Reinventing My Life

-First posted in my Multiply last Sept. 2, 2007

I feel a little lost. I don’t know where to start this next phase of my life. I wanted to write about happy times and exciting experiences…but I do not have those right now. I have always wanted to encourage people but it seems like, currently, I am a better recipient of it.

Reading Philip Yancey’s book “Soul Survivor”, getting inspiring and spiritual texts, and the presence of friends at church have become my staple, strengthening my wavering faith. This gloomy season I am in right now began when I decided to quit studying and go back to full time job after learning that my mother was diagnosed with “breast cancer.”

From Breadwinner to Student

It was already difficult for me beginning my school life again, even while working as part-time freelance tutor. My two sisters, Jack and April, were both helping me financially in my studies, but to the point that they’re not enjoying their hard-earned money anymore, because they also had to share for the family’s budget.

Though I’m grateful for them, it hurts to see them barely being able to provide for our daily living. What added to my agony is that finding my school life not that exciting as I hoped it to be due to incomplete facilities in the university, lacking teachers in some of our subjects even after our prelim exams, super-stinking restrooms and many more issues.

Whew! I began with high hopes with all the idealistic goals I had in mind as I was elected a Committee Chairperson for the campus Student Council. I thought I could help make some positive changes in the school only to realize later that there are more important things in my life that need to be taken care of.

When It Rains, It Pours

About a month ago, my youngest sister was diagnosed with Bronchitis (now cured) and then about a week after that, my mother’s health condition surfaced.

I was actually asking God why He had allowed these things in my life. On one hand, I thought maybe this is God’s way of saying that I made a wrong turn in my career move by resigning from Shell and pursuing my elusive dream to start a college degree course.

This was my fourth attempt to get a college degree. Previously, I finished a two-year diploma course through the help of some relatives and philanthropists.

On the other hand, I was also considering that maybe He had allowed these tests to see if I will fight against all odds and overcome for my dream. But I chose to give in to what I think is the best option I have then.

I decided to just give up my studies and go back to working…again for my family.

Family First

I felt like a total wreck. I never felt so tormented spiritually until this happened. Somehow, after getting re-hired by Shell, I felt a little at peace with myself. At least now, I can stop my mother from still wanting to work despite her situation. Family has always been my top priority that I am willing to sacrifice one of my biggest goals for their welfare.

While in the middle of this personal crisis, I actually had to take an indefinite leave from the Ushering Ministry at church, and have my good friend, Jeff, take charge of my Discipleship Lead Group in the meantime. I also was not able to attend to some of the meetings for Champions for Christ Outdoor Adventure Team because I’m not financially, emotionally and spiritually stable.

My Life In Shambles

Now I felt like my life is in shambles and I need to pick up the pieces again, and have God do a complete work of restoration and redemption.

How do I go about reinventing my life?

While reflecting on these, so many thoughts and feelings flooded over me. I felt like a quitter for giving up on my studies too easily. Until now, I still imagine what could have happened had I persevered and continue studying against all odds?

Yes, I miss my friends and teachers in school. I thought, if going back to school after a long while had been a wrong decision for me, this was a mistake I did not regret making. Because of this “detour” my life became more colorful with the people and experiences I have had, though not every aspect of it is pleasant.

The Potter And The Clay

Again, I’m falling into God’s grace…asking Him to work out everything for my good as He promised in His Word. I have made quite a mess of my life with decisions I have done these past few months. And I do not know how to re-arrange my life back in order.

This season is my toughest battle yet. And I know there are still more challenges up ahead. For now, I ask the Lord to usher me in His quiet waters to rejuvenate my spirit and renew my soul…

“Lord, reinvent my life as only You know best.” 

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