November 10, 2016
I can clearly remember it was in June 2011 when my cousin booked us a flight to Boracay, Cebu and Bohol for their vacation on November 2011. It was a two week vacation and I wasn’t sure if my employer would allow me to take a leave that long, but I remember I jokingly told someone:
“Kapag hindi nila ako pinayagan, magre-resign ako!”
(If they won’t allow me, I will resign!)
Then, I laughed.
I had no idea four months later that I would be facing the biggest ordeal in my life wherein I needed to choose between my most-awaited vacation and my permanent job. It wasn’t easy since I had no savings and I am still paying the laptop (HP Mini) I lost when I was assigned in Cavite. I had to consider my parents’ opinion about it even though I already felt that my job does not excite me anymore.
Nearly three weeks before the scheduled vacation, I submitted an application of leave for two weeks and it was returned to me two weeks later because they got confused with my complicated request. I was so disappointed that I started asking God to guide me what to do. When I felt peace in my spirit for good and acceptable reasons and not just because of that vacation, I then sent my mother a message (Sign No. 1) that goes like this,
“Ma, okay lang bang mag-resign ako kahit may utang pa ako na binabayaran?”
(Ma, is it okay if I resign though I still have some debts to pay?)
That she replied, “Ikaw ang bahala.”
(It’s up to you)
After reading my mother’s message, I also sent my spiritual sister and mentor everything that was going on my mind and I remember the only question she asked me:
“Kapag nag-resign ka, wala kang pera. Okay ba yun sa’yo?” (Sign No. 2)
(If you will resign, you won’t have money. Is that okay with you?”
I smiled after reading that because God has already laid out all the possibilities and consequences of my actions and I only needed confirmation from people that I trust and love before I take one big step that will definitely change my life for good.
It took me one big leap of faith to trust only God and forget the rest
(I am talking about persecutions from relatives and other people).
After I replied, “Yes, Ate. Napag-isipan ko na po yun. ☺”
I immediately (and wholeheartedly) decided to write my resignation letter that shocked my immediate Supervisor. They asked me not to decide on impulse and they finally considered my application for leave. They even asked me what my problem was but my heart and spirit has already decided and nothing or no one could have stopped me.
Just a little back track before my resignation, I already felt exhausted and unhappy with what’s going in my career. I was earning above provincial minimum wage, my job was permanent, I got a health card, I can provide for myself and do whatever I want because I was taught to be independent. I loved my job, really, but I somehow came to a point wherein I had to choose between what makes me HAPPY or the HAPPIEST. I’ve suddenly grew aloof of my workmates. I became a loner. I was most of the time quiet. I started to evaluate what has improved in my personal and spiritual life and career for the past two years. I found none.
My previous job as a Respiratory Therapist was challenging for the first year but I grew tired of it because I know that deep within me, I took it as an escape of what I went through back in July 2009.
The hospital setting became my comfort zone when I felt like my heart was breaking apart. I was broken and I needed some mending and I took that opportunity to forget and move on but did I really move on? No. I didn’t know that taking that job would make me more broken and unsatisfied because I started to drift away from God. I took the easier way out instead of enduring the pain. I forgot Who and what matters most. I ditched my responsibilities and commitments just because I was so hurt and I only realized later on that it wasn’t really my ministry that I left, I LEFT GOD and disappointed Him.
As I was jobless for four months (November 2011 to February 2012), that’s when God started to redeem me. From promising not to miss any Sunday Worship Service from then on to going back to my first love, that is the Praise and Worship Team. I started to lay all my cards to God, my hopes and dreams, my failures and past sins, my plans and everything that bothers me. I started by asking God for forgiveness and He impressed to me that I should forgive myself, too.
It is funny how we ask God to forgive our sins (and He always do) but in reality it is us who cannot really forgive and forget what we’ve done especially when guilt is starting to creep within us. We sometimes tend to forget the passage in the Bible that says,
“There is now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Yes, you’ve sinned, but who did not?
Yes, you’ve wronged someone, but didn’t we all?
Yes, you think maliciously and your heart isn’t pure, but who is?
We are all sinners but when Jesus died on the cross, He took everything away from us.
Sin. Doubt. Fear. Sickness. Debts.
Jesus overcame everything for us. He died for us.
So, why can’t you just let it go? Forgive yourself. Move on.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
You need some fixing, so, go back to your Creator.
He makes all things new. He will restore you like how He restored me.
I know you might be thinking,
“Oh, that’s easy to say for you. My situation is different.”
Of course, yours are different.
But, can I ask you a few things?
Can you put yourself in my shoe when I disobeyed my parents and go after my selfish desires that hurt and broke us all in the process?
Can you put yourself in my shoe when I fell for the wrong guy and felt proud of it, and later on realize that you are only good while it last?
Can you put yourself in my shoe when a burglar went inside our boarding house in Cavite and took everything I have (money, phone, HP Mini, I.D.’s) and only left me a P50 and some coins?
Can you put yourself in my shoe when I almost had a nervous breakdown upon realizing that I could have been raped and killed and no one will know because I was alone in that house during that time?
And lastly, can you put yourself in my shoe back in 2009 when things started to fall apart because I have sinned against God until I was finally set free in 2011 and decided to let God fix what needed to be fixed in my life?
Yes, this all happened to me and the recovery wasn’t easy. It took me two years to finally get over and accept everything that happened to me. It took my spiritual family lots of prayers before I finally came back to my senses. It may have given my mother tons of tears, too, that I’ll never know and I’m too shy to ask.
But, here I am by the grace of God, finally putting everything behind and writing that experience into words no matter how it scares me that some people will not or never understand, so that it can be an encouragement and inspiration to those who have gone or going through the same stage in their spiritual or personal life.
We all have different stories to tell and I don’t need to share mine word by word.
We face our problems differently and what I did might or might not work for others.
What I went through could have drown me, but I chose to push myself and swim all the way up, went with the flow and rode with the waves. This is how I dealt with the worst.
I drew near to God even if I had to force myself. I decided to obey Him even though I know how disobedient I was. I learned to trust in Him alone, to call unto Him when things are falling apart.
I decided to overcome myself by doing what I thought I can never do..
To follow JESUS, with flaws and all.
Because I know as I follow Him, I will become the person that He designed me to be – spotless and blameless – all in God’s time. (2 Peter 3:14)