A life changed by a priest

Way back in college, I was occupied with so many responsibilities both academic and extracurricular. I traveled a lot around the country and meet different people, some of them are famous political and showbiz icons. I was actively serving the Youth for Christ and at times, serve as speaker in various youth camps. I was living a very fulfilling life and there was never a time when I feel “bored with life”.

The drastic changes in my lifestyle since I came in Bangkok last year was difficult to handle. My work as a writer failed to give me the sense of fulfillment I would have acquired if I work in a development organization.  Though I succeeded in my task of raising our company’s sales, still I feel I was not able to fully use my knowledge and skills. My job didn’t give me the kind of challenges that I fought with as a student leader; challenges that somehow brought out the best in me.

Finding people whom I can relate with was also very hard. When I talk about books, global issues, life and the likes to my friends, they would gradually drop the topic. These things left me feeling isolated. It gave me the chance to delve into the past and mourn over the mistakes and wrong decisions I’ve made. Not so long, I fell in the trap of depression. The fall was high and it was very hard to get up.

I was left wondering how I will find myself again; how I will put up the pieces of my “shattered life”. The support and love of my family and boyfriend Omar was the only thing I’ve got to cling on. However, they are far from me; I couldn’t fully express my feelings to them and they couldn’t comfort me as much as when they are around.

Behind the tormenting agony lies the hope that someday all these things will make sense. I was on the lookout for His message for me. I always believed that everything happens for a reason and that no matter how bad are the circumstances, God’s blessings will always unfold at the right time.

Despite these small embers of hope that keep on burning in my heart, still I feel as if I was lost in the wilderness; I need someone to bring me back on track. And just when I almost give up, I met this priest who changed my life forever.

My officemate and friend Marlar told me she will visit a priest confined in the hospital just few blocks away from my apartment. I learned that this priest came to Bangkok alone for an operation after a motorcycle accident. Thinking of his situation alone in the hospital without anyone to call except the nurses on duty, I felt an urge to come not just to visit him but to assist him until he is fully recovered.

The thought of helping him didn’t happen as planned. On the contrary, he was the one who helped me; the one who carried God’s light back into my darkened life.

He patiently listened to my silliest stories, most of which were negative experiences. The load I carry felt lighter each time I share to him the things that confuses and hurts me. It wasn’t hard to open up with him as he is able to fully understand even my unspoken words; something only very few people can do.

Each day I am in awe with his wisdom and compassion. Every act he did, every word he said was full of lesson and meaning. It amazes me how he understand each person, with its negative and positive side. It amazes me how wide his understanding is and how he profoundly view life. It amazes me how he used only very few words to answer the many questions I had in mind.

He taught me how to forgive others and my past. He taught me how to live a simple life anchored on wisdom and faith. He taught me how to love myself. He taught me how to love others the right way and how not to lose myself in doing so. He taught me how to cherish the past, dream for the future and live the present moment to its fullest.

This great man whom I considered my guru, spiritual adviser and father helped me put up the puzzle together and let me see God’s message. He helped me appreciate my past, both the painful and joyful ones. He molded me to become a strong and independent lady but never miss to pamper the child in me.

Who would have thought that my depression could lead me to a person who became one of my life’s foundations? Who would have thought that his accident would make him heal many broken hearts?

Indeed, everything happens for a reason and every downfall we experience are part of God’s plan to give us only the best in life. Our suffering can either bring goodness to ourselves or to others. But, one thing is for sure, everything He brings us is for our own good.

Just as flowers only start to bloom in spring, His answers will be revealed at the right time He set in heaven. Like a beautiful rainbow that appears after a storm, our greatest blessings come after our hardest troubles.

God will never give us a cross too heavy for us to carry. And when we are in pain, we are never alone. He always sends people to manifest His immense love to us. I will always be grateful of what He sent to me. He never gave me anything less.

Now, I will go on with life keeping the most valuable lesson I learned from my guru: Always look straight forward.

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