WHAT ON EARTH AM I BORN FOR?
Have you ever had that dream which has been there your entire life? That dream which, take all else away from me and I will still be okay except for this one?
Well, I’ve always had one like that. Definitely, it wasn’t anything related to my career. People often marvel at my choice of giving up acting and the opportunity to make more money and travel the world by being a super celebrity, but really, it was relief and rest for me to stop. I never wanted to be popular. I only needed the money so I kept on, but if I had the ‘choice’ (as well as more guidance and information) from the beginning, I might have gone on a completely different path. One away from the limelight, but tucked and nerding away in the privacy of something like a house on a hill.
The other dream is to be an academic. Soon after I finished undergraduate studies, I was already gearing for master’s. That is, until my husband called me out. He knew it wasn’t the right time and so I died to that desire. I cried over it the way others expected me to cry over my career. But I chose to submit because I believed the Lord has put my husband over me to cover me, guide me, in the love and wisdom of God.
Years and seasons passed and the dream remained. It has never died throughout everything — marriage, baby, miscarriages — and so I thought that somehow, someday, this shall be fulfilled. So one fine day, when a scholarship program came knocking at the door of my nerdy heart, I just had to channel Esther, “This is it. The moment I’ve been waiting for. Today is the day. And I was born for such a time as this.”
But there was a caveat. I also found out I was pregnant with our third. With much deliberation we decided that if all is well with the pregnancy, we shall be withdrawing from the program — regretfully so, of course. But as you probably know by now, that didn’t pan out. I miscarried a second time and so school came back into the picture.
The second hurdle was our family life. For a reason, the Lord changed my heart enough to file for withdrawal from the program even if I only had a home to take care of, my husband, and one son. Let me say that again, but this time, in a more accurate manner. The Lord changed my heart, meaning my desire, my dream, as though only over one night. Now my utmost desire is in a form less aggressive and far simpler. I just wanted happy and godly days as a family woman. Out of nowhere I realized that the longstanding fire within me to contribute to great bodies of knowledge, to spark movements, to upgrade myself more that I may be of better service to others, has now whittled down in the background and gave way to a new focus. I’ve always been a go-getter and I never saw this change coming. Not in a million years.
From Esther, God took me to Hebrews 11:13, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”
The verse was talking about these people from the Bible who belong to the Hall of Faith. The most popular story of which is probably Abraham’s. He who was promised innumerable offspring, and yet only had one legitimate son. How could he have known that years down the road, there would really be innumerable descendants in faith that would come after him?
And yet without even knowing half the effect of his obedience on humanity, the Bible says he died in faith. Having only greeted a promise from afar, he still died with unwavering faith to God. How was he able to do this? Wouldn’t it suck to chase after a dream, especially one God has planted in your heart, only to find that you won’t really be seeing it come to pass at the end of your life?
Well, I guess it would if you only had that dream to look forward to. But not Abraham. He who has not made earth as his home or final destination, but looked forward to something better, something more heavenly, a city whose designer and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10, 13, 16). He who obeyed God’s call on earth, but saw himself a mere stranger, alien, sojourner in this imperfect world.
Which in the end, I realized, was what happened to me. The woman who always believed a certain design was cut out for her and born for such times and purposes, has now come to understand she is a mere stranger on earth. I’ve come to fully understand that while I live my life in obedience to God’s call in the here and now, I also must know that I wasn’t born for any time and any world, but that simply I was born for Him.