Do you know the feeling of relief and excitement upon getting the right answer to a math equation you have been trying to solve for hours? Proud moment isn’t? We’ll that’s exactly what I feel! I’m like a kid pulling one arm down and the other raised up high while shouting, ” YES! I figured it out!
“Serving others is not the most glamorous job in the world, but Jesus did it and it is what God had put in my heart.”
By the way, I’m Imee and last year (2018), was an extraordinary year for me. So many things just happened that created a dramatic change in the course of my life. I felt I went on “metamorphosis” — a process by which the form or nature of a thing or person is changed into a completely different one. When I was going through the process, I was questioning myself about all the efforts I have been doing in my life — to my work, career, relationship, family, church, etc. I thought I was certain about many things but I just realized I wasn’t.
For the past years, I have been working my ass so I can retire 3 years from now. In secular perspective, I am doing great! My earnings, doesn’t just give me food on the table but a lot of other things too that’s beyond what I need. But having an 7 digit income seems not enough. I kept on wanting more, so I have 4 to 5 jobs all at the same time. I have quit the corporate life and went on full time consultancy work. And yes, it pays off very well but it wasn’t an easy road. My stress level was hitting off the ceiling because of work! I thought eliminating some would do the trick but the stress just keeps on adding up. I started complaining about so many things and my optimism just slowly died on the course.
Research says stress is one of the major causes of sickness to people and I was no exemption to that. It was June of 2018 when I was rushed in the hospital because of this. I could still vividly remember how I drove myself in the hospital. Upon reaching the entrance, I remembered pulling the handbrake and saw my close friend exited the side door and ran. The next thing I knew I was being pulled out from my car and taken inside the ER. I thought it was my very last breath of air. But God was good, I was given another chance to live. After that horrific experienced, I quit my job and focused on recovering. Unfortunately, the damage wasn’t just in my physical body, but to my relationship as well. The same month, my seven years relationship with the man I thought would be my last, ended as well. It felt like being punched twice on my face and was almost knocked-out. Good thing, God made my knees stronger and have provided me the strength I needed that time. Yes, God was indeed present in these trying times. And as the months have passed by, I have lived on with my life blessed with far more better opportunities. Less work but with better income.
Although, I was able to surpass that phase, I felt that there’s something wrong in my life’s picture puzzle. The picture doesn’t feel right. I just knew this is not it — it shouldn’t look like this. All the pieces are here, but the picture is not what it seems to be. And so I ask “God what do you want me to do?” I am confused. After intensely praying, it hit me! The answer was, “Do what you love to do and be awesome in doing it!”. Wow! I heard this line so many times but it was only that moment I understood every words of it. It sure sounds easy but it wasn’t like that at all when I started applying it in my life.
So what do I love doing? I started looking back at my life….pictures of good memories came thru my head… flashes of smiling faces, laughter and contentment. And yes! It was very clear this time. It wasn’t about working hard to get lots of money that I love, but seeing the people I have shared, mentored and coached succeed in life! Not only that, but I also found myself extremely happy in doing work for the glory of God — like sharing my hard learned lessons in life, charity work, and so much more — creating noise to draw attention of many towards Him, The True God, The Grand Architect of the Universe — testifying through His great work in me that indeed He exist and that with Him, all impossible feats become possible!
So my work began. I had to remove everything that doesn’t make me happy and just focused on what I love doing. This was really a challenge, because I have to reassess again all my activities including work. Cutting off all those that stresses me and can possibly stress me in the future despite that it provides a great amount of income I need to retire.
And so 2019 came. I just felt so excited but I couldn’t explain why. I thought, maybe because I have finally put the pieces in the right places and the picture of what I need to do has become clear. But little did I know that God has already a project waiting for me to work on.
I went to Cebu early this year to close a transaction for my Insurance business. Well, my client was my long time mentor and confidant — a true man of God. He’s like my second father, a big brother and have known me in and out. I remember during my college days how I have been a big headache for him — a one hell of a stubborn kid I was, a certified rebel. Oh yeah, I was indeed a big pain in the ass. But he was very patient with me; always seeing the good things that I could be if only I make the right choices in life. And he was correct!
I went to him thinking we will be discussing about the additional policies he’s getting, but instead, he shared to me his vision and the journey he went through just to keep Safehaven rehab intact and still provide help to more people suffering in addiction. My jaw just dropped in awe, knowing how God had put things together for this man. And seeing his genuine love in helping people just amazes me.
But I’m not just fully convinced. For goodness sake, he’s helping addicts — the least among people I would want to help! And so I asked him why them? These people deserve to be where they are now because they made that decision in their life. I’m just wondering why them? And so he gave me a bigger picture of what’s happening. Just like the street children, we pity them because we think they are not in a good place, but the truth is, for them, it is their norm. And they don’t pity themselves. They think they are better on the streets than in a government facility because the resources they need is just on the streets where people just give money to them if they beg for it. Same way with these addicts, they think what they have is the “better life”. These people need to know that they are suffering from a disease and that there is a life beyond what they have now. And it’s just too difficult to fight it by themselves and they need the right people and be at the right environment to help them. And what struck me the most is that, it wasn’t only the person who’s drug dependent is suffering but all the people that surrounds him — that means his family, friends, neighbors… etc! It’s paralyzing almost everyone! The way I imagine it was like the Zombie apocalypse — where normal people are scared to come out because they are afraid to be eaten or turned into Zombie. And with just one bite you can be infected and be turned into a heartless monster, destroying more lives. And that was the scariest thing I can imagine! This should be stopped at all cost! Having said this, I jumped in the same boat and paddled.
There are so many things that needs to be done and the resources are scarce, but God is at work. He brings the right people at the right time and provides the right amount of resources you need when you need it. Now it made sense to me. All the years I have been working was just my training so I can perform the work God had put in my heart. Yes this is my calling! Finding my purpose in life just excites me all the time. No amount of work stresses me. This might not be what I have imagined myself, but God knows this is what I was made for.
How about you? Do you know what you are made for?