A cool evening from Manila, ladies and gents! 🙂
I must admit that over the past few days, I totally forgot about my blog. Not that its memory has been erased off my mind completely, it’s just that the idea of posting and encouraging my lovely readers never crossed my mind. Effect of a loaded schedule, I suppose. I have so many things to share with you guys, but because you only have a few minutes to spare, I must break down this post into the biggest internal experience that I went through this week: two oppositely-charged emotions and my tumultuous journey with them and most importantly, their Maker. 🙂
The journey began two Saturdays ago. I went to Jzone as usual, wanting to share the Gospel, hoping to bond with friends, and expecting to meet with my fellow Sunday school teachers for our presentation the next Sunday, that is, yesterday. I only got to share the Gospel, which went well–praise God! 🙂 Two new ladies have been added to God’s big and wonderful family. Unfortunately, my teachers attended a meeting which ended while I was already attending the service in Jzone so I missed the meeting. Most of my closest friends in Jzone were absent and friends who were left behind proceeded to their planned dinners and rendezvouses. Needless to say, I was
I am no stranger to loneliness, whether in a bad sense or a good one. However, last Saturday’s loneliness dwelt more on the bad side. Negative emotions and past struggles haunted me slowly, one day at a time. Worry, the meanest of them all, spearheaded the homecoming. Am I too weird? Maybe I should be more interesting. But I don’t know what to say. If I focus on my God-committed plans (God has been nudging me about planning), I might be too work-focused and in the process, compromise my relationships. These thoughts fueled my desire to seek for things that I subconsciously hoped would relieve me of my loneliness–eating, watching television, 9gagging, reading all sorts of books, and posting supposedly eye-catching statuses on Facebook whenever I so desired. It turned out food did not completely satisfy, laughter was not the best medicine, and entertainment was far from being the joy expert. Suddenly it was first year, first semester in college all over again.
After worry came self-centeredness. And even though I did not admit it to myself at that time, I acted with this thought in mind: What am I supposed to do to push loneliness away? The answer I found from the world seemed favorable: pleasure. Watch a movie. Eat and be merry. Spend hours on your favorite social networking sites. Eat some more. I grew increasingly insecure of my body, weight, and condition as a child of God. I did not know it that time (which was only last week), but God led me through the wilderness (thankfully my journey lasted only a week and not 40 years).
Because I was full of myself, my heart could not contain the love and patience the people around me had to offer. That was so, until I relented a little. I texted four close people to pray for me (just like I did last year during my 1st semester in college). And again, the one who went to me and consoled me was my mother. She visited me in my room, laid beside me in my bed, and asked and waited patiently for my honest response. I fumbled for the right words to say, but I realized the most important thing to do then was not to be right but to be true to how and what I felt and needed. Tearfully I admitted my feelings of loneliness and hopelessness with unfulfilled plans (especially regarding exercise and healthy eating).
Honestly, I expected Mom to say something like, “You’re going to be okay.” Well she did, but not until she said her timely and unexpected response.
“Your feelings of loneliness? Okay lang yan. (They are okay)”
Loneliness is okay?
“This is the best time for you to spend time with God.”
She recounted the stories of the first Christians in the Bible who were chained and imprisoned. “Mas malungkot yun, kasi sa kulungan wala ka talagang kausap.” (It’s sadder to be inside a prison cell because there you have no one to talk to) Loneliness, instead of removing their worth and joy, brought them closer to God and strengthened their hearts for service.
Our conversation lasted for more than half an hour, and although my heart was not completely healed after that, I definitely experienced relief. 🙂 Bouts of loneliness and worry lingered in the shadows for the rest of the week until the seminar I attended on Saturday.
Agnes Sarthou Ph.D spoke to a group of women on finding and living out God’s purpose. Mrs. Sarthou is the wife of one of CCF’s pastors, Pastor Ricky Sarthou. Years ago she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. Instead of succumbing to depression and human strength, she yielded to God’s control and love and allowed Him to work mightily. By the grace of God, she was cured! She now inspires people, particularly cancer patients and survivors, to know and love Jesus Christ because He loves and cares for them. 🙂 Aside from sharing her story with us, Ms. Aggie also shared with us her life purpose: to love and serve her God all the days of her life. To love, submit, and be a blessing to her husband. To love and care for her children. To train people excellently. And then afterwards, she asked us to do the same: Write out your life purpose.
That’s when it hit me: I lost track of my purpose. Instead of pleasing God, I pleased myself. No wonder I was so depressed! After clearing my conscience before God, I wrote my life purpose, and in one sentence, it is this: to love and serve my Heavenly Father, Lord, and Savior all the days of my life, denying myself, taking up my cross, and following Jesus. 🙂
God changed my perspective regarding loneliness. It’s not a negative state that one should avoid entirely. In fact, when you’re alone, there is nothing and no one that stands between you and God, and that for me is the best state. To just stand before Him and be moved by Him. Many people fail in their relationships because they thought being in a relationship means escaping loneliness. Loneliness, I learned, is vital for growth. Alone time is essential. Jesus Christ did not muster the strength to keep calm and carry on by perpetually bonding with His family and disciples; He withdrew intentionally to the wilderness to be alone with His Father from Whom He gained real and lasting strength, Besides, with God speaking to me, I’m really not alone. There is a time to bond and be with people as well as a time to be alone and bask in the presence of the Living, eternal God Who will never leave you or forsake you, whether you are in green pastures, the valley of the shadow of death, or the wilderness.
If you are a bonafide child of God, regardless of your situation, you are always safe in the Father’s hands. 🙂
PS: On a totally unrelated note, I cut my hair! New hair, new vibes! 😀 hihihi What do you think?