The Question that Matters

Also known as: Because I need this reminder until further notice

When I started staying in the dorm back in college, I experienced what my college friends and I called “liberating moments”. I was an achiever back in high school, so getting good grades were pretty easy, but in college it became ten times harder so I became one of your average Janes as far as grades are concerned. I managed to keep my head above water during my first two years. Sure, I had two failing marks, but they were because the subjects were just so difficult. Then I started dorming and I noticed that I seemed to care less about my studies and more about org stuff and fun times.

Then I saw my midterm grade for Biology, a minor subject — it was a failing mark. And it shook me out of my liberating moment. So, in an effort to get serious, I decided to hang some signs at the dorm that said: I LOVE BIO. Then on my laptop, I switched the wallpaper from something cutesy to a black, plain one that states: MAG-ARAL KA. ((Translation: YOU SHOULD STUDY. Or better yet, STUDY NOW.))

I think it worked, because I passed Bio. The next term I switched to another wallpaper, this time it said,I’m too blessed to be stressed, because I had too many activities ongoing for me then.

So, after that long introduction, I realize that I should do something like that now so I would remember the One question that I really need to answer now:

Do you trust Me?

In the midst of my over thinking moments over the weekend (don’t you hate it when you get caught in that moment?!), in the middle of thinking of all those darned thoughts that just won’t get out of my mind, there was this voice that just broke into it asking that simple question: Do you trust Me? I was so sure that it was God that I actually trembled a little. My thoughts fired up again, and there came that question again — in that same voice, that same stillness: Do you trust Me?

And then, with tears stinging my eyes, I answered Yes. Yes, I trust You. Please help me want what You want.

Here’s an interesting thing. Of course the thoughts didn’t stop after I said yes. It won’t stop, and I know that it probably won’t stop until…I don’t know when. But I find that every time these thoughts come, God just keeps asking the same question, over and over again, in the same still voice: Do you trust Me?

And I just keep on saying Yes. Because what other answer is there?

And every time I say yes, I find that it chases the thoughts away. Not completely, but I think there is strength in that yes, and it clears my head long enough for me to take a deep, spiritual breath…enough to remember that trusting means letting go and letting God and trusting that He is good and He will give what is good. When He gives it doesn’t matter just yet — all that matters now is that I trust Him. Completely.

I knew my word this year should have been trust.

But anyway. I like how my friend described this for me: You’re in a period of total surrender. How long has it been since I heard that phrase, total surrender? I can’t remember. And while it is scary, what else is there for me to do? Resistance is futile, me thinks. And just plain stupid, if you ask me.

It’s not easy, but I believe He will give me what I need to keep on trusting. Because He is good. And when things get too scary…well, I think it’s no coincidence that I wrote this post exactly one year ago today: “Courage, it’s me. Do not be afraid. :)

Do I trust Him? Yes, yes I do.

* * *

Edited to add: August 8, 4:30pm

I was thinking of another entry today because of what has been happening to Manila in the past few days. I’d like to believe that I was inspired to write this entry the other day for a reason, because it seemed timely with what is happening now. The city is being hammered with rains and we thought it would stop today, but it didn’t. It hasn’t. And it’s scary because I feel like we can only take it so much.

I feel like I have more reason to fear this time because I know how it feels to be caught in a flood, how it feels to recover from this kind of blow.

In the middle of worrying, of thinking of my mom who’s staying at home in a place that has declared a state of calamity since yesterday, and thinking about my friends who are on their own or who are stuck somewhere, and …it’s scary. But once again, in the midst of all that, I hear God ask me: Do you trust Me?

I do. If there’s anything that really just spells total surrender, it’s things like this, the things we can’t control. With this, all we can do is reach out to each other, help out and pray.  Because He’s gotten us through this and other harder times before, and I believe that He will get us through this one more time. Because He’s on our side.

Hang in there a little bit more, Philippines. It’s always darkest before daybreak, the light will come soon.

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