christian life · family · my journey

Sometimes God’s Timing Feels Lousy (Spoiler: I was wrong again!)

I’m NOT one of those people that hear God’s voice. Whenever I hear people say, “God is telling me to do this/that,” I think, “did you hear that in your dream, or how are you hearing God so clearly?” How do I get God to speak to me so clearly because I’m jealous of people that hear Him so clearly.

Last fall, I felt this nudging to transition back to Los Angeles from Silicon Valley. I felt like God was calling me out of my previous ministry at the time. At the same time, my dad kept calling me and asking me to move back closer to family. I still didn’t hear God clearly. However, I just had this strong feeling that that’s what I was supposed to do. I packed up all my belonging in two days, and I moved back to Los Angeles at the end of September. I went to India for ten days and started my current position four days later.

Four months later, we went into a “stay-at-home” order due to the Pandemic. I have now spent almost ten months working from home, which means I spent twice as much time doing ministry from home than I had in person. So much about doing ministry is about relationships… and yet my week usually consists of zoom meetings with staff, a handful of kids, and lots of emails with parents and volunteers. This is NOT what I had expected.

I’ll be honest. I was feeling very frustrated with God around July. I transitioned with high expectations of my new role at my new church. I made the big move so I could be closer to family. But I found myself at home every day… and since my dad is in a vulnerable age group, I would visit him once a month. I also thought I would be seeing my nephew a lot more, but I had only seen him twice in all of 2020 at that point. I kept asking God, “why did you make me move? Ministry is tougher than I had ever expected, and I don’t even get to see family. That was lousy timing, God!” Okay, I did wonder if I had just made a poor decision to move… but of course, I shifted the blame to God.

Starting early September, my dad has had a series of doctor’s appointments that needed my accompaniment. Though this felt daunting at first, around his third appointment, it occurred to me that if I hadn’t moved back, this would have been much harder. If I had still been up in Silicon Valley, it would either require me to fly to LA every few weeks or my dad would have had to find someone else to take him to these appointments. So perhaps, God was onto something.

Few days after Christmas, I had to take my dad for an endoscopy. On our way to the hospital, my dad turned to me and said, “I think God brought you back to LA because He knew I was going to need you here to help me.” This is what I call a God Sighting. All this time, I had a bit of resentment that my first year back in LA looked nothing like I had imagined. Rather, it was full of frustrations, difficulty, and stressful moments. But as my dad and I talked about God’s perfect timing, all of my frustrations just melted away. I am humbled by my lack of faith and trust in the One who has perfect timing. I don’t often say this, but I was wrong! God indeed has perfect timing.

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