When I was in college, and doing very well in my law subjects, I was encouraged by professor and classmates to pursue law. I brushed it off because in my head we do not have the means.
The first company who hired me after graduation was a law firm. But since I was swayed by pressure to engage in a job related to degree I finished, I didn’t attend the first day of work in the said law firm, and instead applied to a different company, in a different industry. Luckily, I was hired on the same day I applied for the position related to my college degree. The said company is an Insurance Institution.
But I think God has a way of rekindling the desire He first planted in my heart when I started seeing lawyers in the said office. I became close with one of the insurance professors, a lawyer, who later on inspired me to pursue law and informed me about executive class.
I took the courage to take the entrance exam on my birthday, without any clear strategy on how will I pay the tuition for the rest of the years. I don’t know where I gathered the guts, but the next thing I remember I was putting money in the long white envelope, out of my salary, for tuition fees.
I enrolled myself in an executive class and settled my tuition every semester out of my salary from my employment. Hard earned money – sweat and blood. Less sleep. Less time to go out. Less savings. I heard deafening silence of support from people around me, except of course from classmates-turned good friends and a handful of others (boss, coworkers, a few number of people who know my academic performance and interest) who expected/predicted that this will eventually happen, and were very glad that I did pursue it.
I received a lot of discouragement of many forms – harsh, subtle, indirect, direct, wittingly, unwittingly, and manipulative ones. Some said that it’s impractical to pursue another education. Some would say I wouldn’t be able to afford the degree because it is very much expensive. Some had made me feel selfish by following a dream (which is actually a dream for my family) of pursuing law, instead of just helping my family in our financial constraints. Good thing, I barely had no time to dwell because I was more concern of finding a way to sleep because of my work and school tight schedule. Sleeping for 3 hours every day was eating the strength of me. Where do I get all the strength to go on? All these won’t be possible without my “Why?” – my Family.
With just a menial salary at that time, and a very expensive tuition and books to sustain, I would like to think that finishing the law degree was more like a blessing, if not a miracle, from the Lord. Indeed, God wondrously provided a way, every single time. I would not have completed it without his intervention.
THE PRESSURES IN DIFFERENT FORMS
In the middle of completing the degree, I was always told that I should find a boyfriend, otherwise I will be an old maid. Temptation is strong when you are near your breakthrough, they say. I was only around 25 years old back then. However, during those times, for me, settling my tuition and finding enough sleep every day were more like the biggest concern, and having a boyfriend wasn’t really in the list.
When I turned 29, I was blessed to join a reputable company with good pay and perks to travel etc, but again I was made to feel that something was wrong and the pressure of finding a boyfriend took a higher level. I was told jokingly to save money to buy a man, because a woman who is successful in career isn’t successful in lovelife. I bought that for many years. It became a laughing matter, I laughed at it, I even joked about it, until unknowingly and subconsciously it occupied a huge chunk of my mind. I was convinced it will be my fate. At 29, I feel old, lonely and unloved. It was the darkest times of my life, because I lost my old self trying to find the self that others wanted me to be. Years passed and I lost my way a bit, and only woke up from all the mess when I started hearing the people, who once pressured me, saying “what is happening to you?”. The question I also asked myself.
BOUNCE OR BREAK
I gathered myself back all together. I set that pressure aside and focus myself on rebuilding my faith and relationship with the Lord. Grateful for some people who have been instrumental, without them knowing, to leading me back to God’s long and consoling embrace. God took the pressure away. He put in my heart the desire to finish what I have started. I regained my focus. I celebrated my victory of completing my degree with my family and a handful of friends who were with me in the journey. I was positive and very determined. I was overwhelmed that suddenly I was receiving good words and encouragement to make good at the bar.
When I didn’t make it, and while I nursing a deep pain and confusion, I was told to just find a boyfriend and focus myself to finding a husband. Instead, I focused myself to strengthening my faith and healing my wounds, so I can get up and move forward easily. I took the bar once again. I almost passed. I took all the courage to accept things and work on with my confidence. With the number of consoling words becoming very few, I focused more to God than to people. I shut off the noise and started hearing His voice.
I found myself with deeper strength and peace. Blessings come pouring in. Good law career, good pay and good health for my family. Along the way, when I am at peace with God’s company, He blessed me with a good person for a boyfriend. We journeyed together in our building our personal relationship with the Lord. Later on, He became my husband. After our wedding, others would always tell us to have kids. We would just smile. After a year, the reminder became more persistent as if we were not working on it.
After two years of being married, I avoided posting pictures of us together because every time I do someone would always comment a reminder regarding baby. I am not affected because we were childless, I am not insecure of that because the doctor said nothings wrong with me. Rather, I am more affected that some people do not have the sensitivity and courtesy to strain their wishes and articulate it in a manner that doesn’t appear more like intrusion. In almost every gathering we were always reminded. I think they cannot wait any further, or perhaps they ran out of things to mind in their lives. I was even told to set aside other plans and focus on just getting pregnant. I would agree and smile, and hold my piece. I tried to be more understanding and respectful of other’s opinion on my life. On our lives.
Some people do not realize that while some couple are trying to be patient with the timing of God as to having a child, they are also accepting some things that didn’t work as they have planned on top of it. While they probably going through some pain, and working on how to move on and start again, some people will just insist their way and throw opinions just like that on how to proceed with life – according to what they think. They forgot to be patient with the timing of God, just like what exactly we are doing. Many are the plans of men, but it is the Lord’s plans will prevail.
I have learned from experience that no matter how much effort you put through in a dream or how much deserving you are, if the Lord says “not yet” it will not happen. Probably, because the timing isn’t just right or He is just protecting us from further harm or danger. So who am I to insist and order to do it my way? The plans of the Lord is to prosper us and not to harm us. I remember when I insisted my plan of finding a boyfriend, during those times I was pressured, I almost lost a lot of things God blessed me with. I thank God everyday for waking me up and picking me up sooner, otherwise I would have suffered from further harm. When I lifted it up to Him, He let me finished first my law degree and later on gave me a good partner in life. Someone who is with me in my relationship journey with the Lord, which I feel is still a work in progress up to now. I’m in the process of trying to lift up some other dreams to God’s hands – and that include our plan of having a baby.
At present, my life is not perfect. I had and still having my share of failures, rejects and hurts, but I focus my eyes to the Lord and to His promises. I am grateful for the overflowing blessings he showers me each day. I am walking on with firm belief that what is meant for me will not escape me, that I am at the right place and at the right time, and that everything happening in my life is in accordance with the perfect orchestration of God, including the triumphs, blessings, opportunities and pain. All these things are working for my good, because the plans of the Lord is to prosper me and grant me blessings beyond what I asked for.