In November 2019, 11 of us from QUT and GU went on a mission trip with Ambassadors of Jesus Christ (AFJC) in the Philippines. Going with fear of having minimal to give and contribute, God showed me that it is not so much about my giving but it was Him taking me on a journey to have a glimpse of His heart for other nations and His working inside of me through the trip.

On the last day of the trip, we had an impartation session with the AFJC team. A member of our team asked a question about how should her next step in journeying with God be? The AFJC staff shared that we always find ourselves asking the same question when we are making important decisions – whether we are in God’s will, or doing what God wants us to do? The staff continued to share that the real question we should really ask ourselves and our heart is – do we truly want to be in God’s will? If we truly want to be in His will, He will always show us the way. I felt God was speaking directly to me right there and then.

It spoke to me personally as I am in my final season in Brisbane. There are many unknowns and doubts about the next season. Though I have prayed and asked God, I am still feeling worried, disappointed and defeated when my visa application failed to come through.

After hearing the sharing, I understood why I often struggled with the transition of seasons. Instead of seeking Him and hearing the plan He has, I saw how my prayer has always been about me going to God with a plan, hoping He will agree and praying that He will make a way. Although I prayed and asked God, I was not really open to His way, as I had a preferred way.

By hearing and witnessing the transforming power of God in different individuals’ lives in this trip, God gave me a stronger conviction to abide in His will rather than my preferred way. He gave me peace no matter how my next season may look like. He reminded me that I do not have to know or have control of every detail in the future because He is in control and knows what He is doing. I just have to show up and respond to the very next step He shows me.

I am thankful that God is not a silent God. He speaks when I need to hear Him the most. Though it was more of a rebuke than a comforting word, His voice is what I need to hear – to know that He is still there and in control.

Three months back from the trip now, anxious thoughts and tendency to want to take things into my own hands still creep in at times. It is probably going to be a lifelong prayer that I will always remember He is God and He has a better plan.

Isaiah 55:8-9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Chiew Phing Tan