Monday, November 18, 2013

Dove Yourself

And so, after seven months. I am back. :)

I don't exactly know what happened. But I hadn't planned on resurrecting this blog until tonight. I guess I just miss ranting through my fingers tapping on the keyboard.

Just wanna share with you something that happened today. I had a ~*Dove moment*~ or something.

I went to the mall today to do some window shopping. It's complicated. But you see I think I will be participating in a bazaar so I wanted to know what's out there. Also I am to look for a gown for a wedding in December. So I ventured out.

Black college jacket on. Bare face. Slippers. Old ill-fitting tank top. Usual (messy) hair.

At the same time, I was also feeling the pressure with handling a beauty brand (Flaired( by myself. Seems like nobody could understand how it feels, but I felt alone. That feeling you feel when you're a soloist and you see your choirmates backstage and you freeze, hoping to tell them to come there on the spotlight with you, but no, you're on your own -kind of alone.

Add to that, it was a beauty brand. And I couldn't really claim that I am a beauty kind of person. I've been known since grade school as the girl who never combs her hair (L I E S. or not). And the clothes I'm most comfortable in really are houseclothes and slippers. In short, I don't really put much effort. Which is the problem. Truth is, beauty (at least in a capitalist sense) takes effort. Takes time. And there is this feeling that selling beauty should also mean that I should be beautiful (in that sense). And, well, I don't admit insecurities (did I just...) I just don't think I am like that.

Now if you're feeling like that, then it's really not a good choice to window shop. But I did! And on the sea of people in their best outfits and me the plain houseclothes Jane -- as I was trying out gowns and I look at myself in the mirror and as a hundred crunches and crash diets crossed my mind -- I just felt off. I'll say it: ugly!

And so I was a bit depressed. Maybe it's just hormones and the emotional instability that come with it. But I do felt awful. I suddenly hated every full length mirror at Landmark. Haha.

And only now, I realize that that should not be the beauty that I should sell. Truth is, I feel pressure because my best competitor is a celebrity and of course her clients are even more beautiful celebrities. It felt like I should fit in to their world of glitz and glamour in order to succeed. In order to be a "beauty brand". That I had to learn makeup and do my hair (well, partly true). That I had to be at my best all the time, in public and preferrably also in private. And I just felt like I'm not that kind of person, so I doubted if I can still do this.

In my quiet time tonight, in tears of pressure, alone-ness in business, and the sense of (physical and experience-wise) inadequacy, that's what I asked God. "Can I really do this like you say I can?" over and over and over.

Earlier this morning, earlier these months and weeks, I had no doubt I could do it. I had planned my steps, followed deadlines, and have done my best. But one moment caught off-guard -- one moment of comparison and dissatisfaction  -- and I already question everything. It wasn't even about skills. It was about self-perception. And so, even though I am mostly an anything-goes kind of person, I just realized how a lot of people can forget who they are by a moment's insecurity.

By the time I was home, and after that weird quiet time, I looked at myself again in the bathroom mirror and I thought, hey I'm not that bad (AHAHA). Was it with the mall lights? Was it with the perfect figured mannequins or the perfectly made up mall goers? I'm not sure. But I do know that for a moment, something was robbed in me. That is, the idea that I am beautiful. And enough. And capable. And loved -- regardless, in spite of, without question.

Thank you Lord.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thank You for your faithfulness

God is faithful. Reading thru the Old Testament, of generations after generations of disobedience, triumph, and grace, God remains faithful.

In my own life, that is how he has been. All I could say in the start was, "I no longer want an on and off relationship with Him". Because that's how it was. I only feel him during retreats, but after three days of those retreats, I am back to my sinfulness and I no longer could trust my heart to sustain that kind of relationship with Him. I simply can't seem to commit.

My view of God reflected that of the world. I welcomed the idea of divorce, believed that nothing could last forever, and every good thing will hopelessly change. But knowing how faithful God is to me until now -- almost four years of being on a vibrant journey with him -- I know that such commitment is possible because He makes it possible. He made me believe those good things that were promised to me but I have denied before. When I relied on my own commitment to God, I fail and get frustrated. But being aware of his faithfulness and his pursuit of me, I am more confident that it will work.

