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主日分享見證_Linda姊妹 Testimony of Linda

2020.08.02

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今天,我想透過分享申請出國唸書的心路歷程,見證上帝奇妙的恩典。


出國唸書是一個我從很小很小的時候就立下的夢想,小時候的自己,總幻想有一天能去美國的頂尖名校唸書。逐漸長大後,才發現現實和夢想的距離是那麼的遙遠。


我並沒有顯赫的家世背景,沒有雄厚的財力支持,沒有智商180的能力,我只是個普通人,那對我而言,築夢的過程並不容易,需要很多的累積。關係到專業能力、英文能力、經濟能力…等各方面的準備,而這些都不是短時間能立竿見影的。除此此外,美國名校的博士生名額非常少,競爭很激烈,高標準要求讓這個出國留學的夢想更是難上加難。


準備的過程中,充滿挑戰,英文考試相當艱難,準備TOEFL和GRE考試,讓我真的是充滿挫折。除了工作以外的時間,我每天都是從早到晚的泡在國家圖書館裡認真讀書,從早上九點開門到晚上九點關門,整天都坐在那拼命的苦讀,熬過數十場的考試,無數次的失落,看著無起色的分數,有時候也難免會覺得迷惘,懷疑這樣的犧牲和努力是否真的值得?懷疑自己是否真的有能力去追逐這樣的夢想?


這個過程,讓我充分感受到身為人的有限性,時間有限,能力有限、智慧有限。但是,在人被造的有限中總是存在著進步、更上一層樓的可能。我們可以學習依靠上帝的力量去突破和超越。在夜深人靜時,我學習將自己的軟弱、無助交託給上帝,將我的需要藉由禱告,懇求上帝的幫助與安慰。漸漸的,我走出低谷,繼續以加倍的努力面對自己的不足,最終克服了語言的門檻條件。


但是下一步,申請學校以及出國唸書的錢呢?要從哪裡來呢?即便我已經獲得教育部的公費留考獎學金,但其實,我知道這筆費用並不完全足以涵蓋所有的學費和生活費開銷。因此從去年2019年的暑假起,我便積極的投入另一項美國政府的獎學金申請,通過嚴謹的筆試與面試的考核後,我很幸運的獲得這個獎助機會,充滿感恩的讚嘆上帝的奇妙恩典。


但是,2020就是個充滿變化之年,在今年年初的時候,因為一些緣故,後來得知並不能同時領取這兩份政府獎學金,必須要選擇放棄其中一項,這讓我掙扎了一段時間,當中確實有些難過,我無法理解上帝為什麼這麼做,祂知道我是通過努力爭取而來的,但卻又收回了這份獎學金,讓我陷入財務上的壓力。我覺得很失落,這是上主的旨意嗎?我很困惑?也為失去的獎學金而感到難過。


回顧歷經幾年來艱辛的準備,好不容易終於在2020年初時,收到每一所學校都錄取的通知信,原本是很開心,很期待的,但卻因為獎學金的財務的壓力和疫情對全球造成的影響,讓出國計畫變得充滿未知,充滿挑戰?而在這個變化的時刻,正考驗著我們對信仰的堅定,以及對上帝的信心。


經歷這些,我不知道下一步到底會如何?也不確定這個財務的問題是否能解決?但我想起聖經裡的一句話:「在人,這是不可能的;但是在神,凡事都可能。」我再次將自己交託到上主面前,懇求上主的幫助,雖然我無法預料也無法控制事情的發展,但我願意,接受這一切,也相信這一切都是上主的旨意,也是上主最好的安排。


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。


阿們~感謝上主的帶領,幫助我這些風雨中,克服重重的困難,穿越心情上的起起伏伏,讓我學習真實的倚靠祂,如同腓立比書4:11~13保羅所說的「我並不是因缺乏說這話,我無論在甚麼景況都可以知足,這是我已經學會了。我知道怎樣處卑賤,也知道怎樣處豐富;或飽足,或飢餓;或有餘,或缺乏,隨事隨在,我都得了祕訣。我靠著那加給我力量的,凡事都能做。」


各位弟兄姐妹們,靠著那加給我們力量的,我們凡事都能做。無論是風浪或低谷,主的平安在我們的心裡,在我們遇到人生中的的各種境遇時,主教我們學習謙卑、知足地面對各種境遇,行在主的旨意,凡事倚靠祂所加的力量,凡事謝恩,願上主的恩典與我們同在。阿門。


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!

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