Higher Ways // 更高的旨意

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The corporate world has its ups and downs. Read how God carried our editor Paul
through one of his biggest down moments.
起起跌跌是企業世界的常情。這篇見証分享神如何帶領WitnessHK編輯Paul走過他人生的一個低谷。

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!

我感謝神在過去的17年裡賜給我在廣告業裡平穩的事業。1995年,我從低做起,在我每年穩步地在職場往上爬(雖然有時候比較慢)的過程中,我看見了祂的種種恩典。4年後,神為我打開了門讓我在香港找到工作。神是信實的,而過去的4年充滿了挑戰、成就和別人的認同。

去年的九月,我失去了我的工作。

發生得很突然。我在心理上和情緒上毫無準備。最初的震驚和悲傷帶來了淚水、疑問以及多個失眠的晚上。下一步要到哪裡呢?這是一個就算我們不想也要離開香港的徵兆嗎?我們的錢還有多長時間就會用光?我是在為了我曾經做過,或沒做過,的事情而被懲罰嗎?

當你有穩定的收入,香港是個美妙的地方。當你沒有的話,它突然變得令人生畏地昂貴以,甚至貌似無情。但是,這也帶來對神完全的信賴,歌林多後書12:9 對我來講變成了真實:“我的恩典夠你用的,因為我的能力、是在人的軟弱上顯得完全。”

接下來的幾個月,控制權更本不在我手中,神用神奇的方式揭示了祂的力量、眷顧和帶領,祂提醒了我我應該感恩,因為我已有很多的恩典。第一是我的妻子,我忠實的鼓勵者。她的正能量一路支持著我。當我為經濟而擔憂的時候,她沒有。她對神的信任感染了我,而我亦重新領會到有一位虔誠妻子的喜樂。

然後,我們看見並感覺到作為神的大家庭的一份子的好處。父母、牧師、團契成員、以及在香港和馬來西亞的教會裡的朋友是精神上支持的來源、他們為我們祈禱、讓我們精神上重新振作以及隨時隨地支持我們。他們的短訊、電郵、鼓勵語句以及禱告對我們的意義不是文字能形容的。

神也用著真正感動和祝福我們心靈的方式為我們供給。首先,我收到了足夠我生活兩個月的遣散費。然後,距離我在舊公司最後一天還有一段時間,我已收電話邀請我接自由職業的工作。透過自由職業的工作,我賺了超過平常一個月工資的薪水。毫無疑惑,這是神的作工。

這段時間裡,我盡我所能去找一份固定的工作。我聯繫了獵頭公司、發電郵給朋友、打電話給遍佈香港不同角落裡的執行創意總監、參加面試、開立我的博客展示我過往的創作。這些卻沒有為我帶來什麼。我相信神允許事情這樣發生來顯示祂是掌管一切的並揭示祂的安排是比較好的。好很多很多。

農曆新年前,當我在曼谷放短假的時候,我收到一通電話。一家我一直與其為了自由職業而保持聯繫的獵頭公司對我說,有一家廣告公司有興趣邀請我去面試一個固定的職位。那通電話來的時間再好不過了。我的財政開始見底,而且那剛剛是農曆新年前,所以這一線希望令新年更值得慶祝。面試約定在農曆新年後。

可是,神的作工還沒有完結。假期過後,祂為我顯示祂知道我連我也不知道的需要。另外一家公司也打電話給我。縱使這職位沒有第一個那麼吸引,它也給了我一個討價還價的籌碼。要是沒有這上風,這過程就不會那麼快速了。

兩個面試也進行順利,我後來有一個機會把神放在第一位,而我也真的把神放在第一位。我選擇比較近我教會的那一家公司(那剛好也是我比較喜歡的那家公司)。太理想了。而我並沒有做了什麼。只有神能編排得那麼完美。

當工作機會將近被確定的時候,又有異常的事情發生了。那些自由職業得工作機會停了。這給我一個機會去徹底休息-毫無憂慮地休息,一個真正的假期。神的美好真的沒有界限,而祂太神奇了。

今天,我很喜歡阿爸父為我挑選的工作。但是有一件事,這插曲揭示了我如何把我的大部份的安全感都付託於我的事業上。所以,當我為祂所給我的一切而感恩的時候,我現在決定在祂裡找回我的安全感和身份。光榮都歸於神!

Image credit: JillClardy / Flickr

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