I had to read the first verse of Luke 4 thrice. It says, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil.”
Jesus, who was full of the Holy Spirit, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness?
Wait, what? Led by the Spirit? Into the wilderness?
I have read this passage before but it was my first time to see that detail. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. But why? Isn’t the Spirit, according to Galatians 5:22-23, a source of all goodness, love and peace? How then can Jesus, who was so full of the Spirit, be led to an abandoned or untouched (and assumingly, creepy) place only to face temptations, trials and testings? And it was not just an overnight thing, He was there alone for…
I never quite graduate from learning what it means to live with a pure heart. Just when I think I am doing all right in this area, a new challenge appears that reminds me that I am still in the process of becoming the woman God wants me to be.
Few months ago, I had a crush on someone. I particularly admired how he is able to lead others by example – setting the pace in terms of ministry duties as minor as helping others administratively, and as big as encouraging fellow leaders for intensified discipleship. He was only an acquaintance that time so the admiration just came out of an observation. Because we kind of have common friends, it was not too long that we were introduced. And because certain circumstances in the ministry required us to work together, it was not too long that we became friends.
I started 2019 hopeful. I promised myself that I’m going to try and explore new things this year. My last post was three months ago, and a lot of things has happened before I tried to scribble another one, which you are probably currently reading right now.
The path isn’t clear but I know that He is leading me.
I must admit that the past few months have been a bit usual to me. The days have become ordinary. The Second semester of college has started to take over my life, and there were days when I failed to recognize how God has been able to keep me going through the chaos. I failed to reflect whenever I am feeling down. Instead of talking to God I would look down and isolate myself. But I strive to be better during those times. I would still look up, start to pray and thank Him for whatever’s happening in my life.
During those days I experienced so far, my biggest, and most heartbreaking failure. It scared me so much. I thought that I might not be really good at anything. I might just be trying so hard to fit myself into something that is not for me. I might just be scared of not being able to prove anything. That failure must be small to others, but I will keep that experience forever. It serves as my strength to do things better.
I was given tasks I didn’t know I was able to do. I didn’t know I had an eye to look for things deeper with meaning. I didn’t know I was able to appreciate colors beyond their use. I was not even aware of my capabilities.
Rejections, frustrations and, disappointments also came with me along the way. “Hindi naman tayo ganito dati,” I said to myself. I was looking up there, asking God if it’s really his plan working or mine. It was so tiring to sleep and wake up feeling drained. I would just want to turn everything down and choose to isolate. I chose where to put my emotions and I keep them away whenever it isn’t needed. I hated talking to other people because I thought that they might just take everything I say for granted. I chose who to trust. I realized during that time that being with different people could be possible, but trusting only a few is a must. You can’t fully trust a person with your heart just because you’re on the same page of the situation.
I have been really disheartened from the past few months. I tried to maintain my gullible side because I want to protect my feelings. I trusted only one person because I know I’ll get through it with Him.
So, I started to rebuild and restart quietly.
Watching Korean dramas has been my hobby since I was a teen. Finishing three 20-episode series straight never made me feel so happy. I don’t know why I found myself so happy even if watching series isn’t new to me. I also started to loosen up by listening to the music I really liked before. I talked again to the people I haven’t caught up with for a long time. I read stories, did childish things on my own, entertained myself with lame jokes, watched memes, slept a lot and laughed a lot.
I listened to different stories, took down notes and prayed for them.
I appreciated small things and recognized everything I have even if I am losing. I tried to smile more. I made a list of the things I want to do and the things that I hate and I cry about.
I did not focus on the people and things that make me sad.
I prayed for it instead.
Even if there are times that I fail to reflect and pray.
What could be the posture of my heart, then?
Grace. Trusting that everything is grace. Trusting that there could be more beyond the struggles and there’s beauty in it.
If you’ve lost yourself along the way, probably it is because the posture of your heart has been shattered. The only way to bring it back is to remind yourself of who you are before you encountered a lot of things. Remind yourself of the things you always loved to do and remember why you are currently in that position. Slow but still in progress. Recognize small achievements and appreciate little efforts. Give way to changes and embody acceptance. Cry it all with your heart’s content. Give space for yourself in your heart. Remember that the only important opinion when it comes to yourself is FROM YOU. However, be open to corrections and learn to embrace your mistakes. Pray for every decision you make and include God in every step you take.
These things might be so easy to say. I am not being righteous, and I still have a lot to improve on my own. These things might just help you as to how it helps me to improve myself. I am still identifying how to work on things gracefully and wholeheartedly. Being on the state of grace is a long process and I’m trying to find my way to get there. Eventually, I’ll get there. You too. You’ll get there.
I graduated from high school, turned 18, started pursuing my dreams, started to serve God in a different and surprising way, met a lot of people, experienced a lot of things (blurry paths and changes) that I never thought I would be able to endure. I slowly discovered myself, the things that I like and slowly remained in silence as I started to discover the real meaning of ‘worth’. God taught me to slowly take risks, accept the things that are happening in my life & learn from it. All of these are only possible because of the people around me, and the grace He’s given that flows within me. I am becoming a better person because of this and I pray to seek for more until it fully suffices my need to give more and love more.
may 2019 be filled with love, sincerity, patience, new adventures, and new people that will help me build my character, spirituality and memorable relationships to be treasured forever. I am also looking forward that this year will be filled with growth and be granted with a room for change and improvement.
Cheers to a hopeful 2019!
🍀 photo was taken last January 2018. (📷Alyssa De Ocampo)