In December 2013, our pastor invited a group of us from church for a Christmas dinner at his family’s place in Harlem. It was an incredible time of fellowship with some of my closest friends, all of whom were God-fearing individuals determined to make a positive impact in the world. While we were at the living room, sharing stories of what God has done in our life, Pastor Kaz asked each of us what one word would best describe the year 2013, based on what we’ve gone through and learned. At that time, the word that summed up the year for me was “restored.”
For 2014, the word that best describes the year is repositioned (Yes, I did try hard to find a word that starts with the letter “r”! ). Because the past 365 days have been a time where I needed to reposition myself to allow new things and people to come into my life. I was uprooted from a place that I thought would be my permanent home. I shifted responsibilities in my job. And I was acquainted with new friends, who involved me with new projects.
This year, after seven years of living in New York, I moved back to Manila. This year, I began leading a start-up news operation, which required me to supervise more than forty writers working remotely in the country and in India. This year, I rejoined a church that has helped me grow spiritually since I was high school and also became active in ministering to students. And for the first time since I can remember, I delved on things and passions that I had almost forgotten (and never thought I would be interested in again, ever!) – issues on Philippine development being one of them.
This repositioning brought a lot of new challenges. I had to work as a writer and manager, not in New York, but in Manila; where I adjusted to a strangely familiar yet new working environment. I had to learn how to lead better and manage people while balancing the interests of bosses and staff members. On the ministry side, I had to understand how men and women, many a decade younger than me, think and see the world from their view, to help me become a better mentor.
These new challenges led to some situations that were far from easy, where at times my response to a difficult circumstance was less than stellar. More than once (a day, sometimes) I complained why things didn’t work out my way. There were nights when I would cry and hope that I can just pack my bags and get out of here. There were moments, when out of frustration, I would spew out words that I’d regret.
Although I did fail in my response to some dead-ends and debacles, I’ve learned a lot in dealing with them. It has equipped me to be a better person, ready for the next hurdles ahead.
New challenges and new experiences are part of the package every time a new year comes. The past year though has seemingly brought more “new” things than ever before. Only someone who knows me best would know how to position me to not only survive, but also learn and grow from these new arrangements that I didn’t expect would come way.
I’m thankful to have a Creator who has ordained and promised that, “His plans for me is not to harm me, but give me a hope and a future.” I’ve realized that in the past year, out of His love and grace, He has repositioned me to experience more of His power and glory in my life.
The year 2015 will be an incredible one. Happy New Year!