Friday, August 30, 2013

The Ultimate Plan

Ever since I was young, I have always been a dreamer and a planner.  I set goals with milestone timelines and personal deadlines. Everything is timed.  calendars and clocks are part of my daily essential toolkit. I process my priorities and break them down further into graphs, charts and quadrants.

I want to be on top of things and take full control of any situation.  This is why I not only have a plan A but plan B and plan C as well. I want to cover all bases.   I plan in advance and do a situational forecasting to ensure that I weed out any elements of failures, disappointments and obstacles that may impede me in reaching the success of my goal.

My planning prowess has worked well for me inasmuch as finishing my studies in a prime university with the highest honors in our graduating batch. It has also led me to a stable and steadily accelerating career in a multinational company.  I became a manger and pioneered a new position and set up a new department with three people (older than me) directly reporting to me at the age of 25.  

Plan A was to continue in my rising career become an HR Business Partner and be happily married before I reach 35.  I was pretty much on track with my milestone calendar deadline, except when I turned 30.  And so I told myself that by the time I turn 30, I need to do something life changing - either I get married or migrate somewhere to live a new life.  Apparently, moving to Australia was easier than getting married!  

And so here I am in a foreign country daring to live out my "what if" question of starting a new and different life in a foreign world.  This was my Plan B.  In my plan B, I was prepared for a simpler life, especially when I met MunchK.  I was looking forward to settling for a domesticated life.  But then came a twist of an unplanned relationship breakdown.  I was caught off guard.  This was not supposed to happen.  For a time, I lived in denial until I managed to slowly accept reality.  Little by little, with great hesitation, I drew up my Plan C.

Plan C was to move to a bigger city, pursue a new passion - achieve the career of my dreams, go back to what I know I do best and that is climbing again the corporate ladder.  Forget about love (or at least park it for a while) and funnel all my attention and energies on building a career.  

However, as I look upon my current state, I am way far behind from any of the plans I have previously set for myself.  At age 34, I am starting back at the bottom again in a very humbling (literally and figuratively) and unsatisfactory work. From managing and leading a team as well as initiating corporate strategies, I am now serving everyone at work, doing menial errands, including cleaning the office kitchen, watering the office plants, etc.

The career field of my dreams are hostile to me.  I kept on knocking at their doors but no one would give me a break.  Sadly, beggars can't be choosers. So here I am - stuck in a dead end.  While I am grateful to at least having a job, I am unhappy and demotivated with my current work situation.  There is no career ladder for me to climb.  I was led to believe that there was one, but honestly I could not see any.  They say it is a career ladder, but frankly speaking the way I see it, it is but a see-saw.

And when I go home, I am but alone.  Bestie may be living with me now but so is her boyfriend, which to me is an unwanted guest.  When I offered my house to Bestie I did not mean to extend the invitation to her boyfriend. What should have been just a two week temporary visit for this guy is now turning to months and counting... with no plans of leaving anytime soon.  I am a bit unhappy with my home living situation.  For some reason, it feels like intrusion on my private personal space.  And so I spend most of my time in my room whenever I am home.  I am a prisoner in my own house. I feel bad for feeling this way towards him. I struggle with my emotions to make him feel welcome and be a hospitable host. Plus, I value my friendship with Bestie even more and so I keep my silence and praying for more patience and acceptance.  

I am unhappy both at work and at home.  I have no where to go.  I feel like living an insignificant existence running in circles, day in and day out. How long should I endure this kind of existence?  My present journey is like walking in a very dark and infinite tunnel with not even a glimmer of light to indicate any hope that there is an end to this tunnel. I wonder if there is any end to this tunnel at all?  I would always ask myself what life has to offer me when I grow older? Do I have a future? Is there something still to look forward to?  I feel like I am driving on reverse mode.

As doubts were beginning to fill my mind, like melodies from a mocking bird, hummingbird came to the rescue and reminded me in gentle and soothing tune  that this is just a phase which I am passing through. And through this journey, God is with me. I should not to focus too much on these temporary and changeable circumstances but instead fix my gaze to the eternal and unchangeable God.  God's love for me is true and His promises remain the same, they never change. 

"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)

Things may not seem to make sense, things may seem to go opposite to where I wanted to be, but my job is not to define nor analyze the situation.  My job is to trust him and to obey him.  If I say I trust Him, then I should also feel it and live it.  I need to let go of my incessant need to be in control of things, and instead let Him.  I need to relinquish my desire to plan and map out my foreseeable future according to my standards and my timelines, and instead trust Him do His work in His own time.  

As long as I am where God wants me to be, I am assured that I am in good hands.  Through the storm and raging seas, I will not drown for my anchor is the Lord.  I am absolutely at the point of my rock-bottom. I do not know how exactly I would be able to rise from here. With me, things are impossible but with Him, all things are made possible.  This moment in my life is God's opportunity for Him to slowly reveal the unfolding of His miracles in my life.  

I do not need to be on top of everything, because He already got it covered.  After all, He is the Ultimate Planner, Creator of heaven and of earth, Master of everything. And so I lay down everything to God - my past, my present, my future, my heartaches, my frustrations, my hopes, my dreams.  But this does not mean that I just sit down and do nothing but wait until things happen.  My job now is to surrender and embrace my present situation and bloom where I am planted, for in due season when the time is ripe, I shall reap the fruits of my labour in bountiful harvest - all through Christ who strengthens me. 

For the very first time in my life, at age 34, I have no plan.  I have nothing but faith in God that in His time, He will make all things fall in to place.  It is scary as I think of it,   but my heart is at rest.  Sometimes it is good to put down the map and get wonderfully lost.  That's what I call adventure.  Sometimes getting lost gives you a chance to be found.  That's what I call destiny.