My season of waiting changed me
Tiffany Toh // July 4, 2019, 1:10 pm
Seasons of waiting are the toughest.
Is this it?
When will this come through for me?
What does God want me to do?
How long more must I wait?
Growing up, I’ve always known what I wanted to do: Social work. However, I did not know if this was what God had called me to do.
I recently graduated from the polytechnic and when the season of applying for universities began, I prayed that God would reveal His plans for me.
It had always been a dream of mine to enter a local university, but I did not have an O-level certificate as I was a normal academic student who did a polytechnic foundation programme before my diploma.
After pondering over the application, I decided to pursue social work in SUSS and occupational therapy in SIT. A part of me wanted to apply to NUS to major in social work, yet I knew that I did not quality.
In my year of application, O-level certificates were still part of a local university’s admissions criteria. Additionally, the minimum GPA score was 3.74, while I graduated with a GPA of 3.65.
I struggled with disappointment and a lot of doubts: What if I had worked harder? What if I had taken my O-levels?
I was 0.01 away from attaining a diploma with merit certificate. What if I had gotten it? Would all these have increased my chances?
I prayed: “Lord, if this is your plan for me, you will provide a way. Lord, I will go where you call even if it may not be what I want. I surrender it all to you.”
After saying the prayer, I decided to apply for NUS.
However, as I sat in front of the computer and came to the section of having to upload my certificates, I felt so defeated because I had nothing to use to prove myself. I had so many testimonials and achievements, but all they asked for were my grades.
As I scrolled through the webpage, I saw an Others folder. After praying and asking God about what I should upload, I submitted my CCA records.
This started my season of waiting, and I also applied for scholarships during this period.
Shortly after, I was shortlisted for SUSS and SIT, and I got accepted into SUSS. I was so thankful because I knew that at least I had a place to pursue my degree in an established university. But I was still hoping and praying to hear from NUS because that would fulfil my childhood dream.
Finally after waiting for 3 months and hearing about so many people getting their acceptance letters and being shortlisted for the scholarships I had applied for, I received an SMS telling me that I had received a reply from NUS.
I was so nervous, but I prayed and told God: “Lord I surrender it to you.”
As I opened the webpage, there it was in black and white: “You have been offered admission to the following undergraduate course…” I read that sentence repeatedly in disbelief.
Despite my academic shortcomings, I was offered a place in NUS! I knew at that moment that this was not possible without God. I knew that it had to be Him – He made a way for me.
A month or so later, I also received an email telling me that I was shortlisted for the scholarship I applied for. It was a scholarship to pursue occupational therapy, but by God’s grace on the last day of the offer they called and said I could switch to medical social work.
My heart was so full. The terms and conditions of the scholarship clearly stated “at least a diploma with merit”, but the fact that I was shortlisted really showed me so clearly that God was working.
I went for my interview and did the required tests. But throughout the weeks of waiting, I was reminded of an incident a few years back about how opportunities were given to me and I never got the chance to take them. The feelings of bitterness came back.
As I struggled in my thoughts, I also remembered how faithful God was to see me through the past season. I knew that He would again see me through this one.
Though the seasons change, God remains the same.
I meditated on Psalm 27:3-5 (ESV): “Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident… For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.”
The word “rock” stood out to me. God has placed me on a firm foundation, on His truths and promises.
I later received an email asking me to go for my medical check-up as part of the scholarship process. I was not accepted yet, but this was a sign that it wasn’t the end.
As I am writing this, I have not received a reply, but I know that whatever the result, God is faithful and through the waiting He has always been there. Though the seasons change, God remains the same.
This season of waiting has also been a season of changing – the changing of my thought patterns.
These few months have taught me so much, especially this: God’s goodness enables our hearts to be strong and courageous in the seasons of waiting, for He is our Rock.
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13-14 ESV)
THINK + TALK
- When was the last time you received something you felt you didn’t deserve?
- Are you waiting for something or someone? What can you learn during this season?
- What does it mean for God to be our Rock?