Where the Lord Leads, I Follow

posted Dec 20, 2011, 5:16 PM by Alfredo Pacaon   [ updated Dec 20, 2011, 5:16 PM ]
By: Rica Cabigao

Years ago, a friend of mine invited me to join her company, I said no, thinking that it is not possible for my current visa status to change employment.  She left the offer open in case I change my mind.  I am already settled where I am.  I don’t have second thoughts or regret in my heart rejecting her offer.  I was not even curious about the position or the offer, or even with the possibility of getting certified again.  It is clear in my mind that I am not changing work.  Mid 2006, a strong prodding combined with unfavorable work conditions and bigger financial needs led me to do the exercise of laying down pros and cons of my situation.   Professionally and financially the job can’t be beaten but somehow my spirit was unwilling.  Nevertheless, I researched its legal feasibility.  To my surprise, I learned that the new guidelines now allow a transfer of employment legally.   Though the news turned out to my favor, it also brought fear in my heart.  I started to pray about it and brought it up to my pastoral leaders for guidance and discernment.

In Terry Modica’s reflection on Jesus’ first call to the disciples, she said the Lord has a pattern in His interaction with all of us: 1. To know Him; 2.To see Jesus’ help in unexpected ways; 3. Jesus turning the gift into a call and; 4. His disciples giving up everything that would prevent them from answering His call. (Terry Modica is the primary speaker, retreat director, and Catholic evangelist for Good News Ministries.)

As events in my life unfolded and in my years in City On The Hill, I have grown in knowing Jesus more and more.  I have seen the hand of the Lord working as I went through five immigration application approvals (not to mention the waiting and finances involved) in such a short time.  These I have to do even before I accepted the offer.  In every stage, He provided me with the support of people who gave me encouragement and a promise of prayer.  Still, my prayer is to show me if this is what He really wants for me.

When I finally got the final approval on my papers, my current employer decided to downsize.  In the process of this downsizing, they decided to take out my position.  While it seemed like a rejection and a painful event, to me, it was the Lord taking out the pressure in resigning and clearly directing me to push through with this new job.

I further quote Terry Modica, “Whenever God intervenes in our lives, he does it to benefit us and others.”  Because we already know Jesus, we belong to a community of believers; we are not in relationship with God as isolated individuals.  Our prayers for help are never answered only for our own sake.  If it seems like God isn’t responding to your pleas, it’s because He’s working on a bigger plan and He’s not yet finished fitting all the pieces together.  He’s coordinating how the answer to your prayers will help many.  By thinking beyond ourselves while waiting for our troubles to end, we find peace and hope and value in our sufferings.  This is the vocation of daily life.”

The Lord has spoken and He wants me to be in Charlotte, North Carolina.  This is His call for me for now and so I am here.  Yes, I have friends, a place and a community in Los Angeles, but the Lord wants me here.  Where the Lord leads, I follow.