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“…because the real thing is so worth the wait”

An Open Letter from Mr. Right from #Unfiltered’s blog

Dear daughters of God,

Contrary to what you have heard, I do exist. I’m no fairytale hunk with big muscles and thing for chick flicks (although, I may or may not have a man bun). So, put your daydreams of love off to the side for a minute and let me tell you what makes me, “Mr. Right” and why people keep telling you to wait for me.

The first thing I really want for you to understand is that I was not born your Mr. Right. I promise we weren’t destined to cross paths and lock eyes from across a crowded room and fall hopelessly in love. God has been working in my heart for YEARS! Do you realize what was in my heart before Christ saved me?! Of course you don’t because we haven’t met yet, but I can promise you it is equally as crazy and sinful as what you’ve been walking through. That is why I need some time… And it is also why you need the same. Let’s do each other a huge favor and give one another the time to heal from our pasts and become something different; something whole. I know that you’ve spent a lot of time feeling less than whole, like you’re missing something, and so have I. But now we have both been made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and need to take some time to learn to walk in this new wholeness. So, I’m going to give you that space and promise not to pursue you until God has made it clear that you are in the right season in your faith.

But here is the kicker and the second thing I need you to know… As patient and trusting in God’s timing as I am, this thing between you and I also hinges on your obedience and trust in the Lord. Have you ever read the Song of Solomon? There is a part in there that I will never forget. It says, “Promise me, O women of Jerusalem (Daughters of God); not to awaken love before the time is right” (NLT Emphasis Mine). Let me fill you in on why she says that. She is begging women not hurry into love for two reasons; one, because the real thing is so worth the wait. And two, because being joined with a person out of season is one of the most painful things someone can experience. Sure you can frolic in lala land for a little while, but what happens when the romance and passion subsides and your left with just your hearts, left open and bare? What happens when the struggles hit and the person you’re with isn’t strong enough to fight the good fight of faith? What happens when they mess up and you’re expected to show them the same grace Christ showed you? I’ll tell you what happens, things will fall apart. Whether on the surface or beneath it, things will fall apart…. That’s the truth, if two people are not both firmly rooted in their faith in Christ, they will suffer for that lack together. I could walk you through almost any church and show you marriage after marriage where people are suffering because they aroused love before it’s time. They are paying for the consequences of that decision decades down the road. Which is why we must join together in patience, even though we are apart.

Here is what we are working towards and the third thing I need you to know: God has asked me to be so much like Christ that you are able to submit to me as unto Him (Ephesians 5:22-33). And He is asking you to be able to submit to me and point me to Jesus by your actions, even when I’m acting like a fool (1 Peter 3:1-6). So take a minute and think… Could you really do that right now? I’m getting closer, but I don’t think I could do that just yet. But when God gives me a peace about the continual growth of my own faith, I will know and I’ll be obedient to pursue you. And you will know that it is me because I will respectfully, tactfully, and politely pursue you with very clear intentions. When a guy begins to talk to you, know that it’s me because I’ll be respectful and not flirting with you via text. Know that it’s me because I’ll be clear that I’m asking you on a date and won’t create an atmosphere where you have to question what we are doing or where we stand. Know that it’s me because when we are dating, I’ll not only be respectful of your emotional and physical boundaries, but also have some of my own. And know that it’s me because I’ll be more interested in your faith and what your relationship with Jesus looks like than being romantic and creating surface level connections.

So, please wait for me. For your sake and my own, wait. Wait because God is telling you to wait. Wait because you have more growing to do. Wait because I have more growing to do. And wait because it will be worth it. Because at the end of the day, the reason I’m not pursuing you yet is because I’m just not ready. And the reason you’re not being pursued by me yet is that you’re just not ready. So join with me in individually submitting to God…Even if that means that there actually isn’t a Mr. or Mrs. Right waiting for us… Can we be ok with that? Can we trust God and be okay with whatever the outcome, knowing that we have already received all we need in His Son? That’s a hard question, but until you’re in a place where you’re okay with never getting married, you won’t be in a place where I will be able to pursue you. Thinking of and praying for you,

– Mr. Right

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If You Forget Me

If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

 (This poem made me feel so alive. This is my Christmas poem.)
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Welcome Back

Finally I have the time to sit down and think. And think not about things Medicine-related.

This year has been a year of upturns and upheavals, downfalls and discouragement. 2014 has been a year of great expectations met with astounding outcomes. Unlike last year, 2015 has been predominantly more steady for me. Quite more stable in terms of Medicine. Volatile in terms of other areas. I tend to consider my life in two haphazardly divided circles: Medicine, and cluster the rest into “other areas.” The non-med stuff.

