A new beginning
People has always told me I am very religious. I thought of myself that way too. I know that is not being humble. I make it a point to go to church, attend mass for the sake of doing my obligation as a Catholic. This Holy Week, I discovered I have been exercising my faith for the wrong reasons… not “wrong” “wrong”. I realized that I go to church, hear mass, do stuff for the Church because I was obligated to, because I was asking for something, because I was thankful for something, because I was scared that if I don’t do these, all of what I am enjoying now will be taken from me, or bad things will happen to me and my family. It was now that I realized, how impersonal my relationship is with God. For the past several months after the emotional setback I experienced, I have been asking so many questions, what ifs, regrets, all negative emotions. I looked up to HIM because I was asking, pleading that I want the guy who broke my heart back. I was pleading my case, reminding HIM that I have always been good, that I deserved to be loved, to have someone, that what happened was unfair and it hurt me a great deal. It was during this time that I felt stuck, until now I feel stuck. But as I contemplated this Holy Week, I prepared myself. I suddenly had this urge to give up one thing that I love, food, no dinner for 40 days or nights. I was proud of it which I think is a sin in itself. I kept on thinking that maybe, if I do this well, I will be rewarded. Yet after listening to Christian songs, retreats, reading books these past few days, I realized how lacking my faith is. The past several months I relish sad lyrics of songs about being heartbroken which I just now realized doesn’t have happy endings. These songs tugs at our heart strings but these just magnify the sadness, dwelling on it. And after listening to amazing bands who has awesome acoustic prowess, I realized that they have meaningful lyrics that I can relate to plus they have happy endings. Two Thumbs up on that one. I realized that I measured my faith with the number of times I go to church, hear mass, the way I pray but I failed to Trust HIM and I failed to establish a personal relationship with HIM. I realized that I need to fall in love with HIM. To learn more about his promises, his assurance, his words of comfort. I am not trying to sound preachy. I never liked “preachy”. I always felt awkward closing my eyes and raising my hand while listening to worship songs. I am one of those few people who stand awkwardly feeling amazingly out of place, not knowing what to do, feeling uncomfortable raising one’s hand yet feeling so deviant not raising one’s hand. It was this afternoon that I realized that I have been scheduling my life with so many activities to busy myself so as not to dwell on depression or rewind that sad moment in my life. I realized the church visits is not enough, I have to set time and effort for HIM, to be open to HIS word, to establish a deeper more personal relationship that transcends mass and prayers I recite daily. I have been yearning for the guy to make time for me when I just now realized that I failed to make time, QUALITY time with HIM. HE has blessed me so much and HE is there patiently waiting. I remember the introduction to this song entitled the Hurricane by Jimmy Needham, he said (I can’t remember the exact words): If it will take God to turn me upside down, no matter how painful, just for me to be closer to HIM then so be it. I know this will be huge but I just decided this afternoon, to join a weekly prayer meeting to get to know HIM and have a more personal relationship with him. I realized that reading the bible doesn’t work for me but I like hearing testimonials and success stories, injecting some bible passages here and there. It made me realize that after all these pain, things will always work out for the best. In the meantime, I need to re-establish my connection with him. I need to date HIM. Exert effort to show my love for HIM, the exact way I want to be loved. And no, I am not going to be a nun, silly! I just thought that to fill the void, I must seek HIM.
We were walking in the traditional procession. And I suddenly had this image flashed in my mind. A man carrying a 2 year old boy.
Simon is Lucky
I will try to unravel my thoughts and emotions through this blog entry. This, by far, is the busiest and most meaningful Holy Week I have ever experienced. Just this Wednesday, me, my uncles, aunts, parents and cousins participated in a church activity that happens every 16 years. I shouldered my family's share upon remembering the penance of alms giving as given to me by the priest. He also advised me to seek counseling for proper closure. Thursday morning, I went on a half day retreat, the topics of which are about overcoming trials and in the evening, we went to the usual stations of the cross of 14 churches. Friday morning was part II of the retreat. It was a unique one, they relived the characters in the Bible who participated in Jesus' story: Caiphas, Claudia, Simon, Dystas, and Mary. But what struck me most and made me cry was Simon of Cyrene. During our stations of the cross, his participation in the story has always struck me. It stood out. Here is a man who was picked by a guard to assist Jesus in carrying the cross, and upon helping him, he was able to look at Jesus in the eyes and saw so much love and forgiveness to everyone. The eyes did not have any anger, or pain. But despite the suffering and pain, the mocking, the jeering, betrayal, Jesus' eyes were filled with so much love and forgiveness.
