To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of self-righteousness and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.
I came in late to the therapy session at church today.
As I anxiously lay down the pizza box I brought on the table. From the ups and downs of light rail way transit. Running up and down the escalators of Gateway mall. Going three routes as I hail through the Grab app shared car ride, dropping off two passengers before me. I can’t count how many times I took a deep breath just to stay calm and stop blaming myself for being late… again. Thank God for Pizza Hut restaurant, they allowed me to sit while I wait for them to do “square cut” of the large Hawaiian pizza… and no am not giving the “verdict” now for Pizza Hut. But on that point in terms of service, where in that table I quickly put on my eyebrows, got that tint on my chicks and moisturized my lips with the balm – finished by same blush to lip tint. The pizza came just right on time – so here’s the verdict 🏝🏝🏝🏝🏝 five islands it is!
So back to the story.
I quickly turned my ear to one of my life coaches, not noticing one of the girls were already crying.
Although I am starting on my devotional journey with the Celebrate Recovery Bible. I am now on the third book of the Glorious Hope Ministry therapy sessions. We are now on step nine, “we made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
It’s my turn to share.
My notebook is blank.
I didn’t wrote my assignment.
This is hard for me, I admitted to the group.
I said, I cannot ask forgiveness from my youngest sibling, the mother of my adopted daughter and niece. After that recent fight with her where she wants to pull a knife out of her aggression. I saw the anger and hate in her eyes. I cannot comprehend, how a sweet young sister turned so much anger on us. Yes not only me, but my second younger brother as well. Why? Because we were able to finish college and have a stable job at the bank. I am in the multinational bank. While my brother works for one of the biggest local and long running banks in the Philippines that dates back to Spanish era. While our youngest sister is a stay at home mother of three, she wasn’t able to finish college because of lying and pretending she goes to school. She didn’t finish college and got pregnant in her early 20s. More often than not, she blames us for her miserable condition. Or is it really miserable? Although the house they live now is the lot we inherited from our parents. We torn down the old house and I have used my own bonus from my Malaysian bank employer before to build a new house where they live now. I left them in that house and got my own condominium unit on bank home mortgage. Until now she continues to suffer from bi polar relapse. Her husband into gambling and womanizing. At times they go to my place particularly if their water or electricity gets cut due to unpaid bills. Hence also until now I am supporting her eldest child to school. It hurts, it’s confusing. Why so much hate? After all I have done to support her to college, even now I send her oldest child to school. Why so much anger?
It’s fine… when you are ready. In God’s time. My other life coach’ told me in her small and mild voice.
But I have to write down my script. Yes, the script of the exact words I am going to say to all, yes ALL. To all people I have done harm. What is the specific action to make amends. Will I write, call or meet in person? What will I say? What can I do to make it right – what are my next steps?
I learned today that writing the words to say sorry is focusing on my accountability. That I will do and have done my part. I leave the rest to the Lord. I have to keep in mind and heart that this is not the end, but the beginning of a lifelong journey. It is a process that I need to keep on repeating. A cycle I have to go through over and over again to become the daughter God wants me to be.
Why not? As they say forgiveness is not for the benefit of the other person. Forgiveness is for my own self, so I can be free from the strong hold of guilt, shame, resentment and all the lies that comes with it. That I have to take the initiative just as Jesus did on the cross. I was paid with a price. Who am I to hold a grudge?
The hardest part, aside from admitting that I am powerless to my own insanity and my life have become unmanageable, is not only admit but taking action. In humility of going through the step by step process, I am allowing God to mend not only my broken relationship with Him. But also to heal my relationship with others.
“I am sorry hubby…”
These were the last words I sent to Kevin, but still no reply, not a single response. You may want to hit my head and say come on Jane move your ass! But I still have this heaviness every morning to get up.
But every time I say with all sincerity in my heart.
I cry to God…
Lord help me,
help me to forget,
help me not to live in the past,
help me to embrace the new life You have planned for me,
help me to keep going,
help me to move on…
If this is God’s way for me to learn, how to be totally dependent on Him, day by day, moment by moment.
So be it.
Still I day dream of Kevin, holding me.
Kiss me until I cannot hold my breath.
That dream of giving him a child. The apo (child) his parents have long for.
I day dream of going back to Palawan and just see him appear from no where.
That he sought me, made effort to see me.
That he will smile from a far… embrace me and never let me go.
To be pursued.
But I have to wake up to the reality that not all dreams, even prayers are answered in this lifetime.
Just like a bride waiting for her groom.
In waiting, keeps her purity.
I know one day God will wipe away every tear.
There will be no more pain, no more sadness.
Old things have passed away, behold all things will become new.
Until then I have to set my eyes on eternity.
That this pain is all but temporary.
Joining this group of ladies allowed me to experience how to be accepted. To share all my flaws without the fear of being judged.
Hearing my self saying sorry to my niece for stealing her lesbian love letters.
Hearing my self saying sorry to my daughter for over reacting to my fight with her mother.
Hearing my self saying sorry because I can’t cook her breakfast before going to school at six a.m. That I arrive from work around one to three in the morning while she is fast as sleep. While I snore my way to deep sleep as she goes to school.
Yes, I just wish I could be a chef just like Catherine Zeta Jones as Kate, the Aunt of Zoe in the film “No Reservations”. Keeping her sanity to see a therapist and try her very best to be a mother to adopted niece.
I hear my self telling them my story of my childhood. How I come to know the Lord from younger years as a street kid of a children’s ministry. Unlike the age of iPhone and iPads today, I ran freely on the streets, like hiding inside big concrete drainage holes. During the 80s, our place at that time when asphalt roads and open canals are being replaced with white concrete. I told them, before my mother died, she wants us to bring the children to church. I want to do just that, bring my daughter to church.
We were all in tears.
For the first time in my life, I was able to say to my self.
I am not alone.
One of those solo trips to El Nido Palawan. This bar is used to be called the Mezzanine bar. It was torn down in one of those initiatives by the government to keep a specific distance from the shoreline. Here I met the Italian owner asking me personally why I want my pasta to be reheated, I said my braces hurts and I cannot chew your al dente pasta. He’s cute though… I heard he’s single. Just like Nicholas the Italian chef, who started with the wrong foot but ended up as the love interest of Kate in that movie “No Reservations”. Every time I go there alone he makes sure he makes a scene. Oh here I am day dreaming again…