"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. " Matthew 13:44-46 (RSV)
I am thankful that I had this verse in my heart as it helped me smile while explaining to my aunts and uncles earlier at dinner why I was setting aside my law career in order to serve the Lord full-time. I was prepared for their reactions this time and handled their questions with more grace than I thought I could.
Finishing my cases while working alone at the office the past weekend brought to the fore many realizations regarding my decision. I reviewed if I was indeed comfortable with it. Since I had too much coffee, I couldn't sleep and turned on the TV. "Laws of Attraction" was showing on cable, a movie about two hotshot lawyers who fell in love and got married while working as opposing counsels at a high-profile divorce case. One of Pierce Brosnan's lines was beautiful. He said, "Don't think that I married you in order to advance my career. I don't care about my career! I care about you." His wife melted. She had to.
What would make a person give up a good job for something that would pay nothing, and is hard to explain to your relatives who are expecting you to be either a big-time corporate lawyer or an aspirant to the judiciary? If only I could tell them that I had indeed gone out of my mind, and thank God that I am back. I had around six pairs of titos and titas cross-examining me during dinner held in honor of my late grand-aunt who passed away one year ago. I brushed aside the questions about why I am not yet married, why I don't have a boyfriend, and why I have no plans of migrating to another country to earn dollars and/or meet a Caucasian future husband, in one fell swoop when I announced that I would only be working as a lawyer until June 15, to take up full-time service for Lingkod. "Lingkod ng Bayan ba iyan?" "Magmamadre ka na?" "Bakeeeet?" "Ipinagmamalaki pa naman namin na may abogada kaming pamangkin sa korte na magaling magsulat!" Smile, Ella, smile.
There was no easy way to break the news, but I had gotten used to talking about it. I was not offended. I did not want to offend them, either, by being preachy or high and mighty, for I knew that there were a thousand uncertainties about my future and I could not assure anyone, not even myself, that things were going to be perfect. I was confident, however, that God had everything planned out.
I looked at my mother and she seemed more used to the idea as well. I wanted to tell my relatives that I have found the pearl of great price, something I had been searching for, and everything else have paled in comparison to that knowledge in my heart that the Lord was calling me to serve Him. That was the truth deep down in my heart. I smiled and told them that this was what I wanted to do. Over the past few weeks, I have learned to coax different people out of their disappointment at my "poor career choice" by smiling at them and assuring them that I was not leaving the legal profession for good and that I was doing something that I loved.
I am doing something for Someone I love. I have tried to choose the better part, and even though it is causing me my sanity sometimes to try to balance everything, I still feel peace, joy, and excitement. Jesus suffered through death - that was the greatest price paid of all. Everytime I complain or am tempted to complain, I only look to Him and I remember what love really means and what is awaiting me after all these. That is the Pearl of Great Price.