It’s the end of the first week here. Finally, almost everything is in place, hence the time to sit down and reflect.
Looking back, it’s insane how so many things have happened in this short time, making me feel like I’ve gone through a month instead of a week.
1.Getting my Visa approved
I waited three restless weeks for the Australian Immigration department to approve my student visa, wondering why it was taking so unusually long. I even sent out a few emails to them with no satisfactory response.
Only at 9am on Monday (which was also the day of my flight) did I realize that the link at the bottom of the application page saying “Book your medical appointment today!” WAS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT! So to describe the next few hours right up to my flight as a nightmare would be downplaying it alot - because at least nightmares were not real, but this one was.
However, it was precisely because this was such an impossible and hopeless situation that I could witness just how great the power of God was in it. The clinic told me that it would take at least 1-2 working days to process my medical and X-ray results and send them to the Australian Immigration department - but God did it in three hours.
Even then I still thought it was hopeless to get it in time for my flight. By the time the clinic managed to send my medical results to the immigration department, it was already past working office hours in Australia (they close at 2.30pm Singapore time). So of course according to my natural human logic, even if there were to be a miracle, the earliest I could get the visa would be the next day. But that wasn’t according to God’s logic. At 7.30pm (9.30pm Australia time), this kind officer from the department who was aware of my situation replied me, AND I FINALLY GOT THE VISA! 4 HOURS BEFORE MY FLIGHT!
What should have taken 2 weeks by the immigration department’s standards took only less than a day to be approved, simply because God is the God of the impossible. That was one faith-stretching and wrinkle-inducing ordeal, yet one that has left me speechless and so thankful to Him.
2. Looking back, moving forward
The principal told us at the very start of orientation that each of us would begin to go through battles of our own. She wasn’t kidding. My first battle came on that very day. Sitting outside the evaluation room awaiting my turn, a few students before me had already gone inside and sang, and they were incredible. Despite the instructors emphasizing many times that this evaluation session wasn’t an audition on The Voice, and that this was just a way for them to get an idea of where each student was, it wasn’t long before I began to get nervous and even intimidated.
There was such an intense urge to run away. I started telling myself that I wasn’t as good, that my voice and skill could never match up to the others, that I should just stop now and not embarrass myself further. I even had ridiculous thoughts about switching streams from music/songwriting to pastoral training.
But it was also at that moment when I remembered all those obstacles that tried to hinder me from coming here, hurdles that I had to overcome to get to Hillsong - and I stopped wanting to run away.
Because if God had gone through so much just to bring me here to this point, how could I deny that this is exactly where He wants me to be?
If all those impossible situations that should have been enough to shut the door could not stop God from keeping it wide open, how could I run away from that one spot He had reserved for me here in this course?
While one battle might have been won, this may only be the beginning. After all, I have one year to go in one of the most intensive courses with classmates representing such a diverse mix of cultures, personalities and talents. Yeah, group work will sure be interesting. Suddenly, it seemed like those four years of SMU had been a training ground for me. As long as I keep remembering that God has been preparing me for this, and did bring me here for a reason, I will continue to push forward. After all, if He could get me here, certainly He will get me through :)