Last Holy Tuesday was the first household meeting of the FTWs single-sisters with Ate Mariel. For me, this is an answered prayer for it will help us bridge the “gap” (age-gap, maturity-gap, whatever gap there is) among us sisters. It is also a good avenue for us to know each other, build genuine relationships (aside from the working relationships and the usual hi-hello office greetings) and be real accountable to each other.
For the first household topic, we shared about the negative prophecies told to us. I knew that I had a lot but nothing on top of mind. Until I remember those comments given to me when I was in foreign mission. I hesitated at first, for I never share this part of my missionary life (aside from the Latamaries) for the fear of rejection, of gossip, of misunderstanding, of stereotyping. But my heart was beating so fast, and I had this I-won’t-be-able-to-sleep-if-I-don’t-share-this feeling, so during my turn, I shared it with them.
The great hindrance
We always share that when we arrived in Latin America, we only knew a little of Spanish and of the culture that they have. And many times, I overheard (or was told) that we, I, can never do a lot for the mission since we didn’t speak the language. It was frustrating that you weren’t able to share the love of the Lord because you don’t know how. It was humbling as well, that children always had to correct you and sometimes even walked out on you for they couldn’t understand what you were saying. And perseverance and patience were tested on those times that you have to study for your talk / sharing and were limited to share spontaneously (during the first months) because you haven’t practiced it. But through the grace of God, and our own hard work as well, we were able to overcome this “goliath” and learned the language – with much passion and vocabulary – that we were able to speak at least conversational Spanish and even help in the translation! And when we learned to speak, the Lord were able to used us powerfully in touching lives and sharing His love to others.
During the last stretch of our mission was when I faced the greatest battle of my life – the fight within me. I was stricken with insecurities, self-doubt, homesickness and physical sickness… It was the point of my life that I had to face my immaturity and battle all my issues within me. I felt so alone and so far from the Lord. There were days that I would just cry till I fell asleep, or just stay quiet and shut off everyone, including my partner. I was a pain in the ass, and I was aware of that. But I couldn’t share it with them, for I didn’t know how. It was also the time that everyone got tired and just wanted to go home, and here I was, making their lives (and my own) more miserable.
I though I won’t be able to get out of that dark pit. I thought I was a hopeless case. That was how the devil fed my idle mind. I thought that I will never be loved. I thought that I am worthless. I thought that I was never good enough to be a missionary.
Won by God!
But the Lord thought (and still thinks!) otherwise. When I thought that everyone gave up on me, the Lord didn’t. On those times that I felt so lost, the Lord found me. Through constant fasting, confessions and discussions with the Lord, little by little, I was led out of that dark pit and was able to see the light. It wasn’t about me after all, but everything else is about the One who sent me to that mission. I was able to find God again, and after that darkest hour, a renewed faith and a stronger conviction to serve Him ablaze in my heart! Forgiveness steep in and I was able to revive myself again. And when I thought that I won’t be able to revive my relationship with my partner, the Lord healed our broken relationship and we are now very good friends and both, still sharing the same passion and conviction to serve the Lord through missionary work.
As I finished sharing it with my co-missionaries, I can’t help but wonder how they thought about me afterwards. Do they think I wasted those moments in mission? Do they ever wonder how difficult it was to face your own goliath and lose sight of light? Have they thought of their own goliaths too? Actually, I don’t care anymore. I was just happy and at peace sharing it with them, believing that the Lord will use my sharing in touching their hearts and also strengthening mine for more challenges ahead of me. And I’m just glad that the Lord allowed me to face my own weaknesses and was able to come out victoriously with much conviction and love for Him. Let our darkest hours be the venue of God to work mightily in our lives, just as He did to me. 🙂