2009 was my roughest yet most eventful year. There was a shower of blessings – gigs, projects, events – but at the same time, there was also a rainstorm of sadness when the most important woman in my life was summoned back to heaven.
It was one of the most devastating moments of my life, and I can say that the regret for not being able to get her fully recovered from her sickness is one of the incessant cries of my inner demons. I don’t know how could I have coped had I not received the best gift I could ever ask for in that same year – motherhood.
Many times I thought that raising a child could have been lot easier if my mother was around, especially when I see posts in social media showing grandparents cuddling their grand kids – but a daughter like me can only wish. Nevertheless, I was still blessed to have my in-laws and my family look after me and Juneaue during those times.
My faith has never been tested as much. I remember the only instance that I prayed hard was during college when my GWA was 2.02, and I needed to average 2.0 in order to keep that major, but aside from that, I never prayed as hard as when I was asking God for more time. Time, they say, is the most expensive commodity, and I guess that girl in her mid-twenties back then wasn’t matured enough yet to grasp that concept – moreover, to understand birth and death.
For weeks I was numb. So many times I just wanted to stay in a corner and think, but thankfully I had my son to get me on my feet. If there was one thing that I learned from all these trying times (aside from carrying a baby, making him sleep, feeding him, giving him a bath and all those beautiful motherly tasks) is that how important it is to surrender.
For years, I searched for my faith. I went to several churches, attended a variety of religious gatherings, listened to different ceremonies, only to come home feeling empty and lost. Holy Week used to be an exciting holiday for our family with all our annual activities, but it has become an ordinary week after my mom left. Sooner and later, I found myself turning my back against the Catholic Church.
I thought that changing religion was the solution to my soul-searching. I don’t remember how and when exactly, but one day I just stopped asking anything from Him.
Some people questioned this choice and judged me for being ungrateful. But I guess it is hard to explain something that the naked eyes cannot see. When I stopped thinking about religion and stopped praying to ask for something, I felt that that my faith was restored. It was actually the strongest it has ever been. Turning my back from my religion doesn’t mean I’ve done the same against the Lord; It was actually when I came to fully meet Him.
I wouldn’t say that I am no longer a Roman Catholic Christian, because I still am and that was how I brought up but when it comes to my faith and my love for Him, I don’t think that it even matters at all. Nowadays, I still go to church… but this time, to give my thanks and to worship. As much as I can, I try hard not to ask for anything. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve muttered “Let Your will be done, Lord.” I have wanted to fully submit everything to Him and have been doing my best to gracefully accept anything that happens – whether good or bad. And “bad” doesn’t even come close to describe all the hard times I had to endure even after that loss. But whenever I feel that I couldn’t handle it anymore, I remind myself not to ask for what I want, but to ask for His grace to help me succumb wholeheartedly to His plans. It is extremely hard, especially when there are questions that we know only He can answer.
“My heart beating, my soul breathing
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground…”
This song by Hillsong United entitled “Touch the Sky” fully explains how I feel. I found my life when I gave it all to Him. I knew Him when I unlearned everything I was taught about Him.
“Find me here at Your feet again
Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender
Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever…”
Fully surrendering is hard, but it has given me peace, it has made me believe and keep believing in love over and over again, no matter how many times I felt broken. Fully surrendering has pushed and keep pushing me to trust in the process, no matter how obscure it seems. Fully surrendering has helped me expect less and measure less, and to love more and forgive more, no matter how undeserving the situation looks. As Wonder Woman said, “it’s not about deserve, it’s about what you believe. And I believe in love.” Unconditional love can only come when we submit without reservations.
I pray that we can all find our own paths, and in one of those crossroads or checkpoints, that more of us will come to see how beautiful surrendering is. If you have, I’m happy for you, and I also pray that you find someone to go with you, including me! We tend to go off route sometimes, and it’s good to find a friend to walk together with.
Stay loved and blessed! ❤️🙏