Made to #MAKE

4:16 PM

It may have been days after but I could still feel the heaviness of my eyes - not because of the lack of sleep - but because of the amount of tears I cried over the weekend for the B1G (BeOnewithGod) 11 Leadership Conference.

Last year, I attended the same retreat but only as a participant. I was greatly swept over by God's amazing love and how he desires for every Christ-committed follower to be instrumental in sharing the Gospel. This year was a totally different experience as I worked behind-the-scenes... and truly, it is when we step back we see even more the wonderful hand of a mighty God.

Truth be told, I was a bit hesitant volunteering in the beginning. I knew what it would entail - time, sweat, tears and effort. However, after much prayer, God impressed in my heart to volunteer full-time and whatever worries I had that time, He would make sure everything will be fine.

It hadn't been easy. I lived for three months without receiving a paycheck and while still trying to do ministry and assume household responsibilities. I did worry about my finances, but I was assured God will pull me through. And He did as I've shared in my blog entry, "Walk on Water (Part 2)". However, beginning the month of November, I was struck with dengue.

The fever began on the 5th, but intensified the following day. (I was feeling very cold in spite of the heat. I had difficulty moving my knees and I had intense headache that reached until my eyes.) My parents, being suspicious that it was already dengue, took me to a health clinic to have my blood examined. My platelets remained within the range, but my white blood cells (WBC) were low. The doctor didn't want to rule out dengue, so he advised me to conduct another blood test the next day.

It was a Sunday, and I thought my fever had gone down, so I stopped drinking medicine. However, I felt a pain above my stomach and eventually vomited. That afternoon, the fever was back and my parents already rushed me to the hospital. After much tests (and needles), I was confirmed to have dengue and had to be confined for monitoring.

When the doctor told me the news, I couldn't help but cry. I couldn't help but be afraid. I was afraid that it may come to worse, because the danger still lingered. But when I was lying down in my room, I thought of a short prayer and told God,

"Father, may You be glorified in this situation."

And indeed, He was. There was just this indescribable peace in my heart. Three days after, I was out of the hospital without any further complications.

As one of our speakers pointed out, Jesus washed ALL of His disciples' feet - yes, including Judas Iscariot, who was about to betray Him! I was mind-blown! How could the King of kings and Lord of lords still choose to serve even the one who will cause so much pain to Him? But that's the way He is. His love is unconditional that even in our imperfection and sinfulness, He would still choose to shower us with His grace and serve us. Would we do the same?

What I went through for the past months added more meaning to my experience in B1G 11. I've experienced His grace and His faithfulness moment-by-moment, and it's overwhelming remember all these while I was at the conference. More so, I remembered I committed in B1G 10 of discipling single women. But in a span of a year, God exceeded my prayers and gave me three wonderful college girls (and is still giving me more!). As of writing this post, one has already expressed a desire to form a discipleship group in her school. It's amazing how God grants our desire to follow Him and obey Him.

Working behind the scenes, I was immensely blessed to see a touching and beautiful sight of leaders, who are so selfless to others and so passionate for God. In one of the activities, I couldn't help but just hug, cry and thank them for demonstrating to me Christ's love in their own unique way and for inspiring me to do the same to other people. (To my friends and new-found friends who are reading this, I love you dearly. Let's continue to passionately serve the Lord together.)

Oftentimes when we read a chapter in the Bible, we only glance over the first verse. But in John 13:1, Jesus had set everything in order:

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (NIV)

These are the stories behind the tears I've shed so much in the retreat. But the greatest reason of all was the wonderful presence filled in that place and immense love of God displayed through His Son, Jesus Christ. Through this retreat, God made me realize that He made me to point all glory, honor and praise to Him. He made me to make a vessel of His love and grace to other people. But at the same time, He unmade me to know how much broken, empty and desperate I am without Him.

I would like to end this post with lyrics from one of the songs we sang. Its words are so beautiful that singing this would seem like a prayer.

Your statutes are my heritage forever

To all creation I can see a limit
All Your ways are loving and are faithful
To all creation I can see a limit
I will seek You in the morning

May my prayer like incense rise before You
The lifting of my hands as sacrifice
Oh Lord Jesus turn Your eyes upon me
For I know there is mercy in Your sight

My heart is set on keeping Your decrees
Please still my anxious urge toward rebellion
Let love keep my will upon its knees

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

But Your commands are boundless and have none
So Your Word is my joy and meditation
From the rising to the setting of the sun

The road is narrow but Your burden light
Because You gladly lean to lead the humble
I shall gladly kneel to leave my pride

But Your commands are boundless and have none
So Your Word is my joy and meditation
From the rising to the setting of the sun

I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days