Losing Myself to be Found

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“That’s what I’ll be. A silhouette, rarely seen, and yet believed in.” – Ellen Hopkins

BACKGROUND: After almost 3 months of silence here in my blog, it’s kind of challenging because my writing skills have become rusty. My third year in med school started a month ago and it has been, so far, one hell of a roller coaster ride. I thought of writing this piece maybe months ago but due to the busyness (which you might be always getting from my posts, dear reader) it’s only now that I get to unload. The trigger? Recent happenings in my life which I somehow wish didn’t happen but I ended up with lessons for life, some or maybe most I’m going to share through this write-up. Or if not, just reflected in what I would share. And probably some observations I’ve had the past days. Doing this not only alleviates the burden of not having someone to share at the moment; it is one way of self-assessment and reflection which are very important to me.

GOING THROUGH THE NOTIONS: Have you ever felt so empty and wasted that your life seems nothing but an endless cycle of mistakes and failures? That at the end of the day, before you go to sleep, you tell yourself: “Everything’s fine” but deep down inside you know it’s the other way around? And the worse part is people around you see through your eyes too. But they don’t know the truth; they don’t know what’s choking you inside, the broken mess that you have become. So, in the process, people have  placed you in the category that you don’t deserve, somehow stereotyping you unconsciously, making them act differently around you or just avoid you. As a result, you end up somehow isolated or you feel that way; the familiar feeling of loneliness creeping in as you succumb to the harsh, cold statement: “History repeats itself.” You try to see the bright side of things but it seems inhuman of you not to accept the reality of the state of your life. Well, you are responsible to how it turned out this way. So you have to face the facts. You have to face the consequences. You have to face you.

*Sighs*

Welcome to the complex of my weary and burdened mind! I may sound a bit paranoid (actually, that sounds like an understatement!) but I do have basis for my thoughts or feelings. You see, one close friend of mine revealed to me before that many of my batchmates saw/see me as someone so good and include-all-the-nice-adjectives-that-you-know. I’m exaggerating that prior sentence because if I remember it right, it was as if I was described “nga daw santo” (“like a saint”). And I was startled; I was clearly not amused. Don’t get me wrong, being considered good is something I’m NOT against with. And to have a favorable or respectable reputation, that’s something worth building in life, in my opinion. But to be placed in a pedestal I’m unworthy of prevents them from getting to know me for me or interacting with me to the fullest. Plus, going back to the point that I know myself and God be my witness, it would pretty much be a relief to have someone see me for what I truly am, through my eyes: a sinner saved by grace, a work in progress, a wretched human vessel still being fashioned into what the Master Potter wants me to become. And even more: I can get mad, like real mad if provoked. I can crack jokes, even green ones ’cause I’m a hormonal being after all. I can be pissed off or do that to others with my incessant teasing. I can cry, even a river that could flood Iloilo City worse than Typhoon Frank. I can be a lot of things regardless of my involvement in a religious organization or simply just my being a Christian. In short, I’m not all good; I have flaws, like major flaws which God certainly knows what. There is still darkness in me but I choose not to let that snuff out the light. It is my choice on how to deal with what I clearly know about myself now as I did then which would spell the difference. After all, before becoming a saint, one was once a sinner. But never would such a one feel worthy of being called or considered good. Even Jesus Himself! (Mark 10:18).

In expressing myself through this writing, I was brought to think of the following: Does it really matter what people think of me? Or what God thinks of me is more important? Should it really bother me if I feel lonely or I’m mostly alone? Or better yet I’m different compared to the majority, hence the rejection or isolation? Would I still live up to the expectations of people and not God’s?  I have the answers inside me. But rest assured, I am not pushing the ‘me-against-the-world’ ideology. It’s just me wanting to break the mode of  placing people into boxes and leaving them there! And that goes for me as well; I’ve placed myself in my own box that’s why my life feels this way. That’s why I’m still stuck up in the past and in others’ definition of me. Before I forget, I’m also applying what I learned from a misunderstanding I had with 2 friends before: to stand up for myself and speak out my mind wisely. I guess this is it.

So hopefully, starting tonight, it would be different. May it be a beginning of a new story: one where I get to have the right perspective as I live not for men’s praise or approval but for God’s glory and cause!  I echo what Selena Gomez once said and I quote: “I’m not trying to get validation nor do I need it anymore.” I already have value, far precious than anything, that it caused my God His life and borne out of that loving sacrifice!

I am ready to lose myself.

Now, I am found.

