Learning to Wait and Trust
By Frank Liao
SFU 4th Year Business Student
COVID-19 has been really bizarre.
I’m not sure how else to explain it. There’s been a unique mixture of highs and lows for me and for everyone around the world in their respective situations. On some days, it has really sucked. Being unable to be able to go to many areas outside of my neighborhood, while our world was (and still is) falling apart, has left me feeling restricted. On the other hand, through these moments of loneliness and my heightened annoyance with what was happening, I’ve been able to gain so much from this time and there’s been a new sense of hope and revitalization for what God has in store. Let me explain.
In the 2020 spring semester, I was seeking internship opportunities for the summer so that I could gain some work experience that could be a great benefit for my future career aspirations. I had a notoriously brutal record when it came to hearing back from companies and organizations, as up to this point, I had been constantly applying for around a year and I had a zero percent success rate, but I was feeling optimistic. I was also considering whether or not to go on a missions trip at the end of June, and it was something that I was deeply thinking about and discussing with my close friends and family. At around the midpoint of the semester, I found out that I had been offered a summer internship with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, and I was stoked. It felt like my patience had paid off, with God finally providing a path for me, and my trust in His plan for me was validated. I was looking forward to spending my summer at Canada Place.
Then things started to unravel.
At this time I was living on the community house at SFU Burnaby, and I was thoroughly enjoying campus life. So, when the COVID-19 situation arose on Friday March 13, it was a bit of a shock for me. In-person campus life was pretty much erased, and for the rest of the semester, I only interacted with my family and my housemates. I was informed that my internship was suspended, and then was later notified that it was cancelled. The planned missions trip was also cancelled, and it got to the point of the term where I couldn’t register for any classes that I needed for the summer. I also moved back to my parent’s house at the end of April, so I wasn’t going to see my old housemates as frequently as before. So, for the first time in a long time, I was staring down at four long months at home with absolutely nothing planned.
As a person who relies on structure and routine to be focused and disciplined, it hurt. I simply didn’t know what to do with my time. However, in May, I quickly discovered that I felt really tired and drained from continuously being “on the go” for such a long time. I truthfully cannot remember the last time I’ve had an extended break. So, I chose during the month of May to rest, to recuperate and to enjoy life. I called friends who I hadn’t talked to in a long time and we caught up. I started reading again, exercised, slept a lot more, and became a lot healthier. It felt like a really good reset.
However, when June hit, my feelings changed. I felt like I needed to do something. I became anxious with my future aspirations. Up to this point, I had not had an abundance of professional experience, and this time at home was increasingly feeling like a wasted chance to gain it. It was like an opportunity had been snatched away from me. I grew worried about my future as well as what I was supposed to be doing, and the fact that my family and friends were asking questions in relation to this whole journey didn’t help. At certain moments, I was angry with God, and wondered why He would put me in this situation. I fully expected that He would provide, but in that moment, it simply didn’t feel like He was delivering on that notion. I didn’t know if I could keep this unstructured routine for the remainder of the summer and I was starting to have serious doubts about pretty much everything.
As a big sports guy, I use Twitter to keep up to date, and there was a lot of news at the end of June about Return to Play plans for many leagues. I was scrolling down Twitter one evening looking for Canucks season statistics, and stumbled upon a summer job posting with an organization called BC Athletics. I instantly felt a nudge. I had looked at many job postings and nothing stood out to me as a viable option, but this one immediately captivated my attention. I wondered whether this was God providing me with an opportunity, so I spoke to some friends and family and everyone encouraged me to go for it. Everyone seemingly had a similar mindset of “Why not?” and I didn’t receive any signs going the opposing way. So, I applied and promptly got the job a week later. I spent the months of July and August working in a small office with BC Athletics staff, while learning a lot and gaining valuable work experience. I felt like I fit in seamlessly in their work environment. It was extremely fun, and my summer became a lot more enjoyable.
Hindsight is 20/20. Did I see this summer unfolding this way? Absolutely not. Pretty much nothing went according to my original plans. However, it is blatantly obvious that God planned this whole time for me from the start. He knew that I was tired and drained from my school and extra-curriculars, so He provided space for me to take some time to rest. He knew that I was worried about work experience, so He provided that for me too. He also gave me the opportunity to spend a lot more time with my family, which I had been craving for. As I begin this fall semester with full time online school, I feel rested and excited for what is going to come.
Two main things have really stuck out to me when I reflect on these past six months. Firstly, God provides. I know that it can be hard to believe at times, and the methods in which He provides may be exactly what you were thinking about or can be totally different. Secondly, God’s plan is done with His timing in mind, not ours. His timing is better for us than any of our plans could ever be, so being patient and waiting for what He has in store for us is very much something that we can take to heart. This is not easy, as our human instincts have us desiring control over our lives. But our God is a God who protects us, cares for us, loves us and wants the best for us. Keep leaning into what God has to say, especially if you’re feeling uncertain about anything in your life. Have faith in who He is.
“Trust in the LORD will all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6