The author and her family celebrating her own jubilee year – and what would be the start of a three year period of trust, rest and restoration. All photos courtesy of Theresa Ang.

I made a resolution in early 2016 to study the Torah.

I wanted a good foundation to understand the Old Testament, so what better way to start than with its first five books?

Two years later, I was burnt out – physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Whether it was a relief from the burnout or the fear of The Lord, I gladly entertained the idea of resigning from the bank.

I was so drained that I shut myself out from my colleagues at the American bank where I was working. One colleague who saw how things were not working out said it would be better for me to quit. Worse, my co-workers had seen me doing homework for Bible study every Friday evening after work, before I walked across the road to attend Precept classes. I thought I was still upholding a righteous way of living, but little did I realise I was such a bad testimony for the Lord. 

My study of the Torah started to feel like a burden. I told the Lord I could not continue reading about the festivities celebrated by Israel.

Just when I was about to give up, I hit Chapter 25 in the book of Leviticus, and read about the importance of the jubilee – a year of rest, release and redemption that takes place every 50th year.

It was a few months before I turned 50. In the diary of our Lord, nothing is ever a coincidence. I had no clue what the jubilee would mean to me at that time. 

Theresa and her children, celebrating all their birthdays together. Her children are in their 20s; her daughter is in her third year studies at university, and her son is serving his 2nd year of National Service.

I also heard the Lord whispering “rest and restoration”. I knew the Lord wanted me to rest. Whether it was a relief from the burnout or the fear of the Lord, I gladly entertained the idea of resigning from the bank. I had nothing else planned. No new job, mortgage still hanging in the air, children still studying, but I was just glad to leave.

Looking back, it did feel like an impulsive move, but God’s hand was always in it.

Eating from the old crop

After my resignation and a wonderful 50th birthday celebration organised by my cell members, reality started to sink in.

Through Leviticus, the Lord had told me that I was supposed to let “the land rest”. I understood that to be “me”.

The Lord said that I will have enough to last the next three years and that I will “eat from the old crop”.

Then the Lord said to rest for three years.

What? Three years? It cannot be true. Three years is too long! I cannot be without a job for three years! I have never been without a job during my entire career.

The message was clear but I dismissed it. I wrestled with the Lord.

“What is my family and I going to feed on? I have a mortgage to pay!”

The Lord said He will send me such blessings that I will have enough to last the next three years (Leviticus 25:21) and that I will “eat from the old crop” (Leviticus 25:22).

Looking back, I did indeed receive blessings from the bank – they paid me all the bonuses and shares that were due to me, and indeed I did not lack anything and was still able to service my mortgage.

Financial needs are real, and so are the Lord’s promises. Through this, He once again showed me He understands my needs and He wants to bless me beyond what I ask for. Through this, I knew He will never leave me, nor forsake me.

Leviticus 25 became God’s pillar of promise that I would hold on to for the next three years.

Labouring during the sabbath

At some point during the three years, I struggled with the fear that my savings were dwindling.

I had tried on many occasions to sell my home. I just could not sell it although there were many viewings and many people liked it. Looking back, the Lord did tell me “the house belongs to Me” (Leviticus 25:23).

I must have applied for a thousand jobs. All these were in vain.

My faith wavered and I dismissed the Lord’s words. Yet He was ever so patient and forgiving, because He had a bigger plan for me.

The Lord continued to assure me and promise me in Leviticus 26: “You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new” (Leviticus 26:10). But my savings were dwindling. Was I hearing it wrong?

My faith started to waver again and I frantically started looking for a job.

Then the Lord said, “You will labour in vain.” (Leviticus 26:20)

I must have applied for a thousand jobs, both junior and senior roles which I felt competent to hold. All these were in vain indeed.

I did not get a single favourable reply.

Then I heard the Lord say again: “Three years.”

The Lord wanted me to rest, I did not quite obey. Yet He knew all along He wanted to restore me. I had forgotten about the Lord’s jubilee commission for me – “rest and restoration”.

The Lord revealed my feelings of anger, frustration and betrayal that had caused me to build a shield to protect myself.

Although I did not do my part to rest, He did His part to restore.

During these three years of ups and downs, the Lord revealed the journey episodes of the 50 years of my life. My broken marriage. My tumultuous relationships with my siblings. My attitude towards my colleagues.

The flashbacks came and the Lord revealed my feelings of anger, frustration and betrayal that had caused me to build a shield to protect myself. My feisty behaviour was my attempt to fight off my loss of confidence.

I had veered off so far, I did not even realise it.

This season of revelation was necessary so that The Lord could restore peace in my life again.

Restoring the yield of her crop

Then I received my first job offer exactly on my 53rd birthday. The letter of offer was dated July 1, 2021 – exactly three years after I left the bank on my 50th birthday. It was as the Lord had promised.

The Lord is now restoring “the yield of my crop”, in so many ways  – spiritual, emotional, physical.

The author over Christmas in  2020 – towards the end of her three year sabbath.

I am a lot more mature now. Although I cannot control how people behave towards me, I can now better control the way I respond to people.

I am far from perfect, but I am certainly in a new season of my life.

The world may betray us, or we may even be guilty of betrayal ourselves, but our Lord cannot and will not ever go back on His promises to us. He has once again revealed His character of great mercy and grace.

I have come to realise my life has never been about me, it has and always will be about Him, my Master and my Saviour.


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About the author

Theresa Ang

Theresa is now back in her field of expertise of 30 years and works in Global Markets with a Swedish bank. She has just graduated with a MSc in Asset Management, a course she started during the second year of her sabbath.