Thanks, Lord. To eternity. May your faithfulness revive the next generation.

Monday, April 8, 2013


To the person who presented five Post-its on that fateful day at the Palma Hall
To my sisters, the ladies who taught me how to beso, wear dresses, and actually watch chick flicks
To my brothers. the gentlemen, who encouraged me to play football, Ultimate, and the guitar
To the old Thursday that actually believed that I lead a church in worship, let alone sing, and continued believing during the difficult times
To Aniday that helped me undergo the terrifying process of job interviews and employment
To the adventure buddies who ran from zombies, climbed walls, did crazy exhibitions at swimming pools
To the leaders who fought for, established, and protected its members
To the youngsters who challenged me to be an "Ate", a role model who would look out for them
To my Ate's and Kuya's who patiently bore with my immaturity and saw who I could be beyond it
To my second family that assured me of an eternal friendship and a lifetime journey towards delighting in God.

Thank you.
I celebrate every day because of you. :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Stumbling Blocks

I thought I knew how to love. I thought I could rationalize every problem and find a solution easily. Until God showed how ugly my heart could be.

It was so irrational, so mundane, so shallow. And yet I could not get over it. I could not love this person who obviously needs more of it. Her need for love irritates me. Even the kind words she say make me suspicious. I can't even put my finger on it.

Coming here, God and I were really strong. I thanked him for sustaining me in such a strange land. He has given me a lot of things I could not even thank for. We were strong. We were inseparable. I thought to myself that nothing could get between us. Until now.

The struggle of my heart to love this person causes me to forget God too. Like I want to be with Him and yet I refuse or am too lazy to move this roadblock of a person. Today I remember God's word before I boarded the plane. "You're on a mission". And it's really just funny that it wasn't as heroic as I expected. Working for the blind has its pitfalls of pride. Like you want to look like some sacrificing hero.

God, in his wisdom, put this person who isn't even blind and isn't even the one I'm serving, to test my capacity to love, to humble myself, and to repent. I am dumbfounded as I realize how a little thing could be so much of a challenge. Like I'm a runner who at first wanted to finish, but my co-runner is the one distracting me and causing me to trip. I have to remember that it's not about co-runners, but most importantly the race.

This is really difficult and I don't want to be away from God. I can't pretend to be close to him while denying this person of the love God called me to give.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Day with Mr. Stephen / Laundry Lessons

Today I had my first real work, which really isn't work: reception. Answering calls, entertaining visitors, etc. Quite boring. But I spent the day talking to an interesting person, Mr. Stephen. He's blind, and he answers the calls, pages announcements, and connects callers. I hate answering calls even at my real job. It just opens you to different kind of people -- including rude, hurrying, and demanding ones. But he was just so patient. He keeps the same tone of voice, "Good Morning, Saint Nicholas Home", which interrupts our conversation often.

We had a lot of things to talk about -- almost everything under the sun -- mostly about the Philippines and Malaysia. The food, the games, the animals, the language. It was really fun. The same goes with other blind people in the home. To be honest, I am tempted to be really careful with them. Like I don't want to ask them how long they've been here, when they became blind, what's their (psh) favorite TV show/color/sights in Malaysia, etc. I mostly stuck to music and food. Also, I have to control my little pity party. It's really hard seeing them walking without seeing anything. It reminds me of the novel I read "Blindness" by Jose Saramago (one of the coolest ones, about a contagious blindness and quarantining them in one building!). But I am trying to change my perspective -- they are not helpless people, but they actually can do many things despite their disability. It was really fun talking to them and I would love to talk more!

Then, my roommate had an explosion. Amanda is a really nice girl, but things easily set her back. Today it was the laundry because she badly needed to wash her clothes, but office hours end at 5pm (coinciding with our end of work) so she wasn't able to do it. And she was so upset she cried to the laundry lady, so that the lady had to open the laundry room. Then at the laundry room, she was still so upset that when the detergent packaging broke and fell to the floor, she threw it in the air and walked out (almost getting detergent on my hair, no). Honestly, I did not pity her at all. Even when she was crying, I couldn't bring myself to comfort her.