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Coming Clean

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Right above is a picture of me, literally buried in the tons of papers- college exam sheets, old notes, etc. I’ve collected through the years. Yes, I’m a garbage collector! But with divine help, I was able to let go many of them and finally throw them where they belong- the garbage can! With overcoming the sentimental value I attributed to some of them (or yes maybe it was most of them but I just couldn’t admit it), it felt like an achievement of a lifetime! Cleaning your room may be tiring but it sure brings you to many realizations for life!

(Laughs)

But seriously, the photo also symbolizes me. In all aspects of my life, I may have collected garbage which has trapped me in a rut. But praise God for He has rescued me time and time again. Through His precious blood, I am coming clean and I am made clean!

P.S. In line with this write-up, I would like to share my second video for my YouTube ministry which I shared in the post prior to this. Be blessed, dear reader now to become a dear viewer! 🙂

General Cleaning Day: “Failure is not Fatal”

 

Responding to the Call

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In my PYC uniform…

Background: I was really planning to write about my PYC experience in Iloilo which started last May 31, 2017. Due to circumstances that made me busy, I was not able to do so. But praise God, He really provides opportunities for me to do so and even more as there is also something I’m going to share, as a result of the PYC experience.

The PYC or Philippine Youth for Christ is an annual event attended by  Seventh-Day Adventist youth across the Philippines and even from countries nearby. It was my first time to attend and you can imagine my excitement.

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🙂

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Pastor Taj Pacleb: One of my favorite speakers….

During a span of days, my sister and I got to listen to very inspirational messages from the wonderful set of speakers, through plenary meetings or breakout sessions. The topics were indeed essential as they were about the very issues we, the youth, face. Though the schedule was tight for me, I still got to embrace the blessing the Word of God brought. Besides this,  the fellowship of brothers and sisters in the faith was strengthened through activities like group dynamics (I was a group facilitator BTW and I thank God for the task He gave me!) and mission outreach which I really enjoyed. (Oh how I intensely desire to share the full details of my whole experience to you, dear reader! But just so you know, my group belonged to the ‘Palit-Yosi’ ministry which was tasked to make exchanges of cigarettes with the fruits and biscuits we brought. We then had an additional work- the Jeep ministry which got us riding jeepneys where we sang, prayed for and gave tracts to the passengers. I just could not overemphasize how big of an impact we made in the city, all by the grace of God!) There was no doubt that with an atmosphere of heartfelt prayer and heavenly wisdom, almost everyone I believe was on a spiritual high. But it didn’t end there, it shouldn’t after all. It was clear that because The Appearing (which was the title of this year’s event, before I forget) is so near, that we as the Lord’s children and watchmen should do our part in the furtherance of the gospel, in preparing the world for the return of the “crucified, risen and soon-coming Savior!”

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Our smiles after serving the Lord…

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With my fellow medical students on the last night… #BeyondBlessed

Therefore, after the successful and historical PYC which blessed me beyond words, I found myself asking this question: “What do you want me to do now, Lord?” I have been serving the Lord somehow with my talents like writing through this blog and smiling while giving Bible tracts (yes, smiling is a talent! Haha). I was fueled up to do much more in God’s vineyard and I still am. And God, in His goodness, gave me the answer! It was revealed to me that with the means and skills He blessed me with, I could serve the Lord in YouTube! Since 2012, I have been making medical parody videos with the purpose of helping my batch mates back then in remembering stuff for exams. My talent in composing such was developed and a couple of my videos received heartwarming feedback from people around the globe. If I was able to inspire people this way, how much more using the Word of God? How much more with the wonderful words of life which could help anyone grow spiritually and be prepared for such perilous times our world is now in? Because after all,  our relationship with God is what truly matters most in the end. Not the number of followers or subscribers one has.  But how could it grow if we don’t share our faith?

Hence,  with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I was able to do an introductory video plus my first one for this endeavor which God has called me to! It is with utmost humility and sincere earnestness that I ask you, dear reader, to please check out these two videos by clicking the links below. And if you feel blessed or inspired after watching them, your subscription would mean the world to me! Thank you…

Another Ministry Begins (Post PYC Revealing)

Independence Day: Freedom in Christ

P.S. Forgive me for videos are not that HQ! If you check out my other channel (the one with the med parodies), you can see how Jurassic my first videos were! (Laughs) But what matters is that you get the message, my friend!

2016: A Year of Lessons/Realizations

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PHOTO taken by my good friend and brother in Christ, Jared Kaiser

Fresh from a wonderful Sabbath of serving God and fellowship with my family plus friends, I am so stoked to have this post as my last for the year 2016. I was so blessed with the messages I heard from the Divine Service (it was so timely!) up to the AY Program. And it is my utmost desire to faithfully apply these in my life as the new year begins. (So help me God!)

