I set my alarm to four in the morning; my bag and my cameras were ready; sandal, calf sleeve and ankle support were ready; food was ready, too; I was finally ready to go on a hike, but…for nth time, it will again be cancelled. Once again, I am brokenhearted.
I had been waiting for this day to arrive but I am once again disappointed that it will not happen. The past several weeks had been challenging and the week to arrive is more challenging ever because of the overlapping summer camps I have to facilitate / co-facilitate. I thought I deserve this hike and I needed a breather – to commune with mother nature – for me to unload stress and anxieties and replenish it with renewed vigor. But…it won’t happen (again) </3.
This reminds me of the journey I had to endure several months ago.
I was commissioned as a Global Mission Fellow of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Global Ministries last August of 2016. I was assigned to a tiny but exquisitely beautiful island country of Barbados. As a GMF, we are expected to arrive at our place of assignment (POA) the earliest by September 2016 or the latest by December 2016. Otherwise, we are either reassigned (which has no guarantee) or separated from the program.
I processed my requirements – Clearance, Official papers, IDs, etc. – and sent it to Barbados so that my Landing Visa will be processed. I followed-up and I maintained a constant communication with my presumptive POA Supervisor (PPS). A week before September, I already bid goodbye to all my cliques and communities where I belong to. I was ready to leave.
September arrived in a snap. Guess what? My visa did not arrive. First of September passed and yet, my visa did not arrive. Second and third passed so fast and the last week of September was about to pass, too. Then I got an email. YES! I was in a celebratory mood because the prior weeks was silence. To my disappointment, it was an email informing me that I WILL NOT be given a landing visa unless I secure my Work Permit. My spirit was still high that time so I just processed a new set of papers for the work permit requirements. I accomplished it the soonest possible time I could; I regularly followed-up; I DID MY PART.
October came rushing. I got an email and I was assured my two visas will arrive by second week of October. Guess what? Second week of October passed. November and December came and passed. I still got no visas. January and February 2017 came and passed. I still got no visas and I was ready to leave the program. Then came first week of March. It was marching with promises. I was given by GBGM an alternative POA, Zimbabwe. My heart was overwhelmed with JOY that finally my extended period of waiting will now come to pass. I already got a schedule for an interview. I will not be serving in Barbados but in Zimbabwe. Then again, God being a god of surprises, twisted the plot in a good way. After weeks of silence from my PPS, he sent an email asking me to book my tickets and prepare to leave for Barbados. Isn’t that cool amazing? Joy upon joy poured into my hearts.
In Romans 8:28 we read, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” As good Christians, we sometimes fail to the understand this well. I know I read and heard it several times but the translation of this verse to my faith journey has never been this evident.
In Romans 8:28 we read, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
All these months of waiting, I was brokenhearted, disappointed, sad, anxious, depressed at one point and even came to a point where I asked myself if I made the right choice to apply for the program. Then God revealed to me that “ALL (whether good or bad/seemingly uncomfortable) things work together for GOOD to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” All the good things of being assigned to this lovely country Barbados, even the agony of waiting to be here, work together for my good. The verse states “all things” not “all GOOD things”. Thus, whether we experience high highs and low lows in serving God, we can be assured that all of these will work for our own good. God will make it beautiful in his own time.
BTW, missing the hike today may mean that God wants me to have rest instead because the past six or eight weeks had been physically exhausting. I may have not written this (first) blog too had I made it to the hike today.