What would you do when things don’t happen as you plan them to be? What would be your reaction if you’re serving God yet He seems like ignoring your petitions? Will you continue to serve and love Him or you will hate Him? Will you still believe and trust?
Simple questions yet difficult to answer, right? Don’t worry you can find the answers in Ronald’s story below. Read and learn from it.
Personal and Career Backgrounds
I am Ronald Alviz, RN from Zambales, Philippines. I came and grew up from a close-ties type of family or in other words each of us is very close to each other. I am the 4th of the six (6) siblings. We’re 3 brothers and 3 sisters. I have a lot of dreams and goals in life. On top of all, my ultimate goal is to have my own family, will be able to raise all my children to be God-fearing and serving the Lord in all ways we could. Currently, I am engaged with the one I love so much and we’re planning to finally tie the knot sooner.
I finished BS in Nursing at Chinese General Hospital College in Manila and I am also a registered nurse. I started working in the Philippines before I decided to work in United Arab Emirates for 5 years. I worked at Al Salama Hospital and Sheikh Khalifa Medical Center (SKMC). Currently, I’m working at USA Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas. I have wide experiences working as Operating Room Nurse, Post-Anaesthesia, Endoscopy and Psychiatric Nurse.
So let me start my confession.
Early Years As An OFW
Honestly, I can say now that somehow I am living my dreams. But the journey towards these dreams is full of detours, humps and waiting. As an OFW, there were a lot of things I need to overcome. When I first arrived in UAE, I had to fight the adjustment period especially that my work was quite tough. I needed to adjust in almost all areas of my life. I faced countless temptations due to the feeling of homesickness because I missed my family’s close bonding and their mere presence. My life was like in chaos because I got into vices and other worldly things. I am frustrated with my life. It’s hard for me to find happiness. I longed for something. I felt alone and this was the biggest challenge I fought every day.
The Transformation Started
However, without me knowing, God has already prepared a community for me in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He connected me with Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon, a Catholic charismatic movement of single professionals with the mission of Christifying the Workplace. I felt a relief the moment I met some of its members. Finally, I have a community to nourish and nurture my spiritual life as well as other areas of my life. I then became a committed member, attended formations and fellowship activities and served in any way I could.
I came to know the Lord more and I developed my personal relationship with him stronger this time. I was given the chance to lead activities as well as leading worship and prayer meeting. I served my brothers and sisters in Christ as well as those who were not part of the community. I developed my prayer time. All things have changed because I learned to trust the Lord and lifted my life up to Him.
While serving in the community, I transferred working in another hospital. Better than the first because this time, it was a government hospital. Things started to get better even more. I enjoyed more benefits and one of them was my accommodation which was a big blessing for me. My accommodation then served to be the venue of some community activities as well as our small group events.
This time, I again applied for a job in the USA. By the way, landing a job in this place is like a dream of almost all nurses. And I am one of them. I already applied before even when I was still in the Philippines but I waited too much. That’s why I tried to find a job in UAE instead. There it was. The plan of the Lord prevailed since I met Lingkod in UAE and if I stayed in the Philippines or if before, I’m hired to the US, I might not be the Ronald I am now. While working, I reapplied for a job in the US. But still I’m frustrated and I waited too much time. There was a time when I had a scheduled interview in US Embassy in the Philippines where I got my vacation already. All things were set for the interview then I just received news from them that my interview was canceled due to retrogression. I felt so bad and disappointed.
I have no choice but to go back to UAE with a heavy heart but then I should trust the Lord that what happened were all part of His plans. So I moved on. In order to heal the disappointment, I maximize my time with my brothers and sisters in the community. Lo and behold, an Action Group (AG), a small support group for single brothers within the community was formed and we called it as POGI (Presence of God Inside). We then had our brothers’ household where we stayed in my accommodation for one month to strengthen our relationship with each other and with the Lord. My house became an instrument and venue of evangelization thereafter. Again, God’s plan prevailed and somehow my disappointment was out of my focus anymore.
The Confused Moments
Still, my heart was telling me to follow my dream to get a job in the USA. Honestly, I’m so confused that time. It was like my heart was torn into two. If I got the job, I will leave my service and the Lingkod community. I prayed about it every night until I made a decision to apply again. While waiting for my schedule, I heard from a brother that in Texas there is also a community like Lingkod. The name is Sword of Spirit. Because of this, I got more motivation that if I’ll be there at least there is still a community where I can continue my service. I just learned to surrender to God whatever the mixed feelings I had at that moment. I just did my part and indeed God did the rest.
I Hit The Goal
This time, I got the job. Currently, I am working here in Houston, Texas. It’s a new place with new challenges. It is hard especially that I don’t have a community like Lingkod that I used to have in UAE. I’m still struggling but I have to live my life. After all, it’s my dream to be here ever since I was in college. It’s tough but God surprises me every day. I don’t know yet His plans and will for me here. Maybe a big surprise awaits me. I always trust the Lord no matter what. God is in control of my life. Whatever things happen to me I know that God plans them all. He knows my sufferings; he knows my pains and struggles. I am just entrusting Him my life. God knows me better than myself. Honestly, I miss serving the Lord but the hope and faith always remain.
The Lessons I Learned
These are the lessons I learned after all of my experiences in life. That God is the light of my dark roads. As said in the Philippians 4:11, “I can do everything with Christ who strengthens me”. I might fall; I may be down, I might experience a lot of pain, difficulties, and struggles yet at the end of the day I’m still alive and I am not alone in this fight. I have the Lord fighting with me. Every morning is a chance to have a new life.
Despite all the challenges and successes I met every day, I can also say that I successfully defeated the enemy (evil ways) despite many times of being down and weak due to my sins. I always have my faith and God embraces me tighter every time I fail because of His ultimate love for me. The harder I fall, the greater is the love I felt. As of now, I’ve realized that I can serve the Lord by serving my patient. I took good care of them and if I have the chance, I reminded them that God loves them so much.
To end, let me share you this piece of advice or exhortation.
“We have our own struggles, difficulties, trials or our big giants that keep our life miserable but we have a bigger God. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, mind, body and soul. God knows what’s best for you. Offer everything to the Lord and He will give you rest. The Bible said that God did not promise us a smooth journey in life but He assures us of a safe destination. He loves you and me so much that He offered His only begotten Son through the cross.”
Don’t ever lose hope. It’s not yet the end of everything. Your life is just starting. Start it with the Lord and everything will follow. Know that His plans are better than yours or in fact the best. Our Lord always loves you. He always forgives.
All we need to do is to keep on calling Him. God is always there for us. Sometimes we are the ones making the barrier. We should only remove the wall that blocks our faith with our Lord.
Be blessed and be a blessing!
Your brother in Christ,
Are you inspired? Please type your comments below and don’t forget to share this story with your friends. Let’s spread the good news!