Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Update 6? Continuing the Stories...

Sorry for taking so long to sit back down and write, although I have still been avidly writing in journals or on random pieces of paper ha. I am home now, got home 3 nights ago and am still adjusting to the time. It feels great to be home, but let me tell you it is NOT the same. I think the Holy Spirit packed itself into my carry-on and cam back with me stronger than ever. I am constantly overwhelmed by Him and His apparent presence in my life. I definitely underestimated how much I had grown and received while I was abroad. It is so beautiful. I also underestimated how "integrated" my life had become and how He is present in every corner of it. All of those prayers concluding my updates like "flood me" and "overwhelm me" or "let me encounter you" or "reveal yourself to me" are HAPPENING!!!! Maybe He always has been encountering me here, and I was just never listening or sensitive enough to realize it. Do you think that is true for yourself?

Before I get in to the last days of the Philippines, I HAVE to share this story. It is very personal and I did some discerning before I decided to share it with the whole world wide web. This happened last night, March 29th around midnight...

So Cameron had come up for the night to watch the movie The Fighter, and we had just been hanging out with my fam and eating tons of my mom's cooking. It is a school night of course, so everyone went to bed and Cameron and I were left to our movie. If you have seen The Fighter, you know that is is a very compelling, heart wrenching movie (not a movie to be easily distracted from) and yet I was so distracted. Since I've been back, as you can imagine, I am so excited to spend time with my boyfriend. I feel like a crazy person in a way that I can't get enough of him. I just want to give him all of my attention and affection etc. So during the movie, I started getting a little hot and heavy and not like he wasn't into it, but I was definitely the one pushing it.

I kind of slowed down and continued watching the movie but was still so far off and distracted. Cam was intent on the film and I got the most overwhelming, flooding sensation of guilt and hurt and just like a "it-hurts-my-tummy" bad feeling. I just started crying. It was silent at first, and then as Cameron started noticing it got worse until I was pretty much sobbing like a baby in his arms. For lack of better words, (sorry) I felt so shitty. I felt SO BAD. WHAT WAS I DOING?!

For probably an hour or so, I didn't understand this feeling I was having or why and Cameron just comforted me and patiently asked me questions trying to get out whatever was melting my insides. His phone buzzed across the room on the kitchen counter, he ignored it and just kind of kissed my forehead. All this time I was sputtering and trying to grasp this intensity that was in me. I questioned my body for a sudden increase of hormones, but knew that that wasn't really it either.

Cameron scooped me up and sat me on the counter. He opened his phone and we both read a text from our sweet friend Scott. It was a verse from Philippians (I don't remember which one) and honestly the only part I remember was "Press onward." At this point I kind of cried again, and then busted up laughing with Cameron. I didn't get "it" even then, all I knew was that it was GOD that was really trying to speak to my heart. And here I was, so caught up in lusting after my lover that He had to bat my heart like a pinata until I realized how HE was feeling about the situation.

We sat back down on the couch and it was then that I started to comprehend. "I think He's mad at me..." Cameron was like, "Babe, who is mad at you??" (Ha poor guy, so confused lol) And I could only point UP. How funny I didn't even say the word "God" I was almost too ashamed to say it. I just cried again and said something like, "I'm so sorry...I feel SO bad..." God was telling me, "Um hello, even in the midst of all I have done for You in the past month, you have forgotten me in a second?" It wasn't even that I had forgotten Him, but that I just turned my back on Him so simply, in a moment of reverting back to habitual sin.

Long story short, even in the midst of all this spirit of my trip and amazing experiences of God, I fell back into sin. Just as I felt in Malibay how God burdened my heart with pain that He felt for his abandoned children, so He burdened my heart with the "bad feeling" or hurt He feels when I sin. It was horrible. At the same time, He showed his generous mercy and encouragement through a simple verse from our friend and from my Dad.

Again this morning, Cameron and I got a text from my Dad. 1 Peter 3.

 "1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it sight5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
 7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."

Again, so simply put into my life, but with such great meaning to me. My Dad had no idea about all this, but whatever compelled him to share that, got straight to the core of me.

I guess I just had to share, that even in a feeling of the top of the world, we are prone to sin, because we are human. I am so sorry, for something that might seem petty to the world, but was so heavy in God's heart.

I hope that me sharing my deepest feelings and conviction and forgiveness that God will reveal to you the same in Your life.


Back to stories from the PI :) I think I left of with right before working at Hospicio De San Jose. I'm pretty sure I captured the first day of the party and the special needs kids and bathing/clothing some of the orphans...Here are some reflections on day 3:

Wednesday I was with the 6 -18 monthers. Same group as Tuesday but combined with the 1-2 year olds. I pretty much stayed in that little playroom the WHOLE time. There were more kids so I was even a little more occupied than the previous day, picking up crying babies, wiping snotty noses, distracting jealous babies who weren't being held, singing and playing, and bouncing the cranky ones to sleep. It reminded me how truly NEEDY kids are in general. The literally NEED attention, they NEED comfort, they NEED love to grow.