A year of mores. A years of lesses. I am just so happy to be starting to write again. After so long a time of being quiet. I am excited how my mind unfolds in making sense or just getting lost in the year that has been.

Will follow up!

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An open letter from Mr. Right

“Which is why we must join together in patience, even though we are apart.”

#UNFILTERED

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Dear daughters of God,

Contrary to what you have heard, I do exist. I’m no fairytale hunk with big muscles and thing for chick flicks (although, I may or may not have a man bun). So, put your daydreams of love off to the side for a minute and let me tell you what makes me, “Mr. Right” and why people keep telling you to wait for me.

The first thing I really want for you to understand is that I was not born your Mr. Right. I promise we weren’t destined to cross paths and lock eyes from across a crowded room and fall hopelessly in love. God has been working in my heart for YEARS! Do you realize what was in my heart before Christ saved me?! Of course you don’t because we haven’t met yet, but I can promise you it is equally as crazy and sinful as…

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Send Off

Love is the only thing that can change a person.

Of all the many wonderful things you have taught me just by being who you are, loving me is the most indelible expression of your steadfast faith in God. You have loved me even if you know so little about me. You have loved me even if I shyly remove my hand from your warm grasp on our way to YC for my first ever prayer meeting in CYA. You have loved me despite the stereotypes and judgment people tend to have against me (that I also sometimes have for myself).

You have been loving me since that day when Father Chester introduced us, with me unknowingly meeting one of the influential people of my life as of yet. I am so happy that you have borne witness to the Kairos our God has radically and relentlessly worked in me.

Funny that in goodbyes, we remember so vividly how it all began. And how beautiful and rich and unique our experiences are as sisters in Christ. I have known you for less than two years, yet the depth of our sisterhood bridged a divide only love can do.

This is just our temporary not-seeing-each-other-physically phase. Siguro mga <10% lang sa akin ang sad. I have moved on since I learned of your decision to stay in CDO for good. I have to. Kung iiyak man ako, sa amin nalang iyon ni Lord. If ever I do cry, it will only be tears of joy for a sister who is happily entering a new chapter in her life. Your joy is worth celebrating. The Lord takes delight in your beautiful soul.

I seriously cannot find words to express how much of an impact God’s love has done to me through you, Ate Ghea. Thank you. I love you. See you next time as one of the finest OB Gyne Oncologist consultants the UP College of Medicine has ever produced, that this country will ever have.

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Little Notes

To my AG, thank you for making everything bearable. The highlight of my day is eating out with you girls and sharing our struggles in life. Hay. Problems never end, but in Christ, we will always conquer.

I will make my dream board. I have one but lost it. Now, my dream board will be more bold and faithful.

I feel like Milk Matters is my child, and my partner in life is Phi. Together, blessed by God, we have borne fruit. Sometimes I am scared by how much I love Milk Matters. Then I realize that more than the project, it is the people who have built the project and the people who have benefited/who will benefit from it that really matter.

I know what to do, I am just not doing it. I don’t feel like doing it. Yet I have to do it. That is too cryptic.

Life happens. This, too, shall pass. My migraine shall pass. The waiting shall pass. The struggles shall pass. The confusion and uncertainty shall pass.

But God will always be here. God is constant.

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Harassed

I came from a tiring duty.

I haven’t slept a wink for the whole 26 hours of being in the operating room. The upside is, I have scrubbed in with some of the best surgeons in Metro Manila: the Chief Resident of Surgery, Dr. Mab Moreno, Dr. Mac Onglao, Dr. Leona Dungca, and Dr. Mairre Gaddi. It is a high-yield assist for me, and I discovered I may have an interest to go into surgical training.

Yet this is also the first time I am able to sleep while standing up, retracting the human flesh so as to assist my primary surgeon in visualizing the field. I almost leaned on the operating area. It is tiring task, all the same.

And then a lot of bad trip things happened as I prepared myself to get out of the hospital and rush to LNP center for South Sectoral Assembly. I missed the whole mass, blew off my savings for taxi fare and all my plans for the day were ruined.

Maybe being one of the heads of Milk Matters, then preparing myself for the AGL call, the constant adjustment of my duty schedule to accommodate CYA and Phi activities, and the most important yet I feel the most neglected: my being a Surgery clerk with a load of academic requirements, some of which I haven’t finished yet, are taking its toll on me.

