I thought I was giving up my dream job, then God showed me His world
Katherine Oh // July 13, 2020, 9:14 pm
Image source: Katherine Oh
“When people see someone following God in a radical way, there is usually a radical process behind it.” (Shawn Bolz)
Before I quit my dream job in July 2015, I gave God a “contract”. This was the condition: “God, I will deed myself to you for 6 months, but if You don’t show up, I am going back to work.”
That began the craziest 6 months of my life.
I had been working as a food magazine writer. I loved my job. A typical day at work would look like a food product launch in the morning, a new menu tasting for lunch, a quick drop-in at the office followed by an official media launch of a new restaurant in the evening.
At that time, I was regularly invited to private parties, getting to taste food made by Michelin-starred chefs and wine from the most renowned châteaux, often travelling for free and enjoying exclusive treatment from the hotels and restaurants I was reviewing.
Point is, it should have been difficult to even consider leaving my job.
The radical decision to quit my career and follow the still small Voice did not happen overnight. Over the years, I had encountered God in many ways.
When I first came to Christ in 2007, at the age of 21, I was going through a tough time. I remember telling God that if He could take away the pain in my heart, I promised to serve Him, even though I did not exactly know what that meant.
In 2012, I plummeted to another ground zero in my life as I struggled with unusual spiritual encounters, a family situation and health issues all at the same time. To top it all off, I faced fierce persecution at home because of my faith.
During my darkest moments, I encountered God in the most powerful ways. He delivered me from the nightmares – both the ones I was having in my sleep and the one I was living. When I experienced incredible physical healing, that started me on an active journey to seek answers.
I was convinced that if there is a bad supernatural, there must be a good supernatural. I was hungry. It was a type of hunger that food cannot satisfy.
God began to woo my heart. At altar calls, specifically those for missions, I would find myself in a puddle of tears. I had never been the crying type and even my friends thought I was overreacting. It was a mystery even to me. God had my full attention.
For me, everything had cumulated to a tipping point where I was no longer fulfilled by the mundane “Christian life” that defined my walk with God then. There had to be more to it than warming the benches in church on a Sunday!
We can cry at every church meeting and feel God speak to us yet not do anything about it.
After a while, I concluded that I needed to do something about all this. Deep in my heart, I knew that I was being called to follow Jesus to the nations and make good on that promise I made to Him in 2007.
The only way to find out what He had in store for me was to respond to this sensing with courage.
You see, we can cry at every church meeting and feel God speak to us yet not do anything about it. I was clearly hungry for something different, but only God could give me the spiritual food I had come to desire.
Of course, to be extremely real with you, even though I had my encounters with a supernatural God and was convinced to leave my dream job to serve Him, when the moment came for me to hand in my resignation letter to my editor, I was terrified!
A million thoughts ran through my head. My logic would not allow me to leave a job that put food on my table and permitted me to little luxuries. So I tried negotiating with God.
Some of the conversations I had with Him were as follows:
- But God, I just got promoted.
- How am I going to feed myself?
- Am I really going to become a poor missionary?
- Will my decision waste everything I’ve built up over the years? I might never have a chance to go back to this niche industry if I quit!
- Maybe I should enroll in Bible school and get a seminary certificate.
Like most of my peers, I too had my 5-year and 10-year plans. In fact, at one point, I even had plans to get a Master of Wine certification due to my work.
Was going to Bible school the only way for me to serve God?
After a period of deliberation, I eventually made that “contract” with God for 6 months of my life and left my job.
Within those 6 months, I ended up flying 10 times for various ministry and mission trips. God sent a spiritual father in the form of Soakability Church‘s Senior Pastor Jeff Yuen, who still mentors me today.
On these trips, I saw God show up in ways most people have never seen. I witnessed the deaf hearing, the blind seeing and the dead raised to life again.
While all the experiences were life-changing for me, if I had to share one that defined my 6 months, it would be meeting this lady with a deformed foot in one of the countries I visited.
When our team met her, we learnt that her left foot had been deformed from birth – it looked like a chicken claw. There was also a tumour the size of an orange on the ankle of the same foot. This woman was now in her 30s.
Those who started praying over her saw great improvements as the tumour deflated significantly. When I came over after praying for others, I got really excited because I could see the loose skin around her previously swollen ankle.
We continued praying for her, but nothing else happened. The foot was still curled up like a claw.
Out of exasperation, I prayed, “God, please do something!”
At that moment, a voice rose in my spirit, and I could feel God saying, “The radical love of Jesus equals radical miracles.”
“God, is that you?” I replied in my head a little impatiently. “That’s a quotable quote for social media, but can you please do something we can see?”
That’s when I heard Him say, “Kiss her feet.”
It was really bizarre. Was I hearing Him wrongly? There was no way I was going to do that! From where we were kneeling, laying hands and praying, I could smell her foot. Because of the deformity, she could not wear proper shoes.
Conflicted, I consulted my prayer partner. To my horror, she nodded and told me to just do it (probably because she wasn’t the one who had to).
Mustering up all the courage I could and also rubbing the woman’s foot with some fragrant anointing oil – I promised myself it would only be a split-second peck. If I had heard from God wrongly, I would just go wash my mouth.
However, the moment I bent down and pressed my lips on her deformed foot, I felt a volt of burning power course from the top of my head, through my body and into the woman. I could hear the roar in my ears and I just could not move. The weight of the presence of God was so strong.
Tears were rolling down my face. Seconds turned to minutes. I could hear the lady crying loudly. That was when I knew – this is the radical love of Jesus.
God was washing away her years of shame and pain due to the circumstances of her birth. He chose to love her, even the ugliest parts of her, and was meeting her where she was.
I could feel God saying, “The radical love of Jesus equals radical miracles.”
Isn’t that true for us all? God chose to love us at our ugliest, while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).
When I regained my composure, we found that the once stiff foot was now flexible! With our support, she stood up and, for the first time in her life, placed both the soles of her feet fully on the ground.
She lifted her left foot, found her balance with some help, and placed it in front of her right foot. Then she lifted her right foot and repeated the motion. The whole team was in an uproar. She was walking on her own!
That day, she gave her life to Jesus.
The miracle of the woman with the deformed foot reset my entire reality. I could no longer give God just 6 months of my time – I had to give Him my whole life.
God has opened my eyes to the beauty of the gospel – the radical love of Christ. This is what the Great Commission is all about.
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘”The kingdom of heaven has come near.” Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.'” (Matthew 10:7-8)
If I could speak to the old me then, almost half a decade ago now, I would tell her, “Dear me, you really have nothing to fear. Not only did God show up, He provided above and beyond what you can think of or imagine.
“He provided not just money but also unusual favour, healing miracles and keys to open doors.”
What else can He not do? I am His daughter, and God who is my Father will take care of me.
THINK + TALK
- Has God been calling you to follow Him in a radical way?
- What are some obstacles that prevent you from giving your whole “yes” to Him?
- How can you move through the fear and uncertainty to give Him your “yes”?