Studying law had been my dream for as long as I can remember. 

I had always been fascinated by the job like having to pore over the facts and getting to craft and pick apart arguments (no doubt glamourised by the Suits episodes I watched over and over again).

The prestige and the big bucks that came with being a lawyer were really attractive too. 

So, my sights were set: I wanted to go to law school and nowhere else. 


For a while, I was even convinced that becoming a lawyer was God’s plan for me, because it seemed like He was moving heaven and earth to make a way for me to go to law school. 

Indeed, after submitting my application the university not only offered me an admissions interview, but also an interview for a scholarship I hadn’t even applied for.

There was one problem, however, as I was going to be overseas when the interview was scheduled to take place. 

Miraculously, the school made special arrangements to combine both interviews, and even scheduled them before the official interview period started for me! I was even able to change my flight last minute at no extra cost.

Seeing how everything was falling into place, I was certain that God was opening doors for me to study law.

Joy has been a member of Victory Family Centre for her whole life.

Fast forward a couple weeks, I got my acceptance letter in the mail. I couldn’t believe it, everything I wanted was finally happening!

However, instead of being filled with happiness and excitement, I was instantly overcome with a sense of uneasiness about going to law school.

I was confused. This was my dream come true. And wasn’t this God’s plan for me? So why was I feeling this way?

I started to ask God why I was suddenly having mixed feelings. It was at a youth service a few weeks later when He gave me an answer. 

During that service, my church announced that they were planning to send out youth teams on a year-long church planting trip and called for people to sign up.

In that moment, I felt God tug on my heart and tell me that this was what He wanted me to do. 

I didn’t want to believe it. I’ve always had a heart for missions, but it seemed like one of those things that I would leave for later in life.

Why did I have to give up my dreams and go now? How do I explain turning down law school to others?

And how would I even ask my parents for permission to go? There was no way they would let me put off studying and move across the world for a year at 19. 

So, I tried ignoring God’s prompting, I even tried reasoning with Him (as we all do), but He stopped me in my tracks one night with one simple question: “I gave you your dream, now will you take on mine?” 

It felt like I was standing in front of  two roads leading in totally opposite directions.

I could either follow my dreams and lose my peace, or choose to let them go but know that I’m walking right with God.

At this point, I had already grappled with a lack of peace about going to law school for so long that choosing to put it off in obedience actually felt like the easier choice!

So, I told God that if He made a way for me to go for missions, I would.


Sure enough, God made things fall into place once again.

The team was formed, my parents had a change of heart, and within the span of a few weeks, I was on a plane bound for Christchurch, New Zealand. 

In that one year, I saw how God truly blesses obedience, just as He promises to in Scripture.

I could either follow my dreams and lose my peace, or choose to let them go but know that I’m walking right with God.

In the mission field, my team and I experienced God’s miraculous protection and provision. We also saw how God used our obedience to bless and transform those around us. 

One of the girls we met in Christchurch had told God that if He was real, He would send someone to tell her about Him.

Just two weeks after that prayer, we moved into the house right across from hers! And as we reached out to her, we saw God set her free from past hurts and bitterness towards her family.

She eventually became one of the first members of the church we planted, faithfully serving alongside us every Sunday! 

Joy spent a year in Christchurch, New Zealand, under VFC’s Church Planting Training Programme.

When I came back from Christchurch, everyone was asking me why I would give up law school to do social sciences.

I thought I had made peace with my decision, but having to defend it to everyone made me start to doubt again.

It hurt even more when people started asking me whether it was because I thought I wasn’t good enough. 

Additionally, I had to go to school and watch others live out my lawyer dream while trying not to get hung up on the fact that that could have been me.

I knew choosing obedience was the right decision, but at that point, I honestly struggled to believe that I had made the right call. It was tough.

It’s been two years since I started university.

And while I couldn’t see it back then, looking back now, I can see that God was using my obedience to work everything out for my good. 

In school, God has blessed me with a scholarship and with great friends who encourage me both spiritually and academically. I’ve come to really love studying social science and I’m doing better than I’ve ever done before!

Joy with friends from university.

I also have a lot more time to serve than I would have had if I went to law school, and God has opened many doors for me to serve and lead in my youth ministry.

Looking back, I can see why God led me to take a gap year and go for missions — that year in the field changed the trajectory of my life.

Before, I had bought into the typical Singaporean view of success. I was just focused on studying and doing well.

But now, my perspective has changed. I realise that there are higher things in life that matter, which also include making time for people and investing in their lives.


Through it all, I’ve learned that God really is faithful. While I was doubting His plans and blaming Him for all my struggles, He was still in my corner. He never stopped working in my life. 

I’ve also realised that obedience is more than that one moment when you choose to set foot on the path God sets before you.

Obedience is commitment. It is choosing that path everyday, trusting that it’s the best — even when our circumstances or other people tell you otherwise.

Joy’s hope in ministry to continue leading and empowering young people in the years to come.

There is no promise that choosing obedience will always be easy, or that it will always only reap blessings. In fact, the Bible is full of stories of people whose decision to walk in obedience led them straight into hardship and suffering!

But God does promise that His plans for you are the best.

After my own journey in obedience, I am convinced that there is genuinely no better place to be than exactly where God intends for you to be

If you find yourself at a crossroads, deciding between what you want and what God wants for you, I encourage you to choose obedience.

Entrust your future to the One who knows it all.

He will never shortchange you.  

  1. What is one dream you have in life?
  2. How does that dream align with your gifts, talents and God’s will for your life?
  3. Would you take a moment to present your heart’s desires to God? Let Him speak to you about these dreams.