This is a little disturbing but must be shared, as I'm sure it happens at many orphanages around the world too. This one little boy, Nino, who was probably closer to two than one years old, was so cute and a little chunky and had a full-of-life personality. When he was being played with, he was great. He was happy, he was laughing and smiling, he was even loving back. I had been carrying him on my hip and my muscles were ready to put him down. I set him on his tummy and picked up a different kid. Nino started banging his forehead on the non-matted floor repeatedly. I was in shock but immediately put the other kid down and picked him up again. He was wailing crying but literally as SOON as he was in my arms again, he was fine. One of the nurses gave me a reassuring look, as I'm sure my face was petrified at what just happened, and said, "Ya, we have to be careful wit heem, he throws bad tantrums." Um, okay yah, a bad tantrum...WHAT??? This kid is suffering from serious emotional/behavior problems! I have never known a regular tantrum to include self-mutilation, especially from a two year old!!

Maybe these types of actions are more common then I think, but regardless, it was such a horrible thing to witness. And you know what? There were multiple times throughout the day when OTHER kids would do the same- hit there heads on the ground, on the wall, hit their on heads, etc. By telling you all this, I don't mean to disrespect the staff in any way- they are so loving and do all they can to love on and protect the kids. Its just impossible to watch 25 kids all at once. We would usually get to the tantrums in a few seconds, but still, those kinds of actions are SO damaging to the child, physically and emotionally.

It is these kinds of things that make me realize how many kids out there are suffering from lack of just LOVE. They are starving for attention, affection and affirmation. It makes me want to ship the whole orphanage over here and distribute them to each family in the church. Isn't it our responsibility as Christians to care for the orphans? How many times in Scripture have we read to "care for the poor and the orphaned" but never thought twice about it? I am sorry to kind of preach at you through this, I was just so like- wanted-to-do-something-about-it. I can finally relate to why Katie in Uganda just abandoned her own life to mother and love on the orphans there.

On a lighter note, I fully enjoyed lovin' on the kids. They were so receptive and so beautiful. He was in every single one of them. AAAnnnddd if an of you ever go to Hospicio, ask for Sister Socorro- they are very welcoming of any help they can get.


Thursday, March 22nd I got to the scenically gorgeous Batangas, which is about 3 hours south of Manila on the east coast of the Philippines, touching the China Sea. I went with Richard and his Tita Chel, so great and car-rides filled with great conversation :) Here is my reflection...

"The Lord knows my heart best and He knew from the beginning that 21 days was the perfect amount of time here. I saw the city the province, the rich, the poor, the malls, ate all the food, got stuck in traffic, went to my parent's place in Subic, lived with nuns, worked at several orphanages, went to the beach and HE WAS PRESENT THE WHOLE TIME- if we choose to notice Him, He is always present.

I got my dream of a shell covered beach today, I am fascinated with the artistic brilliance and detail in each shell. I marveled at His creation and in the sunset. It was a perfect sunset and I couldn't get enough. i stared for a while watching "God's light" shine through the clouds and pile up reflection on the water. Then it turned a hot-pink orange sun to only light pink and purple clouds.

It's time to come home.

Thank you my sweet Lord for loving me so much and giving me such a beautiful and full journey. I will surely pass on all I have learned and the love you have shared with me. Amen."


Like I said, I am so happy to be home, and so happy to be with family. So happy to talk, share, reflect and pray. I enjoy being alone and feel such a calmness and peace in just enjoying simple time. I feel like this is the tip of the iceberg. God has only revealed the smallest amount of Himself to me and it is so unimaginably powerful. His love is indescribable. I am madly in love.

My Great Creator, Savior and Spirit,
You are worth every second of pain, of uncontrollable laughter, of every tear, of every bold moment, of every fear, of every sacrifice and so much more. You inspire me through the life of Your son and free me with Your spirit. I am so joyful in You. I am so at peace with You.

Lord, thank you for being so merciful in times of failing. Only Your love could be so forgiving and so understanding of our simple human minds and souls. Give me strength to be God conscience every breath of my day and to speak of Your name any opportunity I have. Give me courage to not sugar-coat things, and speak only of the Truth. Help me to be a true sister in Christ and to ignite those around me. Help me to be a role model. Lord, all of these things are only possible through You. You are so mighty and so Holy and I praise you for how truly magnificent You are. 

I ask that you be with my sister. I feel called to be closer to her and only through You are those deep relationships possible.

I love you with my whole being and I am your handmaiden wherever in the world I am, at any moment. 


1 comment:

Chel Tria Galang said...

Beautiful article.. sharing your blog site on my wall.. this is too beautiful to not be shared, Erin. Missing you here in the Philippines. God bless you!