I just arrived from our CrossWalk Christian Church’s Breakthrough Retreat. Fresh from the training ground, here I am, pouring my thoughts and realization in the three-day event.
It was a strange way to open up your Holy Week. Well, at least for me. It was first, if my memory serves me right, that I have been alone on this specific holiday, because typically, I’d be on outings or vacationing with my other relatives with a lot of activities piled on. That was especially true when I was way younger. When I got involved in the church, Summers are meant to be spent in church, it was vacation bible school here, vacation bible school and swimming with church friends, there. So it was really a sign of change that I was the only one left behind for this holiday. So I was not looking forward to the retreat. I already expected a typical summer program, that’s why my heart was so full of uncertainties, mixed emotions and longing, with a little bit of hidden agenda added into the mix. In short, I was very unprepared, unwilling and feeling unworthy to attend the said equipping program is because I have been ordered to and it is expected of me. Again with my obsession to please others so, there I went.
As expected, there are elements that I am already familiar with that occured in this event. However, as I get myself immersed in the MOOD, in the FEELING, I find myself really wanting to make this event worth its while aide from the things that are expected of me. So much expectations lead to so much disappointments, the saying goes, so I decided to really get in and FEEL the presence of the Lord.
To be perfectly honest with myself, I think I can definitely say that i have a longer attention span than others, and if I think that I can learn something from the experience of listening, then my attention span could last longer than the usual. With this, I lasted listening and actively jotting down the answers on the blanks provided in the manual and highlighting what I think are important stuff I need to pay attention more. Outwardly, you can say that I am actively participating in the marathon sermons. However, in that same day, I know it in myself that I’m having a hard time to really be open up myself and relate to the topics being discussed.
Don’t get me wrong. Yes I understand them; I know that it is correct, but as for the idea that I can see myself doing them and being in that situation, I somehow am truly TOUCHED, I cannot actively relate to that. It appeals to the mind, it explains my beliefs as a DISCIPLE, but not in the way that I can actively see myself as a whole accepting them and without reservations.
I prayed hard that night. no tears though. I think it became a relative subject that when you truly have been touched by the message, it involves tears, as a sign of evoking your true feelings. However, none was seen that night. I prayed hard not because I need to see tears, but because I wanted to deal my problems and ask for the Lord’s never-ending mercy and glory and forgiveness. I said, “Here I am, Lord, take me, mold me, wash me whiter than the snow. I’m so sick and tired of myself, I truly, really wanted to change.” At first I asked for radical changes in my life, but I think it is more realistic that I experience gradual change, which for me is a challenge, and also a blessing for me. My prayer goes, “Heal this heart, make it clean, make it pure, make it appropriate to be called your child, your servant, your disciple.”
You’d think by now I have already dealt with what I promised myself earlier this year, that I will release baggages of 2015 to stay in the area where it belongs – in the past. But what am I doing? I deliberately place myself in circumstances that my hidden agenda to be fulfilled, albeit the need to concentrate on the event which only wanted me to be equipped as a disciple.
By Day 2, another realization from that day, is that how come if I really wanted to wake up early, I can, but when I need to but don’t want to, I cannot? Am I a so backward-thinking person now that I make decisions upside down? So as early as three-thirty in the morning, I was there, taking a bath, for me to be able to accomplish the task of personal hygiene early in the morning, as we were advised that it will be a full day, and night ahead. Within the day, we were asked what have we learned from the previous day, do we have spiritual errors that are still visible in my life? I do not believe in horoscopes, but I find them amusing when I find a horoscope mentions things that I think I can relate to. So therefore, I must be careful about that.
When it comes to relational dysfunctions, I cannot help but look back on what happened with A. As I have said earlier, I already left my baggages in the past. It was a certain shock to find out that my hidden agenda, though I tried my best to deny that it was indeed in my list, happened. We finally got the chance to talk, like “Kamusta?” and I just, out of I don’t know, shock, I guess, that I just repeatedly say, “OK lang, OK lang” to the questions he said. He even tried to prolong our bonding when he invited me to join them and forage for food at Ptr. Johnny’s kitchen but only to be seen by the pastor himself that I was there. Of course, it will never look right. So I decided to cut back my moment of hoping that something might be cleared up, and go back to the reason why I am at the retreat. Not my hidden agenda, but the agenda of the Father in my life. It was not the end for that, even though I got slapped a bit by the Lord in that situation. I was put on the spotlight once again by (ewan ko ba kung friend o hindi itong si ) Joshua. where everyone, and I mean everyone was there. Pastora Alona, Tita Carol, his friends and the guy in question. He put me in the spot that I answered without thinking, and responded in the way I would normally-react to him – in jests and sarcasm. By the way, my pastor and other pastors were there as well, but for the sake of seeing it in my lens, the scene only involved the persons I mentioned earlier. Others were part of the blurred background.. I hope. Good thing that I had to be cut-off because the session has already resumed. I got a bigger slap on the back this time. It’s as of the Lord is saying, “Anak, wala pang 24 hours yung tinuro ko sa’yo, baka nakakalimutan mo na agad.” With that realization, I was floored. I was literally ashamed of myself, ashamed to face God, how foolish of me.
Good thing that it was already Day 3, and I said that this is the last chance to make myself immersed and be totally reminded of the enormity of GOD’S love for me. His generosity, in blessings, in forgiveness, H has unlimited supply. All we have to do, is bow down before his thronwn ad ask for the things we need, not only by our lips, but bu the heart.By the true self in its entirety, for it is only this that you can get to experience the spririt of the Lord. Which is the most amazing thing, as it happens Just imagine, I am this girl who just listens, and seldom obey. This is because I believe that I am more capable or intelligent than who ordered it. However, these did not hinder me to brought about the change in my heart.
—-At this time I’m to sleepy to continue.. I shall return! good night! 09:16 pm