In Dubai, I met God in the Desert! | Pinay.com
I find myself tracing my path to the plane that brought me somewhere I never wanted to be.
Six years ago I was working in a good company in the Philippines as an engineer, but for some reasons that were not a matter of life or death, my destiny brought me here to the Middle East.
I grew up with an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) father, which meant I only got to spend 30 days with him in a year. That is, if he was lucky enough to be granted leave. For this reason, I never dreamt of working abroad away from my family.
I landed in Dubai in the hottest month of June.
I’m not one to overreact but walking in the steaming streets of Dubai—wearing coat and high-heeled shoes as I tried my luck for a job opportunity—was somewhat unbearable, at first.
But I soon found out that Dubai is not the typical desert I have always pictured the Middle East to be. The architecture and landscape still amazes me until now. Still, there is no place like home.
I never wanted to be here.
My boredom and loneliness nudged me to join a Christian Life Program, an entry point to being a member of Singles for Christ. At that moment, all I wanted was to have friends and kill time while attending the teachings. But little did I know that my life was about to change.
And yes, something amazing happened…. I met God in the desert!
In a surprising turn of event, I discovered the words of God in a Moslem country, where Christian practices have restrictions and limitations.
I had never been interested in doing an extra mile to know God before. I was too occupied with lots of wonderful things back home. I had a good job, friends, families, and I was able to do lots of things—whatever I want, whenever I want, and however I want it.
I realized I was brought to a place where I have nothing—to be able to search deeper for things that did not interest me before. I cannot say it was an abrupt change, but understanding God’s way was quite a journey. Yes, I know God, and it seems most of us do, but knowing is different from understanding.
For all of my life, I will always be thankful and blessed that God purposely brought me here to be broken into pieces, and be built again, fresh and new.
In my lonely days in Dubai, I learned to pray.
I learned to seek wisdom.
I learned to share blessings.
I learned to ask for forgiveness.
I learned to respect, despite differences.
Now, looking back, I know that my adventure in the Middle East did not start that well. I used to cry all night blaming destiny. It will probably take a lot more stories to share how God changed my life, but my point here is that sometimes we get drowned in the idea of our misfortunes that we fail to really dig deeper and understand our purpose.
Right now, I am actively serving the Lord through Singles For Christ Music Ministry, along with other lonely souls that have found peace and joy in knowing God.
Little by little, I am also trying to introduce God to my family and friends. I was probably sent here to evangelize. Six years had passed and I can confidently say that I will be going back to the Philippines again and again as I get better and better as a person. I perfectly understand now why I had to leave my comfort zone.
I am so blessed to have found what my soul has been hungry for.
Shayne Navarro, 29, has been writing about her life and experiences on her blog pinayindubay. Photos are courtesy of the author.
Born In Manila. Raised in Laguna.
Left Brain Enhanced (Engineer by Profession)
Right Brain Sufficient (Loves Music, Arts, and Writing)