So what is this despicable thing I did that sent me spiraling back to where I began?
Going into details may get more than just myself in trouble so while this blog has always been a pretty straightforward account, I’ll keep this particular situation vague. In essence, whilst I was having coffee with my Butbut family one evening, I received a phone call. I was asked if I can tell a little white lie in order to forward my application to a job back in Baguio. This little white lie will earn me oodles of money and all I had to do was keep my mouth shut.
I went for it.
In two days I was packed, waving good-bye to my host family and clutching sacks of rice and coffee. Truth to tell, I could not wait to board the bus, get myself a nice room with air conditioning, take a hot shower and stuff my face with various fried food items. As far as I was concerned, my truth-seeking journey had come to an abrupt halt. Money was calling. In the back of my head I was thinking, “Well, God. I did the whole service thing. Now, it’s time to reap me some blessings!” I almost rubbed my hands together in glee.
I’m sure you can guess what happened in the following weeks. Nope, the blessings did not rain down on me as I had planned but I did drown in something else.
You see, when you start down on the path seeking God, even the tiniest of sins become magnified. It did not take long for that little white lie to blow up and transform into a roaring thunderbolt of darkness that followed me wherever I went. As usual, I put on a brave face but inside, Ha. It was a different story. I was being suffocated and eaten alive tenfold by my guilty conscience.
To cope, I simply avoided talking to anyone else for fear of slipping and telling the truth. I stayed in my room and drowned my misery in cheese bread, peanut butter, and sweet potatoes. That’s how I spent most of my time in the cold mountains of Baguio. While everyone back home thought I was finding enlightenment and truth in service, I had chosen the detour. Locked up in my tiny room and eating myself into oblivion. A true sad picture of someone living in darkness.
True, I was once again swaddled with oodles of cash but at what price? I was lonely, miserable and empty, possibly even more so than ever before.
Out of desperation, I texted a person I never in all my earthling years, thought I would ever come close to texting. I texted the leader of a bible study group from the church Chel and I attended on our last day of the fast before we went up to Kalinga. On that last day, she came up to us, got our numbers and said “Let’s hang for coffee.” I didn’t plan on ever texting her. Just hearing the words Bible study was enough to put me straight to sleep back then.
But desperate times called for desperate measures. There was no denying it this time. Call it what you want…help, a miracle, salvation….
I just needed Him.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.