Twenty Seven (Birthday Blog Part I)

Nope, this is not about the movie of a girl who had 27 different dresses for 27 weddings. My story is somehow close to hers though, only mine is maybe short of 20 dresses. This isn’t also a list of 27 things I noticed wrong about the society or the government nor a list of 27 things I love doing or places I plan going to. This is about my 27th birthday.

For my birthday, I decided to pull off something different for myself. Not the usual lunch or dinner dates with my friends and family which I have been doing since my 16th. I chose to spend my birthday with 81 other strangers in a retreat. It was a ridiculous idea, I know. I mean, who else wants to celebrate a birthday with unfamiliar people? But I didn’t care because all I came there for was to be with the Lord. And true enough, He has honored my decision with abundance.😊

At the end of the first day of the retreat, I was already telling and listening to the deepest stories to/of my fellows. We were already hugging and assuring each other that things will be fine or that God will provide. We were already laughing hard together, sharing meals, serving each other with our needs.

In the past, I believed that these kinds of things (being nice and all) happen in a retreat because people are expected and supposed to act nice and kind.

Today, I realized I was wrong. We were able to hug and love each other instantly because we all became open and vulnerable and accepting. Most importantly, it is because humans are made out of love and therefore capable of giving love, no matter what. And I realized this is something people don’t do outside the retreat, in the real world. Why? Because we are always on the look-out if others would just hurt us, cheat us, leave us, use us or ignore us, and so people (including myself) chose to play safe by not loving or loving too much.

The truth is we are all capable of loving people no matter what their looks or attitudes or shortcomings are. We just have to summon more love from the Lord. Kaya nga mayroong, Yes I love you with the love of the Lord. 😊 (Kinanta mo rin ba?)

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Fast forward to the end of the retreat (because I’m such a talker), I noticed that the servants were soaking wet with perspiration because of our worship and just jumping out of joy for us participants. (They have offered sacrifices too from leaving their day jobs to interceding for us the entire two days.) Their job must be hard, I thought. I pondered if I can give that energy in service to others on top of my work and relationships.

Then I understood that life is like that – uncomfortable because of exhaustion and perspiration and heartaches. Loving, growing, giving, dreaming and probably all else in life is uncomfortable, should be uncomfortable. When I am uncomfortable, it means I am leaving my comfort zones and exerting my best efforts, all eyes on the prize in the end.

Finally, I realized that my life’s progress depends on my willingness to cooperate with the molding of the Lord. If I wanted to grow faster than my current sluggish journey, I should be open to his pruning no matter how ugly or painful it is. Because at the end of the process, I am sure that he’s produced a masterpiece. 😊

Happy birthday to me! Cheers! 😊

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