Spending time with someone you truly love is one of the most treasured moments one could ever have. Though the world turns upsidedown and distance will always set you apart, love will always find its way.
Three years ago, I left Laoag in the Philippines and stopped my journey as an aspirant of the Daughters of Divine Zeal. I went home to spend time with my family and friends in Pangasinan and I enjoyed every moment of it. With jokes here and there, I laughed with my friends but at the end of each day, those laughter and giggles faded away. I found myself with nothing. The happiness brought about by those earthly things was just temporary. I always end up asking myself this question: “Others thought that I had everything I wanted but if there’s really nothing missing in my life, then why do tears come at night?” I yearn for something – for something many cannot understand. But now I am grateful for this moment that is given to me: spending time with Him in the presence of the family I considered as my own – the Daughters of Divine Zeal.
It was my first time to go to Marikina but along the way, (five hours of travelling alone from Pangasinan) I never felt fear. On the contrary, I felt excitement and enthusiasm. It was like going back to my homeland after long years of staying in foreign lands; from being apart to being a part. The warm welcome of the sisters and the smiles in their faces made me feel like this is where I really belong. As I see them I can’t keep myself from reminiscing the past and thinking about what I’ve missed for over three years. But every second, every minute and every hour of everyday, two weeks of being with them is more than forever! Days went so fast but ordinary days became special and extraordinary. Most importantly, it was such a treasured experience to be with the Lord in the moment of silence.
Out of the thousands of voices I hear, it is only God who speaks in the silence of my heart. It is that time when I felt peace. Also, I have had meaningful realisations and discoveries about myself and other things; about what it is meant to be in the religious life. Perhaps, following the Lord’s way is the road less taken because it is not as easy as the other roads which the world offers. It needs courage to dare, take risks and leave everything behind so that you can submit yourself completely to Him. In addition, those who choose to follow are not exempted from various kinds of struggles. But based on my observation, no matter how difficult it is, I can say, though I may not exactly feel what they feel, the sisters are experiencing great joy from within as they laugh, work, pray, struggle (or sometimes frown maybe because of a headache…).
Lastly, I find myself unworthy of being called as a labourer in the Lord’s harvest. I’m still afraid to take risks and go wherever it will take me, still not ready to detach from things and leave everything behind. But despite these, whether called, chosen or not, I hope that with God’s grace and through the prayers of those who care, I can one day say with courage, ”HERE I AM LORD, SEND ME!”. With that, like Mary I can also sing, “MY SOUL IS JOYFUL, MY SPIRIT IS GLAD…”