I Learned My Lesson

Friday, September 11, 2015

"...You should learn your lesson this time!" shocked, upset, hystericalthey begged me from the other end of the line.

Of course... I recalled how things happened so unexpectedly, how the waters became all fierce, furious, stronger and deeper as we cross; how I had that first row seat watching the waters claim the lives of our friends, one by one... how I fought against the current, how I reached and held on to a hovering tree to save my own. I recalled my desperation, my helplessness...

I knew my parents had their share of the horror, and I understood that I caused them pain, so I admitted, sobbing, "I know... I'm so sorry. I learned my lesson... Never again." 

There, it meant saying goodbye to something I truly love, giving up on adventures and no more; at that moment, I was overtaken by my fears and feeling totally at fault... I never believed their worries and their natural pessimism towards (their only child's) adventures. I have gone too far, I have crossed the line, and so this happened... I learned my lesson.
Fearless, but not Reckless

I never mind trekking for hours… I never mind climbing mountains and going to remote places... whatever it takes! I am always up for it! I love it! Who doesn't?

I always wish I were one of those girls who enjoy nice interiors, cozy coffee shops, DIY-ed throw pillows and enough! Unfortunately, I only adore the wilderness. I delight with creation. I never fear the dark. I can look up the stars for hours and never get tired. I can sit at the edge of the cliff and feel completely secured. I only feel Home when I am out of town and not on the comforts of my sheets. I love cold mornings on higher grounds. I dream of oceans, tall trees and rivers; of fields and mountains… I dream that for every map that I trace with my fingers, I will trace its trail with my feet…

None of these I do solely for pleasure, neither for fun & fad nor for Instagram. (Well, sometimes!) I do these for its greater purpose. None of these are done out of recklessness, but out of responsibility. I do this because I know my Master Artist wants to take me on His exhibit. This is my worship. I owe Him applause for His works and to delight in it. To embrace every good thing that He has to offer in life. To be the Eve that was redeemed and placed back in paradise. To count the number of my breaths being taken away by utter beauty, and every step taken further from my comfort zone. To be lost and be found in my element. To feel humble and astonishingly small in His midst. 
Then one day, I got to experience the cruel side of the journey at its worst… Now all of that passion has just gone down the drain... I wanted to stop and shut off everything.  
It was like discovering the bad side of your good old friend for the first time. Or worse. Probably like getting cheated by a long-time lover, perhaps betrayed by your best friend. The beauty I adored turned out as Beast. Like some calm that deceived me to chaos... The very waters that pampered us at one point, were the same waters that later killed our friends… To be honest, I couldn't help try and try to put all the pieces together, trying to make sense out of what happened, pleading  to God for answers...

And one could not simply figure out what, how or why...
How could this happen? Why did this happen? ...
If there is one lesson learned from this experience, it is that we must live -- live fully, live better & live more. 
To my shock and disbelief, I just felt crippled by my fears... What tremors in one's soul! When we were rescued on our way home, I whispered to God “I don’t think I could ever go back and do this again…” I was trembling as we had to cross another river. The scenario, my last sight of my friends, everything just never stopped playing in my head. At times, even the sound of the water from the shower irks me. I never knew I could be so weak... I swore again and again, I would never go back, I would stop and never do such things again. I learned my lesson.
A Redemptive Purpose
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 
We lost six amazing people. I could never write enough about the beautiful lives these people lived... All I know is that all six of them were passionate for God and for what God loves. They lived a life filled with love, meaning and purpose. All others have endless stories over stories of how amazing they were, and the amazing things that God had done through them. I am lost for words… I am still mesmerised that most of them exemplified the love of Jesus, even up to the very last moment of their lives here on earth. Some of our friends lost their lives in their attempt to help and save others’...
We lost six amazing people. I could never write enough about the beautiful lives these people lived... All I know is that all six of them were passionate for God and for what God loves. They lived a life filled with love, meaning and purpose. All others have endless stories over stories of how amazing they were, and the amazing things that God had done through them. I am lost for words… I am still mesmerised that most of them exemplified the love of Jesus, even up to the very last moment of their lives here on earth. Some of our friends lost their lives in their attempt to help and save others’...
They may have gone ahead of us, sooner than we expected, and we will miss all of them so much! Yet as I remember them, as I honour and celebrate their lives, and how they lived… I learned the greater lesson. 
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
When fears overtake you, you will be paralysed, crippled and blinded of God’s intentions, of His purpose and plans. You will find something/someone to blame, sometimes, yourself; you will wallow in your depression, guilt, regrets and doubts. Could Have Beens, Should Haves, What Ifs... And life just gets terribly ugly!!! I am glad that God fought hard and strong with and for me against them this season…
         The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14


I learned that tragedies are not always consequences. It was not because I went on too many adventures, nor I have gone too far. It was not my fault, all the more not my passion’s fault… Death is a reality. It chooses no one. What happened to my friend could have happened to me, and it could happen to anyone, anytime. Whether up in the mountains or in the comforts of your own home. As a matter of fact, they say ‘Death is even more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.’
Today, I decided, I must not die in my fears. I don't want to just die not being ale to Live.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
In this life, troubles will continue to come. Jesus himself warned us of that. Yet, it was promised to us that no trouble would ever hinder the Life from us. We will overcome…
        He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. Psalm 18:16
When my life was spared in that river, I realised: “God is not done with me yet.” All the more I must pursue my calling, my purpose, my destiny… This must not cultivate fear, but faith that would only equip me for greater adventures ahead.  It would remind me of His faithfulness in my life – of promises and purposes that are yet to unfold. It would remind me of the beauty of trusting, and the beauty of the One I trust– even in the midst of pain and uncertainty and even when answers won’t ever come. I praise God, no matter what! It would remind me of His sovereignty – where none of my friends’ lives slipped out of his sight, out of his hands, his plans and his purpose. This tragedy would not leave scars, but stories; not trauma but my Father’s testament; not guilt, but glory. My zest for life, my strength, and my passion shall not be damaged, but even more divinely doubled.

Love,
Angel



You Might Also Like

3 comments

  1. Angel, this is so uplifting, I am so sorry for the loss of your friends but you are right, you cannot let that paralyze you from living your life to the fullest.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is very inspiring blog entry sis. Indeed death is universal for everyone it might happened anytime and anywhere. But of to when only God knows. Only God knows when will be our divine appointment with Him. Yes we all are still greiving for loosing wonderful friends. For me loosing a dear friend (Joms) on that same trip is still painful, painful that is unfathomable. Yet I know His death is not in vain, even the lives of 5 others. But I clearly remember what he said "mamatay akong masayang naglilingkod sa Panginoon" They died serving the Lord. For the eyes of other people its a tragic death. But God's message to me. That is the glorious way of meeting His servants. I may not know you personally. But I know you have fair share of great experience on that trip that would still remimd you how great our Creator is. Hope to meet you soon sis. Smile!
    - Althea Leonen

    ReplyDelete

Follow by Email