These two words are not new to me. Ever since I became a mission volunteer, these words are always being repeatedly said, that we, as youth missionaries, are set apart. Sometimes, it gets annoying hearing these words because I feel like I can’t live like a normal youth. There are times that I’ll be called out for the things that I post on social media and our big brothers in the community will tell me, “…you have to do this, because you are set apart.” There are times that I get tired of spending my nights as a college student going to our community’s Home Office for meetings and would stay a little late to make up for my school activities. And again we will be told that these sacrifices are necessary because we are set apart. There are also times that I get sad for missing family activities because I have to go on a mission. And countless times, I will hear it again. You are set apart. Young as I was before, I wanted to rebel because I did not understand. I wanted to quit because I wanted to live like a normal youth. But it is by God’s grace that I remained. It is His grace that allows me to obey even if I don’t understand. It is through His love and mercy that I responded to this call of being a missionary that led me to understand what these phrases, set apart, really mean. Only with an open and humble heart can we truly recognize the beauty of being set apart.
The destination should be heaven. Being set apart is not only being separated from everyone but being set apart means being holy. Holiness that would bring us closer to heaven, holiness that would allow us to see the face of our Father in heaven. We have to understand that as we pursue heaven, we will face a lot of challenges that will purify our hearts, that will purify our intentions. Even the simplest things that we post on our social media should lead us closer to Him. We need to be holy for our father in heaven is holy. That should be our motivation while we are here on earth. Reading this book by tito Frank, it made me realize that God’s grace is ever present not only in the good things that we are experiencing but His grace is also present every time we are struggling and we need to acknowledge that. That opportunity to see His goodness amidst sufferings, trials and challenges. He is there to journey with us in this path to holiness.
We, as youth missionaries, are not meant to live a normal life but we are meant to live a holy life. A life living out our calling. A life like no other and that is not easy. The path to holiness is surely a rough road but it is a journey worth taking because of the destination. I’m glad I stayed. I will not trade the life that I have right now to a life that is easy but not holy. If you still doubt this life of being set apart, pray again and look into your heart, do you desire heaven?
Dhei Puayaoan is a Full Time Pastoral Worker of MFC Youth. She is currently the MFC High coordinator as well as the Zone Youth Coordinator of Mindanao.