A Difficult Beginning
It has been four years since I followed God to our place of obedience. It was not easy building my spiritual muscles to become strong in the Lord. There were a lot of people asking and even forcing me to tell them why I left Singapore even though I had a good job there as a nurse. They even thought that I would go to the USA, UK, or Australia for work. Others thought that I would stay in the Philippines. I left their questions unanswered because I learned to stop pleasing people. Only a few trusted people knew what was really going on. I am glad that I had spiritual mentors and a prayerful life group that encouraged me along the way.
In the year 2015, I seriously decided to take my relationship with the Lord to another level by praying and fasting. I committed myself to a week of having quality time with the Lord. My faith goals during this time were the following: 1) Be in a place where Steve and I were together with stable jobs of our own; 2) Have a baby together; 3) Have a job that did not require the night shift so that I could pursue my Masters degree in Bible school and have more time in the ministry.
Steve and Myka in Singapore
Deciding to Leave Singapore
Leaving Singapore was one of the difficult decisions I made because I had built a comfort zone of financial stability in that place. After getting married in December 2013, Steve quit his job in the Philippines and we decided to move to Singapore and start our life together. However, applying for a job in Singapore was not easy. Steve couldn’t stay in Singapore without a work permit. He had to go back to the Philippines and then after three months, return to Singapore. It was exhausting for him. Instead of making me let go of my career in that country, he was the one who gave up everything just to be with me.
For two years, our situation was not getting any better. People started to gossip about our “unconventional status.” Even the people I treated like family started talking behind our backs. I cried for help to the Lord because I did not know whom I could trust anymore.
God’s Direction on Leaving Singapore
I left Singapore because through a vision, God showed me the place He wanted for us. It was during my prayer and fasting in January 2015 that I saw myself standing in front of a certain landscape. After my time with the Lord, I searched for the image of the landscape on the internet. I thought it was the Opera House of Australia. The resemblance was so close, but the image still looked different from what I saw in the vision. Then Steve told me that he had friends in Qatar. At that time, Qatar was hiring healthcare workers, and Steve told me to give it a try. I was totally surprised because I realized it was Qatar in the vision. The only missing piece was of myself standing in front of the landscape.
I connected with a manpower agency in the Philippines so that I could get benefits as an overseas worker in Qatar. I passed the interview, the board exam for Qatar nurses, and the medical examination. It was a blessing that the Philippines was near Singapore. Every time the agency called me to have an exam, I booked a flight and fixed my application from the Philippines.
The Consequences of Following God’s Call
When I left Singapore, a lot of people started to question my decision. They even called me stupid for doing it. Handing my resignation letter at that time was a step of faith and trust in God. I told myself that I would rather obey the Lord than be miserable forever.
The employment process itself was so smooth; everything went well. My entry visa to Qatar was released, and the agency told me to resign from my job in Singapore because my air ticket would be released within that same week. It was November 2015, and I really had a hard time resigning. If I tendered my resignation before December 30, I would not receive any bonus. The bonus was 5-digits’ worth of money! Converted to pesos, that amount would have been half a million!
I bargained with the Lord and even with the agency, asking if I could resign after December 30. The agency said I had to be back in the Philippines before the year ended because they would put me in the last batch of hired December overseas workers. I then decided to resign and the news of my resignation started to spread like wildfire, attracting ridicule.
Hitting Rock Bottom
As I went back to the Philippines and waited for my air ticket, Steve and I prepared for our move to Qatar by saving enough funds that would help us survive for a month or two. It seemed that everything was going according to plan until a financial crisis hit the Middle East and the overseas hiring stopped. Eventually, our funds began to deplete, and we couldn’t pay our rent. We ended up staying in my parents’ house. I asked for help from some friends, but I could only count with my fingers how many of them were willing to help.
I became anxious and questioned God. I had bills due every month and all our bank savings dwindled to zero. I was so angry with the Lord. I even told God, “You took me out of Singapore only to humiliate me!” I always told God what was in my heart. I felt abandoned by everyone. Even in my parents’ house, I felt so small. Out of frustration, I wrote in my social media account, “Your value is determined by how much money you have.”
What happens next in the life of Sherlyn Myka? How does God get her out of her predicament? Find out in PART 2 of “Trusting God Beyond My Comfort Zone.”
Sherlyn Myka Subrida-Balista
Sherlyn Myka Subrida-Balista is a registered nurse currently residing in Qatar and working as a staff nurse in a government health center. She has been married to Steve Bercero Balista for 6 years, and their greatest miracle is their firstborn son, Joshua Jaden. She heads the Evangelism Ministry of The Great Commission Global Church and is taking her Masters Degree in Biblical Studies at the Grace School of Theology (Online Bible School).