Beneath and above my failures

I keep shoving these words at the back of my mind. Too early for a year-in-review post, I told myself. But sleep eluded me as if telling me to get these words off my chest. And so here I am, scribbling in the middle of the night.

This week, I received a sad news. After complying with heaps of requirements and an interview, I was not considered to a scholarship abroad that I applied for two months ago. I took the news over the phone with composure and maybe a half-expectant-to-the-result tone.

My friend asked me, ‘how do you feel?’ I said I felt sad and thought my efforts were all wasted (though alam kong wala namang sayang). It was for that endeavor that I visited my university a couple of times to get official records, spent a fortune to take the IELTS exam, and spent more fortune for the medical tests. Also, the process was exhausting physically and mentally because I had to go back and forth to the recommending agency to make sure I got all the requirements correctly including the number-of-word specific essays.

‘Wala namang sayang,’ my friend reiterated. [Nothing is ever wasted.]

That night I slept well. Or so I thought. In the wee hours just like as I am writing this, I was awaken by an urge to pee. After a quick trip to the toilet, I felt enveloped by a strange blanket of sadness and hurt. I started crying when it dawned on me that this year has been in fact a series of failures.


 A series of unfortunate events

This year has been a year where I failed to guard my heart and allowed some reckless fellow to enter. Although it taught me a lot of lesson, it was difficult to move out of the mud.

It was also this year (along with 2017 probably) that I failed to take good care of my body which resulted in several trips to the emergency room and eventually on the operating table. The memory of everything about being in the OR still makes me shiver.

2018 was the year our office choral failed to win or even land a place in a prestigious national competition. This was after devoting all my evenings in practice, skipping a lot of sessions from my Bible class (which was difficult because this was in my goals list this year) and shelling out my own money for the costume.

And just last week during my 10-day vacation overseas, I failed to be more loving and patient to a family member. I am so ashamed for lacking with charity when this person gave the best for me all these years.

In tears, I looked at the manila paper I posted on my wall that says ‘Who am I?’ Instead of reading the bulleted statements I’ve written below, I listened to a song that just answers the question.


Who He says I am

I fully know that my failures don’t define me, and neither do my successes.  Stripped off with my abilities, career, and even my sins, who I really am? Without my mistakes and achievements, what is left of me?


I was lost but He brought me in.

I was set free.

I was and still am a sinner, and yet He died for me.

I am a child of God.


This is what remains – being His child and His immeasurable love for me, no matter what the season and circumstance I am in. The same love He gives to you and everyone else. And with this love, we have already won a sweeping victory (Romans 8:37).