For the first time, I can finally acknowledge to myself that I am a totally different person from what I have written last June 12. That day in June marked a significant turning point in my life, not because it is the Philippine Independence Day but because it is my own declaration of independence from all the persons who have caused me so much pain this year. A few hours after that incident, we had a scheduled household meeting (a prayer meeting with my friends from the YFL community) and our topic can not be any more perfect: Love.
Before I even ask God “Is this the answer?”, He has already surrounded me with people who truly loves and cares for me. It is only three months after when I went back to my blog post that day when I realize that indeed, when I surrender everything to Him, all this pain is truly worth it. From June 12 until today, I began to appreciate why I have to go through losing people. The empty spaces in my life were filled with new experiences, new friends, new life lessons. I have to give up certain relationships that does not make me happy anymore and focus on the business/mission of loving my members in YFL. Today I know I have found more reasons to fall in love in this calling.
Truly, God is awesome. I said it before and I’ll say it again: If God brings me to it, He will bring me through it. Today is September 10, I cannot barely remember who I was last June 12. All I did during that household meeting was to write this:
I know that in pain, God gives me the appreciation of what love really is. I never hated them in spite of what they have done to push away my love for them. God tells me that right now, these people I do not deserve to prioritize with my love. In His time, these persons and I will be blessed to fix things. Only time can heal these wounds in my heart. It is never easy especially now that it is still fresh. But God is my healer.
Honestly, these people I have issues with cause me tears and disappointments. But I do not blame God for putting me in this situation. All I can say is I trust God that these pains will change me. My trust and faith in them might have been broken now, but in my broken self, God will make me whole. My hurts remind me that I am alive and human. I still love them. I know I also have others whom I love, and I know that I can love them more.
While I know that the time where God will give me the blessing to “fix” things is far from the horizon that my heart so desires, God has picked me up from that point and took me under His loving care.
It was only today that I remember I wrote the household topic on Love when my friend was giving it as another talk in another household. While the June 12 was surrounded with the YFL leaders in our Vicariate, today’s household comprised of YFL household leaders that me and my friend are supposed to train for our own parishes. It is a totally different feeling when I had to share the list of names now that before. I was more confident, more open, and more secure of God’s love than ever.
Indeed, true love encourages a person to grow, even in times of pain. I am now happier more than ever than these past few weeks because of the peace of mind that emanated from such pain. I am grateful that God planted me in this YFL community so that I can always turn to. His plan is always greater than what I have imagined. Life in Christ is the best life ever.
- We can love because He loves us (2doveseyes.wordpress.com)
- Celebrating Love. (wakimothoblog.wordpress.com)
- I’m in pain! How can I reduce the pain? (soulsnet.com)
I realize that I should write more often. I admit, I have a poor memory at times, and writing my thoughts down seem to help me retain my ideas more and turn them into something useful. I have not yet posted an entry in this blog for September, and now it is time to do so. While I have so many blog ideas (film reviews and book reviews), I still do not have enough time and inspiration to continue on with my drafts. So in the meantime, I would like to write about some scenes about me. Here are snippets of my life from September 1 up to today, arranged from most recent happenings to the list.
September 08, 2012. Before anything else, allow me to greet Mama Mary a very happy birthday. Mama Mary is my perfect model of how any woman should aspire to be: a woman of God. It is inspiring to realize that she is someone to look up to, someone we can count on with our prayers, and someone who is always near us. She epitomizes grace and obedience, and I really wanted to be someone like her.
When I was still a kid, I would always remember how we would always pray the Rosary and learn about her life story and impact in the world, how she is as a mother of Jesus Christ, and how she lived her life in total surrender to the will of God. I am still praying that I will be more like her in her most admirable qualities: showing pure love and complete trust to God’s plan in her life.
September 07, 2012. Tonight is our usual schedule of upper household in YFL. Praise God because I have the opportunity to tell them how I missed them so much because I missed some activities because of my work (as a tutor) and school (Finals Week). I felt that our topic tonight is perfect in my situation, and I really felt that the Holy Bible verse taken from Matthew 11:28-30 (RSV) is talking to me. The verse is:
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I realize that I am really blessed in my life having a good run in my academics and in work, while balancing them with the most important relationships with my family and friends. Although my routine of school-work-study is challenging, I know that God continues to give me strength in helping me do my best when I share my burden with Him. As what my YFL partner Arvin said, “I’m glad God made me weak. I admit I am weak, for He makes me strong.”
