Saturday, May 25, 2019

152. my unexpected transfer

Today, the transfer results are out again for the teachers for June 2019. Looking at this website, I can't help but feel such thankfulness in my heart. The website "eg-tukar" is nothing foreign to anyone who is trying to apply for a transfer. I've been visiting this site loyally for the past 4 and a half years. Only those who are directly involve would know the emotional ride one has to go through every time.

Jeli, Kelantan has been my first posting. It was totally unexpected but I am truly grateful that this has been a training ground for me in every aspect; physically, emotionally and spiritually. Though I may be alone in this foreign land, God has put great friends around me to keep me company and also to keep me sane. These are the people who share the same struggles and experience with me.

Jeli is actually quite a decent place. It is accessible by road and it's the nearest town in Kelantan from Taiping via the East West Highway. The people are friendly and warm. Nonetheless, I knew it was never a place I could settle down in because I couldn't even buy a house there due to the laws of the state. Thus, it was only right for me to apply for a transfer out of this place. More reasons to transfer when I got engaged and bought a house in Taiping.

The process of applying for a transfer is pretty easy as everything is done online but the wait for the result is a torture. We would not know when the exact date of the result will be out; only rumours will be circulating. All the false hopes and anxiousness. When the result is officially out, there's always these mix feelings and thoughts. Will I get the transfer this time? Which school would I get? Will I be disappointed again?

Each and every time the results are out, I have to mentally prepare myself for it. As much as I remind myself that everything will happen in God's timing and His perfect plans, I can't help but feel the disappointment when I didn't get it. As much as I thought I'm immune to the negative result after so many times, I can't help but tears were in abundance. The disappointment is hard to describe unless you're going through the same experience. In total, I had to face the disappointment 8 times.

In 2018, J and I signed our marriage certificate in hope that it can be used as a solid reason to get my transfer approved. I applied as usual and attached it as a proof. At the same time, we were preparing for our wedding and also our house renovation. It was hectic and I was driving back to Taiping almost every 2 weeks to settle things for either the house or our wedding. Looking back, it is truly with God's grace and protection that I am able to drive to and fro safely each and every time I travelled. I am still amazed at how much energy I had to do everything during the short time I am back.

End of Nov 2018, the transfer result was out again. This was to determine where we will be after our wedding. Whether we will start a life together in Jeli or in Taiping. By now, we both decided that we will make peace with whatever result we get; be it to stay in Jeli or to get a transfer to Larut, Matang& Selama district.

Annnnddddd......the result was yet again another NO!

So we did our final wedding preparation and had a beautiful wedding day, went for our honeymoon and started preparing things to go to Jeli. We said our farewells knowing that we would no longer be coming back to Taiping so often. We would only meet our church members and friends rarely.

On 29th Dec 2018, we drove two separate cars over to Jeli. Both cars were fully packed with things and food supply. We unpacked all our things and bought some new furniture to begin our lives together here. It was exciting to start a new routine of living together and we were prepared to be here for at least 6 months to a few years. It was a new adventure for us both.

I started school on 1st Jan 2019 and things went on as usual. We attended church in First Assemby of God in Kota Bharu and we were so warmly welcomed. We could see ourselves serving there long term.

And on 7th Jan 2019, as I was in the class, I suddenly got a text from my school clerk saying that I got my transfer. I replied her asking if she was joking cause this was totally unexpected for me. I was so set in being in Jeli for at least another 6 months till the next transfer application. I couldn't wait and I went to the office immediately and she showed me the memo that came in for me today. I just could not believe it. Suddenly, there was this mixed feelings and thoughts again. Should I be happy that I finally got what I had been praying for for years? How would J respond to this now that he has finally set his mind to be in Jeli? What would he do about his work in KB church? Is this a temptation for us after all the dreams of confirmation I had?

I called J and told him about it and we were both in a shock. We didn't really know how to react to this new piece of news. We were in a dilemma. We discussed and argued and discussed. He was keen on staying back in Jeli and I didn't mind that but I could not live with the idea of myself giving up on this opportunity which I've waited for almost 5 years. Not getting the transfer is one thing, but to get the transfer and reject it after so many years of hoping is too much for me to do. Thankfully, with advices from people we trust and with J's willingness to move again, we decided to come back to Taiping. I had always imagined I would be in tears of joy when the day comes for me to get my transfer approved but this whole experience had been a contrary to that.

So after that, I called my new school and tried to ask for an extension so that I can settle everything in Jeli before I leave for good. I was supposed to report for duty on 16 Jan 2019 but I managed to get an extension till 22 Jan 2019. Thank God that everything went smoothly.

So here we are, packing all our things again and selling off almost everything I own in Jeli so that we could fit in everything into both our cars. I can't believe I have called this place home for almost 5 years. On 18 Jan 2019 (exactly one year after we signed our ROM) after 21 days of living in Jeli with J, we drove back to Taiping. It felt so surreal and sad yet my heart is full of joy and excitement for the next phase of our lives.

When I was going through all the different stages of my lives, it's difficult to see the plans God has for me. But as I look back, everything truly happened for a reason.

1. I never understood why of all places I was posted to Jeli. But if I wasn't in Jeli, I would never have the chance to meet J.

2. I never understood why we so confidently bought a house in Taiping so early. But now that we're back in Taiping, we have a place to call OUR HOME!

3. I never understood why I had to wait so long for my transfer. But now I understood that He was really working everything out for me. To the point where I got posted in SMK Kampung Jambu (in the heart of Taiping) rather than in a faraway place where I had to travel daily to school.

4. I never understood why I was put in Jeli where there's no church. But now, I could see that I have grown so much spiritually compared to years before as I could only depend on Him alone.

5. I never understood why I didn't get my transfer in Nov 2018 and that would have saved us so much hassle. But without this test of faith, we wouldn't know how much we trust in Him.

6. I never understood why J had to be in Jeli with me; in a place where there's no potential ministry. But little did we know that through this leap of faith, many more doors were opened for J in his ministry giving him more chances to preach.

There's so many things that I still do not understand, but God truly knows the beginning and the end to everything and we just have to trust in His ways for He always knows what is best for His children. If our earthly fathers will try their best to give us everything good, how much more can a Heavenly Father do.

In human ways, I have done everything I could in my ability to try to get the transfer approved. I have been to Putrajaya, I went almost every 2 weeks to see the PPD officer and I even got the marriage certificate as proof but nothing happened because it was not God's timing. When we least expected it, in His perfect timing, the letter of approval just came out of nowhere. And the most miraculous thing is that, it was not even the usual time for any transfer to take place which was in June and November. In God's sovereignty, everything falls into perfect place.

The DOUBTS were turned into STRONGER FAITH.
The QUESTIONS were turned into ANSWERS.
The PRAYERS were changed into REALITY.

When we are in the storm it is difficult to see God's hands in the situation. But when we actually take a step back, we will be able to see how God has brought us into the storm and we are never alone in the storm. How He walks ahead of us guiding us through and and leading us in the right path. All we have to do is trust in Him and hold on to His hands.

I am ever so thankful and blessed that for now, I no longer need to go through the emotional ride of waiting for my transfer results in eg-tukar. I am at peace and know that for this season, I will be here in Taiping with J. My heart is overflowing with thankfulness! And I pray that eventually those who are applying for the transfer will eventually get it in God's timing.