Monday, August 18, 2014

#BenteQuatroBITZ: THE BIRTHDAY ESSAY 2014


When was the last time I wrote a Birthday Essay? Ah, it was in 2011, when I was turning 21. It was a big turn for me, since it was my debut. Back then, I was still a college student, months away from the achievement of my dreams. I was at the threshold of life; I was at the portal of a new chapter in my life as a professional.

The year after that, I was already given the chance to start working; I am already in the professional world. Not a kid anymore, I decided to drop things which could attach me to who I was before. Among them, was my yearly Birthday Essay. This blog, which was noisy during my birthday celebration, turned silent during the most joyful day(s) of my year. Unusual, but I see it necessary. 

That was, until a few days ago when a friend asked me to revive it. Searching for reasons in the middle of grades, papers and headaches, I found one interesting reason: the kid in me. Deep inside, I missed what I was doing, and it sparked in me the flame of celebrating life and its experiences. So, here I am, providing my eighth Birthday Essay, with the hope of scoping all my ups and downs this year, of which I would be forever grateful.


My journey this year is worth the words, though I have to admit it won't be enough. From the rainy night last year when I blew the candle on my cake, to this cold rain-less night as I write my reflection, one thought could sum up everything I underwent: The Lord is good. He has been good to me!

When I started preparing for the Licensure Exam for Teachers, I had little time with much to read on. It was really hard for me to balance things, and so I feared that I couldn't make it. It was then that God first showed His mercy upon me, as though unprepared, I was able to slip through and pass the Exams, thus being a bona fide professional teacher. 

I just don't know how God did it because I was really unprepared. I even remember crying inside the testing room while uttering the words, Mi Madre! Mi Reina! Mi Gran SeƱora! I recognized my nothingness, and so I asked God to fill me with strength to be able to pass. I guess, it was this that made the way for me to pass.

After such time, my critiques started to take blows on me. With the power of blogging, they lambasted my name before the whole world. Like a child gasping for air, I don't know where to go. But at that point, God came in again and showed his love. Friends supported me (my family doesn't know about this), and together they helped me stand up again. 

God showed me the way out, which was to maintain total mortification and silence on these. I did, until time came that they stopped as well. A few months later, like turning of tables, the culprits asked for forgiveness, which I gave wholeheartedly, along with a request for privacy.

It did not end there, because I received a hard blow and a head butt from my sister who, because of so much hatred, tried to put things into her hands. I thank the Lord for a mother who was always caring despite the challenge I faced. She helped me fix and run to the hospital immediately. She cared for me during those days when I was still recuperating.

Without my mom, perhaps things would be a lot more difficult for me. True enough, who she was before is still who she is now, a tender and caring mother who stood by me through thick and thin.

But perhaps, the struggle which is tested my faith the most is the one I'm facing right now: my battle with Tuberculosis. I still remember how my school doctor unfolded my sickness with the high hopes of cure. I thought it would be easy, but then it was during the course of this struggle that I almost went face-to-face with death.

I don't know what's happening, nor understand why it is happening. I have no more recourse, but to entrust everything to the Lord. At the foot of Our Lady of La Naval, I entrusted to the Lord and his Mother, my life. I know they know better than me.

And just like that, a big miracle came: I was medically cleared of Tuberculosis! I still take medicine until now, and my physique is quite weaker than before, but I already thank God for whatever is happening inside me. I know, this is not of my power or whatever, what's happening is of God's wonderful grace, with the prayers of Mama Mary and all the saints!

My essay this year was more personal, and a little aloft than the past, but I just want to share with everyone how God, despite my weakness and in the middle of the struggles, is still showing his love and mercy. God, who is more powerful than any human effort, who knows more than we do, who loves even if we don't.

And I thank God for letting me pass this year in his grace! I don't know where will I be without his guidance. I simply don't know where to go.

To Him, and to Our Lady, Queen of the Holy Rosary, do I dedicate my twenty-fourth year of life, with all the coming struggles and challenges, blessings and graces.

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