Gratitude in Tough Times

I made a declaration last year. I said 2013 would be better. It wasn’t, far from it. But as 2013 bid its final goodbye last night, as everyone celebrates the coming year with all the fireworks, noise, food and their family and friends, twisted as it may sound, I realized that yes, it was better, in ways I never expected it to be.

It made a better me.

If I’m to map everything that didn’t come my way since the start of the year, this entry would just end up as another whiny post of an unappreciative, pessimistic blogger which is not what I intend it to be. Let’s only say that good and bad things come in threes and life made a joke on me last year, it wants me to reach my quota in all things negative. I talked about some of it on numerous personal posts I had in 2013 but I haven’t talked about far bigger issues.

I was depressed. I went through a quarter life crisis and when I was slowly trying to get back in my game, life decided to throw another challenge in my face; at 26, I was diagnosed with DM Type II.

I know it’s not the end of my existence and I can still do something about it but when something big hits you (and I haven’t been myself lately,) you may not want it but you shut down. Call me crazy but I feel like my life flashed before my eyes and I abruptly made a mental check list of the things I have and haven’t done. Then the “what if’s” and “will I’s” followed. It was a frantic, depressing episode of my life.

I cried. Not only for this but for other things I’ve went through up to this point. I questioned everything. Then out of the blue, the very thing I tried to avoid for many years came up, where is my faith all this time?

For years I was a non-practicing Catholic. Something happened years ago that made me question Him and instead of using this to strengthen my faith, I went the other way. I tried to bring it back, for sometime I thought I did but I knew it wasn’t the same anymore. So I lived without really living (as I realized now) and went through the notions of life with a “taped” faith. I always complain that this year is difficult but looking back, God was kind enough to let me be and give me things He knew I can go through without Him. Then finally, just like any petulant child, it was time for a parent to guide His child back. He knew that this time, I need Him.

The first time I really went to mass after years of not doing it, the gospel is about being thankful, of why people should thank Him for all things, in good times and especially in tough times. And as the priest was in his homily, I’m in the brink of tears. In my head I was apologizing for not coming back, for abandoning Him when I thought He left me years ago, and for taking such a long to time to let bygones be bygones, move on and thank Him. It’s not my proudest moment. I had my reasons, and it took a life changing wake up call for me to find faith once again. I’m not there yet. But I’m making a conscious effort.

I always believe that God let things happen for a reason and He wouldn’t give you something he knows you can’t handle. I’m not saying I’m now a devout practicing, believing Catholic and I feel hypocrite if I’d claim that my faith is back but what I’m trying to say is that, I’m taking one step at a time. I’m hesitant to step forward and walk by Him. I’m trying. And I will not give up.

People may think it’s superficial, that you only remember Him when things get tough. You only pray when you need help. It’ll be deceitful if I’m going to deny that. Yes, there is some truth in it. But it isn’t all just that. That is not the reason I decided to reach out. The priest in that homily was right.

Thank You.
For letting me know as early now.
You didn’t leave me in all those years.
You were always there, in the sidelines when I refused to make You the center of my life.
That You cared when I thought You don’t.
I hope it’s not too late but will You take me back?

I’m afraid to make a claim again this year. But someone I know claimed her 2013 as her year of the brave even though she’s afraid and it was. Yes, I’ll be brave and claim 2014. Come and join me in this journey.

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7 thoughts on “Gratitude in Tough Times

  1. Jenny says:

    Hi Alona,
    Sometimes God let us be so we’d know His importance in our lives.
    Yes, indeed He has not left you in your most trying period but what a “wallop” of blessing He has given you now? A renewed strength & even stronger faith in Him.
    Take your baby steps in in going back.
    It’s healthy when we question our faith- it means we are conscious of what we believe in.
    Thus it is said – gratitude is the beginning if wisdom…😊
    As a fellow Catholic I welcome you back home. God must be truly happy. Mama Mary is too..

    Happy New Year!

  2. Tina says:

    I read this again and like what I told you through SMS, I got teary-eyed. I have so many things I want to say, but I will settle for this: I love you and God loves you. 🙂 And I will join you in this journey. 🙂 Happy 2014, Alona! I believe this will be a good year for us. *hugs*

  3. Pingback: 27 | Off The Wall
  4. Maria says:

    It sucks for me to say that I didn’t know you went through hell last 2013 😦 Still, you know I am here for you. Let’s bring back our faith this 2014. Yeah? 😉 Happy New Year, Alona! *hugs*

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