A few minutes after that, I called her to have dinner, and it was a struggle choosing to talk to her. I was ignoring her for a while. Until we came upstairs and I told her everything. "Amanda, I think you really have to apologize to Mme. Salachi and Natasha. They were just doing their jobs and yet the adjusted for you and cleaned up after you. You really have to adjust even if things don't go your way. If somebody asked you to stay beyond 5PM for their own sake, how would you feel? If you had to clean up someone else's mess, how would you feel?" And it was a bit of a battle. She was crying, angry, and telling me that maybe I think she's a bad person. But in the end, I was able to persuade her to apologize. She went out the room and looked for the women she might've offended. Great!

And we talked a bit more. It was hard seeing her cry, and she confided that she really feels like everything's a mess, she don't wanna be here, and she's insecure. I told her to go back to the Bible. To pray and seek God. And I meant it. You are only insecure because you are trying to do it yourself and you're not trusting God's sovereignty over circumstance. I urged her to pour it out to God in prayer and reading, and offered that I play worship songs after we go out to buy chocolates (her comfort food) and so we did.

It's amazing. I haven't been so outspoken before hahaha. I'm so glad that God is really sustaining me in my stay here. I mean, I could have been easily discouraged by a crying roommate or working with the blind but I find my encouragement here. Most of the time, it doesn't feel like that really. Going here isn't all fancy-fancy. But there is meaning to it. I hope I make a difference even to the few people I will meet for a short while.

Monday, April 1, 2013

New Home

Today Chienyen and her manager picked me up from the boarding house to drop me off at Saint Nicholas, where my work is. It was a few minutes ride on the other side of the island and in no time I was there. I was wearing a skirt that was appropriate (long, I mean) but Chienyen whispered to me that I should always wear pants because conservative women might look at me awkwardly. I brushed it off, of course. (The other day she asked me to try to pretend to be Malaysian, because the recent conflict with my country might invite abuse, to which I thought, No).

I know there is such thing as cultural sensitivity, but this isn't right. I don’t look at fully-covered women with condemnation, so I don’t think the way I dress should merit excessive look from anybody. To me, dress codes are a way of perpetuating the “judging the book by the cover”, among objectifying the person by letting the appearance be the basis of the character. Society has a way of telling us to present ourselves in a manner acceptable for people who are also trying to present themselves as acceptable. Who are we trying to please anyway? (k, sarreh)

I met my roommate Amanda, and everybody calls me Samantha so it fits that we are roommates I guess (the sound? You get it?). She’s from the Netherlands and really nice. Later at dinner she treated me and an Indian colleague Natasha to ice cream. Who wouldn't love anyone who would treat you to ice cream? Haha. I'm so lucky to have great roommates :)

During lunch time they called in the March and April birthday celebrants, and wouldn’t you know, I get to blow one last candle, and in Malaysia! It was a bit like school at the lunch table because our co-interns who are about to leave keep speaking in Chinese, somehow leaving us out haha. I'm going to make it a point to sit with different people.

Amanda then calls me to our room and to my surprise she started crying, confiding to me how hard it was to finish her research paper and that she is so afraid of failing. So I told her I’ll help her out. Anyway I am fond of research papers (wow rly) and the topic was good (CSR integration and online fund raising!).

I took a tour around the home, and here is what I’m confiding to you. At first (and maybe until now) it’s a bit traumatic for me. I haven’t been close to the visually impaired until now. The first time I saw a blind person walking across the corridor, I was surprised and saddened. They can’t see me, of course. But I wondered how many more have to live in such state with nobody to take care of them. There’s that feeling of helplessness, that I can’t do anything to them, which was the case when I saw a friend get sick. You feel for the person, but you can’t really “feel” what they feel and you can’t do anything about it.

