Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2007: sort of...

2007 has been a good learning experience for me. That year has also been fairly good to me. That year also marked the first time that I officially made fellowship with some of the old church people: the alumni homecoming. I also took advantage of that occasion by talking to my former youth director (now a Pastor in ParaƱaque City). I asked if he really said some negative stuff. In other words, some issues were clarified.

2007 is the year in which my leadership in the Young People’s Fellowship went through an acid test. It’s my first time to lead the youngsters’ delegation at National Baptist Young Convention 8. Yes, that convention also caused the ire of my ex-girlfriend because, judging through her text messages, she doesn’t like me attending Baptist fellowships (she doesn’t want me to move on smoothly). It was in this year that for the first time, I organized a sort of a Youth Rally called YPF Day 2007. 3 churches participated, excluding the host church. 78 youngsters attended in that event. The YPF Day became a blessing to the new church to the point that the new church pastor was full of energy, despite the fact that he’s not feeling well. Praise God, because of YPF Day, the new church Pastor trusted me more. It’s easy to lead when people trust your leadership. By the way, this year also is the first (and I hope not the last) Umpog Ulo Bible Quiz Bee. Indeed, if the youth ministry has an organized program, members will take notice, one way or the other, even if you’ll not announce. I didn’t expect this warm response from the members, and even the youth members themselves. They are excited whenever there is an activity.

2007 is also the year that I boldly participated in Komikon 2007. That is my break as an independent comic strip artist. Yes, other more popular indie artists will say that not all indies are good and some are garbage (though I agree with that also), at least it’s a fulfillment for me. As for me, I did my best to improve and I poured my heart into GradS Tayo. For me, you can only call something as “garbage” if you don’t give a significant effort into it. I did.

2007 is also the time that my ex-girlfriend gave her fierce statement. She didn’t want me to go back to the old church yet (based on her mother’s statement). Even until now, I don’t know what will be her response to that. I don’t know what will be her mother’s response once she will be reprimanded for that. Still though, I said to the old church pastor that the burden of forgiveness and asking forgiveness is no longer mine, but hers. I added that right from the start, I have never been the cause of delay (except of course when I became silent for about 6 months. The people, not me, are not ready to hear stuff). I also realized that I must really do my best this time in the new church. I admit, because of the “technicalities” that you’ll not be rewarded by God if your service is not based in the local church, I said that I’ll serve God, with or without the reward. Besides, even if I don’t serve Him, there’s a part of me that wants to serve Him. Because the old church said that it’s not yet time because my ex-girlfriend didn’t forgive me yet, I told the church through the pastor that it’s no longer my fault. Yes, it may be still a consequence of my sins, but the “holding of clearance” is no longer in my hands. I admit though, I’m praying that my ministry here in the new church will be recognized by God as valid (if He’ll not reward me, it is okay). After all, how can I go back in the church that doesn’t allow me to go back, even if I admitted my mistakes and willing to serve the sentence? 2007 is also the year that I learned to live a life without the old church. Yes, the hurt is still there, but I left it all to God. I just hope and pray that the old church members will open their minds and understand that it takes two to tango.

2007 is also the year that I failed the comprehensive exam twice. I learned to accept what happened to me. I don’t know if that is part of the consequence or just a distraction for me not to keep on serving God. Still though, by God’s grace, I didn’t take those failures seriously. Thus, YPF day was successful.

I also met sweet girl Amie Kenneth Loyola. She’s sweet, considerate, makes me feel that I’m in charge. She said that she likes my humor and talkativeness. The feeling is mutual, but we remained good friends. She understood what I stood for, I understood hers. Still though, I’m still praying that she’ll have that true born again experience (though she professed her faith).

At the last quarter of the year, Hazel Jane, a former classmate, and I developed from classmates to buddies. Indeed, God gives friends IF you abide with Him.

2007 has been a good year to me. I laughed. I cried. I screamed. I shouted. I whispered. I learned. I don’t know what 2008 will give to me, but I want to leave this post with a quotation from a film that I watched just before 2008 begins:

“Life is an occasion…rise to it!”

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2007, welcome 2008!

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