Higher Ways // 更高的旨意
The corporate world has its ups and downs. Read how God carried our editor Paul
through one of his biggest down moments.
I thank God for a steady career in advertising over the last 17 years. Starting at the bottom in 1995, I saw His blessings year after year as I climbed steadily (albeit sometimes slowly) up the corporate rungs. Four years ago, God opened doors and I landed a job in Hong Kong. God was faithful and the last four years here were filled with challenges, achievements and recognitions.
Last September, I lost my job.
It came out of the blue. I was unprepared mentally and emotionally. The initial shock and sadness caused sleepless nights, tears and questions. Where next? Was it a sign to leave Hong Kong (even though we didn’t want to)? How long before we run out of money? Was I being punished for something I did, or did not do?
Hong Kong is wonderful when you have a steady income. But without one, it suddenly becomes dauntingly expensive and seemingly heartless. However, this also brought about a total reliance on God, and 2 Corinthians 12:9 became reality to me: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
The following few months, with the controls completely out of my hands, God revealed His strength, providence and guidance in amazing ways. More than once, He reminded that I had many blessings for which to be thankful. First being my wife, my constant encourager. Her positive energy kept me going. When I worried about finances, she didn’t. Her faith in God was infectious, and I was reminded of the joys of a godly wife.
Then, we saw and felt the benefits of being a part of God’s family. Parents, pastors, cell members, and church friends in Hong Kong and back in Malaysia were a constant source of moral support, praying for us, keeping our spirits up and just being there for us. Words cannot describe how much every text message, email, encouraging word and prayer meant to us.
God also provided in ways that truly touched and blessed our hearts. First, I received severance pay, which covered me for two months. Then, way before the last day in my old company, calls started coming for freelance jobs. I managed to bill over a month’s salary through freelance. Without doubt, it could only be God.
All this while, I did everything possible to find permanent employment. I contacted headhunters, emailed friends, called Executive Creative Directors all over Hong Kong, went for interviews, got my blog going to showcase my portfolio. Through it all, nothing happened. I believe God also allowed for this to happen to show that He was in control and to reveal that His plans are better. Way better.
Just before CNY, when I was in Bangkok for a short break, a call came. A headhunter I was in contact with only for freelance, said an agency was interested to interview me for a permanent position. It could not have come at a better time. Finances were running low, and it was just before CNY, so this ray of hope added to the celebrations. The interviews were set for after CNY.
But God was not done. After the holidays, He showed me that He knew what I needed even when I didn’t. Another call came from another company. Though this position was not as attractive as the first, it gave me a bargaining chip. Without this upper hand, the process would have taken way longer.
With both interviews going well, I was then given the chance to put God first and I did. I chose the company that was closer to my church (which also happened to be my preferred agency). It was ideal. And I had nothing to do with it. Only God could orchestrate such perfection.
Once the job was close to being confirmed, another peculiar thing happened. The freelance jobs just stopped. This gave me a chance to have a real break – a break without worry, and a real holiday that had a light at the end of it. God’s goodness truly knows no bounds and He is so amazing.
Today, I am enjoying a new job selected by Abba Father. But one thing this episode revealed was how much security I had put in my career. So, while thankful for what He has given me, I now choose to find my security and identity in Him. To God be the glory!
Image credit: JillClardy / Flickr