NOT HALF A TESTIMONY
A friend who has been struggling with how he views Christianity recently told me how much he looked up to me for how I’ve been “strengthened by my faith.” Those words were echoing in my head the next morning as I walked to work from the parking lot. In the days leading up to my resignation, I’d have a lot of off days, days when I was clearly angry at myself for how slowly I churned out the work, or at how I forgot this or that, or how I saw my boss gritting his teeth, patient but disappointed.
When I would have my quiet time at home, I was inspired by the example of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. She had learned the secret of prayer—that all things belong to the Lord. She prayed for what she wanted with the humility of someone who owned nothing to Someone who could do anything.
I was touched by the honesty of her prayer. Rarely do we see such a personal, heartfelt prayer in Scripture. So I prayed the hardest that I had ever prayed: I would often have little prayer sprints, going out of the office floor when I was feeling overwhelmed to a secluded corner and re-emerging five minutes later. I prayed for God’s Will in my job, that if it was His will, He would allow me to succeed. I would be willing to follow Him regardless of how difficult the work load was and despite my own feelings of inadequacy. And then my boss expressed her concerns about my performance, and I knew what I needed to do. It wasn’t the answer I was expecting or hoping for, but it was an answer from a God who was watching over me.
Sometimes we wonder whether anyone hears our prayers at all. I want to encourage those who have these doubts to keep praying boldly and persistently, and to find comfort in His presence.
When I finally passed my resignation letter, looking at my feet, explaining how I was leaving out of respect for the work I was doing, it felt a bit like dying. Someone new came in, I started turning over the work, I got out. I had to keep turning to a friend with all my questions I already knew the answers to. I told her, “All I wanted was for people to say, ‘That guy. He does great work. He’s a believer, isn’t he?’” There were some days when I had to hide my face and retreat to the restroom to cry and hope that nobody saw how red my eyes were when I got out.
You normally hear about how all the dots were lined up in someone’s Cinderella love story or about how someone left his or her thriving career to be called as a pastor or missionary. These are the testimonies that you normally hear onstage in churches everywhere. But some of us aren’t those people. Some of us are in the angry and doubting parts of our journey and haven’t reached our “happy ending.” I am 28, single, unemployed and living with my parents as I am writing this. You can just imagine how I first felt when I was asked to write this piece. But I know I am not half a testimony even now.
When my friend expressed his admiration at the beginning of my story, I responded that I had always felt that someone had been laying out the pattern of my life; it isn’t something I can explain. But I do believe that there are no coincidences. I’m thankful for this time I can seek the Lord. I’m in the middle of a journey, and I just have something new to pray about.
Writer’s Bio: Timothy Villarica shares this story of a guy who learns that prayer changes our perspective more than it changes our circumstances.