2016 has been a very challenging year for me. In a lot of ways: physically, mentally (more of like academically), socially/emotionally and of course, as evidenced in recent write-ups, spiritually. I have to say I’ve grown for the good but it would be a lie not to admit that I’ve also grown for the worse. But despite all the happenings I went through this year, God has ever remained faithful and gracious to me. May that be reflected in the things I’m about to share.

Instead of writing about my highlights, let me share the lessons (hence, the title) or the realizations I’ve had from out of the different experiences I was in or circumstances I dealt with:

  1. No matter how hard you try to be good or kind to others, there will always be people who will use you, take advantage of your or hurt you for hurting’s sake. But then again, we live in an imperfect world; we can’t please everyone. So I guess I end up reminding myself that it is God Who I need to please or to focus on. And worse, maybe they thought that by dong such, you will go dark. But you will prove them wrong because you choose to let the good in you remain and improve for the better. Ouch! It seems like the first one is salt on a wound but definitely it’s the one that has the most impact on me. As you may have read in a post in the past, I’ve been through one ‘valley’ which tested my faith in God and my will to survive. But the Lord saw me through. So with love and forgiveness in my heart, I will move on to 2017 with this lesson inculcated in my heart.
  2. I’m a garbage collector, a good one. During the general cleaning of my room, I got to see how many stuff I have kept through the years that needed to be disposed. It made me ponder that I probably collected a lot of garbage, not only  literally but also in my life’s room; maybe people, habits, emotions or other things which I definitely need to let go. So with enthusiasm and for a good purpose, here’s to cleaning up my life! (Plastic also serve as part of my collection but hopefully they’re not the people I know!)
  3. You can never survive anything life throws at you without God. Well, I believe I’m not the only one who understands this fully. From the book of Job (which was our topic for the Sabbath School lesson this quarter) to experiencing many tough times, I came to value how a relationship with God really helps during such and what faith in Him entails. Yes, being comforted by your family and friends is a blessing. But to know that the God of the Universe knows your pain and cares enough for You; to add, that He is always in control no matter what happens, is certainly far better. So here’s to enriching my spiritual walk even more as I enter 2017!!!

There are surely a lot of lessons/realizations for this year but these three are the ones worth sharing and heart tugging as well! I just could not overemphasize how deeply thankful I am for God’s love manifested in His guidance, sustenance, protection, and of course His forgiveness! Your grace is truly amazing, dear Lord!

With a grateful heart, a focused mind and a confident spirit, I move forward to 2017! Happy New Year!

The Inquisition

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I don’t know if it’s the hormones or just the holiday blues but I sort of felt burdened/weary recently… Well, human as I am, I am always prone to fluctuations in my mood or emotions. Who on earth is not? There is no immunity no matter how much I consider myself to be a proton. To express myself subtly, here are random questions (some petty, some serious) I’m faced with at the moment and maybe you, dear reader have an answer or two…

Why is it that when you want to achieve something out of good purpose (you’re actually doing someone a favor with your willingness to help) , you end up with ‘antagonism’? But the person who asks something that is not needed at all from that same someone, is met with, ironically, a positive response?

How is it that some people cannot afford to say even just a simple “thank you” especially when it is somehow desirably expected?

 Why do good people still lose friends? 

Why is it that some people are so perplexed and hard to grasp? You are willing to help but why do they still choose to make things more complicated?

How do you get your doctor parents to listen to you? Because seriously, you’re very concerned with their health but they’re like worse than kids so how do you stay patient with such patients?

What should I really feel when people think I’m a high school student? Should I be happy because I still look young or should I feel bad because there might be something wrong with my endocrine system? 

How long will it take for me to get this right? When will the cycle ever stop? 

Why did I allow myself to become like this? I know some things will never be, should never be but why do I feel so inclined to feel such emotions for or to these people?

Why is it that people always seem to see the good in me and put me on a pedestal? Not that it’s a bad thing but how I wish they knew so they could see that I’m also struggling or maybe worse than they could be/are?

Do I have what it takes to become the doctor I intend to be and what God plans me to be?

Will I ever find the girl of my dreams? Or is she already there and I just have to open my eyes?

Will I be ready for the second Advent? (I hope and pray so. I had to answer something for this one. After all, the eternal prize is my most important goal in life.)

(Breathes deeply.)

I think I feel much better now, to the point that I can light up a cigarette. (Joke intended!)

 

Decembreak (December + Sembreak) Feels

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Forgive the tiny photo but at least it shows how happy I am this Christmas break..

