Rachelle Grace Cacas
CFC SFL Baguio
I am Rachelle from SFL Baguio. There may be days of my ups and downs but I believe I am marked for greatness.
Two weeks before the CSW, I committed to attend without letting my brothers and sisters in Baguio know about it. I was so firm that I would. It was my sweet escape from the world. Meeting new friends, being with my brothers and sisters again meant so much happiness. Nothing could make me change my mind; however, deep inside of me my worries were holding me back.Two days before leaving for Bataan, the firmness and excitement I felt were slowly fading. But there was something more behind my worries.
I work as a researcher for a local TV station in Manila for almost eight months now. My eight months here brought different seasons to my life. The stress and pressure one feels behind every production, the joy one experiences with the new crowd, the many places one travels, etc. I was happy. Well, I thought I was happy. It was overwhelming. It was a pretty tiring job. Nakakapagod, sobra sobra. Many times I leave the office late and travel to Pasig where I stay. Lucky to have a two or three-hour sleep. Always skipping meals, making me more skinny and bony. Anak ng 7-Eleven, ampon ng iba’t ibang fast-food chains. Bukod sa pagod at gutom, I felt lost. Lalo na nung namatay ‘yung lolo ko last July which really made me feel worse. Where was I when he died? I was doing an ocular-surveillance. I was at WORK. It was so frustrating. I was in deep regret. A week before, I told Daddy to wait for me. Kaso hindi na niya ako nahintay. Pagkatapos ng libing niya, balik agad sa trabaho. Naging pabaya ako, hindi lamang sa sarili ko, kundi pati sa pamilya at mga kaibigan. My work was taking so much of my time, of me. I became tired. I am tired. Burnout. Ever thought about resigning? Yes. For the past few days I was posting status updates about being tired and all. My friends in the office were asking me about what was going on with me. I kept denying it was not about work. What plans do I have? None. Where am I heading? I am afraid I might find myself in regret. I was asking God, praying to speak to me. Lord, saan mo ako gustong pumunta? What do you want me to do?
So Friday came, I still have not asked my executive producer if I can go. My partner had to work and shoot alone for three days. Oopsie. Lagot. Pero hindi ako sobrang kinabahan sa sasabihin nila. That time I was thinking, “Hey, I deserve to have this break. Let me break free.” So I did. Lakas ng loob, ‘di ba? I traveled to Bataan and stayed overnight in Tito Abel’s place in Mariveles. On my way to Bataan, my boss was calling and sending me messages. I replied to one of his messages, “Kuya, may activity po ako ngayon.”‘ (Actually, hindi ko alam kung nasend ko talaga siya.) Again, I was worried. But there was something inside of me, telling me that I have to let go. Even just for two days. I knew God was calling me for me to rest. I could hear Him say, “Anak, halika. Magpahinga ka sa piling ko. Gusto mong umiyak? Nandito lang ako. Hinihintay kita.”
Saturday morning came and everyone was excited. The venue was peaceful and so calming. Sobrang saya at excited to see old and new faces. Parang buong weekend ata may nakaplaster na ngiti sa mukha ko, a genuine smile. It was really amazing but why was my heart throbbing so fast? Kinakabahan ako. Natatakot ako. Hindi ko talaga maipaliwanag. Will I be able to have all the answers I have been looking for? Before the first session, Kuya Arvin told us when we feel like God is talking to us, lumapit lang sa kanya and he’ll give us the time to share God’s word. What does God want to tell me? At that moment I was really trying not to think too much. When our morning worship began, I was still nervous, my heart was beating so fast. Then it struck me. I felt the urge of going in front to let all hear what God wants to say every time there was a chance. But my knees were shaking, my tongue tied. So I let it go. Sige, mamaya. Ako na magsasalita. Ang kaso, hanggang sa matapos ang Day 2, hindi ko na nakuha ang chance na iyon. I told myself, sige. Baka this is not the time yet.
Throughout the sessions, I only had two things from Him. Two days, two realizations, one life verse.
Firstly, the CSW reminded me of that scene where Jesus went to Gethsemane with some of his disciples to pray. Even if he was with others, he isolated himself and prayed and talked to our Father. He was weary and afraid. And he said to the Father, “Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” This is the point where Jesus surrenders it all to our Father. At this point of my life, I am deeply troubled, emotionally distraught. I am physically and mentally tired of the things happening around me. I want to leave work for my family. I want to stay closer to them so I can take care of them myself. I want to go back to Baguio and serve. I want to take control of my life, be the only person behind the steering wheel. Ang kaso, di ko kayang ibigay lahat kay Lord. Natatakot ako na kapag hindi ko ginawa ang lahat, I might become a failure. It all boils down to my insecurities. Heaven’s here but I have been blinded by my insecurities and weaknesses. Konting kibot lang, aayaw na. I am guilty and a fool. Truly I am. My faith is lacking. I am missing the point that I am strong because Christ is in me. Through the stories and lessons I learned during the sessions, I am able to be like Jesus. Dropping on my knees, focusing all of my attention to God. I seek for forgiveness, for healing and guidance. I do not have plans for my future, do not have anything but my faith. Not my will, Lord, but Yours.
Second, I realized God is knocking and I keep on shutting him down. Again, my fears has had me holding back. My uncertainty has gone to the highest level. I am only twenty-three, young and energetic but I do not know where I am going. I do not know where God wants me to be. This time I am really not sure of myself whether I am for single-blessedness or for religious vocation. God is calling me not just to rest for the weekend but for more. I know He is calling me but which way do I go? I can hear but not listen. That is why, in writing this story, I also want to ask for your prayers. I will not push myself for anything less and unlikely circumstances. Not my will, Lord, but Yours.
Maybe this long (written) story is the reason why I was not able to share His message to all of you during the CSW. Maybe my story is not only meant to be heard by and shared to SFL North Luzon. It is not my will to share this story here, but His will. I am made for so much more. I am marked for greatness. Greatness made in heaven.