All the hopeful plans that I had made over the last few years began to fall apart
It’s fairly common knowledge among my family and friends that it’s been my childhood dream to be a doctor. I wanted to help people and I loved science. I knew I couldn’t be a teacher because when I tried to teach my brother to use the dictionary, I almost ended up throwing it at him instead.
Last year, I applied to four medical schools in the United Kingdom. By the middle of March, I had been rejected by them all. Applications to other countries fell through as well. All the hopeful plans that I had made over the last few years began to fall apart. A week later, I graduated from high school. Though frustrated and confused, I was inexplicably also a little excited – and this excitement has only grown.
I’m excited because anything can happen now. My one-track mind has been focused on medicine for almost 10 years. And though I’m disappointed, sad, rather embarrassed, and very scared, for the first time in a decade, I am free to consider other options.
And, yes, it’s terrifying as well. For every possibility of something wonderful happening, there is the equal possibility of something horrible happening. For every chance I have of success, there is the equal chance of crushing failure. Anything could happen. You don’t know – that’s how the future works. You can plan and dream and worry all you want. Life will still manage to surprise you.
Yet, I can be a little more excited than terrified – because of God. My hope is in God, not just because I was born and raised in a Christian family or because I am a missionary kid. Rather, it is because I have discovered through serious search that there is nothing else I can depend on to face life’s surprises. Nothing, except God.
I know this because I was in a similar position when our family moved to Japan. Before that, I’d lived in Singapore for 14 years; everything I knew and loved was there. And I went from having all these things that I could depend on – friends, school, etc. – to being alone with my parents and brothers, in a country where I could not speak the language.
When we came, we didn’t even have a visa or a house.
We lived out of the suitcase in a youth hostel for almost four months, not knowing what was going to happen.
I remember how excited and scared I was about the future. But I now know for a fact that the only thing that won’t change in my life is God.
There’s this big seashell with a Bible verse on my desk that a close friend had the incredible foresight to give me. It has Jeremiah 29:11 on it: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” This is especially precious to me in the face of uncertainty, but I think it applies to all of us.
Here is another fact: God has good plans for us. These are in His control. We can be excited and hopeful about the future, because our good and loving God has plans to “prosper [us] and not to harm [us]”.
My father asked me recently if I regretted coming to Japan and I said “no”. It was difficult and lonely at times, but much good has come out of these last four years. In hindsight, I can see the amazing plan that God had for us all along.
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31)
My hope is in the Lord, not myself nor my abilities nor anything else. I can face the uncertainties in my life bravely because when you have God on your side, who can be against you?
Veronica Wee is a 17-year old missionary kid serving with her family in Kyoto. She tries to be a good daughter, big sister, friend and light for God.
This article is printed with permission from Asian Beacon. Originally published in June-July 2015 vol.47 No.3 (www,asianbeacon.com)