I don’t like writing year-end reports because I have not had a good year in a long time.
This year was different. First, I came to have a personal relationship with God in a way that I’ve never had.
Little did I know that all the events that transpired, starting from my struggle when Clyde fell ill, was to lead to something so great.
This year was full of surprises. I met and became close to two people at the start of the year. I was excited and happy and full of anticipation for things to come. Then things went awry and all of sudden, the happiness turned into depression that led me to a really dark place. It was a twisted, shady time filled with lies and drama.
Another surprise was where that dark place would lead me. That was to follow Christ fervently. I learned that disobedience to His will makes life hell. And obedience just made everything a bed of roses, even when things weren’t so great. The grace of God can pull you through even the toughest of times. When I obeyed and let go of things and people that were not healthy for me, everything fell into place.
This year was a year of prayers answered. Prayers I’ve been whispering to Him for years. Except that I was always too stubborn to let His plans come into fruition. After all, how can He give you something new when your hands are too full grasping something else?
In my first out of the country trip since the US, God opened my eyes to and released me from the stronghold of my stubbornness.
While in Singapore – the first of two trips that opened my eyes to the beauty and magic of traveling to a foreign land, I came upon Luke 6:46-49.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
I also learned that our loving God also grants wishes I didn’t even know I had. Singapore and Japan strengthened my friendships to two of the most beautiful people I know – M and C. It bonded us in a way that we never did before.
Then a pleasant surprise in the form a new friendship found on the flight home from Japan. That’s you, J. God also blessed me with my wonderful sisters in Christ, M and M. I love you guys sooooo muchos muchos.
And A., who gave me the honor of leading her in One2One.
I went back to school, something I’ve been wanting to do some time in my lifetime, but was never motivated to do so. I also didn’t know what I wanted to take up. But God faithfully answered my prayer even when I wasn’t praying for it. And when He revealed the answer to me, it was unquestionably right and perfect. I don’t even know why I never considered taking up Social Work before. That’s how I know it was all God’s leading. It had His signature all over it.
Then, I opened my heart to the spirit of Christmas. Aside from not wanting to be home because Christmas was the day Clyde died, I’d wanted so desperately to go to Tacloban to help the victims of supertyphoon Yolanda. My heart was crying out for it. But, every opportunity led to closed doors. He had other plans for me. So, I finally relented and stayed home. And had the most amazing time with balikbayan cousins G and M., and spending time with my sister, bro and Dad more than we’ve ever had before.
Witnessing the wedding of C to my cousin, V. Then, catching up with a friend I have not seen in a long time, M. My college barkada and I also held a small but hilarious reunion the night after.
This year, I lost a lot. But I gained invaluably. This was a year of learning to let go, respecting myself for the first time, meeting wonderful new friends.
This year, I learned my true worth as a daughter, a princess to my Father. I learned how to love people. To forgive. To be kind. To be selfless. To be blessed and to be a blessing to others.
Mostly, this was a year of truly getting to know the Lord. I have to give due credit to my best friend, who really shook some sense into me. She taught me to turn to the Lord first, above all else. Not your family, not your friends, but our Heavenly Father. Utter dependence on Him. Because of that, my relationship with the Lord blossomed beautifully. Thank you bestie R for introducing me to the Lord, for enduring years of my insanity, and for leading me time and time again to Him. He saved a soul through you.
“I don’t like writing year-end reports because I have not had a good year in a long time.” That’s how I began my blog. I have to retract that. I didn’t like writing year-end reports because I didn’t have a personal relationship with God and didn’t see that even bad years were good years. But walking with Him, following Christ, I see how delightful life is. Yesterday, Sunday, at praise and worship, my eyes welled up with tears for what I thought was no reason. Then, I felt my heart swell and threaten to burst with overflowing joy and happiness. My God’s love is uncontainable, indescribable. Simply glorious. And with this, I am ecstatic for 2014. For the promises God has for me, yes, but mostly, for the opportunity to love Him and serve Him more and the best that I can.
I bid you, adieu, 2013. Hello, 2014. I lovingly open my arms to you with wondrous anticipation.