I am inspired by what my sister in YFL Icon said that we should seek R.R.E.S.T. in Jesus Christ. By this, I have to recognize that it is God who works in my life, and He is in control. Sharing the burden also means reaching out to the community we serve, and I am thankful that in this mission, I am in the business of loving people. All my fears and woes should be elevated to Him, for He knows our deepest worries and desires and He will help us overcome those things. It is not just about raising all our concerns, but surrendering these to God. By admitting to ourselves that we cannot do these things, God will work through us in making each battle a successful one. When we surrender our yoke, we become more trusting in Him. The realization that we can have a God to share our burden is empowering in the sense that it gives me hope that every challenge is a victory to celebrate. No hurdle is too big not to accomplish, and I know God is by my side in all of my burdens.
September 06, 2012. Today marks the first day of my term break. However, instead of spending it right at home to catch up on my favorite TV series, I opted instead to go to school. I know people might find it weird for someone on break to be in school, but I had to do things for my organization and plan on how fixing up my schedule of subjects until graduation. Oh yeah, I am excited to be graduating by October 2013 even if it seems to be so far, far away.
September 05, 2012. Last day of finals! I am supposed to take three final exams for my first term today: Introduction to Philosophy, Legal Environment, and Partnership and Corporation. But because my group in our Philosophy class made a project which we gave the title “My Last Day On Earth” using themes in existentialism, we got exempted in our final exams. Praise God I only need to focus on studying on my two subjects: Legal Environment and Partnership and Corporation. With His grace, I was able to answer confidently with the exams. I honestly thought I would get crazy cramming all 12 weeks worth of lessons for both subjects, but with a lot of prayers and cups of McDonald’s brewed coffee, I made it. During exams, it is very tempting to cheat, but I am thinking that cheating during exams means I am only cheating with me. Knowing that I really pushed myself to study, I can be a better student when I do not fall into temptation. Now, I am praying for a good outcome when the term grades are out this September 10. Whatever happens, happens for a reason, and I will not sacrifice academic integrity with such tactics.
September 04, 2012. Today is my first day of finals, and my only exams scheduled for this day is Strategic Management. I do not have a clear idea of my class standing, aside from the result of the past quizzes so I really studied hard. I even made a reviewer on my yellow pad for the entire lesson covering 10 chapters. However, after writing the notes, I felt really lazy to review it too much. I think that it is a very bad habit I still have to change. The exam was so-so, and I am hoping that my best efforts for the class would eventually pay off.
September 03, 2012. Even if the required project is only a Facebook page, we even made a Twitter account: @mylastday2 and a Blogspot account: An Existential Mind for our philosophy subject. While doing all the posts on existentialism, I realize that the social media accounts are also forms of thought experiments. I myself do not want to become a cookie-cutter version of my Facebook account or Twitter account, and that having a lot of friends / followers who liked, retweeted, or replied to you does not necessarily validate your authenticity as a person. Everything that I share on Facebook, Twitter, or Blog is not “mine” anymore, and I do not want my social media accounts to define my total being. I still prefer to stylize my connections outside my social media network, and I find it more “social” than just spend hours on these platforms.
Praise God we got exempted! Our professor shared our page via the page of The Philosophy Department of De La Salle University-Manila, and according to his guidelines, it means that we will be exempted in our final exams. Now I can concentrate on my Legal Environment and Partnership and Corporation exams. I would like to thank my friends who liked our page and our posts. I hope that somehow, they were able to appreciate seeing existentialism in every day life.
September 02, 2012. As part of our philosophy project, we were tasked to create an “obituary” of ourselves if we die today. I know it is weird writing an obituary while you are still alive. But this thought experiment made me realize on how would others see my existence as how I want to be remembered. In my passion to try to be digitally creative, I made Nadine Estrella’s Obituary using the website Prezi.com. It is my first time to use this site, so I know I still have a lot to improve.
September 01, 2012. Hello September! The year 2012 seems like a blur, and now it’s the 9th month of the year! In the Philippines, once the calendar turns to the pages of the “-ber” months, the first thing that comes to the minds of Filipinos that it is already Christmas. What can I say? All I know is that this year, it will be a different Christmas for myself and my loved ones. Right now though, I have to focus on my final exams and getting our group project on philosophy on the roll. It is already finals week next week, and if we do well in our project, we will get exempted from the exams. It is very motivating!