“A blessing in disguise”, an idiomatic expression we commonly use whenever we face something that appears to be bad at first but results to something very good in the end. I believe that most of us have encountered “a blessing in disguise” moment, an experience that made us realize that bad things happen for a reason but they can turn into something good. These are life events that did not conform to what we wanted, instead they led us to something we really needed. For us Christians, we can also call this God’s redirection.
As I reflect about my life, I can say that I have come across many “blessing in disguise” moments. Back when I was in elementary, my parents fought a lot and one day my mother decided to leave the house with me and we started living in the province. The thought of having a broken family, adjusting to a new environment, and not knowing what the future holds was heartbreaking. Fortunately, after a month, my parents reconciled and we went back home. As I left the province, I brought with me the lessons I learned during my stay there. In a month I witnessed how hard life was for the less fortunate. Most of my classmates were absent because they needed to work in the rice field and help their parents in farming. I was struck realizing how these young people, who were the same age as me, needed to work in the field as they also forced themselves to go to school even when they were exhausted for the sake of learning. Seeing them struggle made me really sad but at the same time they inspired me, they taught me what determination was. Meeting and knowing them even just for a month made me value and appreciate what I had even more.
Another blessing in disguise moment I experienced was during my college years. I was an accountancy student, I had a lot of friends, my family was financially stable, I excelled in my academics and I finished my 1st year as part of the Dean’s list. Since everything was going great, I was blinded by my achievements. My heart was full of pride, I thought I was smart enough so I stopped exerting effort in my studies which caused my grades to go down. Unfortunately, because of that, I did not reach the cut-off grade the next semester and failed—I failed. I could not accept the fact that it happened. I did not know what to do or where to go, I was really lost. Everything fell apart and I was devastated. My failure haunted me for a very long time but God saved me in my despair. It was in 2016 when the Relentless World Youth Congress happened in Iloilo — that event was my saving grace. It made me realize that even though I saw myself as a failure and defined myself by my mistakes and weaknesses, whatever happens, God has relentless love and mercy for me. Being lost and broken because of my failure gave God that open space to fill me up with His love. As what Pope Benedict XVI said, “The world promises us comfort, but we are not made for comfort, we are made for greatness.” God let me experience what failure is, failure that taught me humility, humility that led me to greatness, and it was a blessing in disguise.
Right now, I am serving as a Mission Volunteer for MFC Youth, the same community that organized the event back in 2016 that made me live a life like no other. Serving the Lord has never been easy but every time I recall how God has been good to me, my heart just cannot contain the love He made me feel throughout the years. The only way I can think of, to bring that love back to Him, is to bring His people back to Him. I will forever be grateful for all the “blessings in disguise” moments that I have encountered in my life. Those moments taught me different life lessons that helped me become a better version of myself and I know that it is the same for you too. I hope whenever we face difficult situations or things that come our way, may we remember that God only wants what is good for us.
I bet most of us have “a blessing in disguise” stories to tell. I believe those experiences made us realize that some things will not happen the way we planned them to, but God knows better and He will not lead us astray.
“For many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21).
Camille Salido is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the region of Visayas.