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!

Little, Sweet Reminders

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Forgive the blur. But this is a recent portrait of me: a LOVED HUMAN who is a FIGHTER!

 

BACKGROUND: It’s been a while since I last wrote in my blog! Well, as some of you dear readers know, med school happened and that means more time spent in academic stuff than blogging. But earlier this morning, during my daily devotional time, the message struck me and I had the urgent need to share my heart out. Despite the fact that it’s hell week as some would consider it (it’s the last week of classes BTW= yehey!!), I’m glad to have this moment of keeping my fingers busy. After all, I need a simple break from all the studying and I can’t deny it; I miss doing this!

THE ESSENTIALS: So the message was to “remind the people” and in the process that I was reminded of such a task, it would bring much bearing if I don’t keep to myself these reminders that are worthy to be shared to the world especially for times like these:

  1. You are loved. By God. By family. By friends. By someone.

After experiencing some challenges recently (in all aspects from sickness to stress to failure), I was able to see a clearer picture of God’s love for me. Sometimes, when life is smooth and everything seems to go well, we lose sight of what we have. We tend to forget the Lord and we fail to appreciate His love for us as we set our eyes on other things that seek our affection. That’s why maybe He allows trials to come our way so that this would not happen. And yet during such times, His love endures and sustains us. It is His love that causes Him to heal our infirmities, that keeps us going in the journey He’s called us (in my case, to continue studying though I feel like giving up), that brings us back to Him after we’ve hurt or failed Him constantly. And you know what I like about His love is that it is expressed in so many ways. Like through the people around you, whom He can use to bless you or mold you. Or just the simple necessities we take for granted: food, water, air, clothing.

And let us not forget Calvary. Oh, just to think how the Son of God was more than willing to give His life as a ransom for sinful man! Every time I meditate on this, it is just so overwhelming! Such a reminder is enough fuel for me to make the best out of my life, to live for Him out of earnest love and deepest gratitude. How about you?

2. You can do this! Through Christ Who gives you strength. (Phil. 4:13)

Being a medical student is such a great privilege but most of the time, it may be a burden with all the responsibilities and expectations laid on you. It is inevitable to be overwhelmed with the stock of knowledge to be dealt with in the absence of luxury of time. And I believe that some would even sacrifice their health or family time just to compensate. Well, this does not hold true for future doctors. In this fast paced world where competition thrives and selfish ambition rules, it is easy to give in to hopelessness, fear and loss of confidence. We are all prone to wear out and give up. But as cliche as this sounds, may this adage remind why you can achieve your goals and pursue your dreams no matter what: “If God puts you to it, He will put you through it.”

3. You are human. With limitations. With weaknesses. But with passions and necessities.

Somehow linked to the second reminder, there’s indeed more to life than just studying. Or whatever it is that we’re bound to do, wherever God called us. In order to keep a striking balance, let us not forget that we also have other needs. Giving ourselves a break by participating in sports, music, art, etc. or just indulging in a sweet treat- these can make all the difference. (Look at me now; I could have studied Pathology but I still feel equally fulfilled with this writing!)

So I guess that’s about it! Just three simple reminders. For myself. For you. For the whole jaded world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

My First Day of School

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When a happening got you thinking…

My first day of school was cancelled.

Ouch! As for most of my classmates I believe that means hurrah, it spells disaster for me and that is what I’m going to share through this post. I felt the urge to share what I went through today before I hit the books.

You see, I was absent on the real first day of classes which was last Monday, August 8. This was a great disappointment for me, of course but what can you do when you get infected with a virus? I suffered from viral exanthema for roughly 2-3 days and I thank God I recovered quickly so that I was able to return to Iloilo yesterday. (Thank God even more that it was not dengue or chikungunya! Spell relief!) So yes, I missed out a lot on the 1st 2 days  of 2nd year which is considered as the hardest and is even dubbed as “Hell Year.” But I got to move on with that!

