In April 2019, I felt God calling me to leave my job.
I didn’t have clarity on what exactly He wanted me to do, but I sensed it was along the lines of ministry and missions. It was a call to lay down my career for the fruit of the harvest.
He gave me a word from the Bible.
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.” (John 12:24-26)
I didn’t yet know where He was calling me to, but I wanted to follow Him anyway. I wanted to be where Jesus was.
But even after saying “yes”, when the time came to finally make that decision last November, there was anxiety and doubt.
Real concerns like how I would have to give up a lot of luxuries that I was used to and how dismal my bank account would be began to crowd out the excitement of the call that God had given.
After 10 years as a civil servant, it suddenly dawned on me I had no idea what I was going to do, or how I was going to feed myself.
With the new role I was given at work, it felt comfortable to stay in the job. I just had to work nine-hour days, have my one-hour lunch gym session and head home to do whatever I wanted.
Yet after a day of prayerfully seeking the Lord, I felt peace to step out of my job and follow wherever God was leading me even though I had no idea what that looked like.
As with every major decision, the in-between season was most nerve-racking. I swung between excited faith and anxious disbelief in my decision.
During my trip to Seoul at the end of last year, I prayed specifically for a strong community with my friends and the church there and assurance for the decision I had made.
I needed to know that I wasn’t crazy – that God was really calling me to embark on this new season.
On the last day of my trip (which was my birthday too), we walked over to a nearby church after a morning Bible study with two sisters at a cafe.
The moment worship started, I encountered God so powerfully I started weeping. It was then that God gave me a picture of Jesus standing on the waves, His arm extended, calling me to himself.
I thought: “Is this the assurance I was asking for? Of all pictures, this cliched one?”
Who was I to dismiss it though? I was so overwhelmed by the presence of God that I knew it was Him. In that moment I took His hand and said “yes”.
Later during the sermon, the guest speaker from Youth With A Mission talked about walking with Jesus.
“ONLY ONE disciple climbed out of the boat, even though the invitation was given to all,” he said.
My heart burned and leapt at the same time.
“Yes, you didn’t hear wrongly. This is my call to you,” I felt the Lord saying to me.
Throughout the sermon the Spirit spoke to me louder than I had ever experienced. He gave me clarity in my calling and gifts.
Nudged by the Spirit, I went over to say “hi” to the speaker after the service ended.
I merely wanted to express a simple appreciation for his powerful word, but he released a prophetic word that God would bless the decision I had made. I also recently realised the name of the church was OCEAN!
What more could I ask for? I definitely didn’t expect such a gift on my birthday, nor that God had so much to say when I asked for assurance.
What a good Father who withholds nothing good from His children!
I received a picture of me in the boat of my fears, my burnout and my false identity, while Jesus was calling me out on the waves with him. It was beautiful that Jesus wasn’t in the boat.
Sometimes Jesus is right next to me in the boat I’m in. But this time, he stood at a distance, because He knew I needed to leave that boat I was in and join him on an adventure on the waves.
My favourite line from “On The Waves With You” sums up what this season has been for me.
The firmest foundation
now who would have thought
is on the waves next to you.
Even with the disruptions of COVID-19 and the slow start to my tutoring work, or just generally not earning or doing as much as I thought I would, my feet were firmly planted.
The biggest healing work God did was to heal me of my need for control, which was causing a lot of anxiety. The healing of my brokenness and rediscovering the goodness of the character of God has transformed me entirely.
I feel like I’m a different person.
Suddenly I am asking God for stuff again, and I’m praying with faith, trust and hope.
Most importantly, rather than a reluctant obedience, I’m yielding to the Father with all my heart, mind and soul, and trusting that he is a good Father who knows me intimately.
It is really because of this healing work and this revelation of His goodness that I can wholeheartedly sing:
So I will go
walk on the waves with you
turn from my ways
abide in you
Every time I hear the song’s bridge, I have so much conviction.
The wind it can blow
the rising storm rages
your voice whispers close
your word is an anchor
safest in the treacherous tempest
on the waves with you
Because despite COVID-19, plans failing, being in a weird place where nothing happened for months with the circuit breaker and just this sense that the world is falling apart, I feel so anchored and collected, right in the centre of his plans.
In the last two months, things have started to amp up, with God bringing opportunities for me to lead various events at church, as well as people whom I could minister to.
He has also been reminding me about my dreams about church planting, missions and worship to the nations through conversations, connections with people, and timely words from sermons and talks.
I don’t believe these are coincidences. It feels like He is equipping me, and my growth is taking place exponentially.
There are still no obvious or clear signs of what job I should be in, but the clarity for this season is this: to faithfully steward what He has placed in my life and let Him be the master storyteller.
In fact, I feel like I don’t need to know. I just need to hang onto Him and watch Him pave the way under my feet.
I finally understand what Paul means when he says:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
The man wasn’t lying!
God is unchanging, eternal, good and faithful. I have grown so much over the last two years, but most of all in knowing who Jesus is and how much He loves me.
My prayer today is that you will embark on your own unique adventure of knowing Jesus and His love for you.
This article was first published on Delphne’s blog and has been republished with permission.