#NLTC2015: Here I am, send me!


Last August, I hit my 1-year mark of stay in my Catholic community, Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon. Just when I thought that the past year had been an incredible journey of getting more intimate with the Lord, I didn’t expect that more surprises were waiting for me during the National Lingkod Training Conference (#NLTC2015) held last October 18-25, 2015 at Olongapo City.

Read: #TeamSingleNoMore: My Journey in Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon (ALNP) Davao.

The week-long journey with the Lord together with the brothers and sisters in the community from different parts of the archipelago and of the world was a first for me, not only in Lingkod but in my entire life. Simply describing the experience as life-changing was an understatement. In fact, I couldn’t put into words how overwhelmed I am, maybe to the point of exhilaration, with the things I grasped from plenary sessions, tracks, buzz groups, discussions and meditations, and most especially in the very powerful worship which made me shed tears during worship for the first time.

Buzzgroup from Deluxe 01: Grace, Maimai, Mira, Hazel, Russel
Team Seda Nuvali reunited: Met Cathee (Cavite) during the Seda Bloggers' staycation last December 2014 and Dominic (from North and Central Luzon) through travel blogging

It was just but another testimony that no storms will extinguish our faith, as we were traversing through rough winds and heavy rains on the way to the venue. The storm might have taken the electricity and all the servants’ plans away, but the powerful worship continued – a reflection that no matter how empty and stripped off we could be with our circumstances or no matter how dark our lives may seem, focusing on God is still the best and only idea to get out from the darkness and deepest pits of our lives.

When the song “Till You See That Your Home Is In Heaven” was played during worship, it invoked a plethora of emotions that I had been trying to run away from. It felt like I was taken back to one of the deepest moments that happened earlier this year, which were also the months in my life that challenged my commitment to the Lord. Yet during that time of worship, I realized that maybe sometimes, God allows us to be cracked open, so as to permit His light to shine through us and be shared to others, and that He needs to break our hearts so that we can share these pieces to more people instead of just giving it to one. Sometimes, His blessings are not in what He has given but in what He has taken away, because He knew we will remain complacent, comfortable and our much-needed growth wouldn’t be fulfilled if not for the stumbling blocks we encounter in our lives. And that at some point in our lives, we have to go through all the challenges, trials and persecutions so as to bring back our focus and reliance on Him who has overcome these things.

It was a sweet message for me that after everything that happened, only one thing remained – His love, and that no amount of hurt, pain, sinfulness, defeat, rejection and anxieties could prevail over His unceasing love for me. And what came out from such experience – a more intimate relationship with God – was worth all the pain I needed to go through.

Team Pisay: Jojie was my former student when she was still in HS and Krishna, my current co-worker
Team Taal, April 2015 : Dominic, Krishna, Grace and Chuck Ion (from Lingkod Ormoc)

This experience was another way of reminding me how God loves me so much, how precious and worthy I am in His eyes, that despite my imperfections and limitations, He chose me to be in this conference, to be filled with His love, not because I needed it more than anyone else, but because He knew that the more I get to know and experience Him, the more I can’t contain His love until I share it with others, most especially to people outside of the community who need it the most. But together with this reminder was a challenge – a challenge to get out of our comfort zones, to muster all our strengths and confidence to go beyond our boundaries for the fulfillment of His purpose. Terrifying as I first thought it would be, but then His Word has been constantly assuring me to never be afraid (Isaiah 41:10) as long as I keep my focus on Him and having faith that He is with me every step of the way.

With all the things that God has done and bestowed me with, who am I to say NO? After all, the Lord deserves my best – no more, no less – but ALL FOR THE LORD. And the wisest moments in our lives will be those moments when we wholeheartedly say YES to the Lord, and give all our best for His greater glory.

I don’t know what lies ahead of me. I don’t even know where the Lord is going to take me or in whatever state of life I am going to accomplish the mission He whispered in my heart, or how He is going to utilize all of me. But one thing I know holds true - all of the things that happened in the past or are currently happening in my life, or will about to happen, is a part of His great plan, and unfathomable it may seem as of the moment, I couldn’t help but surrender my life and trust in His plans, believing His plans are the best. God gives us all so we can also give our all to Him and for His purpose.

After all, I am just a mere mortal here on earth, created and molded by a great God who is using me for His purpose, very much open for more of His surprises. Indeed, the best is yet to come.

Whatever, whenever, wherever, forever. Here i am send me. 

To God be all the glory. 

Disclaimer: An excerpt of this post was already given during the plenary sharing at the final day of the conference. I was given only 3 minutes, too short of a time to share everything what I wanted to say, thus this lengthy blog post.

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