However, what happened this morning seemed to tell me that I belong to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. I have to say that what happened wasn’t grievous  but it wasn’t non-stressful. Well, for someone who was absent for two days already (and one lecture on one day to be exact), I was looking forward to having one full, regular class day at Roxas Hall today. To add, we were to have our first meeting for Jericho Walk, an annual event of CCC, a college organization I joined. I was going to speak. So yes, my plate was full and before I forget, I even had to go to my aunt’s house to have her sign my excuse letters.

With my exigencies written, you could imagine how busy my day could have been. And with the rain not cooperating with me, it was a challenge to keep my white pants clean and spot-free. After visiting my aunt, I was on my way to school when I learned that classes were cancelled. Burn baby, burn! Wow. That was hard to swallow. (And yes, if I were to swallow such, it would still be really difficult because my throat still hasn’t cured completely and eating these days is a painful experience.) Anyway, in a time where some would lash out the S word or get mad, I’m glad right now I chose to laugh it off. I can’t remember if I prayed but the Lord knows how dependent I was/am on His will. I wish I did and more importantly, I  wish to be more prayerful. Good thing, the org head was communicating with me and with encouragement, it was decided that we push through with the first session. She and her best friends would come just for the event! (May God bless these precious, passionate souls!) So there I was, walking my way to school while other students were going home. I will not deny that I felt a bit downtrodden but God was good enough to encourage me so yes, I walked with determination along the muddy puddles of water.

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With the wind so strong, my bag looked like it swam in a pool.

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(sighs)

And as if my sickness and the weather/class suspension combo were not enough, some of the people who came for the event had to leave because it turned out they still had one class. Talk about such relentless opposition from the enemy of souls! But it was clear as Rejine (our group coordinator) expressed: we were doing something right as God would be doing something powerful through us and Satan doesn’t like it; hence, all these. But we still pushed through with the first session. We could not afford the devil to succeed with his intentions and plans. With Arvey and Jib (God lovingly provided him to add to the company), I shared my prepared message on renewal and we closed the session with a prayer. Matthew 18:20 comforted me as it says, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.

So yes, that was how my first day of school went so far! With a trial (or was it a test?) that didn’t prevent me, didn’t hinder us from doing what must be done for the Lord and with Him as well. I will still be looking for reasons why the Lord allowed such especially throughout today. But once again, He has gently reminded me that no matter what happens, He is always there, He is always in control.

On a brighter note, I can still have classes at my room. So, let’s study!!

July 24-30: A Week of Losses

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“We may lose something or someone but our loving God would not leave us without gain.” – KBH

For my second post on Simple Recall to be late again really proves how busy I am. I returned to Iloilo City just yesterday to attend a burial and throughout my day, I had no time to sit down and write this post. However, the fact that I can write now is because I’m already through with my important things-to-do for today. Spell relief!

Well, this week started with a big challenge for our family: the heartbreaking loss of my uncle Toting (He was the husband of my Aunt Lydia, the eldest sister of my father.) I remember how deeply sad I was upon learning of the unexpected news that Sunday morning. It was only two months ago when an uncle died, you know. So it was another tough ordeal for all of us. However, despite his death, I thanked God that he died peacefully in his sleep. And the best part? He got to see his youngest daughter who arrived the day before from the US so seeing all his children before dying could have been meaningful to him. Talk about the promptings of the Spirit! I guess God must have orchestrated how his daughters could go home out of the blue and spend time with him. His timing is always perfect, don’t you think?

Besides the familial loss, I had my share of losses which I could not describe in detail here because they are too personal. But one thing was and is sure: God brought me up where I stumbled and by His grace, I am fighting on even with all my scars and wounds. No matter how many times I failed Him, He has never given up on me! His love is so everlasting and His grace, so empowering! (Please pray for me, dear reader as I press on in my journey to where God wants me to go and against the things that must go…)

So throughout all my losses this week, I still praise Him for as I can see, I still gained something which He alone can give! And also, the Lord knows what He is doing so I trust His will.He always knows what is  best!

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 136:1

PHOTO SOURCE: https://static01.nyt.com/images/2010/02/10/health/loss480/loss480-blogSpan