Third Time’s the Charm

Thank you Lord!

Today was a surprisingly wonderful day. I woke up at 6am not because I wanted to but because my body decided to be an early bird. I tried getting back to sleep but failed, so at 7am I prayed for my day, reflecting on my quiet time last night on Paul’s insight in the mystery of Jesus. At 8:00 am, I had a light breakfast and took Zorro for a walk around the village.

At 1:20 PM, I attended a leaders’ meeting for points of improvement. I arrived late because of the bad traffic. I even beat the red light and felt a little guilty! There were only 7 of us including Marc. I listened more than I talked but participated to improve the breakout sessions at Connect.

I went back home at 3PM, listened to John Piper’s message, fell asleep and got ready for the 5:15PM meeting for FOTW. I was late again. The traffic was also bad, I had to maneuver my car in weird ways to get past the cars blocking the intersection. I looked at my rear view mirror as I sped away, and saw that none of the cars thought of what I did. I imagined patting my shoulder for my amazing driving skills.

At Connect, Philip briefed us of the FOTW guidelines. Talked to Kyle for a bit. Manned the booth properly as promised. The multi-purpose hall was surprisingly jumpacked that some people didn’t have seats left. The message was nothing new, but nonetheless provided excellent reminders about singlehood and marriage. Basically being the best person that you could be, waiting patiently while serving the Lord, and some important guidelines such as unequally yoked relationships.

Karen, who was the host, tried something new in the breakout which praise God, worked. It felt like we made through a hump in Connect. We talked about this dilemma a few hours ago in the leaders’ huddle which I am privileged to be allowed to participate in. Tonight, I was surprisingly chatty and perky. I discussed curriculum ministry with John and Third. Introduced myself to some people including Jaimie, Janet, Elaine.

The breakout went really well. I was able to add on to the sharings of Ef, Nej and Joy. I was able to explain the concept of being unequally yoked clearly through clear examples. While I would usually just be quiet and have all my insights in my head, tonight I broke out of my bubble to share my learnings with others so that they can also learn. It was also a wonderful night because I saw Cais and Mace after months of not seeing them both.

There were missed opportunities though as I met two other girls before the service started but didn’t find them anymore during breakout. Elaine was invited by Ellen, my mom’s dgroup leader. Ellen met and invited Elaine when they sat together in a bus going to work. I only learned of this when I got home. The other girl was Kate, who I didn’t get to talk to. I believe there are lapses in the process which have to be improved. As Hope said, the newcomers have to be taken care of.

When I got home, Ef and Hope texted me that I did really well and that they were proud of me. Well, this is my third streak. And Philip has been patient enough to keep making me the FOTW to jumpstart my dgroup.

But I believe I was only able to really bring people together tonight and facilitate properly, be warm and friendly, because of what I’ve been praying for in the past weeks (and even months). Particularly when I was driving home after the leaders’ meeting today. I told God that I am not relying on my own strength, because I have ZERO strength for these chitty-chatty activities. I prefer to lean on the wall and observe people, process my own thoughts, ask my own questions, answer my own questions, rebut my own answers, never coming to a conclusion. But tonight, there was joy in the fellowship, and a joy in sharing my wisdom to the men and women. The greatest joy though is completely relying on God for strength and wisdom, praying in advance for the newcomers for weeks, and witnessing the Lord work in me and around me.

I remember the B1g11 retreat when Clem Go and Ickhoy de Leon said that when they are serving, they know that it is the Lord working through them because it is not natural for them to serve. I relate so easily with them. And it is during these moments I believe I have really been the extension of God’s mouth, hands and feet. These are the moments I treasure. I hope that I’ve brought him glory today.

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