These past weeks, I’ve been asking God, “Lord, Bakit kailangan kong masaktan at mahirapan kung ang tanging ginagawa ko lamang ay ang magmahal sa paraan na nais mo kaming magmahal ng iba?” (Lord, why do I need to experience pain and hardships, if the only thing that I do is to love other people in a way that you want us to love?) But the Lord kept quiet. I was used to doing every task given to me with love, seeing every moment of my life, may it be good or bad, with the eyes of love. This is because I know that it is the love of God that sustains me, that saves me, and that heals me from what had happened in the past. However, even though there’s this constant love who keeps on pursuing me and keeps on loving me, I felt no love at all. Because of fatigue, I lost the burning fire inside to do everything God wants me to do – as a Mission Volunteer and as a teacher.
Then came the Virtual World Youth Congress. Through this event, the Lord reminded me that “True love endures.” The message of the Lord for me the entire VWYC was that “Mumay, my beloved, one of the acid tests of love is endurance.” The call and the process I was experiencing at that time became clear. The painful process of loving became a joyful journey. My hopeless and exhausted heart became hopeful. God calls us to love others, a love that endures.
I thought that it was just as simple as that. I thought that the affirmation of the Lord about enduring things for the sake of love was enough. As days passed by, the call as a Mission Volunteer became harder, the call to love and to take care of the youth in our area became more difficult, and the call for me as a teacher also became more challenging because of the new learning modalities. There were times that I had to endure the feeling that I could not do anything for my members because this pandemic hinders me to go and visit them. I had to endure all the pain whenever there are members of MFC Youth asking if they can stop serving because they are tired. I had to endure the disappointments whenever we had an area activity but the number of members who attended didn’t even reach the number of participants we were aiming for. I had to endure the anxiety that there will be plans in our area which didn’t happen the way we planned. I had to endure the uncertainties in my workplace. I had to endure the feeling of longing because I need to leave my family for the sake of my profession as a teacher. I had to endure the feeling of dragging myself to wake up in the morning because I lost motivation to do the things I was passionate about. I had to endure all the anxieties and breakdown moments alone because of the drastic changes in my life, to the point that my physical and mental state can’t even cope up. I had to endure all the adjustments in online and modular learning. I had to endure all the sleepless nights just to finish all my paper works, and at the same time, fulfilling my responsibility as a servant. Again, for the second time, I asked the Lord, “Lord, Bakit kailangan kong masaktan at mahirapan kung ang tanging ginagawa ko lamang ay ang magmahal sa paraan na nais mo akong magmahal ng iba? Bakit kailangan kong tiisin yung pagod, sakit at problema?” (Lord, why do I need to experience pain and hardships if the only thing that I do is to love other people in a way that you want us to love? Why do I need to endure pain, problems, and suffering?) And for the second time, God told me that “My child, Love entails sacrifice and endurance. The path of love is not an easy path to take. You are on the right path if you are willing to endure things for the sake of love, so am I, for I am Love.” God never fails to amaze me with His wisdom and affirmations.
Right now, I may not understand the reasons behind all the problems and painful sacrifices, but I have an assurance that at the end of each day, the Love that endures everything, even His death on the cross, will always be with me for me to experience the fullness of life. That’s the same endurance He wants me to do, even if love means taking up and embracing my crosses daily with holy joy. Praise be to God!
Mumay Hinggan is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team.