It took a full minute, but eventually I saw the light with God's grace and just wished them luck. Well, okay, not quite. First, I told myself this.
Proverbs 5:21 The Lord sees everything you do. Wherever you go, he is watching.
Secondly, I counted my blessings. And I realized that with so many things to be thankful for, it is ungrateful and unappreciative of me to complain of the little things. Besides, maybe they have a reason for doing what they've done. Maybe in their eyes, they're doing what's right.
In the end, I managed to do what I thought for one minute was impossible.
I let it go.
And the miracle took place almost right after.
You see, I've been worrying about what direction to take with one of my stories, and it's one I've been quietly panicking over for almost a week. Today, however, almost immediately after deciding to just let God do what He wills with my "situation", I just suddenly knew what to do. It came to me so clearly and I wrote like I was possessed. I. Couldn't. Stop. Writing. It was like watching a movie in my head and so I didn't need to think. I just wrote what I saw, and I was so moved by how the story was shaping out that I found myself crying for more than ten minutes while writing. (Note: I'm the type of writer who can read my own work like I wasn't the one who wrote it. So, yes, I can and do often cry over my own work)
When I was done, I just knew it was God's way of telling me that it's okay to let it go. Even if the other people in my life thought they won and that I lost, it's okay. It was never a battle to begin with.
This belief was further reinforced when I went to attend the 10th anniversary of Father Ron, who's a friend of the family. The Bishop of Cubao Honesto Ongtioco was the one who gave the homily, and one of the things he discussed was St. Monica (today's her feast day) and how she prayed for 19 years for the conversion of her son, who would later be known as St. Augustine.
This, the bishop said, was what God wants us to do, despite all the tragedies and evil taking place around us. That we continue to pray with HOPE and with FAITH. You see, I was telling AT earlier that it would be easy to give up on some people changing for the better but we can't. We wouldn't be doing God's will if we gave up.
Naturally, this isn't just about giving up on the people we hope to change. It's about giving up in general - such as when bad things happen to us. The bishop reminded us of how a child asked Pope Francis during his visit to UST why God allows evil things to happen to innocent children. There was also another child during the pope's visit in Leyte who asked him why God's taken every member of her family away from her.
The pope's answer: I don't know.
However, this doesn't mean we simply surrender when facing such hardships. I think I've used this quote before but it's really worth repeating.
Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.
No matter what happens, you don't give up.
1. How you do (one thing) is more important than what you do.
You're one of the richest persons in the world, but did you cheat other people to accumulate such wealth? You're considered successful in your career but on your way up, did you always treat other people with kindness and respect?
2. What Christ does through you is more important than what you (believe) you have done yourself.
For me, this is a twofold message.
a. Let's not allow our egos - which can swell without us knowing it - make us forget that there is nothing we can do without God. He's the one who gave us life. Everything that happens now won't happen if He didn't give us life.
b. Our mission and purpose in the world is not to achieve personal success but to do God's will. It may seem hard, but it's also the only way to true happiness and contentment.
3. Value the CROSS because this is what gifts us with true life and NOT the success brought about by human talents and efforts.
Bishop Ongtioco says that EVERY DAY we are INVITED to CARRY the cross with and for Jesus.
Every day means we don't just remember God's presence in our life when we feel blessed or desperate. It's something we must do every minute of our lives.
Invited reminds us that God will never take away our personal freedom for His will to be done. It must be our choice to serve Him.
Carrying the cross, however, mustn't be a responsibility we resent. We should, in fact, embrace it. And yes, that means we should take every trial that comes our way as a part of life and sharing in God's burden. We should offer our suffering to the Lord and when we do...that's when we achieve the fullness of life.
In other words, that's when we realize that life is so beautiful, letting ourselves dwell on thoughts of evil for a single moment is a huge waste.
We must instead promote life as a gift of God. Simply put, we must be happy and help others become happy.
Do this and your joy will spill over every other aspect of your life.
I know this to be true because it's happened to me. It doesn't mean my life is perfect - it isn't. It doesn't mean I no longer stumble - I still do. But even with all the ups and downs, my life has never been better because I've been blessed to realize that devoting yourself to making other people happy and helping them is what gives me the greatest joy and, yes, the greatest blessings.