Today is Good Friday, let us remember Jesus and his cross and in so doing, let us unite with him in his suffering. We all have our own crosses, some heavier than others. Many of these crosses were even caused by people we love and care for. A lot of us would even question God why He let these things happen. I am one of those but I continue to hold on to HIS promise that things will work out for the best.
I will finish this entry with this verse from Romans 8:18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us
Just submitted a paper that I have been laboring on for the past few months and the word or term “hypothesis” seems appropriate for this blog entry and timely.
I have been thinking about this for the last several months. When the feelings of pain and confusion were still raw, fresh from being heartbroken, I wrote a very long email about the questions and what I was feeling that time. Now the words filtered itself on its own.
This is my hypothesis: I think when I finally have nothing to say, that is the time that I will be healed… completely healed. Right now, I have these words for him, should the slimmest chance of talking to him might occur: "During our relationship, I just wanted to be with you and I wanted to feel that you wanted to be with me too. If you’ve exerted half the effort that you gave your work in our relationship, I would have been very happy"
Yes, just those lines. And yes, that basic.
Maybe Big Guy doesn’t want me to have just the basic things. Maybe HE wants to bless me abundantly beyond my heart’s desires and wishes.
I am very anxious right now. I want to feel comforted to the fact that two days from now I will be ok. I remember a couple of years back I was feeling anxious. I was at my wit's end but I felt an envelope of comfort and calmness when I went to church. The days leading to the moment of truth were difficult. And I distinctly remember praying to St. Expeditus. I am praying to him now, that he intercede for me. HE has brought me this far, I can do this.
Friend: Give me a list of what u need. Me: Time, vacation and an out of town trip plus a really good meal. Lol Friend: You're missing a good man. Lol. Im talking about the vitamins Me: hahaha i deliberately omitted that. Friend: Which one? The vitamins? Lol. Me: hahaha a good man!
start and ending
I heard a beautiful sermon last Friday. Its about sinners who repent the last minute and was welcomed in heaven. Its not really all about how you start or your past mistakes but the ending and how you repented. Applying this concept in my life, in time, I am confident that what I have gone through, the pain, memories, lessons will pave the way to the promise HE has etched in the book of life. A promise far greater than anyone could imagine, after all, HIS plans are always greater than mine for HE knows me more than anyone else, more than myself. HE has blessed me abundantly before, just faith and patience for that change of heart and change of mind.
*** Random thought (somehow connected with my change of mind and heart goal). Is it really easier to have a new beginning than to start all over? How difficult is it to trust someone who has hurt you so much. Not for the lack of words or for what he did but for the total lack of words and inaction?
Waiting and abundance
I was reading an article about a girl who dreamed about having an album and then a concert but after more than ten years in the music industry and 11 months after an audition, she received an email informing her she got a part in a famous play in London. It was something she did not expect and was way more than what she expected. I guess if we wait with faith and patience, we can receive an abundance of blessings. We will be overtaken by it. I have always taken note of bible passages about these virtues. Something to fuel me and continuously remind me to wait, hold on and keep going. My endeavor for now for myself is a change of heart and a change of mind, that it will conform to what HE wants for me. It is a struggle. Sometimes I can feel the pain and longing. And so I go back to this: But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day! (Habakkuk 2:3 TLB).
If he doesnt have time for Big Guy, how can you expect him to have time for you?
A memory of returning the favor
We were on our 14th day in the hospital. My father was finally transferred to a regular room from the ICU but he was still not allowed to move that much. It was late in the afternoon, I was seated near his bed and was holding his hand. He was mumbling because of the medicine they gave him. It was the side effect, the doctor says. He was just there clutching my hand and I was praying. My father has always been a prayerful man, a trait that my mother liked about him. While holding his hand, a memory came back. In the same hospital, more than 2 decades ago, I was crying because the IV needle in my right hand was throbbing. I was sniffling and I was crying in pain. My father then pushed the sofa he was sitting on and got my hand and ever so gently rubbed the area around the needle, as if to while away the pain. I fell asleep with him holding my hand. I woke up to the pain and started crying again, he started rubbing the area around the needle once again. This went on all through out the night while I hear him pray. I guess more than 2 decades later, Big Guy gave me the opportunity to return the favor. Life has a way of doing that to us.