I quit my career. I ended my relationship. And I’m leaving California.
To tell you why is quite a story.
If you haven’t read Part 1, click here. Otherwise, let’s continue, shall we?
If I ask you for three moments you’ve been completely and utterly taken over by joy, what would your answer be?
Mine are as follows:
- Any time I’ve immersed myself into praise and worship for God.
- Watching my words come to life, bring people together, and enlighten the audience at Filipino Culture Night, AB Samahan’s three-night, student-led production.
- Standing atop the Eiffel Tower, crying with gratitude to my parents, who helped send me to Europe for a 5-month study abroad program—my first time traveling abroad.
Pay attention to those moments you feel pure joy. These are the things God made you for.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
This past summer, you may say I’d experienced the opposite of joy. In just a matter of months, I lost a two-year relationship that I swore would last a lifetime; got kicked out of my apartment, and quit a budding career. So many nights spent sobbing on the ground, almost with no words to pray.
Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes;
I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way.
7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them.
It took complete brokenness and devastation for me to cling to prayer and the many loving promises of God. Here I was, nearing my 30s, abandoning the future I had planned for my whole life: a great husband, house, and family, and a successful career here at home—and scared about the implications of not leading a “normal” life.
11 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.
My whole life, I’ve placed my identity—who I am, and my purpose here on earth—in my relationships, my plans, and in how well I could do in school or at work. I’ve had to learn the hard way that none of these things define us.
We’ve each been given one purpose to accomplish here in this ephemeral life on earth, one designed to love God and love others through our distinct S.H.A.P.E, that is, our Spiritual Gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences (Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life). Without it, we’ll constantly seek fulfillment in people, our careers, fun for the night, etc.
My “SHAPE”, which you got a glimpse of above and in Part 1, has led me to this:
For the next few months, I will teach English in Sumatra, Indonesia (again with no training or certification), spreading God’s love to a school of Christian and Muslim students, and traveling around Southeast Asia. I’ll get to experience the impact of my words and heart one-to-one, and fall in love with writing all over again. All I have are a one-way ticket, big dreams, and a blank slate waiting to be painted.
Picture from yabbedoo.wordpress.com
I’d always heard of people who quit their jobs to travel the world but I never thought that would be me. This is a complete detour from everything I’ve ever known, but when I finally made this decision, I sunk into an inexplicable sense of peace and slept well for the first time in months.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I’m excited, I’m scared, and I’m nervous to leave the life I’ve known behind and to step into the unknown. But the doors are wide open, and I can’t wait to see what God has to show me in this next phase of my life.
Thank you indubitably to my family and friends who’ve spoken love and truth to me. I’ve shared some conversations here as a means of public gratitude, but also in hopes that they resonate with you, specifically if you’ve also felt unhappy misplacing your identity.
I will be blogging here and sharing images through Instagram at @Cata7yst if you care to follow. God Bless, and again, thank you for your prayers, kind words, well wishes, and all your support. My biggest hope for you is that you, too, discover your purpose and thrive ❤