Saturday, July 04, 2009

From Failure to Blessing

I have realized today how God really moves in mysterious ways, yet He uses everything for good.  There was one aspect of my life that I considered a failure, but in hindsight, it paved the way for one of His greatest blessings.

I failed the presidential elections three times in my life.  Three times in my life I ran; three times I lost.  

In grade school, high school, and law school, I was encouraged to run and I said yes.  In the School of Economics, I had the good sense to run for vice-president, and won.  I cried when I lost in grade school, laughed when I lost in high school (such a relief!), and just smiled when I lost in law school.  

But running while I was a law student was very difficult.  My heart wasn't in it, because I was getting tired of politics.  My mentors, the kingmaker who was behind our party's straight win when I was a sophomore (I won as Treasurer), and the President who I absolutely adored, gave me a big pep talk and asked me what was wrong.  I was the standard bearer and yet I could not keep the party together.

The truth was that I only ran out of obedience.  While I was discerning whether or not to say yes, I went to the UP Chapel and attended mass.  I heard a song that had always moved me to say yes to the Lord - "Here I Am, Lord".  So running for president did not become a thing I had to do for my party or my convictions, but for the Lord.  I remember crying so hard because I was tired of putting myself out there to serve and being the object of mudslinging as a reward.  I was too idealistic for politics.  My Ninang already forewarned me about that when I first e-mailed her that I was being asked to run again.

As I said, I lost in that election.  I gave a speech from the heart during the final face-off, more for my friends and partymates than anyone else.  When we found out the results, the party members had lunch at Chocolate Kiss cafe.  There was companionship, friendship, and camaraderie.  I felt grateful for the chance to be part of that idealistic, passionate, and brilliant party.  The party's name was Gabay.  I have remained friends with those people, all lawyers now, through the years after Malcolm Hall.

Two years later, when I was already a lawyer, I resigned from the law firm I was working for without a job in sight.  I just followed my heart.   As usual.  Then I got a call from Cherry, who ran for P.R.O. with me in Gabay, two batches below me so I would not have become close to her had I not run for President, and with whom I clicked as we had the same outlook in work and life.  She said that she had heard that I was looking for a job, and asked if I could work for her mother, who was then an Associate Justice at the Sandiganbayan, a mere seven minutes away from my house.

And the rest is history.  I happily worked for three years in that Court, until I heeded the call to be a volunteer mission worker.  In August, I'm going to work for the same Justice again after four years, and this time with Cherry, who has joined her mother as one of her legal staff in the Supreme Court.  

I remembered this story because this morning, my favorite uncle (from the US) called, and my father bragged to him about me working for the Court.  He excitedly asked to talk to me and then I said, "It's no big deal, Uncle."  He said, "It is a big deal.  Your father and all of us here are very proud of you."

I went back to my room and thanked God for the job opportunity, which I got again so easily, and which as a result, I had taken for granted.  I had tons of friends who worked for the SC so I had forgotten that not everyone could get this chance.  This led me to thinking as to how I got the chance:  by obeying God even if it was difficult, by going through failure, by being tested in fire, by being led to the right people, and by giving my best.

Yea, my life is hidden in Christ.  I thank Him for directing me and taking me to new places.  

He does this for all of us.  So let us not look at failures as final, but just as means to make way for even greater blessings.  I know.  I have failed a lot and He has worked miracles through each failure.

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