Ever since I started taking Sunday service messages to heart, the idea of verbalizing my thoughts has always tickled my mind. I thought about starting a blog then, but had several reservations. Most were based on self-doubt – what if I say something utterly ridiculous? What if I sound like some crazy fanatic? What if I run out of things to write about (pero sa daldal ko, I know that this is highly unlikely)? What if this is just a temporary phase of having grandiose thoughts that will not hold up in the long run? What if I’m barok, what if I’m baduy? – and some were based on the immaturity of my faith. Admittedly, I was very hesitant to “out” myself as a Christian, because I knew I would be held accountable once I went ahead and owned up to it. I still have a lot of un-Christian-like anger flares, a few bad habits and questionable decisions until now, but hey, there’s always room for improvement, right?
Have you ever played Pusoy Dos? I learned the mechanics when I was 8 years old (yes, Grade 2; yes, minsan may pusta pero 25 centavos lang, haha!) and I’m pretty good at it. It’s a card game where you have to make certain hierarchical combinations with the hand that you’re dealt with, in order to come up with combinations that will beat your opponents’ cards. It’s a tactical game of making the most of what you’re given and unlike Pusoy, it’s more dynamic because you get the chance to rearrange your cards into better combinations every time you get a card from the deck during each turn. I’m the type of person who likes to keep all my cards close to my chest with a Cheshire cat grin on my face.
I guess that was sort of my life’s game plan – I deal with problems as they come along using whatever resources that I have, and keep silent until I see positive results. It’s my defense mechanism against unsolicited advice and unwelcome criticism. My closest friends, sometimes even my family, will only learn that I went through something major once I’ve pulled through, once I can say for sure that “Yeah, this happened, but it’s okay now, I fixed it. It’s done. You don’t have to freak out or worry.” Once, I almost got kicked out of UP College of Science for having passed only 7 out of my overloaded 22-unit semester (long story with medical issues in the background) and Daddy only found out more than a year later when I was back on track, thanks to the delayed sending of grades to parents through snail mail. He showed me the transcript with an alarmed “Ano ‘to?!” and I just grinned and showed him my latest blue book with a score of 93/100 saying, “OK na! Nairaos ko na yan!” Comeback Queen, story of my life :P. I still have that Parents’ Copy somewhere as a memento :))
Somewhere along the way, I realized that this habit of mine is very self-serving but I was generally okay with it — except for matters of faith. I realized that in my unwillingness to open up about the storms in my life, I am inevitably shutting people out, people who care about me and whom I care about. And on a more important note, wanting to hide my moments of weakness hinders me from showcasing God’s strength in my life and giving Him the glory for carrying me through impossible circumstances.
Matthew 5:15 says: “Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” This verse gave me the conviction to open the Facebook page, Rallying for RCG (linked on this blog but mostly inactive now), when my dad was in critical condition last February. Through that page, I was able to keep relatives and friends updated on Daddy’s condition. It also served as a venue for our humble plea for financial aid and at the same time, it became my personal way of glorifying Abba, thanking Him for moving key people to answer our prayers.
If (hopefully not ‘when’) you are faced with a catastrophic problem like that and you somehow emerged (mostly) unscathed, you’d have my conviction as well that you did not accomplish anything out of your own strength and willpower. If (also hopefully not ‘when’) you find yourself millions in debt and needing to resign from your current job at the same time, and that panic-inducing debt gets paid in the most mind-boggling way, you would definitely be a firm believer in God’s timely provision like I am. My gratitude and growing wonder of God’s endless grace have gotten me out of my hermit crab comfort zone and fueled my desire to write shamelessly about my walk with Christ. Although this blog is about my experiences, it will not be about me. I want it all to be about Him, my Abba, and my continuing efforts to make Him the center of my life.
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4: 19 (NLT)