Honestly, I would rather devote myself to Milk Matters’ tasks than delve into studying for Surgery. Tsk tsk. Priorities. I am so tempted to be rigid and inflexible about the dynamics of my requirements and their effect on my priorities. But okay, I am going to give myself some leeway, some breather.  This day. i don’t like it.

I need to sleep because I only slept for two hours. But no, I cannot. Academics first, then Milk Matters. Then sleep. And I realized how many invitations for birthdays, dinners with friends, visits of parents, lakad with college friends, I have missed just because I am duty. Medicine is sacrifice. One should be definite with her calling to go to Medicine, because it is a demanding profession. Maybe that’s why 44% of doctors marry doctors. One can easily understand the strain on relationships being a doctor entails if he himself underwent the rigors of Medicine.

Okay. Let’s work. I am overthinking.

doctor dreams · faith · God · Milk Matters · TAYO12

In the Thick of Good Things: Siksik, Liglig, Umaapaw (Filled, Full and Overflowing)

A month ago, since my last attempt to write in this blog, a looooooot of blessings have happened that arguably changed my life goals.

That’s the thing about so many good things happening: I cannot find the time to write them. My mind is screaming for some form of legitimate decongestion.

First off the list (my favorite, too) is representing my Sorority, the Phi Lambda Delta of the UP College of Medicine, in the 12th Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations. We have emerged as the National Winner. Amazing, wonderful, awesome, joyful, glorious are an understatement of my whole TAYO experience. It is a very personal encounter with the Lord. An experience of how magnanimous Jesus is.

Then comes the LPG explosion. My thoughts about it written in the previous blog entry.

Third is my agonizing ER duty of two weeks. Only one good thing can I say about this rotation: it has boosted my confidence to execute procedures 100%. But the stress is not worth it. When one has passed through DEM, then all other rotations are much easier.

Fourth is my ongoing Surgery rotation. I have dreaded it so much. I don’t like Surgery. So I prayed to God, telling Him I am at my wits’ end, and in a point where I hate what I am doing already. I don’t like going to duty anymore. I don’t like waking up in the morning to go to the hospital. I don’t like retracting body parts and interacting with impatient, masungit doctors. Ayoko na, Lord. If you could just inspire me, to bring back the fire in my heart to do my best and love what I do.

He heard my prayer. This morning, I just had the most amazing operation with former Dean of the UP College of Medicine, Dr. Dean Roxas. Assisting him are the Chief Resident Dr. Amabelle Moreno, 3rd year resident Dr. Leona Dungca, 5th year Resident Dr. Jeff Gonzales and my lowly self. The nurse, Ma’am Jonah, is so kind. Dr. Dean Roxas was passing on his clinical pearls: techniques, skills, rules of thumb in operation. It was amazing to see the best of the country’s doctors operate on and treat a patient. I learned so much from it.

Last but not the least, I have finally decided on two of the most life-changing decisions I’ve committed my heart to: Join South UD and become an AGL. These two are my upward call from God. Include Milk Matters and those three are probably the best gifts given to me to have a decision on. In so doing, I have also decided NOT to run for Superior Sister Exemplar of the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority.

So many good things from the Lord are still in store for me. That is His promise to me during Household.

The Lord came to me in a dream and He spoke to me in all His glory. I was facing the Paranaque House, outside the gate. He told me three things:

1. There are so many wonderful and good things that will happen in your life and through your life.
2. Yes, it is He who has been giving me the dreams prior to Household.
3. He told me to know Him more, to believe in Him and trust in Him.

I am already a committed CYA member. I have been in CYA for more than a year. Looking back, I can see how God’s hand has been with me. And how glorious He is and faithful to His promises. Lord, I am eternally grateful. I am eternally yours.

(May I add: I’ve been thinking about my long-forgotten dream. I want to set up and run my own humanitarian foundation. Or work for the World Health Organization/United Nations. Maybe God can hear my prayer and be blessed with both dreams? I also want to travel and see the world. To learn from their cultures.

Also, please pray for me. I beg for the special grace of humility, to guard my heart and mind.)

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Milk Matters: A Gift from God

This day marks the first anniversary of our baby, Milk Matters. I’ve prayed to God before writing this piece in our official facebook page:

On this day, exactly a year ago, we the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority of the UP College of Medicine, launched the FIRST and the ONLY youth-led project of the Philippines that seeks to improve the maternal and child healthcare through community-based, barangay level milk banks.

