Sometimes God takes you the long way to get you exactly where you need to be. As I was praying about my next steps in my final year, I told God about my plans & waited for His blessings. And when those plans began to crumble, I blamed God while questioning Him about His love for me… until one Sunday service, a sermon about humility in the waiting room exposed me to my own pride. Being conscious of my sin, I went back to the drawing board only this time, I was ready to listen to whatever God had to say. A familiar warmth came over me, God knew I needed restoration of my identity more than the revelation of my future. God used unlikely situations like the birth of my stepbrother and the brokenness of my family to reveal His love & His path for me. Though it was an event that shook my faith, God used it to grow a compassion for children that I never had before. Yet, when I was first prompted to do honours, I rebuked it thinking it was not from God because research was not my strength. I later came to understand that asking for more of God in my life meant surrendering both my desires & my weaknesses to make room for Him.

When the results of my GPA only fed my doubt about God leading me to do honours, I sent an application in faith and hoped for the best. With an expiring visa & no news about my application, I was tempted to apply to more universities to increase my chances of returning. It seems the greater the uncertainty, the greater the desire to be in control, take action, strive… but instead God told me to “be still” because “He’s got it”. Each time fear/worry came to taunt me, I learnt to exchange my uncertainty for His sovereignty by saying “Amen Lord, You’ve got this.” Over the summer break, I refrained from checking my application, looking for accommodation or thinking about future options until I had the peace from God to do so. And it was in this period of stillness that I received an unconditional offer from UQ.

As an honours student now looking back, God sent many blessings to me in the form of my leaders who offered lots of prayer support, my ex-supervisor who helped me in preparing for honours, & just when I was out of accommodation options – He sent a church member to help my housemates & I secure our accommodation. All in all, the journey was long but it has allowed me to celebrate trials as a step forward, to say yes without seeing the big picture, to accept that things don’t have to go my way, & finally, it has enabled me to give God the full glory He deserves.

Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…”

Ariane Khoo
UQ5, St Lucia (Afternoon)