We all have dreams. But there is that one dream that would just complete every empty spot in our field of dreams. That one dream we want to chase after but is so elusive. That one dream that even when years has passed without a hint of it coming true, you still want it. That one dream which can never be replaced by other dreams or bucket lists. That one dream where fighting difficulties and doubts is a battle you need to overcome. That one dream which just seems so impossible.
I have that kind of dream.
The dream to study abroad.
7 years ago, I got myself into self-studying Korean. I self-studied until I reached the level where I can handle a conversation, write blogs in Korean and understand at least parts of the dramas and variety shows I watch without subtitles. Then I basically planned out everything for my “journey to South Korea”. Guess what? It didn’t happen as I have planned. I got caught up with what the world expected of me. After getting a degree, I had to find a job. The dream took a backseat. Until last year (2015), I was reminded. So I hoped again. I didn’t know how it was going to happen or if it will ever happen but I dared to believe.
At the start of this year, I have hoped and prayed for an open door to pursue my Master’s degree in Social Welfare. I was planning to take up the course in UP Diliman when I read online that the application for Korean Government Scholarship is open. It was the first time in the past 6 or 7 years of waiting that I finally found the post open! For the past years, I was always late or too early — the application period has lapsed or has not yet opened. Now, the timing’s perfect, I thought.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19
It’s impossible to have a way in the wilderness or streams in the wasteland, but He will do it.
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14
I had nothing but this promise from God who loves you and me. And though every thing was uncertain, there’s one thing I was very sure of: His love NEVER fails.
So I chased the dream.
With more than a month in my hands, I went ahead and prepared all my documents. I am based in Eastern Samar so it was quite a challenge gathering my documents from Davao and Manila. I had to ask my Dad and brother to request documents for me. Applying for the scholarship isn’t really that expensive if you have all your documents with you. In my case, I had to fly to Manila a couple of times to process some documents personally which took a lot of my savings. I was convinced the money and time spent will all be worth it.
I sent my documents a week before the deadline. The waiting part was totally agonizing. Especially when the date for interview drew nearer. No calls or emails yet? Was I not shortlisted?! I worried a lot, you see. I even lost hope. I was already comforting myself that it’s okay, move on.
Then the Friday just before the scheduled interview week, I got the call! Out of 100+ applicants all over the Philippines, I got into the Top 20! You can just imagine my delight!!! This is it!!! I had more or less 3 days to book my ticket to Manila, pack my things and prepare for the interview. Just one more round to get recommended by the embassy for the scholarship. I need to be in the Final 5.
I was confident with how the interview went. I will pass.
Then a week later, the results came out….. I did not pass.
But this story doesn’t end here because God promised. And He who promised is faithful.
A month later, I did not just witness a miracle. I experienced it.
I got a call telling me that the director who interviewed me wanted to personally recommend me for a full scholarship at a university in Korea.
It took time before I finally understood what was happening.
All I could think of was, “It’s You, God. No one else. Thank You.”
Indeed, this battle was His. He is a God who can make ways in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. A God who performs wonders that cannot be fathomed and miracles that cannot be counted.
However this story will end next year, I’m in faith that it will serve its purpose which is to bring glory to His name.