This evening, I feel special, indeed I do. And before I delve into this post; I want you to know that you are special as well, you are loved and most of all, you are blessed.
So faith. What is it? Before this year, I had never really comprehended it. It was confusing; what faith was and the idea of God. I’ve been in MGS for almost two thirds of my life and yet, I never exactly understood the concept of faith. The thing is, I tried to understand, I tried to learn. Not until this year did it finally hit me that faith is not something that can be learnt, it is something you live by. Throughout primary school I never considered myself fully religious, a freethinker perhaps, but definitely not fixed to a particular religious viewpoint. That changed in secondary school.
In secondary school, I (officially) met three very special people; Jing, Nat and Rach. This is something I’ve never really admitted to anyone, but they changed the way I viewed God; Mgdebate changed me because it strengthened my faith, I started to feel again. But there were limitations. I still felt lost; in fact even more than before. I felt so fucking alone. It’s strange isn’t it. How people are meant to find themselves through knowing God, instead I felt lost. so irretrievably lost. I no longer knew what I wanted. I felt confused during the occasional sessions in the previous church I attended, yet instead of reaching out for help, I allowed this emptiness to consume me. I suppose the default reaction would be angst. So I got angry at the world, I got angry at the most insignificant of things. I got prideful. I got selfish. I became fake. I thought that God was no longer there and there were occasional moments when I thought He no longer existed.
But God had a plan for me. He really did. He introduced me to the Catholic faith, He finally brought me home.
So it was this year, 2013. I finally felt like I belonged. In between the crevices of this universe, I finally had a place to call home. But this home wasn’t in the place; it was in the people, in certain brilliant individuals. The year started out hectic and crazy at first. When I was told that I was going to receive all three sacraments in a mere year, I started to get skeptical again. I mean three sacraments. Most receive one every few years and I was here to fast forward that process. It was scary believe me, it was scary. Only now do I realise, that it was a gift. The greatest gift He could have ever given me — faith in Him.
Also, a verse that I keep tucked away in the back of my mind:
“… Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
— Matthew 17:20
This was further punctuated by Confirmation Camp in June. Although I didn’t get to experience the full camp because of my NYC conference, the few hours in camp allowed me to see such a raw side of individuals whom I only ever see on Sundays. The previous night had been the praying over. A number of them had rested in Him and experienced the touch of the Holy Spirit. During reflections, I heard the impassioned cracks in my friends’ voices, the way their eyes glimmered with renewed faith in Him. I wanted that — I wanted to feel. However I’ve come to realise that soon, it will be my turn. I’m not sure when that time will come but I will be ready for it.
A few weeks later, I was tasked to go for a day of recollection because I had missed the first two days of camp. I can honestly say that I had never devoted so much thought and feeling into my prayers as I did on that day. I forgot what I prayed for, but it was one heck of a prayer. When it was time to rest, it felt as if the boulders that had been weighing my shoulders down for the past 3 years were finally lifted. I felt light. as light as one could possibly be.
In a month’s time, I will be confirmed. I chose the confirmation name: Siena. Of St. Catherine of Siena’s birthplace. Annabelle Siena Lim, it does have a ring to it doesn’t it haha. Saint Catherine was a brilliant woman, I felt inspired by her story in a way. How she as a woman, changed the political scene in the Roman Catholic Churches. She wrote beautifully as well. Her letters to the Pope regarded as one of the great works of Tuscan literature. What struck me most though, was her strong will. She fought for what she believed in to the very end. And this was what empowered.
This year is coming to an end. Seasons are changing and most importantly, we are changing. In spite of all this, let us remember to give thanks; to remain grateful for what we have. More often than not, in the midst of stress and work and life, we fail to comprehend how blessed we are. See everything as an opportunity to achieve greatness; because we can do anything (ANYthing) through Christ who gives us strength.
This is something I should have penned down a while back but I’m glad I finally got down to it. So thank you Ally, thank you for that timely prompt; I needed it.
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
― St. Catherine of Siena