Danny, the executive director that we got to chat with at lunch, said that at least 1% of the population are blind, and 10% considered visually impaired. It must be a lot worse in the Philippines where the population is bigger and I don’t really know if we have homes for the blind. It’s really a sad and paralyzing fact for me, but maybe that’s why I’m here and the 6 weeks will help me understand more and help me figure out what I can do to help.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Temple and Hill daytrip

Today I went on a daytrip with my roommate, Rikka from Finland. I woke up at 12 noon so I figured we won't push through, but we did! Our target place: Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si temple (I still forget the name!)

First we went to Komtar, where the highest building in Penang is and ate at the food court. What's great about Rikka is that she's really more willing to try local food instead of expensive food. Great for those on a budget like me. My food is a spicy squid concoction. It looks really yummy! But my tolerance for spiciness was challenged. I thought I like spicy food, until the "hot sauce" we have locally pales in comparison to their everyday food. I wasn't able to finish this:

Then we took another bus to the temple. It's weird that I'm the Asian one and yet Rikka was the one touring me around. Conversation was about comparing Malaysia, Philippines, and Finland, what we usually do (she's into indoor hockey, I say Ultimate Frisbee, hihi), the temperature, food, and what's nice was that we are both social science majors.

What welcomed us on the way to the temple were swimming turtles. Piles upon piles of them poking their little heads up the water.

We went around souvenir shops and Chinese charm shops on the way up.

There were plenty of Hindu and Buddhist figures, carvings, and statues. It made me really interested in what they meant! Wish I understood them. Easter Sunday is not much of a fuss here. Penang really has a lot of churches, temples, and mosques. The people are also a mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indians thus the tagline "Truly Asia".

What I liked are the inclined trains! The one in Penang Hill is even more amazing. It's really steep and long (712m above sea level) so it looks like it's straight out of a Final Destination movie.

Last stop at the temple before Penang Hill: my Chinese zodiac 

Penang Hill. Overlooking the whole island of Penang. I wish my cam could capture how amazing it is, but here you go! :)

Dessert on a cold day at Cliff Cafe in Penang Hill: Kiwi ice cream and orange juice. Rika is particularly into fruits because they don't really have tasty fruits in Finland. Made me appreciate our country/food more. Haha. And also, she actually likes my skin color. I can't believe it haha. But well, proudly Filipina. :)

The trip didn't cost me as much as I expected, but now I flop down back to my bed and thank God for an awesome Easter Sunday. On our bus home, I just realized that I haven't even known my travel buddy for more than 24 hours! Amazing. Haha. I wish I could travel also with the people I know aka family and friends.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

At the beginning

What a long first day. Mom and my brothers dropped me off at the airport and we hugged each other. I get the feeling mom and I are fighting back tears because doing something terrifying while crying is even worse. So trudged on to the unknown world of the airport. With a few glitches and long lines here and there, I made it to the waiting area. Gazing at the airplane outside, I wrote: Dear God, here we go again. This time I'm alone .It's so amazing how you prepared me for this. So amazing to have friends to reassure me. Thank you for the birthday gift. I pray that you make the most out of this.

The long flight, however, did not allow for sleep. I wanted so bad to sleep. But I just. can't. I arrived in KL at 1:30 and here goes the greater problem -- how to wait for the morning. I bought a simcard for a whopping price and changed my money. And there at Mcdo with a McChicken too spicy from what I'm used to and soggy fries that I nibbled on like a poor rabbit. I tried to sleep while keeping my things close and trying not to let my skin touch the table. For four hours to no avail. I was so tired and so disoriented and even emotionally unstable. I suddenly felt regret over this whole trip. Back home I didn't have to problematize simple things such as sleeping. And even as I was doing my thesis all night, I didn't have to do it in some greasy fast food! Dear God, I wrote, It's so difficult being alone. A land with no friends, strange language, new people I wish I could just go directly to Penang. I either wanna sleep in a bed or have a friend near right now. But I will have to wait till morning. I felt like if one familiar person was by my side, I could survive. I was almost wishing someone would sit across me and talk to me!

Longest four hours. But I survived. And walked towards the bus stop to await the bus. It took me to Puduraya two hours later. The language barrier was difficult. How will I know where to stop? Thankfully, I reached the bus stop, but not after being scammed by a barker who sold 30% more of the price of the ticket. How are the innocent tourists supposed to know?

