By Uyen Dang
Restless for over four years, I had been seeking a career or life change. However, the Lord kept on telling me to “wait for him.” Being a person who is used to making decisions and being proactive, it was difficult to wait for him instead of taking matters in my own hands. Every time I explored an avenue, it always felt like the door was shut. Nothing materialized, nor did I feel a compulsion to move on from my current position. Instead of feeling confident that the doors were truly shut, I often felt guilty and wondered whether perhaps I was just using the excuse that the Lord was asking me to wait when really I was just afraid to take action to find a new job.
However, during my period of waiting, the Lord allowed me the time to examine my spiritual gifting & talents, career options and financial requirements should my income take a downturn. Finally in March, I was one of many who was laid off as part of our company’s downsizing. When I received the news of the layoff, I was elated because the answer was clear! He was the one moving me rather than me taking control. There was such great comfort and confidence to know that it was due to God’s will and not my own plans. He was there in my waiting and now he was here in my going.
Feeling like the door was wide open, I was excited and seeking to hear where he would lead me. On Easter, the message crystalized for me when the pastor read John 20:21: “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Excited and overwhelmed at the same time, I didn’t know if this was a temporary call to be sent on a mission or a permanent call to a life change in ministry. At the very least, I knew that I wanted to explore the chance to volunteer in the recovery process for the survivors of the Japanese tsunami. Venturing out in faith, I applied to the Christian organization called CrashJapan. Combining the mission trip with a trip to see the Olympics, I embarked on a two-month trip around the world which included Australia, New Zealand, and Iceland as well as the missions in Japan and the UK for the Olympics.
As a single Asian American woman who has led a successful professional career, to give up my daily control and independence to the Lord was difficult, leaving the path of what is known to simply follow the Lord. I was searching for guidance at every opportunity, such as talking to a life coach, consulting leadership at McLean Bible Church and attending the Asian Pacific Islander Women’s Leadership Conference. Through people who I encountered, I am now learning to trust in what the Lord has been teaching me and not to doubt his leading.
Uyen Dang grew up in South Carolina and Texas with a Baptist church background. As a Vietnamese American Christian, she’s been active for many years in the youth ministry at Vietnamese Hope Baptist Church and Capital Vietnamese Christian Fellowship (CVCF). In recent years, she’s lived in the Washington DC area community and worshiped at McLean Bible Church. Follow Uyen in her journey at uyendang.zenfolio.com/blog or at twitter.com/uyendang!