Saturday, March 30, 2013

Holy Week Reflection

I'm somehow thankful that we're home for Holy Week this year. Home meaning, in Manila and not in our 2nd home up North where the past so many Holy Weeks were spent with family. I've had the chance to reflect more this time, compared to the past years because we were always on vacation mode then. There was hardly any time to do some serious thinking. I am truly sorry for all those years I neglected to do what's proper on Holy Week. 

Today is Black Saturday. Jesus remains dead after suffering much both emotionally and then finally, physically, when he was nailed on the cross. Every time I recall this scene, the person I relate to the most is our Blessed Mother Mary, who had to watch her child suffer so much. As a mother, I can't even begin to imagine the agony she felt all throughout this ordeal. As far as Jesus is concerned, all I can say is ... how does anyone deal with his own Father (seemingly) abandoning him and choosing for him to die this way to save humanity? It is an act that is difficult to fathom, especially for someone like me who has children of her own. And as someone's child myself, it is also quite difficult to understand how a parent can forsake his child. 

But the ways of the Lord are such. We are unable to understand them a lot of times. The same way we are unable to understand why certain things happen to us in our lifetime ... things that cause us so much pain, trials that challenge our faith, difficulties that take away all of our strength. 

In my 44 years, I've never experienced as much heartache as I have in the past 10 months. If you read my blog regularly, you know what I'm talking about. But for the benefit of those who are here for the first time ... I'm referring to the sudden passing of my Dad in May and my breast cancer diagnosis in August, both of which happened last year. Almost a year later today, I'm still missing my Dad terribly and wishing I could've spent more time with him before he passed, but I'm much better at handling my grief. Almost 8 months since my breast cancer diagnosis, I am also a lot better physically, having graduated from chemotherapy treatments in February and now looking forward to resuming my life and going back to normal activities (with precautions on the side, of course). 

It's really been one h*ll of a roller coaster ride for myself and for my loved ones but I'm so glad to be able to look back, not with sadness or regret, but with so much thanksgiving. The Lord was with us the whole time, despite all these challenges He threw our way. He never left us, He made his presence felt in the darkest moments. I have never felt Him more in my life before. 

Now more than ever, I appreciate everything that the Lord has done for us. I am truly grateful that Jesus  sacrificed his life to pay for our sins and to save us. It is the most selfless act, something I can't even remotely think of doing myself. 

What I've gone through in the past year is something I would never wish even on my worst enemy, and I won't lie, I wouldn't want to go through anything so difficult again, if I had a choice. But the experience has enriched me in so many ways I can't begin to describe. I'm not the same person. Not to say that I'm better than I used to be. Only a 3rd person can say that about me. But I just know that these challenges have changed me somehow. I am far from perfect and I know it, but I'm grateful to have been given this nudge, a reminder from up there that life is indeed short and we need to make the most of it by always making a conscious effort to do things right. Nope, I don't want to be preachy. Whatever I've said here so far is really so personal. I can only hope to influence any of you indirectly. 

I hope you all have had the time to reflect on things, too. It feels good to be in thinking mode, for a change, to take stock of things. 

Thanks for indulging me, dear readers. I've just been so overwhelmed with all the recent happenings in my previously boring life. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. Are we all prepared to welcome Christ? 

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