And finally after quite some time, I am back to blogging! It is quite clear to me now that I cannot successfully accommodate the demands of being a med student and a blogger! But I have high hopes that come 2017, I can squeeze in WordPress every now and then as a sort of study break. Well, I sort of just had a ‘lag’ on what to write next due to hunger and yes, I’m forcing myself to finish this post so that I could reward myself with a nice dinner. Anyway, let me share with you briefly what I plan to do this Christmas vacation which also serves as our sem break. (Sorry if I had to break down what the ‘play-with-words’ title was and not leave you to get it! Oh well, that’s me making sure you do! )

It was only last Wednesday, December 14, when our Christmas break began and since then I have been pretty busy juggling work and rest. Coming from the most tiring and challenging semester in med school so far, I was thirsty for a break. Imagine my endurance and patience during the last days of exams when studying seemed to be an obligation and no longer a delight. So yes, you could tell I really couldn’t wait for first sem to be over! And I guess it was the same case for my batch mates. Now that I’m here living out my vacation, I just feel so relieved. Looking back, I can’t help but say “Thank God I survived that one hell of a ride!”

With only three weeks and 4 days already done, I have so much to do in such a small amount of time. And from my history of making lots of goals but ending up not achieving them all, there is just this spark of determination I feel right now for this year’s Christmas vacation to be different. So here’s me hoping and praying I get to achieve the following:

  1.  PROJECT WEIGHT GAIN: Now’s the essential time to gain back the pounds I lost while studying and stressing myself out! It is timely for such ’cause not only it’s Christmas but I’m back home! Nothing beats delicious, home-cooked meals by Nanay (mom)!
  2. Play my violin more and once again . It’s such a shame that I left my Bachendorff to rust and dust. But it’s high time for my fingers to hit some strings and hold a bow. How I wish though that this pursuit of learning the instrument more would involve a violin teacher BUT for free. (Chuckles)
  3. Christmas shopping. Well, it’s the usual routine each year but hakuna matata, I don’t forget the true essence of the season. Actually, I’m the most conscientious among my siblings when it comes to buying stuff for presents and I don’t get myself too absorbed with all the gifts and all. (Jesus Christ is the greatest gift, what more could I or we ask for?!)
  4. Finish my albums. I’ve always ended up failing to finish my two music albums. Hopefully I get to finish them before classes start.(Fingers crossed)
  5. Get more sleep. Although I’m not the type that stays up late, like until 2 am, during school days, I still consider sleep a precious physiological need (more important than sex; there you go, I said it!). I know I get less of it when I’m already a clerk so I’d better enjoy it while I have the chance!
  6. Spend more time with family. Here’s to family worships, movie marathons, scrabble time, jogging, etc. and of course, our annual Christmas games!
  7. Take inventory, plan and renew myself. Spending alone time with God is always a  daily priority for me but it comes with a deeper importance when another new year is near to start. I find joy in recalling memories and events, both good and bad, that happened throughout the outgoing year. But there is deeper joy in laying out goals and ambitions for the future especially when borne out of a loving gratitude to and humble faith in God, the One Who sustains my life until this very moment. In line with that is an overwhelming desire to always become a better version of myself, in all aspects.

So far these are the most worth-sharing TTDs I have for Decembreak! How about you? What do you intend to do?  What can you do to make your experience during the holidays more meaningful and more special? Whatever it may be, it is my wish that you enjoy this year’s Christmas and never lose sight of Jesus, the One we celebrate!

Merry Christmas!

Finding Joy in Medicine

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Isn’t it great that the one who shot this is the actress who played a significant character in the movie? Credits to Jade Marie

 

While watching the short film entry of our batch ADeoS entitled Joy in Medicine this afternoon, I was having ‘goosies’ all over me. The emotional masterpiece has appealed to my soul and no matter how I may try to prevent the surge, it has brought back certain emotions attached to hurtful or unwanted memories in my not-so-distant past. Trying to find composure within myself through prayer as I was on my way home, I was so moved by the film that I had the prompting to write what I felt because of it. And it was so funny and weird at the same time when I reached the shed going to the main gate of the campus ’cause the song playing was Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. When I was near the gate, that’s when the song ended and for the duration of seconds I listened to it, my walk was all the more emotional. (Yes, this speaks volumes.)

(Sighs…) I’ve come to realize that medicine is not only an academic challenge because it affects other aspects of your life- physical, mental, social, emotional and sometimes sad to say, spiritual. But I guess what’s important is that you learn to adjust and accept things for what they really are, believe in yourself and in the people who are worthy of trust and learn to commit everything to God in faith. (That first small group session we had before the screening really helps to set things into the right prospective now.) Unlike one character in the film who clearly lost all hope to live, I choose to see and focus on the bright side of a medical student’s life. (So help me God!)

Through the inevitable that is to come, here’s to finding joy in medicine!