After my college graduation, I thought I had my life all figured out: I was going to pursue a career in music & become a rockstar. Then, once I had my fill of that lifestyle, quit the music scene, go corporate, and then start my own family.
But boy, was I greatly shaken by God. A few months into doing a few gigs with my bands, He told me to get out, because it wasn’t His will for me. With great pain and humility, I quit my two bands and recommitted myself to following God.
It was at this time where, at the urging of my parents, I pursued a career in the corporate world. This was to prepare me for my future: to save up and start a family of my own. As an act of honoring my parents, I obeyed. I started working for a company of a family friend and got a taste of what the real world was like.
Unfortunately, I did not get any fulfilment, joy, or satisfaction in that job. After careful thought and prayer, I resigned. Several months later, I was employed again. This time, at a telecommunications company. Though it paid well and sustained me, like the first company, it offered me no joy, fulfilment, or sense of purpose. After 6 months of working in that company, my contract was not renewed.
This made me think about my involvement in the corporate world. To me, it did not seem wise to continue a career in that field any more. But my family continued to encourage me to pursue the corporate world, to try and see. Again, I obeyed. So I joined an advertising agency. This was what really tested me as a person, as the very demanding working hours and load left me very little time with family, ministry, and most importantly, God. After a month, I resigned because of two reasons: 1) my personality was not cut out for such an industry & 2) I was burned out.
It was after this job that I entered into my desert season. I was at the lowest point of my life at the time: lost, confused, burned out, depressed, and purposeless. I could not understand why God had allowed me to go through such a difficult time in all areas of my life. I became angry at Him. I lost contact with my DGroup, accountability partners, and even the church itself. I needed time to think and be alone; to figure out what was happening to me, for no one around me could: not even my family, friends, or even spiritual mentors.
As I struggled greatly during this season, God clearly spoke to my heart. He was preparing me for something greater; purging me of characteristics that did not please Him so that I would be ready at the perfect time. He encouraged me with Isaiah 41:10: “But those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.”
I did not understand at that time how a loving God would allow such pain in His child’s life. I was so close to cutting off my relationship with Him and even contemplated suicide a couple of times. Being purposeless is one of the worst feelings in the world. I would not wish this feeling upon anyone. But, by God’s grace, I survived this “fiery furnace”. Though I was exiting the oven, but He had more lessons for me to learn.
I again entered into a corporate job that made use of a skill that I thought at the time was something God wanted me to utilize: writing. I became a writer for an Internet marketing company. It was exciting to be in the workplace again, especially surrounded by Christians. But after a few months went by, I again started to have that all-too familiar feeling: a loss of purpose and fulfilment. After 8 months in this company, I resigned.
At this juncture in my life, decided to really seek God in this matter, as I had been in the corporate world for 3 years and not settled permanently in a company. I told one of my good friends about my life predicament and this person recommended me to take an extended time of prayer and fasting: 21 days to be exact. Since I was really desperate, I took my friends advice. I spent extra time studying God’s Word and in prayer, depriving myself of one meal a day and social media for 3 weeks. It was during that time that God revealed to me that I had only depended on human wisdom in the 3 years that I was pursuing the corporate world. I realized that I never asked God what He wanted, His will for me in the matter of career. I repented of my sin and, for the first time in 3 years, really sought Him. Once I was right with God again, I asked Him what His will for me in career was and His answer shocked me, “Go full-time in the church.”
Honestly, I was quite shocked at God’s revelation. I had never imagined myself working full-time for the church. But, as Jesus said in John 10:27: “My sheep hear my voice…and they follow me…” So I obeyed. I submitted my resume to CCF Alabang and told Marc, my discipler & head of the Singles ministry about God’s revelation to me. He told me that the process would be long, but if I persevered, my faithfulness would bear fruit.
So I started out as a volunteer admin in B1G South. It honestly wasn’t an easy journey. For the first month, I wasn’t paid anything. But it was during this time God really showed me His faithfulness and grace. There were times that people who visited the office would feed Marc & I with kakanin, donuts, pizza, pancit, and even delicious grilled chicken. To those people who fed me during those times, thank you so much. You were a testament of God’s grace in my life. To save time, I won’t name you anymore. You know who you are. 🙂
After the first month, God graciously provided by giving me a monthly allowance for my gas and food. And after 7 months of waiting, by His grace, this 2015, I am pleased to share with you, brothers and sisters, that my application for B1G South admin has been approved. I am going full-time. I just need to get my requirements and be interviewed, but it is pretty much secured.
Being a disciple of Jesus is very, very costly, as I learned recently in my journey with the Lord. But, my dear brothers and sisters, I want to encourage you that the reward far surpasses the trials, pain, and suffering that we endure. Jesus said in John 10:27-28:
“My sheep know my voice, and I know them. They follow me, and I give them eternal life, so that they will never be lost. No one can snatch them out of my hand.”
In the end, we gain the most profitable prize: Jesus Christ Himself. I am not pushing for everyone to go full-time in the church, but to truly seek & obey God’s will in your life, whether it is going full-time in church or corporate.
My name is Philip Roa, a child of God, saved by His grace, and ultimately humbled to be used by Him for His glory alone.