Monday, February 21, 2005

Doing my Father's Will

I faced another big challenge in life: to make a decision that was sure to disappoint, displease and dishearten my parents. I tried talking to them last December but initial reactions were too emotional for all of us so I told them that I would need more time before I could explain to them about what I wanted to do with my life.

I have just finished talking heart-to-heart with Papa. He accepted my decision to investigate full-time work for the Lord, after expressing all his reservations. It was “THE Talk” that I had been dreading since the NLTC in October 2004, when I explicitly heard the Lord’s invitation to leave everything behind and to follow Him.

I will summarize here the highlights of what Papa said:

“Since I know you thought about this, your Mama and I cannot stop you from what you want to do. I have my concerns about how you will support yourself financially. I wish I were rich so you could have a trust fund and not worry about your living. I just want you to maintain your membership in the bar so that you will have a backup plan, if after three years you want to go back to being a lawyer. Since this is God’s call for you, who am I to stop that? I also have to surrender. I have to die to myself.”

I closed my eyes and thanked Jesus after hearing those words. Papa and I talked for an hour. Mama was already asleep when I got home from Gay’s birthday honoring, when I learned that I had to communicate with my parents, like Gay with her mother, so they would understand and support my desire to serve the Lord. I talked to Gay’s mother, and she said that it is important to do what God is telling us in our hearts, even if it means hurting our parents initially. That, coming from a parent, who told me she worries about Gay too, was like a go signal for me not to tarry anymore. As I shared before, close to fifty people already told me the same thing over and over. It had been confirmed and re-confirmed in different ways, as I shared in my blog.

On the way home, I shared with Sheila, who rode with me, my inability to communicate properly with my parents when it comes to the matters that are essential in my heart. Sheila reminded me that Abraham sacrificed Isaac, with faith. I arrived at our house and did not immediately open the gate. I cried out to the Lord and prayed for the right time and the right words. I felt him telling me to come into the house.

I prayed that if my father was still awake, that means I should talk to him. Then I had a vague vision of Jesus standing in front of the car and motioning for me to come into the garage, for He is waiting. Immediately after the vision, the lights in our garage went on. Only one person does that for me whenever I go home late. The time for “the talk” had come. I closed my eyes and entered our gate.

And so I was in the best state before talking to my father. I had been crying for almost two hours and was too emotional to rely on my own wisdom and strength. I was prepared to pour out my heart to him. I steeled myself for whatever the outcome was. I relied on the Spirit to give me the words.

I cannot explain why I fear my father’s wrath so, as I’m still in the process of going through counseling for that. This conversation was a giant leap for me.

I told my father that I wasn’t sure how this would end. It does not matter to me whether I would serve in Lingkod, CYA, CLASE, or CLAS. I would find out at the right time. All I know is that He is calling me and because doing His will is my only source of lasting joy, I have to respond to His call now.

Tomorrow is my first day of freedom after carrying a heavy heart since October. From among dozens of verses from Scripture that struck me during this whole discernment process, I would like to end this thanksgiving sharing with this one as the one which I feel the Lord is teaching me at this point. This is the first reading for Sunday, February 20, 2005, the day when I went as the Lord directed me. God gave me this word through my former spiritual directress, Sister Thea Quintos, rc, when I discerned about being BWM in 2002. I knew even then that God was not just talking about my service as BWM, but He was talking about my entire journey in serving Him.

Gn 12:1-4a

The LORD said to Abram:
"Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk
and from your father's house to a land that I will show you.

"I will make of you a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
so that you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you
and curse those who curse you.
All the communities of the earth
shall find blessing in you."

Abram went as the LORD directed him.

To God be the glory forever.

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