Growing Up as a Grown-Up

7:36 AM

If I were to produce a soundtrack for my summer, I would summarize everything in "Roots Before Branches" by Room for Two. I first heard the song during the season finale of Glee, and I fell in love with the lyrics. It talks about establishing an identity before spreading wings or stretching branches. You may listen to the song and read its lyrics by clicking the video below:

Coming back after four years of studying in Baguio, I was in search of a new identity and a new purpose. I knew Baguio was my training ground, but for what? So for the past two months, God has provided me with opportunities to grow spiritually through the different aspects of my life.

Branching Out
I have mentioned before in my previous post that "I would like to continue to go through windows, just when doors are closed". Two job opportunities are waiting for me this July. The first is to conduct a junior journalism workshop (which is also found in the same link above. The second is to teach creative writing with an integration of reading and English grammar in a home school setting. I still don't know how the thesis will work out, that's why I'm putting both on hold.

These job offers came to me unexpectedly. I don't know if you have experienced the same, but I realized that sometimes we just need to stop hunting. If we're wise, we wait for the hunt to come to us. The same principle applies when we're waiting on God, except we are not to be wise - we are to be faithful (Note: I'm not degrading God to a hunt. I'm just trying to create an analogy here.). I'm not saying we are to do nothing while we wait. We are to exert effort as well but not forgetting that God has a plan. It may not be now, but if we continue to trust, He will eventually answer.

Quenching the Thirst
The first Sunday after I came back from Baguio, I was in culture shock. It felt like the church was plagued with a lot of new faces! Although I had a number of chances going home, the moments I share with the people in church are always so fleeting. It was such a struggle juggling 2-3 days among family, friends and sometimes, individual dates. Of course, there are people who I wanted also to get to know, but I just couldn't squeeze time for them.

Among those that I had to give up my time was my home-grown ministry. There were opportunities in Baguio though, but I couldn't risk my safety since most of the activities were held during the evening. I knew God was sustaining me uniquely, but I was craving to come back to the ministry I love.

Assisting during the preparation and the duration of the camp was the best comeback. It was both what I wanted and what I needed. Although the physical preparation wasn't as rigorous as the others, I was preparing myself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I was never a people-person, and being in this camp means, I have to be. I could easily relate to people who are my age and beyond, but to those in their early teens is more difficult. I can't pinpoint exactly why, but probably it's because I don't know what they talk about these days.

This year's summer youth camp was about engaging in spiritual warfare. I thought it was such a brave theme because all of us were fighting head on against the enemy. I know a lot of Christians who acknowledge the presence of sin but disregard about the enemy itself. They are too comfortable in where they are now that they don't know that complacency can be Satan's way into their hearts. We can't let our guard down. We have to put on the full armor.

Although I was spiritually preparing myself before the camp, I was dealing a lot of emotional issues. I even brought them to camp while trying to put on a strong font. However, during those four jam-packed days, I realized I was putting on a fake armor. The armor wasn't strong enough so Satan came into me filling me with doubt and anxiety. The armor wasn't of God, it was of myself. Therefore, it was brittle and easily broken.

I felt humbled and blessed after knowing everyone from the camp. I may have not developed a deep friendship with them, but they inspired me. Every tear, laughter, smile and conversation inspired me to play a vital role in their lives. Every young person came to that camp with different battles. Holding on to the victory that they have in Christ, no battle can take them down. So when the camp ended, everyone came out as soldiers... as victors in Christ.

PS: To all the campers who are reading this portion of my entry, I just want to thank you for you again. Though this segment is already quite lengthy, I still couldn't come up with the right words to describe how much you are all a blessing. My prayer is that you would also be a blessing to your families, your schools and your friends, just like what you all did to me. Hold on to that victorious promise. You are not alone. :)

Bearing Fruit
Though I have been a Christian for most of my life, I admit I was selective to some of his commands. One of those commands was obeying the call of discipleship. I am a disciple, but I struggled to become a disciple-maker. There were a lot of times I was already being pressured, but I didn't have the courage that I wasn't ready. I knew it shouldn't be an excuse, but I had a lot of personal issues to deal with back then. Accountability required vulnerability, and as some of you already know that was what I was most afraid about.

Upon my permanent return to Manila, I knew I had to set my heart and mind to finally obeying the call of discipleship. There's no more running away or making excuses. This is it. I began seriously praying about it, until the opportunity came a little before and after the youth camp.

These two girls have been attending the same church I'm in for a very long time. I didn't know them until the camp! They are friends to begin with and I was both blessed by them. When I began to have a heart for these girls, I sincerely asked God if these are the girls that I will be discipling. Days after, His answer was clear and soon after, these girls became my disciples.

I knew others have thought how quick the process was, but I wanted to strike while the iron is hot. These girls have been longing for a disciple, especially from a more particular ministry. Just like apples hanging from a tree, they are already so ripe that they are waiting for someone to pick them. Whenever I meet them, I am reminded of how blessed I am to have met these wonderful girls. And I am sure that together, we will grow beautifully with the love of Jesus Christ.

This entry might be long overdue, but God's faithfulness continues. This summer was only the beginning of what God has delightfully in store for the second half of the year. This is what it is to live, to write and to inspire... all for the glory of God.


  1. Ate Cheska! Latest blog post ko din, about that song. Haha. I love that song.

    Kami ba ni Licca yung two girls? Haha. Wait. Kinikilig ako. <3

    I love you Ate Cheskaaaaaa~!
    Hearts and Smiley confetti cannons!!!!
    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
    :D :) >:D< :* :">

  2. Yup. It's especially dedicated for the two of you. I just can't wait how we'll grow beautifully in our walks with God. You are a blessing. Always remember that. :)

  3. Haha Ate Cheska... Epic blog you have here. Galing!! Sana ganito din ako magsulat sa mga essays ko pag exam. Lol. Sarleen ako din kinikilig haha!! :""">

  4. Thank you Licca for the epic comment. :) Hahaha. Mas madaldal ako when I write than when I talk. Hahaha. Go and be kilig! :) *hugs you tight*