Who I Am

I am a Catholic, but I have never been much of a religious person. I believed in God and His love, but it started and ended there. Nothing more, nothing less. My relationship with the Lord has remained in a state wherein development was not considered essential. On top of that, praying was not part of my everyday routine. I only prayed whenever I wanted or needed something, or whenever I wanted something to stop worrying me; especially with this crippling anxiety of mine that never fails to give rise to panic attacks caused by tiny, insignificant matters.

It was all because life kept me busy. Or so I thought it was life because I soon realized that it was only a scrap of it. To this day, my mind still fails to fully comprehend how a single experience can change one’s viewpoint in life.

Growing up with a strong personality, people would expect me to be one of the most assertive people they know. However, little did anyone know that little things can frighten me, and insignificant matters, such as being trapped in a room on my own, can throw me into a state of panic. It was only until recently when I discovered something more frightening than worldly threats and mundane things. Things that are beyond my control.

My fifty-year-old mother has had an unusual experience for her age last year. She was having an extreme heavy menstrual bleeding every other month. We inquired different people about it and most of them said that it is part of the menopausal stage, while others advised us to have my mother checked with a physician. Considering the latter’s advice, my mother had herself checked with an OB/GYN and was instructed to take an ultrasound and come back with the results. With the panic-inducing thoughts running through my mind, having to go into the hospital and wait for the results almost killed me. But what really killed me were the results.

The doctors discovered something in my mother’s ultrasound. After getting the results, we had them translated by our OB/GYN who said that there were polyps in my mother’s reproductive organ, which had been causing my mother’s bleeding for months. The doctors had to remove them and undergo a biopsy test to find out whether they were malignant or benign.

Knowing that cancer was prevalent in our family, my heart sank. I could not feel anything but fear and hopelessness. I felt like the world was ending. After seeing my mother’s broken expression, I thought about how cruel the world can be. I could never bear the pain of losing a loved one. I tried to distract my mind by thinking about other things, but the only thing polluting my mind was fear. It was until I called my father when we got home to tell him about my mother’s condition when I came to a realization that what I should be doing is seeking the One who has control over everything because what we are faced against is something beyond our control.

The first thing I did was pray. I asked for God to help us– to help me. It was the only thing I could pray to Him. Moments after that, I found myself searching for ways on coping up with anxiety with the help of the Bible. I then came across several verses of the Word that said exactly what I needed to hear, provided the comfort I needed to feel, and bestowed the peace I wanted to feel. And that peace was not the usual sort of peace that us humans feel, it was a form of peace that made me feel like my troubles never even fretted me in the first place.

Reflecting on the Word of God during the distressed state I was in, I could truthfully attest that the Lord genuinely hears and provides. I have fathomed that He has been and always will be there to guide and protect us. He will never forsake us. We only need to seek His kingdom and His righteousness first, and all of our burdens will forever be gone.

As my relationship with the Lord started to develop, the day of my mother’s surgery gradually arrived. During the surgery, although my faith kept me from being worried by remembering to trust God’s will, I still could not avoid feeling nervous. That being considered, I thought about meditating on the Word of God instead. After the success of the surgery, we had to wait for another week to get the results of the biopsy test. It was twice harder to remain unperturbed and not be anxious on the day of getting the results. I tried to meditate on the Bible, but I couldn’t resist feeling worried and nervous. As I heard my mother’s name being called by the OB/GYN’s assistant, all I could pray to God was, “Your will be done,” and then my mother and I went inside the doctor’s room.

As my mother and her doctor briskly exchanged their greetings, I let myself be in deep thought of what the Lord has promised in the Bible. I thought about all of the verses I have contemplated for the past few days, how they have given me hope, and how that hope will not be taken away from me at that moment. My mother then asked the doctor whether the results were malignant or benign, and the doctor gladly informed us that they were benign. I do not remember what the doctor said next, but what I do remember is how my mother’s and my eyes were flooded with tears. I was feeling a lot of feelings. It was like experiencing a miracle first hand. The words, “thank you, Lord,” ran through my mind the whole day. I called my grandmother right away to inform her about the results and she, too, could not contain her tears of joy. As we went home, the first thing I did was go to my bedroom, where silence is not foreign, and gave thanks to the Lord.

After experiencing the Lord’s miracle by having faith, I have learned to fear what should only be feared: God; for the world’s threats are temporary; but He alone can destroy both soul and body in hell. I have become aware of how there is so much more to all the Earthly things we experience, and how I must replace my anxiety with faith when walking in the darkness, for God will walk beside me. Because God has been walking beside me; beside all of us, for all time. Now, I deem myself more than just a believer of God, for I myself am a child of God.

Should I come up against a similar experience again, I will refuse to let my anxiety take control over my faith. I will not worry. Instead, I will have courage. I will ask the Lord to carry my burdens for me, for He alone can handle things that are beyond my control. The Lord will be the first one I will run to as soon as troubles arrive; and the Lord will also be the first one I will inform about when blessings and great news come. However, my relationship with Him will not end there once more. I will be talking to God regularly; tell Him all of the things running through my heart and my mind, the good and the bad, and thank Him for all the blessings he gave and will be giving, and for never forsaking me. I will further deepen my personal relationship with Him, and will forever seek His kingdom and His righteousness, for my life is only worth living if I live it for God.

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The Barista

A month has passed since the terrible incident that Martin has been neglecting to remember. Martin looked at his watch: 2:42 AM. 18 more minutes, he thought as he was cleaning the countertop. He remembered how Mr. Craig, his boss, said he was happy to see him doing well and gradually getting over it.

As he was wiping the glassware clean, an odd woman entered the bar. Martin welcomed her with a warm smile, trying not to exhibit his slight irritation. The woman was staring into the open space, looking really tired and exhausted as shown by the deep, dark circles under her eyes.

“Two of your best,” the woman said without caring to look at the barista. The woman appeared to be extremely worn out. It seemed like she had been drinking for a while.

Martin prepared the woman’s order and served it to her. The woman poured the beer into her glass and drank it in one gulp.

Martin, feeling uneasy, asked, “Er… Is there anything I can help you with, Madam?”

The woman was silent for a moment before letting out a sigh.

“How do you forgive yourself,” she whimpered, “after taking a little girl’s life for driving recklessly and running away with it?”

Martin fell silent.

Suddenly, he remembered his daughter asking for a giant teddy bear on her 7th birthday. He remembered promising to take her to the nearest arcade in town; how he would win the biggest teddy bear for her.

Then his memory switched to his daughter lying face down on the hood of his car, slowly losing her life after an SUV took a risky turn at their direction. He remembered how he had sworn he would never forgive the driver for taking his little angel from him.

The woman started sobbing. Martin comforted her and offered to give her another drink, and the woman accepted.

As Martin was preparing her drink, he tried to remember which drawer Mr. Craig put the revolver in.

Wendy Darling

I stared at the foot of my queen-sized bed

With a strange, heavy feeling weighing down my chest

Is it one of those stories that I have told

About a flying lost boy that never grows old?

 

Suddenly, something from the corner of my eye

Caught my attention and drove me to rise

A glimpse of a young boy’s fleeting shadow

Swiftly vanished as I glanced at my window

 

My thoughts and feelings impulsively regained

This somewhat bizarre, familiar pain

Flashes of memories have started to retun

Yet all those memories were beginning to burn

 

What is it that I was saying again?

I can’t seem to remember who, what or when…