Milk Matters is born. Like a mother undergoing the painful pangs of labor, the waves of contractions and the anxiety of raising a child in an unfriendly world, we in Phi Lambda Delta have also experienced the difficulty of setting up and implementing a project unlike any other, the challenges of being the trailblazer of a beautiful advocacy most often taken for granted, and the pervading culture that seems to have lost the dignity of caring for its own precious young.

Milk Matters is born. Like a mother who is in expectant, joyful waiting for the cry of her little one, whom she carried inside her with love for nine months; whose new life has healed her of all the pains and brokenness of the past; whose coming also baptized her heart in pure selfless love; we in Phi Lambda Delta cannot contain this joy, this celebration, of giving birth and raising a project like Milk Matters that addresses the basic right to health of the most vulnerable babies of the society.

Milk Matters is born, and we can only look back with gratitude to God in our hearts. We can look to the future and see, not with our limited human eyes, but with a strong, divine faith in our hearts that makes us see, that Milk Matters is striving and will always strive to fight for the mother and child’s rights to health in the best way it can do so.

Milk Matters is one year old today. With God’s might, power and protection, may it enjoy and reach its full potential of inspiring everyone, not just us medical students in Phi Lambda Delta, to step up, volunteer and give of ourselves in service of the Filipino children.

We thank everyone who has been helping us share and carry the burden of problems our precious little young ones suffer. And we promise, WE PROMISE, the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority, my co-heads and I, that Milk Matters will always, always fight for the health of our mothers, of our babies, of our Filipino families.

Happy first year anniversary.
Milk Matters Anniversary pic
*photo posted with permission, copyright Phi Lambda Delta Sorority
‪#‎Forsustainablecommunitymilkbanks‬ ‪#‎TAYO12‬ Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Office of the Senator Bam Aquino NATIONAL YOUTH COMMISSION DOH Undersecretary Dr. Ted Herbosa Hon. Dr. Dorothy Delarmente Bagting ‪#‎UPPGHHumanLactationUnit‬ ‪#‎DrJosieLapena‬ ‪#‎DrTitaUy‬ ‪#‎DrStellaJose‬ ‪#‎DrDonnaCapili‬

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The Unshed Tears

I almost didn’t go to duty today. I have an important lunch conference about pregnant mothers who have concomitant heart diseases, and an OSCE (major exam that spans both written and practical skills) in the afternoon.

It was my last duty in Obstetrics and Gynecology. And I woke up feeling like I should sleep longer.

Which I did. The whole morning I just slept. I woke up and thought, “My, how tired I am today.”

If you really know me well, you’d say that was highly uncharacteristic of me. To just wake up, feel lazy and not go to duty. Oh em gee. So not Gela. I was absent on the morning of my duty day. Pasaway.

After my sharing about the LPG freak accident yesterday in a CYA prayer meeting, the hard truth finally sunk its teeth in: I am still reeling from what happened.

I am still reeling from that bright orange hell raging outside the double doors of our bedroom.

Like my life seemed set on a course as natural as anybody else, then something abnormal happened. Something that shouldn’t have happened, happened. And it derailed me in ways that I found it difficult to get back to everything that once was or has been.

This morning was my momentary weakness. It was a part of me I truly saw myself giving in to taste defeat. The part of me not exerting any effort to fight, to help myself, to rise up to the challenge. Although sometimes, I have to admit I feel OA and a tad too melodramatic, to equate defeat with not going to duty. So okay, let’s call it my “small defeat.” LPG=1, Gela=0.

I shared everything that happened during that prayer meeting, sans the tears. I never held back, afraid that I might not give God His due glory. I was anxious about getting the message straight through the hearts of those who listened. I was subservient to let God’s light shine through the brokenness of having an LPG suddenly explode in the kitchen while my brother and I were trapped inside the bedroom for almost an hour.

If one could ever feel silence, then that was what my soul felt from God. He was silent.

I am glad most people were touched. Some even messaged me via facebook. But that’s not the point God wanted me to understand.

The point is, more than my capacity and willingness to relay the many realizations of God during that fire, He is more concerned about how I am.

More than the task He entrusted me to do (spread His message), albeit important, God is ultimately concerned about how I am. How am I doing? What do I feel?

“How are you, really? I care for you more than you can ever imagine,” asked God.

How are you doing, my best soldier/fighter/woman warrior/gentle lady/caring doctor?

How are you doing, my child? My beloved daughter. My beautiful child.

My child, my child. I will never abandon you. I am with you always.

The truth is, I am still not okay. But God is my comfort. He is my strength. In Him, I am victorious. In Him, I have overcome.