When I tried so hard but didn’t succeed

Bryan Chua // June 17, 2019, 4:13 pm

tried so hard succeed 1

I remember feeling lost and frustrated with God.

As I was coming towards the end of my National Service (NS) last year, the question of “what’s next?” surfaced as I saw all my peers having a plan, a job or a place in the university.

I, too, had a plan: Pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work at the Singapore University of Social Sciences.

But when I applied for the full-time programme, I received a rejection email 2-3 months later. My cell-group mate who was in the same course then suggested I try applying for the part-time programme.

I decided to give it a try. However, I came out of the interview feeling like millions of arrows had been shot at me. Months later, another rejection email arrived.

That night, in desperation, I sat on the bed in my bunk and cried out to God for answers.

“God, God, what have I done wrong? Am I not following what you have called me to do? What do I do next?”

When you’re waiting for a job

That very night, God gave me a sign. In my dream, I was in a race with another person. No matter what I did, I was always ahead of the person. When I woke up, a gentle realisation dawned on me.

In the race, I had something that always made me ahead of the other person. As I reflected on the dream, I felt that God was telling me that “something” I had was Him. This gave me a peace and hope that I didn’t have in a while.

With this assurance, I re-applied for the same part-time programme.

In the meantime, my cell-group mate offered me an opportunity to volunteer in her workplace to help me better understand the social service sector. The experiences I had there ended up sparking a passion and a burden in my heart for those struggling with mental health issues.

Around a month before I completed my NS, I also started to apply for many social service-related jobs as I had to get a full-time job as part of my course requirement for government subsidies. After two months, only three organisations got back to me.

Do open doors always reflect God’s will for us?

I was very keen to join one of them as it was mental health-related, but I could not make it for the interview slot even after counter-proposing a different time. I felt quite disappointed, but I decided to pray for a miracle and surrender it into God’s hands.

A few days later, I received a call from the company, telling me that they would like to reschedule an interview with me!

After the interview, another few weeks passed and I still hadn’t heard back from them. That morning as I was starting to worry if I was going to be jobless for another month, I received a call from the company, informing me that I had gotten the job and asking me to drop by to sign the contract.

To top it off, one week before I commenced my job, I received an Offer of Admission from the university.

Whenever people say how lucky I am to get a decent-paying job and a place in university despite my not-so-outstanding resume and academic results, I tell them that it is not by luck but by the grace of God. Despite the impossible, He made it possible. With Him, the hopeless can be made hopeful.

Hope is knowing God is control, in every season, in every storm.

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” (Jeremiah 29:11)