Puduraya was beautiful even though Chienyen (my manager) couldn't believe I said it. If I didn't carry a heavy backpack and a trolley on one hand, I would have merrily marched the street and start taking photos. Alas, a DSLR wielder will be easily victimized.

The 5 hour bus ride to Penang was the best. I haven't even been on a road trip locally alone, so I was pretty scared for this one. I thought I would look at the views so I took the window seat. But about 30 minutes into the ride I was sleeping soundly at the reclining chairs. It's the best part of the trip so far. My excitement was back. "At the Beginning" by Donna Lewis and Richard Marx echoed into my ears. A journey where the only familiar person is God.

Chienyen picked me up at the last stop and dropped me off at the messy boarding house. We later accompanied an intern from Oman to the airport, then we ate some food (hello 3PM lunch, thankful that McChicken made it to lunch!). Then she drove around USM. It made me miss UP more. And I still hate how we can't wear shorts in such humid weather.

I asked Chienyen if she knew of local churches that served in English. She then offered that some of her friends sing at houses every Saturday. So I accompanied her, and it was the highlight of my day. It was a community praising and knowing more about God at houses, just like Aniday. And even though all of them mostly spoke Chinese during that time (someone was translating for me), the Spirit just allowed me to understand and be in awe of what we were discussing.

Now I'm back home and met my Finnish roommate who invited me to tour a little bit tomorrow. I said I'll try if I wake up early. And please, that we may not lose too much money along the way. I still have 6 weeks.

Mom and my brothers otw to the airport

Twas a beautiful afternoon when I left

At Penang airport haven't brushed my hair haven't slept as well

Current state

As we leave

The glistening Manila. Unfortunately haha

Thursday, March 28, 2013

In between birthdays and first days

I had the most awesome birthday celebration. I swear. Most awesome. I am so thankful for all the candles blown, the Haaappy biiiiirthdaaaay toooo youuuuu's, the surprises, the dinners/treats (pasta and pizza  in five straight days! My tummy's protesting already!), the gifts, the greetings, the FAN ARTS my goodness, the text messages and private messages -- the acts of serving. Nothing ever escapes my sight in these. The first hour after March 27 I was crying because I know I didn't deserve them -- the people, the actions, the joys -- let alone expected them. God has really given so much to me and I'm so thankful.

And tomorrow I leave for Malaysia alone. As I said, I am Terrified. And I need to reassure myself that everything will work out well. In about 24 hours I'll be on a plane to a world unknown.

PS I remember my first week in my first year in college. I studied in the province (Laguna). Mom dropped me off at the FX to uni. After she said goodbye, I was crying along the way because I was so scared at the thought of studying far away and being alone. It was embarrassing so I was keeping my head down hoping nobody would notice my childish (but valid) woes. Such vivid emotions of terror and trying to be strong.

I need God's Word in this. So pray for me as I spend the night with God. I pray that he reveals and reassures me of what he wants me to do there. Why he gave me a chance to be there. How I can enjoy and make the most out of my six weeks of missing out on friends and family internship. Pray for the work I'll leave, the people I'll miss, and the people I'll meet.

Thank you!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Why I'm Leaving

Hi. Today is my birthday. At last I'm alone because all I really wanna do today is do my laundry, pack my bags in solitude, quietly ponder about leaving.

Earlier I was at the Malaysian embassy at one point close to crying because they made me wait for two hours (my relationship with waiting. Haha). Good thing two of my sisters worked nearby and I was able to eat breakfast and lunch with them. Finally I got my visa and changed my money.

But now I'm alone. I just slept for an hour, are drying my clothes, and almost dying in silence. I'm leaving. I can't believe it. Why am I even doing this? Part of me wants to back out, but I know I can't after all the preparations I've made. There's a huge part of me scared of change, the unknown, and going out of my comfort zone. There's another part that's afraid of leaving.

