“Feb 2, 2013. Saturday, 1:43am
I never thought I’d say this… but … I’m running for Journalism representative in the Student Council of the College of Mass Communication.”
Running for student council was never part of my plan. In fact, I always did my best to avoid being asked to run. I was never into politics as a kid. I hated the fact that people would start hating you just because you wanted to serve them and you chose a particular party to run with. I hated the fake smiles and the unnecessary hand shakes. It was such a hassle to go from room to room trying to prove yourself to people.
The truth was, I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone. I was serving in church as a member of the music team. In fact, I was one of the worship leaders. I was consistent in my Victory Group and Youth Service attendance. I was a good Christian! What more could God want from me?
I was such a good Christian that I decided to pray (what I thought was) a noble prayer, just to show God how much I loved Him:
Lord, I want to be a light for you. Bring me to a place where I have nothing else to hold on to but You.
Be careful what you pray for. Less than a month after I prayed that prayer, I found myself at a cross road.
“Elle, we want you on our team,” the candidate for Chairperson told me. In the college, she was the person that I looked up to the most. And here she was asking me to run with her.
I had already made up my mind to say “no” even before the conversation began. But after a while I started feeling something heavy in my heart. What was it? Why was I feeling it? I told her to give me an hour to make my decision.
“God ano ‘to?” I said the moment I found an empty bench in the area. “You know I dislike politics! Why are they asking me to run? I am the least qualified!”
“I called you to be a light in Maskom remember?” was His immediate response.
“But I don’t want to be a light there. Hassle!!! I’m doing well naman in my classes, and being nice to my classmates. Isn’t that enough?”
Getting tired of arguing with God, I called my dad. I told him about the situation I was in and asked him for his opinion. For some reason I already knew what he was going to say.
“You know, Elle, you have a short window of time to make an impact in your college,” he said over the phone. “You’re not going to be there forever. Like Esther, who knows but that you have been asked to run for such a time as this?”
My dad always says that when Pastor Steve asked him to go into full time ministry he heard God, but He sounded like Pastor Steve. Well this time, I heard God but He sounded like my dad.
I knew that the decision was already made. I had no choice but to surrender.
“Lord means master, the one who calls the shots, the one who makes the decisions.” – ch. 2 Lordship, One2One
I found myself saying ‘yes’ to the most difficult commitment I have ever made in my life.
“I’m saying yes, out of obedience to God” I told them an hour later. “I just want you to know that. And since I’m on board, I’m gonna give my all. I want to win.”
Early the next morning, I wrote on my journal:
“I really have nothing to hold on to but you. I am so scared right now. But I know that you have gone before me. I surrender to Your will, God.”
That month was the most exhausting, most difficult, and most nerve-racking month ever. I cried out to God (literally) every night to sustain me. Even if I had submitted to His Lordship, I still faced enormous amounts of stress and frustrations. Yet I was at peace. I knew that I was right in the center of His will.
2 Timothy 4:17
“But the LORD stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.”
I was in faith that at the end of the elections, that was what I would be proclaiming. Whether I won or lost, I had the victory through Jesus.
Throughout the campaign season, I got to share my faith to my slate mates. Whenever we went room to room, we would pray first and I was usually asked to lead the prayer. I knew that I was being watched, not just by the other party, or by my college mates, but also my slate mates. I knew that every moment was an opportunity to show God’s love to them and to many others.
On the evening February 28, 2013, the results of the elections came out.
I lost by 20 votes.
Our party had won a majority of the positions in council, though. And so even if I didn’t win, my party’s win was my win as well.
During our speeches that night, one of my slate mates said, “You know Elle, I really believe that God put you here for a purpose even if you didn’t win.”
I agreed with her with all my heart.