a time to wait

Four months ago, in December last year, I felt a heartbreak that I couldn’t comprehend. The very imperfect millennial side of me turned to Twitter and posted a broken heart emoji because I couldn’t find the words. Only recently did I realise why this heartbreak had to happen.

No, this is not a love story. But it is a long one, so sit tight.

Last year I applied for a job that I really wanted for 2018. I was very careful in applying for a full time job in the Education industry because I didn’t want to burn out and quit. But there was a point last year when the stars aligned and I managed to score an interview for a full time Diversity Teacher role, with two really strong references. After almost a year of casual teaching, I had an idea of what I wanted to do full time and Diversity Teaching is the career path that I wanted to take. I pretty much “had it in the bag”. But before going into the interview I wanted to be completely transparent in my intentions, and told the employer that I had plans to go to Philippines for two weeks in February 2018. Because of this, my interview was retracted, leaving me broken hearted.

“Lord, if I wanted it so much, why would You take it away from me?”

Such a human reaction. But eventually I accepted this “retraction” because the reason why I was going to Philippines was to attend the SFC 25th Anniversary ICON. Deep in my heart, I knew that attending this event was more important. But in my mind, I had doubts. Even during the days leading up to my flight, I kept wondering if it was worth everything that I risked.

To this day, I’m still processing my ICON 2018 experience but to keep it short (for now), and a little predictable, it was rekindling. It was exactly what I needed to revitalise my love and service for SFC. But despite the hype from the conference and the very chill post conference hangs, I came back feeling anxious. I kept questioning my career choices and all my doubts and fears soon returned. This was two months ago. Two months ago, I experienced something I knew I was so blessed to be a part of.

But still, I doubted. Why do we do that? Why do we doubt, when we are surrounded by our blessings? It’s because we are impatient. In this day and age, we are so spoilt by instant gratification all around us. So when we have a moment in our lives when we don’t get what we want, we question and we doubt.

So, He asks us to wait.

Once I settled back into casual teaching work, I just kept my head down and kept working. But, unexpectedly, I started developing friendships at this school I was teaching at. Eventually, I thought that maybe the reason why I wasn’t meant to get that teaching role I applied for last year (which was at another school) was because I was meant to be at this school instead. And for me, that was good enough. I was pretty satisfied. I was getting enough work and I was thoroughly enjoying the perks of being a casual teacher. I was getting exposed to different grades, which came with its own challenges and blessings. Although it was nothing permanent, I was still happy. Don’t get me wrong, I had more bad days than good. But from the support I received from the other teachers, I was beginning to really love it there and I felt at home.

He asks us to wait, not because He is testing us. He asks us to wait so we can learn to be patient. He believes in us that much, that even when something we desire doesn’t go to plan, He knows that we will persevere for His plan – which is better than anything we can ever imagine.

On Easter Monday, I got offered a temporary role at this school that I loved. I was beyond ecstatic! And the cherry on top? It was the exact same teaching role (Diversity Teacher) that I applied for last year, except it was at this school, the school that, through the challenges, support, good days and bad, I grew to love. It was a classic “But I love it, God” moment for me.

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Lord, give me the strength necessary to wait for Your promises. Forgive me for taking Your generosity for granted when I become impatient and question Your will for me. Thank You for always believing in me and for knowing me more than I know myself. Thank You for believing that I’ll persevere and that I deserve better. Thank You for knowing what will strengthen me and purify me. Thank You for loving me and giving me opportunities to grow in my love for You.

 

Patiently waiting, – M. x

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a time to reflect

I’ve recently been reflecting on my spiritual progress this Lenten season and I can’t help but feel like I’ve lost my way in the busyness of life. Thankfully, I’ve been employed to work at Catholic schools so throughout this week I was able to witness Holy Week presentations performed by students from Kindergarten to Year 6. As amateur as they were, they were also very heartwarming and always brought a tear (or ten) to my eyes. It was a little hard to keep myself composed because they only went for 10-15 minutes and I had to go straight back to ‘strict relief teacher mode’ as soon as it finished.

But anyway, there was one key message that resonated throughout all the presentations –

love.

In your almsgiving, have you loved? Have you given without reservations? Have you given without keeping some for your own desires? Have you given only because you were aware that others were watching?
In your prayer, have you loved? Have you only prayed for yourself and not others? Have you prayed for what you want and not what I want for you? Have you given thanks in your prayer?
In your fasting, have you loved? Have you abandoned a loved one for the sake of your fast? Have you fasted only for your own benefit? Have you fasted but have also moaned and complained?
For almsgiving, prayer and fasting is all good and well, but if it is done without love then it is done without Me.

