BON VOYAGE 2016

2016 is almost at its end of trail and before I reach the final trail, I want to look back at how this year has been for me.  Some people may have prospered a lot in 2016 – all praises to God for His providence. Others may have stayed the same and wasn’t able to find what they wanted in their lives – keep searching, doors may open soon.  But, for me, 2016 has been a diverse year.

At the first quarter of the year, God blessed me with unexpected blessings.  I was given an unexpected favor at work.  I advanced to a higher position in my workplace.  I must admit, it felt good having been recognized as a good example among other foreign teachers.  I did my job well.  On top of that, I was given a salary raise.  It was not that much but it made me happy.

Then, I was able to travel with my family.  One dream accomplished, although, I am looking forward to more travels with them.  We went to the place where my best friend, ate Dexie, and I planned to go.  So I let her come along with us.  Must I say, two dreams accomplished in a row.  I am thankful to God for allowing us to experience beautiful things while we still can.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go well on the third month.  Ate Dexie got sick and became very ill.  I had to bring her to the hospital.  Thailand hospitals were never a good experience for me. I felt repulsive at some staff and doctors where communication was always the problem.  At an emergency room of one of the famous public hospitals in Pathumthani would never accept patients without fever, cut or bruise.  It was disappointing when you cannot explain what you really need to explain.  And with my little knowledge in speaking Thai, did not help explaining to them that Ate Dexie needs immediate aid because according to them her vital signs were all normal.  Goodness!  That time, she haven’t had eaten for a day and you call it normal!  To hell with vital signs – the person was not at all in her USUAL state!  Excuse the language.  So, I decided to bring her to an expensive hospital.  One night stay was worth a lot and we had to borrow money so she could be checked and be taken cared of.  They did endoscopy and biopsy altogether.  After seven days of waiting for the final results, the doctor only confirmed that she had cancer and it was malignant but he didn’t know what stage and what to do next.  She was recommended to see another doctor.  And then again, I was disappointed.  Doctors are supposed to be life savers but it was not like that at that time.   So, I had to encourage her to go home and do further check-ups in the Philippines where communication was never a problem.  We were thankful to our church pastors; Pastor Gutlay, Pastor Pran and members of Grace Baptist Church, Suanprigthai, Pathumthani for being an encouragement at that time and also for giving out financial support to her.

It did not end there, though.  I had encountered a lot following that.  After knowing her real condition, which was gastric cancer (stage 4), I had to do something to help her.  I had to sell our important things and I had to raise some funds to help her in her medication.  Doing it alone was not easy.  I asked help from my, her and her sister’s friends’ list in Facebook but few have responded.  I cannot complain because it was a matter between life and death.  All I knew was to do what I can do to help her.  Few months before the third quarter ended, I decided to go home and visited her.  I wanted to tell her that I would always be there for her.  I wanted to show her what it’s like to have a real friend – wondering what it would be like when it’s my turn to be on my deathbed.

Entering the fourth quarter was the hardest.   I had lost one of the best people in my life to cancer.  I lost one precious stone that cannot be replaced.  I will always treasure her as one best part of my existence.  This experience has changed many perspectives in my life.  How am I right now?  I would always say, “I’ll be fine,” but, seriously, I have to overcome the greatest fear I have – losing people in my life.  I am not fine but I will be – in time!

Unexpected things happen and it is not easy to accept these unexpected changes whether it is good or bad.  I may leave the footprints of 2016 behind but I am hoping I could immediately let go of the crucial things that happened to me this year. I am sad of losing my best friend but I know that we will meet someday in Heaven.  I just have to learn to accept this lonely stage of life.  I am blessed I still have my family and praying that God will grant our wishes as a family.  I expect more challenges in 2017 as I place in my heart the happy and hurtful things in 2016.  I hope God will give me more courage and strength to face my life’s battles fearlessly and fiercely as I say BON VOYAGE 2016.

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looking forward to a Prosperous 2017 (Kanchanaburi-Dec2016)

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Bless the Interruptions

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Rescue Tacloban
Photo Credits: Jordan Madjus

                      We have just wired into the threshold of 2014.  Everything starts anew – fresh challenges to face and different blessings to receive.  While reading Our Daily Bread dated January 9, I was already blessed with enthralling words of encouragements.  I decided to use the same title of the write up because it has given me loads of things to think about, to be thankful for and at the same time to respond positively to life’s twists and turns with absolute certainty.  It is not easy to be always on the affirmative side when we only get to see the undesirable angles of it.  At some point, we get paralyzed but before we become too sloppy, always remember that life must go on.  We have a new chapter to start writing and new aspects to consider without leaving behind the pieces that were left broken in 2013.

                      Many of us would not want to look back at the crucial ending of the past year where our country had been greatly tried and tested.  Some would wonder what life would have been if no super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) transpired.  Others have left their sanctuaries because of fear and with the thought that life back home will never be the same again.  Somebody said, “Moving on isn’t about never looking back.  Sometimes we must look back to realize just how far we have come.”  Changes are so drastic that nothing could be able to describe its outcome.  Acceptance is our only key to surpass the confusion and the pain it caused us.

                    Joe Stowell expressed in his write up that interruptions change his day dramatically and while they can be so frustrating, they can also be productive.  While I was reflecting on this phrase, Yolanda and its aftermath came vividly into my thoughts.  It was an impeccable interruption that changed the direction of our lives.  We may close our eyes and wished it never happened but we cannot escape the fact that it did.  And while we dawdle at the hardships we see in recovering from it, we cannot truly say, we have moved on.  Further thoughts backed in.  While we look at it as an interruption, it conveyed a significant message in the lives of many and had shaped selfless acts of love towards those who have been seriously affected by the monster typhoon.  Despite its destruction, many have endeavored to help us so we have now the courage to rebuild.  We have lost our loved ones, our friends, our enemies, many churches, buildings, houses and among other things were destroyed.  As a result, families have bonded closer, more friends were added, enemies became friends and churches helped other churches.  With these, many avenues have been opened.  Bless the interruptions!

                       At any given situation, there are always two sides of it.  While the other side shows every facet of destruction which causes us to be passive in life; the other displays the construction of it which will make us a better person.  We will never know what is on the other side unless we cross it.  So, when interruptions take place, accept it with open arms.  In addition, here are some tips to think through.  Be blessed!

  1. Replace fear with courage.
  2. Seek out for encouragements when frustrated.
  3. Look back but never dwell.
  4. Move on without resentment.
  5. Shed tears but don’t get yourself drowned.
  6. It is best when you are with people.
  7. Have faith, God is still in control!