Tuesday, December 7, 2010

HOPE: A Year After

It was first week of December last year when I finally agreed to attend this "gathering". It was over a year of encouragement and invitation when I said 'yes' to Joseph, former colleague. The first time I stepped on Cuppage Plaza was full of questions. Why are there many Filipinos here especially when I reached the fifth floor and near the entrance. Why all of them were so nice? Why all of them look so young? Why all of them seems to be so happy? I was introduced to others and all of them were very accomodating which also made me ask myself "close ba kame?" but eventually I realized that it was their natural way of welcoming a new member of the family. Then the program (I used to call it that way) started and I was very shocked of what they were doing. They were singing and dancing to those songs that I never heard before. yeah, I admit that I was about to laugh that time but thankfully I managed to control it. Then the Pastor Christie started to speak and immediately I was impressed the way she talked and explained some verses of the bible. Then it ended after more than two hours and I told to myself "it was the longest night of my life". I believe in God but I wasn't that very religious at all but I used to attend several young church related groups when I was in elementary but after that, I became busy with my studies.

So after several days, Joseph invited me again to their "caregroup" and I told myself (yeah, I really love talking to myself) "oh, for sure it's the group that cares (with a laugh)". It was actually their Christmas Party and I enjoyed it, they were funny, cheerful, the kindest group of people ever and they even provided a gift for me for the exchange gift and I really appreciated it. So I was encouraged to attend their weekly gathering, it wasn't a perfect attendance before (because I was on shifting job) but I enjoyed attending it so I ensured that if I'm in the morning shift, I will really attend the caregroup. On the second time I attended the Sunday service, I realized that I was tapping my feet and it seemed like dancing (uh oh), on my third service my lips were started to sing even if I don't know the song (aha!). I was able to meet new faces and friends but the most important things were: I was able to know Him better, understand His teachings, live a new and blessed life and to love Him more.

After few more months I became more active and became more interested in His words. My life during that time was smooth and no (major) problems were encountered. But I realized that there are always tests and obstacles that you need to face. I had big problems for the months of July and August, family related and career related. There were times that I wanted to give up and those times that I do not want to talk to anybody but I was able to tell to a friend that I was in pain (and yeah I was crying when I was talking to her on the phone). I did not attend caregroup and Sunday service for two weeks and I felt really bad for myself. But I told to myself (I told you I love talking to myself) that I shouldn't give up, I believe that there is a purpose for everything that was happening to me. I did not lose my trust in Him, I just needed a time for myself that time. During those times I became closer to Him and spent more time (yeah more time than going to gym) to read His words and to talk to Him. I returned to the caregroup and my CL was teasing me that "o bakit ka nag-hibernate?" but I returned a smile and shared to her what happened to me, on how I felt when I was really down and how I was able to stand and face the world again.

It was a good thing I have my Joseph family that time. Eventually I have survived and managed to rebuild myself and be active again. I was able to come up with creative ideas for our unit. I believe that I am a better person now and I believe that He will always be by my side and I am confident how much He truly loves me and He has plans for me. Now after a year with Hope Filipino Church, I am still with the Joseph unit and they assigned me to organize our upcoming Christmas party, just in time to celebrate my 1st year. Yes indeed, it was a "group that cares".

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