Photo Journal #237: January 01, 2015 (Thursday)/ First Mass of the Year and A Look Back


Last night was not that pure and solemn for me, as I was used to. But that’s just caused by my asthma and I won’t let that one hour of dreadful look at the world affect the way I deal with my 2015. I have so much faith in God and I always trust that whatever comes in my way is God’s way of harnessing my inner strengths and purifying me to be worthy of heaven, my end goal. Thus, I attended the first mass of the year and offered all that to God, with my new 2015 and long term goals.

They say, do not look back but focus on the present and what lies ahead. It is true but reflecting on our experiences provides us nuggets of wisdom which we need in facing the unkown future, and cultivates in us a grateful heart. It’s only by turning our head back that we see the connections between now and then. It shouldn’t be a full turn though or we might lose the beauty of what’s here in the present and there in the future.

As I look back, I could really attest to God’s providence that allowed me to traverse the every day of 2014.

In January, it wasn’t easy because we found out that my sister needed an operation because of her growing cyst in the uterus. But it didn’t happen when she got pregnant in November of 2014. Amidst the impossibility of bearing her own, I dreamed of holding a baby which God confirmed in my prayers before it happened. And it did happen. Praise God for the new member of our family. Plus, Rap and I are now close. I couldn’t even imagine how it happened.

In February to March, I had difficulty in dealing with students from BS MKTNG 2. But I became stronger and faced that issue with them. Instead of sowing resentment, I showed them that I am a fair teacher. What happened next was something I will ever be grateful for. Those same students who hated me (I presumed) appreciated that. That specific student I berated privately was shocked when she noticed that I didn’t put her down during her oral defense and that she passed my subject. The result, whenever we meet, she smiles and says, “Miss you, ma’am” even if she’s not under my class anymore. I think it happened to me to also teach these kids, values.

In March, I had to submit papers for Fulbright Master’s program. At first, I didn’t  know why I decided to submit my application because I knew while everybody prepared for three months for that, I only had a week,  until PAEF sent me an e-mail recommending me to their FLTA program which application was due in May. I didn’t follow their advice because my first response was anger. I shoved it off and continued my life, serving the church every 12 noon of Mondays, sometimes, also Wednesdays, and Sundays. When I found out in June that the FLTA application was extended till July, I was a bit shocked because a 2-month extension’s too long. That drove me to taking a leap of faith again. I was hesistant but  slowly, after praying, I heard God telling me to just “do it”. It was tiring but I did it once more, getting recommendations, drafting and editing essays for submission, spending for tokens, etc for my dream. People sometimes thought that I wasn’t spending much effort but they didn’t see what pain I had to go through to achieve my goals. You get judgments from people you’re not even close with but what’s important is seeing God along the way. It was He who opened all the doors of opportunity for me.

Oh, in April, or May? I took my Comprehensive exams. I was scared but again, I took to God and prayed hard. When exams came, I was a little disappointed with the Pyscholinguistics questions but I answered them anyway. In June, I found out that I passed. Yepeey! And it’s the official start of the grueling thesis writing.

In September, I received a call from PAEF and did an interview via Skype with them. They were really caring and understanding, which was contrary to what others had shared about them. Guess, my charm worked again. LOL. And I passed. Hello, USA.

I have to be honest that I am good in judging and in asking questions, sometimes turning the whole paper into trash but I am not a good researcher and writer. That’s what I believed in until I finally started researching on my own, without the help of others. I still couldn’t believe that I was able to write an excellent thesis which received a 1.0 from the panel. I didn’t even have tough questions from them which again I believe was from the Holy Spirit.

For the first time too, I was invited to three events as a judge. God knew that I was waiting for it, and He gave it in His perfect time.

In October, I reviewed for TOEFL but because of the oral defense, I really had not time to focus on the TOEFL exam. I spent one week only for TOEFL. God was the witness of my fear, of rehashing that painful moment when I didn’t top the board every night before the exams. It’s the speaking part that I dread the most because it’s the part when I always freezed and zoned out. During the real test, the reading part was very “very” difficult. I almost cried. The writing and the listening were as usual the easiest for me. The speaking? I felt like I was just “blah”. Oh God. But what’s great was finally going home with mom and dad to South Cotabato after the test. Two weeks after, I received my excellent scores, I was crying because I couldn’t match any of them with my actual test performance. And while I was praising God, I imagined Him looking at me and whispering, “I told you, I can make all things possible!”. Glory to God!

In November, I talked to the principal of Banga Central Elementary School and had an intellectual conversation with him. It’s when I felt that I was really meant to guide schools. (I don’t want to expound on that now). Everything went fine. I was happy. Then, my first heartbreak came. I completely just let an unknown person through, inside my heart. I decided to give love a chance, but it failed. I cried, for three days. LOL. And as usual, God’s there to comfort me. Now, I’m not afraid to love. I became stronger. Thanks to you, wherever you are!

When it was finally December, everybody got busy with the wedding plans of my sister Kath and Rap while I sit in front of the computer, transcribing audio recordings from my classroom observations. Three days before the wedding, I stopped to also help out in the planning. It turned out I had an important role to play during the wedding as an overseer and organizer. Organizing is always one of my core gifts. Thanks, God! The wedding brought families together. Finally, I was able to hug my cousins, Gaming, Daku, Inday and Claven in person. We watched movies from 1 pm to 6 pm, ate ice cream, told each other horror stories—it was all fun.

Also, in November, I had a very huge altercation with Ante Dolor. I sobbed because I knew I was wrong. I said sorry and she accepted it and now, we’re both closer than ever. After that, God showed me that I have a Borderline personality disorder. Finally, I had a name for this devil inside. I refused to be like this forever. And for only a week, for two months, I never got angry, never shouted, and became kinder.

By the way, I also applied for MARIHE program under Erasmus Mundus. I took a shot because it’s my dream course.

What have I achieved?

Thesis! Yeheeey! –Not done though, Letters to soldiers and prisoners, thank you notes to random people who appeared shocked at times, books for strangers, and manna from heaven program.

I finally am clear with who I want to be and what I want to achieve- yehey! Thanks to that student who I found talking at my back. Thanks to you for opening my eyes to what I truly want.

What have I become?

I became more independent, kinder, understanding, patient, present, mature, generous, friendly. I now initiate talks with people from my past whenever I see them in the church instead of always in a rush just to evade conversation. In other words, I become comfortable with social interactions. Even if I don’t like the person and suspect that she’s thinking about something (huh, borderline problem), I stop and smile, become kind and courteous and just let them. I realized that I can’t control people’s mind or what they say. I am now committed. Before, I always think of myself. Now, I don’t. I just help and be kind. Also, it feels good whenever people wait for your decision in the family, well, I do get that a lot outside but not within my family. Now, they do look up to me. Thanks God. I have stepped closer to becoming that person I want to be, elegant and respected. Also, I am 100% sure with my fashion taste now. Well, Kate Middleton is my perfect fashion icon, simple yet elegant.

All in all, I love 2014! You just proved that You were mine. Thank you Jesus! Glory to You!

Welcome, 2015! You are the change I want to see in me! 😀

Sorry for the overused words. :*

I will just update this whenever I remember details to add. And again, blunders??? This is unedited. Lol

Categories: 365 Photos Journal, Development, Lessons, Musings, Skills, Successes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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