/ Week 22 /
This photo recently made its way on to the internet when one of my classmates back in high school posted it on Facebook.
That’s our class photo when we went to Mayon Resthouse for our field trip back in 2004. That’s thirteen years ago!
I am not certain as to why I was hiding myself in that photo. All I know is I dislike to be photographed since i was young.
I always had a feeling that I am a bit different from the rest (until now. Haha!)
I like being alone. I enjoy my own company. I am more comfortable when I do things alone — eating, walking, going to a certain place, etc.
I like being quiet in a corner. I love my quiet time at the library. I often talk to myself, and pretend I am a character in a movie. (So if you see me alone and murmuring, don’t worry. It’s my normal state of being, haha!).
My introversion is not consistent though. Sometimes I become so outgoing, especially if I’m with people whom I am comfortable with.
But most of the time, I often find myself coming back to my real self — quiet, reserved, and enjoying solitude.
When I tell others that I am an introvert, they do not believe me because they see me as so interactive and engaging. But deep inside, I’m just trying (and maybe developing) to be a more people-person. (And I’m quite selective; but believe me, I’m trying to change, hehe)
We are unique
I have always hated the way I look. When i was in gradeschool, there was almost never a day that i did not get bullied because of this.
My classmates used to call me a walking bamboo stick.
They’re also fond of calling me Bugs Bunny because of my humongous teeth. Dodeng Daga was also my nickname.
Some of them also used to mock me because I pronounce letter S, C, and Z incorrectly.
They also make fun of the way I write, because I hold my pen differently.
Because of these, my performance in school was a bit affected, especially in activities that require interaction with my classmates, recitation, etc.
I felt fear.
I felt insecure.
Let me tell you a story.
I was in grade three then. I was the assigned pledge leader during our class flag ceremony. I told my mother that I won’t go to school because I was so nervous to be in front of my classmates. I was so afraid of them. I was so sure that they will laugh at me, as if I am a clown at a birthday party.
My mother insisted that I go to school. And so, as a helpless child that I was, I went to school feeling like I was about to be beheaded.
It’s time for the flag ceremony. My heart was racing in nervousness. My hands and knees were shaking. I raised my right hand and it wiggles like crazy. I started to lead the class in reciting the pledge. “Panatang makabayan, iniibig ko ang bansang Pilipinas……”
Though nervous and my voice was so shaky, I continued because I had no choice but to do it.
These are some of the moments that actually made my younger years terrifying!
But things changed when my age and faith ripened, and when I decided to have an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Fearfully and wonderfully made
Psalm 139:14 says,
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
The set of DNA that composes our being is exactly unique from those of other human beings on Earth.
We are unique in so many different ways and sometimes, it takes time for us to realize that each of us was created the way God wanted.
The God who created heaven and earth (El Elyon) is the same God who created us. And I truly believe that we were created in His image (Genesis 1:27).
At 26, I have learned to accept and love myself even more.
I am thankful for my height because I can reach what others can’t. I don’t feel suffocated when I am in a sea of tall people such as in the MRT. When it’s crowded, I can easily see things from afar.
My speech problem encouraged me to keep on practicing. Now I can pronounce all letters correctly — the S, C, and Z.
Funny how God changes things. Who would have thought that the kid who was once so afraid is now able to speak in front of many people! Though still feeling unafraid sometimes, it does not bring me down anymore because God told me that I can do all things through His grace.
The way I hold my pen does not matter anymore. I can hold it the way I want to. I have learned that what’s important is the message that I write, not the way I write it using my pen.
My teeth are still big, but nobody calls me bugs bunny nor dodeng daga anymore.
They call me by my name and it sounds so beautiful to me.
We are all gifted
The Lord is so generous when it comes to blessing His children.
We all have our gifts that we can use to bless others, and bless God.
Though we may not have what other have, there is always that one thing that we have that others don’t.
I believe that we complement each other in this world. God is so good!
Before I end, allow me to share this beautiful message from Joel Houston, a singer-songwriter from Hillsong United. This has really pinched my heart when I read it last week!
“He has always carried us. But the paradox is it us who carry his flesh. We carry his brokenness in us. A brokenness that was broken for us so that we might know His righteousness. There is no condemnation for those who believe in Christ Jesus.
If anyone tells you that you are not good enough for God, nobody is. Jesus is good enough for us. He loves you just the way you are. He meets us where we are at. Just keep on following Him. Keep stepping up day after day, failure after failure. His grace is always good; His mercy is never failing.
So the next time that you find yourself feeling sorry about who you are, about how you look, and about how others perceive you, please know that God loves you just the way you are.
The way that the world labels you does not matter as long as you know that Christ lives within you…that you are completely identified with Him.
Entry for week 22 (and all those past weeks that I have not written anything maybe because of my businesss or laziness). Will try to be more faithful to my commitment this time!