I received the call when I was 21. Full-time ministry. It wasn’t an audible voice. It was a gentle, muted, whisper that bore in my heart a burden and there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I’ve just been called.

    The next message was clear. “You’re in your period of preparation.”
    That was three years ago.
    And now, I’m thinking, is this it? Is this the time? And just by asking that question, a wave of doubt and a million unanswered questions immediately follow.
    But the idea of it brings this unnerving calm within me. The thought – no matter how scary it is – makes my heart leap with anticipation and settle with this inexplicable joy.
    This path is something I must tread lightly and surely. This is no time for making mistakes and I have to put all my trust in Him that He will not allow me to be led astray. Not now. Lord, have mercy. Not now. Not in this season. Not during these last days.
    Back to the Beginning
    Earlier this year – during summer – I had this urging to “go back to where it all started”. The immediate thought that followed was to spend time in Sinipsip, Buguias, Benguet, where my parents first went as missionaries back in 1983. I was certain that it was from the LORD and that it had to be done within the year. I was thinking a couple of days of prayer and fasting, seeking Him and just really getting ingrained in His Word. Just me and Him.

    Fight Another Day

    Last week, I was having an emotional breakdown. Call it what you will – quarter-life crisis, PMS, mood swings, whatever. All I knew was that I was in no way happy with my current situation. I was desperately trying to be, but it was getting more and more difficult as time went by. 
    I love the company I’m working for. They’re like so good to me and I can definitely see the LORD’s favor in having given me the job that I have. But I just wanted out. I thanked Him daily for my job and was recognizing it as a blessing from Him, but that feeling of not wanting to be here, not liking what I’m doing was gnawing at me on a daily basis.
    I woke up Thursday morning determined to quit, but being one who never really makes major decisions without seeking counsel, I emailed my dad and my Tita Alice. My subject line was “I want to quit my job 🙁“, and the first line of the email was, “I really really want to. Please say, “Okay, Joanna”.” I then poured out what I was going through in a not-very-well-thought-out-but-very-much-honest message.
    My dad, being on a mission trip in Indonesia, was apparently completely offline at that time, so the immediate response came from my tita. 
    This is the gist of her response (I highlighted certain parts):

    Shalom! I can understand what you feel. I’ve experienced that also when the Lord is ABOUT to make a shift in His assignment for me. But I had to wait for His perfect timing (develops meekness in us, you know – always depending on the perfect will and timing of the Lord, not on our flesh, emotions, etc.; it’s still disobedience if it’s not according to His perfect timing.)

    So, my advice is YOU STAY PUT, allow the Holy Spirit to take hold of your emotions and allow GOD’S PEACE to rule over your heart and soul. Don’t do anything drastic without the confirmation of the Lord and confirmed also by matured servants of God like your parents. 

    She then sent me a prophecy by Doug Addison about how September 2011 is “A SHIFTING POINT FROM STORMS OF DESTRUCTION TO WINDS OF CHANGE”.

    My first reaction was, “Oh phooey. I knew it. They’re going to make me stay.” After crying my eyes out, I knew that there was no other way other than to obey. My dad confirmed this to me a couple days later when he finally read my email.

    So yeah… I had to obey. I didn’t resign that day and to make me feel better, I placed Addison Road’s Fight Another Day on my playlist and put it on repeat.

    The Embers Won’t Die

    I obeyed. I said, “Okay, LORD, have Your way. If You want me to stay, then I stay, but do know that I really, really want to go.”

    When you obey, you kind of expect this peace, this joy inside you, because you are aware that you are doing your Father’s will. That’s how it always worked for me before. That’s not the case this time. I still want to quit my job.

    One thing that stoked the fire of this desire was when I spoke to Ate Liza during our night watch last Friday. She’s a full-time worker in Pangasinan. I opened up to her what I was going through and she told me that this was exactly what she felt right before she quit her practice as a dentist and went full-time.

    Something bothered me though. If this is the time, where on earth am I gonna go? What on earth am I going to do?

    Answers and More Questions

    Yesterday, my team lead gave me my performance evaluation. It was much higher than I expected and I told her that. I feel like I haven’t been giving my best to my work and that I was honestly ashamed of it.

    She was encouraging and reassuring as usual. I then told her what I was going through. I told her I was planning to resign last week. “It’s not you. It’s me.” I told her with a small chuckle. I then asked if it were at all possible to go on LOA (leave of absence) for a month or two “just to figure out what it is exactly that I want”. She told me that she doesn’t see why it wouldn’t be possible and will look into it.

    I asked her not to until I’ve talked to my parents about it when I go home this weekend. She agreed.

    I kept thinking how wonderful God’s favor is for placing me in a company that allows me to be open about these things. If I were still in my old company, they’d probably tell me to be more professional.

    The Ancient Paths

    For the past weeks, one verse that kept ringing in my mind was Jeremiah 6:16a – “This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ “

    It would pop up in my mind all the time. There was even this case where I saw a building of “Dating Daan” and wondered if the verse had anything to do with their cult. >.<

    So this verse is an incessant reminder, and I had no idea how to apply it to my life in the here and now. Until this morning.

    When I checked Facebook this morning, the first post I saw was bro-in-Christ David’s status update:

    “Search [examine] me, O God, and know my heart [thoughts]: Try [test] me, and know my thoughts [concerns]; And see if there be any wicked way [idolatrous tendency] in me, and lead me in the way everlasting [reliable ancient path].” Psalm 139:23-24. ASV[NET]

    First off, that verse has been the constant prayer of my heart over the past three years. It’s one of my life verses and you can post it anywhere, and it will always, always speak to me, but what struck me about this particular translation was where it mentions the “reliable ancient path”.

    My heart leaped.

    I now know where to go and what to do. The only question is “when?” And I believe that I will get my answers this weekend. For now, I stand at the crossroads, waiting.

    ~ SDG
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    Joanna Alonzo

    Author/Founder at Almond Tree Publications
    Joanna Alonzo is a walking paradox. She is a beautiful, albeit messy, mixture of thought and emotion, expressed in the form of hopefully readable – and relatable – stories. She is a kingdom kid, who looks forward to being a writer and storyteller even when she reaches heaven. She is passionate about the unreached, about those who have yet to know the Love she found in the arms of the Almighty. She is intrigued by the world and its people, who day by day, continue to convince her that God is the greatest Storyteller of all.
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2 Comments on "The Ancient Path"

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Nylas
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i think I feel your sadness as I read. praying for you.God gives desires He will fulfill in His perfect time. Our concern is to Obey now.

Psalmista
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Salyn!!! The sadness has passed. I'm anticipating where He's about to bring me, but yes… Praying that He gives me (us) the grace to obey. Always. Miss you. 🙂

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