the beauty of persevering.

if you’ve been following
my blogging journey
you’ll know i’ve been
a little quiet on here

often i only share
my reflections
when i have
moved beyond
a certain season
of learning
or unlearning
or suffering

that i have been
or enduring

i can’t quite say
i have reached
“the other side”
of this unnamed
season i am in

b u t

the good news
is that the reason
i am posting less
is because
i have been
less confused
less troubled

in this season

instead i have been
existing in a world
very foreign to me

i have clarity!
i am content!

and as a result
i have all these
joyful emotions
and experiences
that i do not
have the vocabulary for

so i am choosing
to share with you
a historic, hindsight-lens moment
that i am starting to uncover

the beauty of persevering in suffering

four years ago
i was less than
six months
into my new
corporate job

must have
inspired me
to record myself
in that season
and i discovered
this recording today

trigger warning:
i was depressed,
isolated, and lost

i had started
my new fancy job

and after
a month of torture
had departed
to adventure
in italy and switzerland
for six weeks
and spiralling
into an abyss
of meaninglessness
and confusion
with my life and purpose

the result was
the following recording:

every day
in my lunch break
i call my mum
and i try not to cry.

i force myself
to go outside.

i walk through the park
and i watch the people.

the people might be strolling,
or they might just be sitting.

there are all these pathways to walk,
and canopies of green,
and golden lighting
when the sun comes out,
and this big fountain.

around the fountain,
there its always people.

there are little kids playing,
there are tourists taking photos,
there are these little flowers
that are in the flower beds
surrounding the fountain.

and there is always
the men in business suits
and corporate people around there
and i never thought
that i would be
one of those

b u t

i’m one
of those

a corporate woman
who wears heels
who orders her flat white
from the barista in the courtyard
who has emails that she addresses and sends
and calendars booked with meetings

i wanted this
at least
i thought
i wanted this

b u t

i don’t know
what i want

this has
d e s t r o y e d

it has

stripped me
of passion

i don’t even know
if i have anything
to offer
and what value
i can give

i don’t know
what my purpose is
in this world

i go into the office
and there is no structure for me
there is no work for me
there is no role for me
there is no reason
for me to be there

so i’ve called my mum
too many times to count

b e c a u s e

there is only so much
you can talk to God
about these things

you need to talk
to someone else

b u t

i don’t have anyone else

people think
that i’m living
an amazing life

and that’s
my own fault

because i give
that illusion
in all my photos

and maybe

because what i do love is words
i’m good at weaving my words
into these narratives and stories
about my life and depth
and truth and faith
and hope and love
and all of these
amazing things


the reality
of me
in the

i don’t even know
what it is like
to smile
i can force myself
to smile
but i don’t know
what a natural smile
even is anymore

i feel flat
all the time

i feel heavy

i feel like i’m
a storm cloud
that’s always brewing
in the sky
and never falling
never releasing
never having
the sun come
and bring me
l i g h t

i have all
this desire in me
for something different

a n d

it’s hard
to enjoy God
and to be satisfied in him
when i don’t feel like
there is anything
joyful in my life

i want to preface
that i was told
by many loved ones
in my life:

i needed
to get out
of that situation

i needed
to leave
they had never
seen me
so depressed

b u t

i felt so strongly
that God wanted me
to persevere

and so i did

i was stubborn
and i stayed

and now
i can finally see
the fruits
of persevering

in my darkest days
of boredom and confusion
meaninglessness and despair
i had decided
to pursue a technical paper

i researched
a topic i was interested in
and my paper was selected
for a national conference

i was sent to melbourne
to present at the MCG)
(this was two years ago)

and then the next year
i was invited to present
at a global conference
(this was last year)

and from that opportunity
i was then invited this year
to lead an industry workshop

none of these opportunities
and learning curves
would have been possible
if i had not chosen to turn:

my sorrow
into a search for meaning

my confusion
into a quest of questions

we now have young grads
in our company and team
and so i tell them the truth
about my entry
into the industry

i encourage them
to persevere

i don’t pretend
that it will be easy
but i tell them
it will be worth it

p e r s e v e r e

that is my banner
for christians called
into the corporate world

it will not be easy
but it is necessary

we are not all called
to be missionaries overseas
or ministry trainees in our church

we are called to be
jesus’ hands and feet
wherever he leads

jesus is acquainted
with suffering
so when we go into
hard places
he is with us
in those places

there isn’t really a moral
to the story here

i don’t know why
God wanted me to persevere

what if i misheard
the call to persevere?

what if staiying
wasn’t obeying?

what if it
was disobeying?

what i think
the moral of the story is
is that we need to be
d i s c e r n i n g

our emotions
our circumstance
and our loved ones
can sometimes scream
for us to leave a situation
that may seem damaging
that may have negative suffering

but what if
that is where God wants us to be?

what if
God wants us to become acquainted
with suffering?

what if we are called
not to run away
when things get hard

but to endure
to persevere
when things get hard

a n d

to turn to God
to ask why

not to turn
to our emotions
or our circumstances
or our loved ones
to give us
the why
to give us
the “okay”
for an escape route
out of suffering

i don’t have
the answers

i only have
my journey
of persevering

and my joy
of coming out
of the season of suffering

i have seen
the many miracle moments
of God’s working and weaving
in my story and career journey

a n d

he is good
regardless of whether
we choose the “good” career path
or “exit” journey out of suffering

there is so much to learn
about kingdom perseverance
in our earthy sufferings

but how many of us
are willing to walk in the fire
and to withstand the burn?

luke 14:27
psalm 27:14

if you are struggling
in your career journey
i recommend the youversion
bible plan: “called to influence”

Respond from the Heart