reject God’s instructions, but still we trusted Him. He first removed our blinders by giving us the truth of the situation. He then re-aligned our priorities by highlighting some of the things we are neglecting that is;
- Looking into how much is in our savings?
- Our timeline to how long do we see ourselves separated from our daughter? How long do we want to work overseas?
- Career Development?
- In all these years of working where did all the money go? Travels? Parties? Food? Giveaways? Gifts?
- Do we have debts to pay?
- Do we even have our own shelter, car, insurance or 1year emergency fund?
- Proverbs 22:6?
When all of these pointers come up, my husband and I started to really review our lives. And yes, our priorities aren’t right, in fact we are clueless. Then that’s when we felt God’s divine wisdom pouring out on us, on how to do things for our family – His way.
- He worked out on our confidence in Him. He introduced Himself as someone that we can definitely rely on in and out of season. He slowly gave us glimpse of hope and guidance on how to slowly get out of our ignorant-clueless situations. We trusted His ways.
- He then taught us how to save. How to be good stewards of money. How we can be trifty. What to prioritize and put importance on.
- Then He surprised us with new career offers, giving much stable and higher compensations able to help us finance the things that we really need.
- Towards the Second quarter of the year during our 4th anniversary, God helped us buy a wonderful-unexpected home in my husband’s hometown. We were given lots of favors acquiring that house, swiftly and hassle-free transactions. It was a beautiful reward from God.
- God also took care of our worries, our families & even our relative needs He took care of it.
Then slowly, our desire to stay in Singapore is slowly fading away, for better reasons.
Suddenly our hearts were excited to hear where God’s bringing us. Suddenly we are open to accepting the fact that it’s not at all bad going home. That our identity is not in our careers, or how much money can we provide for our baby or how stable a country is. But its about how much do we trust that God takes control of any situation, if we give it to Him. That His plans for us is more perfect than what we dream of. That His ways are limitless. And His blessings is not dependent on which country you are in – it’s all about knowing Him, His character, His words and promises and obeying Him.
Later on, our closest friends got to know about this decision and of course they questioned; they say “where is your faith?”, ” You havent tried it all” “I know someone who did this and that”…
Some even offered suggestions on how to talk to this agency and that, trying to help us. And though we know that their intentions were good, this brought some confusions about our current plans – I guess it’s all part of that “transition-period”
“What if what we wanted is not what God really wants? The more we realized that we have to stick with God and don’t be swayed by the many opinions of others. Our family situation is a known matter to God and He had this first in mind before us. We are left with the re-assuring promise of God that He is going to be with us all the way.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. – Philippians 1:6
2016 demanded a lot of humility and acceptance. It also put us in a place of wonders and amazement. As to any transtition season it can get messy sometimes, it can also be confusing, it may demand some cleaning up and movements – but it teaches us to focus on the goal. Transitions gives a whole lot of space for us to grow as a person, adjust and accept, let-go, recalculate, dispose and decide on what to really matters.
And that is what God has been doing to our family lately. We have trusted God more this year than ever. We understand that He is altogether good and kind, keen to every details of our lives, because He cares for every little matters of our hearts.
As of today we are still in the season of transition maybe until the next two-years. But we like what we are seeing, cleaner path, lesser distractions, clearer goals, audible directions, confirmed promises, new visions, breakthroughs and learnings and a whole lot more.
We are soooooo excited for 2017, 2018, 2019 and the future is brighter! Definitely brighter!
The hope of the righteous shall be gladness; But the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
And a quote from Corrie Ten Boom;
Never be afraid to trust your unknown future to a known God!