Saturday, April 28, 2007

Diamond in the Rough

" Consider it pure joy...whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." ~James

Trials + Perseverance = Maturity

I've spent a month in Thailand. It's been a difficult month in confusion and the great unknown, aimlessly wandering in a disoriented sort of way. I want to record ways in which God has refined me through trials, as the Bible says, " Some of the wise will be refined, purified, and made spotless until the time of the end, for it'll still come." I don't think I'm "wise" now; but after the trials, I maybe a little wiser.

Trial #1 -Career Move

I wasn't sure what I wanted to do next with my life. It took weeks to wrestle with all sorts of feelings--insecurity, doubts, hopelessness, and anxieties.

Results: After weeks of misery, the first revelation was that I need to start my career and can't keep bouncing around the globe aimlessly. I'm 27 and have no solid experience in the teaching field. I need to start teaching... somewhere in the world. I've applied semi-across the globe: US, UK, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Right now, I just have to pray that God will choose the right one for me. Second, I need to settle down a bit. Moving around too much is not healthy for my sprituality. I need a solid network of friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, who can help me make it to Heaven. So for my next destination, depending upon work, I do intend to stay for at least one year, preferably two. While working in my chosen career, I can continue to travel here and there and still have a base to come back to, and will already be adding my teaching experience to my resume.

Trial #2 - Family Matters

I got into an argument with my mom and brother. After nine years of living on my own, it's difficult to move back home. My parents have their own expectations of me. They love me in their own way, but it doesn't feel like it sometimes, and I'm sure they don't feel loved by me at times too.

Results: Lots of grace, patience and space. I have to convince myself that my family loves me, especially during times when they hurt me the most. I'm trying to walk in my parents' shoes and my brother's. I have to admit I don't understand many things about them, but I'm trying. One thing I'm grateful about my family is that, afterall that we've been through, we're still together as a family.

It is my belief that God wants you and me to be sparkling diamonds someday. He always has this goal in mind and knows what it takes for us, individually, to become one. He sees our potential and believes in us enough to let us go through difficult times. Although I've stumbled greatly, I know I won't fall because He's there to catch me. Right now, this rock is being refined and purified, and it doesn't feel good. Nevertheless, slowly but surely, it will begin to shimmer and shine.