最後，在幾個星期前，我所任職的單位告訴我他們願意提供我以遠距的方式持 續工作。霎那間，我明白這是上主的旨意，這是祂的差派與恩典，讓我能繼續 貢獻一己之力，同時獲得所需的財物支持。
Today, I would like to share about my journey of applying to study abroad as a testimony to the incredible blessings of God.
Studying abroad has always been my dream since I was very young. I dreamed of studying at a top college in the U.S. As I gradually grew older, I realized that, in reality, this dream is very difficult to achieve.
I did not come from an influential family of strong financial support, nor do I have IQ of 180. I was just an ordinary person, and to me, the journey of the fulfillment of my dream was very challenging. I needed much preparation in the areas of professional development, English proficiency, financial strength, and many others. This took much time. Besides this, there are very few vacancies in the doctorate program in America and competition is stiff, with high expectations. This made the dream of studying abroad even more challenging.
It was full of challenges during the preparation for the exams, especially the English proficiency exams. While preparing for TOEFL and GRE, I experienced many setbacks. I was dedicated to studying in the national library every day except for the time needed for working. This was from 9 am when the library opened till 9pm when it closed, and I stayed there the whole day studying really hard. I did this for so many exams, and experienced countless disappointment when there was no improvement in my results of exam. Sometimes, I couldn’t help feeling lost and doubting myself whether the sacrifice and hard work was worthwhile. I also had doubts in my abilities to pursue this dream.
This process caused me to experience the limitations of a human being in terms of time, ability and wisdom. However, the limitations built in us also means that there is potential for improvement. We can learn to depend on God’s strength for breakthroughs and overcoming challenges. In the silence of the night, I learnt to present my weakness and helplessness to God and also submit my requests to God through prayer, asking for help and comfort. Gradually, I walked out of the rock bottom of my life and increased my effort when facing my weaknesses. Ultimately, I met the language requirement.
The next challenge was the application and payment for the school fees. Where would the payment come from? Even if I received a scholarship from the ministry of education, the amount would be insufficient for the cost of school fees and living expenses. Hence from the start of the 2019 summer vacation, I made a lot of effort in applying for an American government scholarship. After passing very strict assessments and interviews, I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship. I was filled with gratitude and praised God for the miraculous blessing.
However, 2020 was a year of many changes. At the beginning of the year, because of some reasons, I was informed that I cannot receive two government scholarships and needed to choose one. This made me struggle for a while, and I was sad. I am unable to understand why God did this. God knows I have worked very hard to achieve this, and yet He took back this scholarship from me. This caused me to face financial stress and I felt very lost. Is this God’s will? I was confused. I was also upset about losing the scholarship.
As I looked back upon the several years of difficult preparation, and that I finally received the admission letters from every college that I applied for, I was initially full of joy and anticipation. However, the financial burden and the global effects of the pandemic caused much uncertainty and challenge in the issue of studying abroad. In this time of change, our faith and confidence in God is tested.
After experiencing all these, I’m unsure of what to do next. Can the financial issues be resolved? However, I remembered a verse in the Bible: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”. Once again, I presented my request to God and asked for His help. Although I could not predict and was unable to control how things would turn out, I was willing to accept all of these, believing that it is all God’s will and believe that God has the best plan.
Finally, a few weeks ago, my work place informed me that they would allow me to continue to work remotely. In that moment, I realised that this was the will of the Lord, His mission and grace, so that I could continue to contribute in my own strength and at the same time get the financial support I needed.
Amen! Thank God for His leading and help during times of trouble to overcome challenges. This surpasses all the emotional rollercoaster journey and helped me to learn to truly depend on Him. According to the book of Philippians 4:11-13, Apostle Paul said “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Dear brothers and sisters, all things are possible when we depend on Him whom gives us strength. It does not matter whether it is the storms or the rock bottom of life, God’s peace would guard our hearts and when we encounter various challenges in our life. God teaches us to be humble and content. May we walk in God’s will, depend on the strength that He gives us in all circumstances, and give thanks to Him in all situations. May the blessings of God be with us. Amen!