By Thea Dijan
Today’s Gospel, the Lucan version of Beatitudes (Luke 6:20-26), reminded me of my South Luzon CSW 2013 experience last weekend at Angels Hill, Tagaytay City. I was only able to attend the Sunday session because I have Saturday classes at DBCS. So I decided to just serve in the music ministry and participate in the last session. I was only looking forward to a powerful praise and worship but the Lord never fail to surprise me. Through the last session, the Lord has let me look back to the past seven years of being an SFL servant-leader. Realizing my present situation now, I would say it was full of bittersweet memories. As a servant-leader, I was able to experience different levels of servant hood and leadership: from being an assistant facilitator to a household servant, from assistant music ministry servant to unit and chapter servant, from a mission volunteer to full time worker, and a pioneer member of the Mission Support Group in SFL Laguna. The Lord has been very generous to me and I have never thought that I will be trusted with small to bigger responsibilities. He has enabled me to fulfill all these duties and I know I can never make it witho
ut Him, without the power of the Holy Spirit. I was a once shy and quite-type of person and I was never into going out of comfort zones but the Lord has changed me to become His follower. Who would have thought that I would be able to speak in front of many people of all ages and speak boldly about His love, passion and mercy? Only by God’s grace! The Lord in all His goodness and wisdom has made me experience all that: to really power up with the Holy Spirit.
Because of this great journey with the Lord in SFL, my name has now been attached to many labels. In the community, I was known as: a servant, singer, speaker, sharer, leader and missionary. I am “Ate Thea” for my younger siblings and household members, “Nanay Thea” for those who continually seek my advice, and “Mareng Thea/Partner” for my closest friends. I have become all these to a lot of people and this would really comfort me and inspire me with a lot of confidence. I felt important and valued. However, not all people would know that behind all these, I have also become a pain and a burden to others especially those who are very dear to me. When I looked inside myself, I am full of brokenness, pride and selfishness. The past few months, I always ask the Lord. Where have I gone wrong? How come I have failed? Because I thought I was doing my best, giving You my best and everything I can yet now it seems like I did nothing right. I feel constantly rejected. All these questions haunt me and I have doubted if the Holy Spirit has truly been working in me. Because now, all I see is a person stripped off of everything in service. I have hurt and lost some people very dear to me. Everything I treasured since I started in SFL has been taken away from me. And there I was, listening to how I can level-up in service and I was left with nothing.
During the praise fest, I asked and poured my heart out to the Lord. How will I power up? Where do you want me to go? I feel like I was walking in an unknown direction. Where do You want me to serve? Where do you want me to make a stand? Where do you want me to give and evangelize? Why still call me when I was asked to let go? I don’t know what to do anymore and I don’t know where to go. I am afraid of the unknown. If there is one thing I am most afraid of, it is the unknown! Inside my head, I was crying out loud to Him. I was in tears. Then the worship leader proclaims, “Do not be afraid!” Three times, he said, “Do not be afraid!” I suddenly remembered the Lord, revealing Himself to me three times when I was discerning to become a missionary. He told me, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the Master of the harvest to send out laborers for His harvest.” (Luke 10:2)
I knew at that moment, the Lord was speaking to me. He tells me: “Do not be afraid! I have chosen you. To be chosen is your destiny. To become a missionary is your destiny. You just have to believe. You have to be patient. I tell you, I make everything beautiful in My most perfect time. This is my work. Not yours. But I chose you to be a part of it. So do not be afraid because I am with you. I am the Lord of the harvest.”
I can only cry in deep gratefulness and humble submission to the Lord. I am sorry for not being patient and humble. I am sorry for not trusting enough and for taking control. I am sorry for forgetting that before I am a servant to other people, I was first and foremost, a servant of God. I was stripped off of everything, naked in front of Him, letting go of all the labels attached to me so that I can see my true identity. I am of Christ. I am His daughter. I am His servant. What brings joy to me above all these, is the realization that I am a best friend of Christ! The Lord is certainly good and wise in everything. He is wise in leaving me with nothing because that’s the only way I can fully experience His love, the only way I can glorify Him. This is the only way I can truly Power Up! As today’s reflection tells me, “Blessed are the poor and lowly. They have God. Only God.” Amen.
Tags: catholic community, catholic community for singles, catholic group, catholic group for singles, cfc sfl, cfcsfl, committed servants weekend, God, jesus, jesus christ, prolife, prolife singles, singles for family and life