What a semester it has been. The combination of excitement that this is finally my final year and also feeling the stress/burden of not failing any of my units so that I can graduate in time.
At the start of the year, someone close to me kept on reminding me not to take on too much, especially in my final year. Well… I already started my term as Outreach and Mission Officer at OCF since the AGM last September, so no way will I just leave and let my other leaders & fellow OCFers down. I continued to serve in the worship team at OCF as well, mainly because quite a number of our musicians have graduated last year, and I feel that it will be unfair to let the others (remaining on the team) to have to keep serving on a more regular basis. On top of that, I’m also serving in the worship team at church as well as in Sunday School because there wasn’t enough people serving.
Anyways, you could probably tell I had a lot on my plate already (but at that time I thought I was fine, that’s why I didn’t cut down) until I failed 2 of my mid sems. 😦
Even though I wished I had listened, so that maybe just maybe this outcome could have been avoided if I did listen, but I believe God always allow things to happen for a good reason and for His purpose & glory alone. Of course, no one would ever voluntarily sign up for a trial/hardship in life but through this painful experience, I’ve learnt to TRUST Him even though it was so hard.
I think what disappointed me the most was not the failure itself but I felt that God had failed me, He failed to keep His promise. Because just before my finance mid-sem, this verse came out on Instagram.
Psalm 55:22 “Cast you cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fail.”
I mean why give me false hope that I won’t fail when You/God know I will and I did. When I saw my results, I was shocked but I found comfort. That night we had a Combined Public Meet at OCF where aunty M came and encouraged us on the importance of serving. But she concluded by reminding us the importance of finding the balance between serving and studying. That was when I realised that I had been taking on too much than I should. After the CPM, I told aunty M that I found her message very timely and relevant to what I was going on at that moment of my life. I’m thankful for her prayers and reminding me that we as students should also focus on glorifying God through our studies. And that God will provide the people to step up to serve. Hence, I should cut down on my commitments.
She also gave me Romans 8:28.
Romans 8:28 “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.”
So since then (after the mid-sems to the final exams), I let my leaders know that I need to reduce my commitments and I’m thankful that they are very understanding and wasn’t judgmental. Also I had the opportunity to train up/mentor new worship leaders at church. It was a joy to see how I could share my limited experience and knowledge with them and see how God was using them to serve Him. =)
The most important lesson God told me during this painful/stressful time was to “Be Still and Know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). That message came through songs (like Amy Grant which I included below) to devotion to Instagram/Facebook posts. You know that this message is important when you see it more than once.
Preparing for my finals (which I just ended on Monday) was a struggle for me. I think what happened in the mid sem just shook me and robbed away my confidence in what I thought I knew. I would just break down in tears remembering my failures. But God always works in ways you cannot see. The very next day, a friend from BSF texted me. It was really unexpected because I haven’t talk to her in 2 years and she probably doesn’t know that I was struggling at that time. But her words of encouragement was very timely. She shared Isaiah 40:29-31, telling me that God prompted her to share this with me.
Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Even though I wished I didn’t have to go through all this for the last 3 months but I’m thankful I did. Because I got to experience God in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise. I think a lot of times, we link pain/suffering/trials (whatever you want to call it) to our own faults. I know I did, I kept asking God “Why did you let me fail? It’s not like I didn’t study. So what did I do wrong??!!”As I was asking this question, this link pop up on my Facebook page (God is always so timely isn’t He? Haha)
I’m really thankful for the amazing brothers and sisters in Christ who have been so encouraging and bringing me comfort during this season in my life. From coming all the way to study with me, bringing food and exam study packs, to encouraging notes/cards/messages/Bible verses and praying for me. And also classmates/friends who texted me to study with them. Also when my home/area had a sudden power outage which was around 10pm and I had a quiz due, so I had to rush to the uni library to get it done by midnight, thankful for the friend who stayed up to study with me. And for a second chance to re-do one of my group assessments. Definitely won’t forget the time when I had trouble with importing data from Excel to R Commander for my stats test and praying that the tutor will give me extra time which I did. Despite the extra stress, thank God that I managed to do quite alright in that test. Looking back, I’m really blessed. Thankful that God has been so faithful and for His providence, love and care for me.
Even though at this moment, my papers are being marked, I choose to trust God that all will be well. I’m not expecting good grades but just enough to pass the units. One key take away lesson that I learnt from BSF just this Monday (decided to go again since I finished my last paper) is that God will keep His promises even though we are uncertain/unsure of the outcome.
Haha, I saw rainbows 4 times today. The first one just before my sister’s final exam, second one blogging while waiting for my sister to finish her last paper, third time on the way home and the last one when we reached home. “A rainbow’s position depends on the location of the observer and the position of the sun.” So for me, it’s quite rare to see a rainbow. I associate rainbow with God’s promise (from Noah’s Ark story). It’s a “lesson to us is that when we see a rainbow we should always be reminded of God’s faithfulness and His amazing grace.” Taken from https://www.gotquestions.org/Noahic-covenant.html
Well, I saw 4 rainbows today so I think God is saying I’ll pass all 4 of my papers! haha 🙂
Let me end by sharing one of my favourite verses
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
If you’re going through a hard time at the moment, can I encourage you NOT to give up? Keep trusting in the Lord and let His promises to you come to pass.
Here’s a prayer especially for you! 🙂 God bless!
P.S. I finished my draft I was wondering whether I should post/share this, and God gave me a clear answer while reading my devotion on the bus. 🙂 https://odb.org/2017/06/21/sharing-a-cup-of-comfort/