I thought I was used to leaving with all the school transfers and address shifting I've made. But the past year (looking back at my birthday now), I have been quite satisfied with my life. Living in my dream place (QC), not having to commute to work, having awesome officemates, awesome work, having my sisters sleepover at our place too often, the nth dinner in a row, jogging, jamming, GK, and more. I'm leaving some kind of a dream life to be honest. I don't want things to change anymore.

Right now I just realize my fear that people will change. People graduate, go to work in other cities, move out, find new friends. I'm just afraid that friendships will also change -- if not dissolve. Right now I just want things to stay the same. And I know that's wrong and it' not gonna happen. I'm clinging too tightly.

So I try to welcome this threatening thought of leaving. Of facing my fears/bitterness about missing out on people in order to think that it matters, but it's not everything. Maybe it's time to be put myself in some foreign land -- outside my world, where the only familiar person or place is God -- just so I could look from the outside in. Maybe it's time to challenge what kind of friend I am by putting in factors of distance. Maybe it's okay to drop a few responsibilities at work, at relationships, to give a sobering thought that life will go on without you. It almost feels like death. HAHA.

I'm really scared right now and I think I (yuck) want to cry because I'm scared. But just like how my sister prayed for me, I want to be able to feel that childlike wonder. Right now there's so much terror. But I just want to let it go, go with the flow, and enjoy. I want to welcome anything with open arms. To be able to wonder, ponder, and laugh at my trip instead of worrying about the thousand things that could go wrong.

I'm leaving. It's difficult. But I believe it will help me grow, too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Don't be frightened

I know that it feels fragile and raw
But that is always how it feels like when it's new.
God is creating something wonderful in your heart.
And boy, is change the most frightening part!
But trust that whatever transformation you are going through,
Even if it's awkward and you don't have a clue
God will be there fulfilling his promises for you.
He is with you every step of the way -- hold on to this truth


Friday, March 15, 2013

Point A to B

"Dear Cherry".

I missed that tag. I used to have a diary addressed that way. Cherry for... Cherry blossoms.

Today I was at Alabang covering an event for three-em in which they launched a new microbiology related product. Truly enjoy these seminars, and in fact it made me miss my MBB class. Food manufacturers were there and suddenly I'm into a whole new industry.

It's my first time to go on an event without Owen. She's my "superior" before. Now that she's in Taiwan and about to pursue grad studies I inherited the account. Her three years of experience of responsibilities (which I heard is tears-filled as well) passed down to me. I was afraid I can't measure up, although these are but surface-level fears. Deep inside I think I'll do a pretty good job, but with plenty of bloopers perhaps.

Owen and I

As mentioned I was asked to step up my game. So luckily I forgot my white dress and black blazer that I had to pick a red sheer top, whose color was actually encouraged. So after getting a one-up from a superior, I'm convinced that I nailed that part. Perhaps not the bringing the college backpack part.

I tried to be more talkative as what is expected with the nature of my job (PR). On some days it just feels better to shut up and ignore the world, but this time I made an effort introducing myself to people. Pretty impressed with my own compliance to this thing, that my stubbornness didn't act up. Most of the time I think I'm faking confidence. But fake or real, this confidence thing seems to work. Maybe.

Two weeks before my 6 week leave, which is the longest trip everrr. Most of all, I am alone! Owen is having some fancy time in Taiwan, and seeing her pictures, I don't know what to expect from Malaysia! The language, culture, people, place, experience. There's too much to take in and I don't even know what to expect.

Before so I'll be celebrating my birthday, which is a bit send-off like. 6 weeks is long. I'll be gone for most of the summer and I'll miss some action unfortunately. I wish I could think in advance and send gift to birthday celebrating friends/boss and graduating people. But I'll have to do this. Alone and for the first time. Wonder what God will show me.

And what I've been trying to pray for is direction. I'm really enjoying my job now despite the fact that I know it's not forever I have promised myself I'll stay for a year to implement the PR plans of three-em. Then Rai challenged me to become a staff for a year and everything crumbled. Haha. Just kidding. But it lead me to really question things, as evidenced from my previous blog.

