It was with some amusement that I found myself standing across the road from the company I had given 4 and a half months of my life to. One year later, I am no longer the wide-eyed fresh graduate.
It was a nostalgic experience for me: I remember the morning rides in my dad's lorry (when he was retrenched and had to take on odd delivery jobs), the journeys marked with silence. My dad is a man of few words but he showed love to me by sending me all the way to the outskirts of Jurong when I wanted to sleep in that bit more. I remember praying against the formidable Guan Gong (a Chinese deity) altar erected at the entrance each time I walked past. The carpetted staircase I fumbled my way down when I overtimed in the office and found the lights off. The office pantry where I spent many lunch breaks with my girls, making toasted sandwiches and laughing over the silliest things. The trips in my director's Land Rover to the office of our eccentric company consultant who insisted that I could only wear skirts and covered shoes. The ridiculously-expensive fine dining meals that cost almost as much as my monthly salary. The run-down canteen where the auntie knows me as the girl who loved her smelly chilli and kopi siew tai (coffee less sweet).
Casey and Celine snuck to the canteen to find me and filled me in on the latest happening in the office.
Things have never been the same since you left. The dynamics have completely changed. People have left. New people have joined us. You should have seen the fight between him and her the other day- kicking, shouting, things being thrown around. Everybody hates the new secretary.
When I finally decided to go up to the office, I received a warm reception. A tight hug from Jeannie, greetings from the account ladies, big smiles from the operators and an invitation to the chairman's room. He sat me down and we chatted about the company, the staff, the working world- it felt like a conversation with an old family friend. I never spoke much to him in my tenure of employment but I knew he was always fond of me because I reminded him of his youngest daughter schooling in England. He even wrote me some flowery Chinese poem in my farewell card!
I have come full circle- God in His sovereignty has led me back to the same place.
The MNC I went for an interview is located just a ten-minutes' walk down the road. I am not sure about the outcome of my job application, but I know the Lord will provide! The interviewers were a bit hard on me at first, but they gradually eased up. People always do when I shared with them about my dream to teach in Thailand and build a church there, seems to works like a magic lubricant in stiffly formal situations.
The most amazing thing, however, was when I voiced my concern that I have planned a mission trip to Chiangmai sometime mid-November and if they would be willing to give me a no-pay 2 weeks' leave. They didn't even flinch and immediately responded that maybe they could get someone to cover for me in my absence! The Lord's favour will always shine on you if you commit yourself to His calling. There is no doubt about that.
I was encouraged by the words of Nate Saint when I read his biography today - "I'm not forgetting, 'Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth,' but I think the Lord wants us to pray and plan to the very best of our ability, using what He has given us, even if He has to reverse those plans."