It was student exchange season and my boyfriend Reuben and I had applied and been accepted to universities in the United States. I, however, could feel God prompting me to stay in Singapore, despite my deep longing and desire to go.
Frustration and anger towards God arose in me.
“Don’t you see my desires, Lord?”
“What about me?”
“What about the things that I want to do, don’t you see them?”
It was a difficult season of wrestling with God and processing if we should go. If Reuben went without me, we wouldn’t see each other for a whole year. One day, as we were praying together over our decisions, he heard a word from God: “A tree in winter does not die easily”.
This is how we understood it: When faced with the harsh elements of winter, tree roots are forced to grow deeper to forage for water and nutrients as water is hard to be found. This is a tree’s coping mechanism for survival, and in doing so, it would be sturdier and even more rooted than before.
The next day, I was doing my quiet time with God when I felt Him impress upon a word upon my heart: “Seasons”. I was confused as to what He was telling me, but jotted it down in my journal anyway.
That word would remain in my journal for another two weeks, untouched and unexplained.
“Hey Ronice! You’ll be involved in vocals for the live recording of the song, ‘Seasons’!”
I took a second look at the text message, barely believing my eyes. Could it be, Lord?
Then I opened the lyric file that had come with it.
You don’t leave us in the hurting
Seasons are for tree to grow
You will meet us in our mourning
And turn our sorrows into joy
Tears streamed down my face. Trees? Seasons? I knew that God was speaking directly to me. Contrary to what I’d thought of Him, He had seen all my desires, longings and always known what’s best for me – I only had to trust Him.
Though this song, God made sense of the words Reuben and I had received, and in His own funny way, allowed me to sing the very words He had prophesied over us.
It has been 2 months since Reuben left for the States and the journey has been difficult for the both of us. But I know that we are exactly where God has called us to be, and I thank Him for giving us this season to grow, deepen our roots and lean into Him.
I have also since found out that the school I was allocated to for exchange in the United States, Virginia, was badly hit by Hurricane Florence and that all students were forced to evacuate from the school premises. What would have happened if I were there?
In moments like these, I can’t help but recognise how big our God truly is. His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. He meets us in our mourning, and turns our sorrows into joy.