I've always known that's what I wanted to do. And there is no mistake that I will reach out to communities. Just didn't know it would come this soon. There have been a lot of concerns just thinking about it, but not pursuing it is close to impossible. I have such an irrevocable fate, it seems. I will be a staff someday. And it's so challenging. How could I even explain it to people?

Aside from challenging, I find that it's also exciting and there's a part of me who can't wait to get down to it. But how? When? He's kept mum about it. So far, it's next year. Although I know that the timing is crucial and this summer was the best time. But I'll be following His lead. And I wonder where this goes, but... I guess I'll live my life blindly but in faith.

How exciting for God to ask me to be a missionary. I was reading True Grit. The first time I read the book I cried and prayed that I would live life like them... really pursuing something once in a lifetime. I longed for that adventure. Now that God asked me to (I picture him saying, "You asked for it"), I'm reading True Grit trying to let the realities of that life sink in. Under the covers of my warm bed, it seemed so difficult! Yet we live in such a finite span that this is something I can't say "no" to...

So, yeah.

Lots of things on my mind. And I'm thankful to God for all these -- in confusion, anxiety, fear, difficulty, excitement. Life is never ordinary with God.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I've always kept too many memories. A decade-worth of letters. And some photos saved on my computer.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Unreasonable doubt

God: Well? You asked for it.
Me: I know, I just didn't know it would come sooner...
God: Don't you think I've prepared you for this already? 21 years of preparation and you say you're not prepared. All those books I gave you to read, all those stories you have heard in your childhood, the very way you grew up -- everything has been leading up to this point.
Me: Maybe. But what if I have other plans?
God: Like what?
Me: You know, get experience, stay for a while, learn something I could apply before and after?
God: Won't you learn those things during the mission too? Why must you isolate learning in a box? Certainly I'm not hearing this from the one who posts these kinds of photos:

Me: Yeah... but. I'm scared.
God: I know. But you can't run away from this. It's at your very core.
Me: I'm not running away. Just. Stalling, maybe. Waiting. I will do that at the right time. Maybe I can stay here for a while and see what will happen before jumping aboard.
God: That's not the way to go.
Me: But what's gonna happen? That's a whole year we're talking about. Every year counts.
God: That's the point. It's just one year. Can't you give me one year to take you into the wilderness so you can learn from me? You should know that. You've just finished Numbers.
Me: Yeah... And I know I could better use of your talents there...
God: Exactly. You are bound to leave that place anywhere, and you know you're not a short-term kind of person. So why not start now? You have asked for this too often, claiming this to your friends every time, and even prayed for it in tears, and now that I'm giving you the opportunity, there you are afraid to leave the place you are leaving anyway. A place you don't even want to stay at. Your fear is irrational.
Me: What about my parents? For sure they will say something. They will be really concerned about what to say to other people, or how I will be doing, or the supposed waste of what I will let go.
God: You could always go back. Don't be too proud of yourself. It's not like I'm shortchanging you. You should know the value of this calling. This is the best experience you could ever have. You cannot trade it or get it from anything else. This is like finding a pearl in the vast ocean. Don't think of this as sacrifice, for this is treasure.
Me: Yeah... And I know this is the clearest and best step to what I want anyway. But there is just no assurance of success. Of anything. Now I can relate to the Israelites! Camping from place to place seemed discouraging.
God: What will happen if you fail that year?
Me: Well, for one, it would be a learning experience. And it is good to fail early.
God: Most of all, the seeds you plant are eternal. It could change lives. Don't ever forget that. Whatever you toil at your current schedule will never amount to that worth.
Me: I can't believe you are asking me to do this. What great power you are giving me. And yet here I am...
God: Don't focus on yourself. We will have this conversation again, do you understand? But I want you to process all your excuses rooting from doubt and fear. Really, you should listen to what you're saying because, ha! You will probably laugh at yourself. You already know this by heart and yet you are still finding it difficult to obey. I know because I'm the one who created your heart. I'm the one who will write your future, and there will be no waste to invest in my kingdom. The experience you are trying to get will be as good as your next employment. But not your whole life. Think about it, Sam.
Me: Wow, you sure are not kidding when you say, "Reason with me".