It’s been one year since I’ve started working freelance and I’d say that it hasn’t been the smoothest ride. I didn’t think it was possible for me to do what I’m doing now but you see, things did not happen overnight. At first, I was out of place in the world of virtual work and freelancing. Questions like where to find projects, where to work for free so I can build a portfolio, is this something I can really do, etc. made me feel like I’m walking on a tunnel without light in the end. I’ve always been uncertain with the career path to pursue. Marketing? Writing? PR and events? Social Media? Am I really good at something?? Gah! In the end, I just know things will work out for good even when there’s no hard proof that it will. That’s why we have faith, right? It’s the confidence that makes you hope, endure, wait, and get going.
Before the busy days, there were long quiet weeks. In fact, those weeks were too quiet, they were idle. During the slow-paced mornings, I was tempted to ask God many why’s. I thought I was already mature until there were more obligations to carry out yet just a few cents to count. Such circumstances revealed my whiny self — a.k.a. the version of myself that I hate. I panicked because I was being emptied, yet out of self-doubt, I was paralyzed to move forward.
Let me share my story with you.
Life of comfort vs. life of laziness
Although I had a consistent source of income, I still have so much free time on my hands and I know I can squeeze in more work to maximize it. However, I was very picky about the industry, the hours, the conditions of the job, even with the descriptions. It’s either the requirements were too demanding or I don’t have the capabilities yet. “It will come if it’s meant for me,” is what I constantly tell myself while passively waiting for the perfect job post. Believe me, it was as if I wasn’t serious with my search. I dance with courage at dawn and then cuddle with idleness at dusk. In the process, I learned to be too content with what I have and sadly became too comfortable with where I was.
Now, there is a difference between a life of comfort and a life of laziness. When I asked God why there were still no additional projects coming my way, He made me study Proverbs 31. One verse that struck me was verse 22, “She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.“
Fine linen and purple – these are things that symbolize honor. And guess what, this woman doesn’t wait for her husband to give her the money to buy such expensive garments! She can make them herself! And look at verse 13, “She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.” Note that this woman is certainly not poor. If you’ll read the passage, her husband has a reputable role in town yet she desires and decides to put her hands to productivity. She is her husband’s glory. To have a wife like her would be the dream! She maintains her household, even buys a field to grow a vineyard, holds the spindle, brings food, helps the poor and after everything, she can still laugh at the days to come. What an ideal woman!
While reading this, I just know that God designed women to work for His glory no matter how convenient it is to throw excuses.
Preparation for the next steps
So what kept me from getting extra work? I was hesitant about my abilities (or lack of) and it stopped me from wanting growth. Because I was worried that I am not equipped to do the work, I became lazy. I forgot that God is my partner in everything. And because I already have a job in the first place, I became sluggish. When you’re used to comfort for so long, you fear change the most. Yet laziness and self-doubt are not God’s character.
Instead of focusing on the areas that I can’t change, I prayed to God to change me.
Yes, change is scary. It always is. Sometimes, we face change with excitement and most of the time, with fear. There are days when I want to go ahead of God’s plans and other times, delay. But again, I do not do things on my own. If it was just me, I would’ve kept on ranting, feeling sorry for myself, shying away from social activities and just hating my misfortune. If God was an irresponsible Father, if he gave me everything that I wanted as soon as possible, I would not have known how wrong my heart was. O, this foolish heart! It was full of worldly desire, discontentment, impatience, and narrow-mindedness.
Three days of prayer and fasting led me to hear God’s whispers clearly. The text from 1 Chronicles 28:20 kept me going. Whenever I feel that I’m not deserving of anything, I’d go back to this promise from God — He is with me. Instead of focusing on the areas that I can’t change, I prayed to God to change me. I prayed that He’d prepare me for the next steps: develop my skills, strive for a home office setup, improve my portfolio etc. and be absolutely ready to receive whatever He’s going to give.
Frustration reveals who’s in control
I was staring at the target figure I wish to achieve before the year ends and it’s like I’m a million miles away from the goal. Then I asked God why this frustration is taking much space in my mind.
Frustration comes from the Latin word frustrare which means ‘disappoint’. While the term disappoint was derived from the Old French word desappointer which means ‘deprive of position’ or ‘removal from the office’. There’s no denying it, I feel rejected whenever waiting is involved. Perhaps it’s the sense of entitlement, that funny voice in your head that says “God is being unfair to you again.” Well, frustration is normal. What’s dangerous is when it grows into disbelief.
When God told me to stop being lazy, He was also referring to the lazy way of approaching His holiness and glory.
Instead of drawing away from God, I found every word in the Bible to be intense. Perhaps I was genuinely hungry for answers! During those times, I stumbled upon 1 Samuel 1:11 and suddenly felt repentant about the manner I prayed to God. I realized that my prayers alone were lazy. You see, Hannah prayed “I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life.” Even if the son she prayed for isn’t there yet, or even when she’s not sure it’s going to exist ever, it’s already offered to God nonetheless.
And then there’s the prayer of Daniel in Daniel 9:19, “Hear my prayer for Your Name’s sake.” This was another slap in my face, which I clearly needed. For whose sake was his petition? For God. For whose sake was mine? For myself. Daniel’s prayer was a form of worship to God while mine was simply self-gratification. *covers face in embarrassment*
When God told me to stop being lazy, He was also referring to the lazy way of approaching His holiness and glory. My posture before Him was incorrect. I got comfortable, even frustrated, to demand things from God and forget that I am a servant in need of His grace. He still is, and will always be, the God after my heart. His faithfulness, wisdom, and mercies never ran out for me every day despite my crazy requests.
After all these revelations, opportunities came knocking on my door! Quite frankly, I’ve never been so excited to work because God personally prepared me for the hustle. If you are transitioning to a new world of work like I am, I hope this blog makes you smile and gives you that gentle push to look ahead and move forward. My prayer is that circumstances lead you closer to God, always in all ways.