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True Love

 

His, – M.

 

a time to stay, fight and give

I watched Wonder Woman today and it was expectedly awesome. I’m not really into super hero movies. I can’t even tell what the difference is between DC and Marvel – or are they the same thing? (I’m sorry comic fans) But I heard a lot of good things about this movie so I accepted an invite from my mum to watch it with her.

Now this isn’t a movie review or anything like that but the movie was legit ace and I’d suggest you go watch it. It pretty much has everything you want in a movie – action, comedy, romance. Plus Chris Pine and Gal Gadot are easy on the eyes so that was a bonus. I couldn’t help but feel empowered when I came out of the cinema. I felt like I could do anything.

Side bar: I’ve been talking a friend a lot lately about how different we both are because she is, by personality, a thinker and I’m a feeler. In fact we have the same Myer-Briggs personality except for that one factor. We often talk about how we think/feel about a certain situation and it’s really interesting how different we can be. I’m not saying one personality type is more superior than the other but we definitely see things differently, even when it comes to the simplest things – like movies. She (ISTJ) enjoys movies for the action, the entertainment and maybe even the technical and scientific details. Where as I (ISFJ) enjoy the different layers of emotion, the moral takeaways and what might happen to the character ten years from now. Which makes me wonder if she loses out by not fully experiencing the movie because to me, the feeler, that stuff is really important.

So I asked this same friend what message she took away from Wonder Woman when she watched it. Her response was (and if you don’t want any spoilers, maybe don’t keep reading.) “Women aren’t always the damsel in distress.” This key message was loud and clear throughout the whole movie. Diana aka Wonder Woman portrays a strong and heroic character which all women probably aspire to be. She absolutely kicked butt in the movie and I’m gonna be honest, she made me want to do the same. Up until (SPOILER ALERT) the point when she was pretty much in the dumps and was almost defeated by her archnemesis – Ares, the God of War.

Here’s where my feeler instincts kick in and find the different layers of emotion into the movie. Diana, feeling defeated, like most of us do at one or multiple points in our lives, observes her environment. She sees that the evil she was trying to stop was moments away from becoming victorious. The world she was trying to save was becoming un-savable (is that even a word?). She feels trapped by her hopelessness. And then she witnesses the love of her life, Steve (Chris Pine) sacrifice his life for the good of others.

“It’s not about (what people) deserve. It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love.” Diana, Wonder Woman.

And it was at that moment when she literally breaks out of the trap she was under and defeats Ares. Love conquers all. Love never fails. I couldn’t help but tear up at this moment because this act of sacrificial love was so familiar to me. You know the one I’m talking about. And then, in the movie Diana perfectly captures my feels and says..

“Now I know, that only love can truly save the world.”Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Although some of us may not be ridiculously good looking, or tall with a well toned body, or talk with a sexy ethnic accent, or be able to do multiple flips in the air while gracefully  using a bow and arrow – I genuinely believe that there is a Diana aka Wonder Woman (or man) in all of us. We don’t need to be a hero. We can just be ourselves. And because we are human, once in a while, we will need to be reminded that while we are called to love, Love has already saved the world.

“I used to want to save the world. To end war and bring peace to mankind. But then, I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. And I learned that inside every one of them, there will always be both. A choice each must make for themselves. Something no hero will ever defeat. And now I know, that only love can truly save the world. So I stay, I fight, and I give, for the world I know can be.” – Diana

So much feels, – M.

a time for hate/dislike/unlove

It’s Christmas day so as I write this, it feels odd to talk about hate/dislike/unlove. Perhaps because Christmas is the day when every single human being on earth is reminded of Love. And rightly so. It is the time we all celebrate the anniversary of the birth of human tangible Love into our sinful world. How blessed are we!

However, I cannot help but reflect on what I experienced lately. I’m not sure what it is/was and I guess hate is a harsh word hence the “dislike/unlove (which is apparently a legitimate word)”. Recently, I felt someone in my life go from loving to unloving in a matter of days/weeks and I still don’t know why. I may never know why.

But what I do know is that, as much as it has broken my heart, it had to happen. There’s a time for everything. The funny thing is, this wasn’t the first time. In fact, it’s happened to me multiple times and I almost never see it coming. Until it’s finally here.

And I learn the same lesson every time.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Blessed Mother Teresa

It’s incomprehensibly true. I am sure that I have hurt God so many times. I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do. But He still loves.

With a broken heart, I will still love. Or at least I’ll try.