In times of trial, would you still find the reason to stay committed? In times of downfall, would you still find the reason to trust the better plan ahead of you? In times of battle, would you still find the reason to stay in the calling? In times of deep pain, how would you still find the reason to continue fighting?
When I became part of the community, I started to commit myself to the business of loving people. It all started in a youth camp (I know you’ll laugh because we all started here). After that, the rest was history. From being a household servant to a unit servant to a chapter servant, and now, I am an area servant and also a mission volunteer for MFC Youth. All of these had happened because I believe that it was God who called me. It was Him who chose me. And it was Him who equipped and will equip me even if I am not ready.
One clear revelation of God to this calling of mine was when I was discerning to be an Area Servant for the province of Laguna. During one worship at the last World Youth Congress 2019 in Batangas, I saw a bunch of Laguna members crying and worshipping wholeheartedly. I asked Him, “Lord, is this the family that You want me to love and treasure?” The next day, I just found myself running towards Ate Jovel, the outgoing sister area servant, and we made the historical handshake that I gave as a sign of fully giving my “YES” to the Area of Laguna.
It was a joyful moment and also the start that caused most of my plans getting wrecked. Many events were planned but didn’t go well. I showered all my love but didn’t receive the same amount of love in return. And the hardest part of it, the Lord was telling me to surrender the heaviest desire of my heart which was once His gift to me, but now, He was planning to take it away. My prayers suddenly turned into rants. I was asking Him what is it that I still have to do? I gave my all – my heart, my body, and my soul, yet, He was still asking this from me.
From that moment, I did not know what to do. So, I came to God through a confession. To my surprise, the confessor was the same priest who I confessed to years ago—the time when I was going through all my discernment in service. I cried so much, telling him the entire bargain I had. What made me stop was when he told me, “You know what’s right. In your heart, you know why. Pray for what is the right thing to do. God wants to take away things that are not meant for us. Maybe now, He is teaching you a bigger lesson. Pray and listen.” It made me freeze. Mixed emotions were felt – I felt sad because the Lord gave me the answer that I didn’t want to hear at all; I was scared since I do not know what will happen next after the decision that I was about to take, and I was crying in deep joy because I knew that I was given the courage to take on God’s plan for me. I started to give Him EVERYTHING I have. No buts. No what-ifs. To be honest, I never felt this love before. Only in His presence. Only in Him!
It was difficult to surrender. Each step or decision feels like everything was working against me. But my answer to the question “In times of trial, downfall, battle, and deep pain, how would you see yourself in this journey?” will always be, TOTAL COMMITMENT needs a TOTAL SURRENDER. Many moments, I thought of not continuing, yet I still see myself doing this. Maybe, it is true that when love is engraved in your heart, you will win even the hardest battles. So, continue to be a fighter! Continue saying YES! Continue to be committed! He will surely fight with you along the way. God bless us all!
Jesusa Castillo is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team.