At the beginning of our Training, Frey and I didn’t have a good first impression of each other. I tried assessing the situation, getting my heart checked and asking God why, we’re both Christians and yet we don’t seem to get along well. I immediately judged her and thought that her level of belief in Christ was shallow. How dare I assume that, kapal ko diba? Our first month gave me such a hard time, seeing her in class everyday felt heavy. Sobrang awkward kami sa isa’t isa. Our conversations were empty, and filled with insecurities and pride. Our faces both look unapproachable to some, “mataray-looking” as they say, and maybe that was the reason why we didn’t click right away; we saw a bit of ourselves in each other. I actually felt with Frey what many people would usually tell me on their first encounter with me— ang taray ng aura, hindi ko keri. So there, nag backfire sakin yung feeling na yun.
I’d always believe that first impressions do not last, because I grew up always being mistaken as a bad girl for how I look. But you know what I realized lately? They’re actually right, I am bad, and even worse than what they thought of. I really am bad apart from Christ. I wouldn’t have the effort to smile at people, to remember names & to intentionally build friendship. I’d be picky with my friends, build walls & limitations within my own circle. I would be prideful, though deep down inside I wanted to get to know people, I wouldn’t talk to them because I wanted them to be the first to approach me. Ang OA diba?Sobrang prideful. Ang dami kong possible friendship in the past na pinalagpas dahil sa pride ko. So again, I am absolutely bad when Christ doesn’t rule & reign in me. But HEY HEY HEY it doesn’t have to be that way anymore, right? Having been a new creation in Christ, I must mirror His holiness. “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 — Wouldn’t this be a solid rebuke to us Christians? I don’t know about you, but this one heavily slapped me. I got so used to putting the blame on others and judging them without being aware of my own attitude. I wouldn’t consider having a character check because I’d innately & selfishly think I that know better. Remember what Christ says in Matthew 7:5? “Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Ouch! Repent! But of course, GRACE ABOUNDS. Praise God for searching my heart and knowing my anxious thoughts, for seeing offensive ways in me and always leading me in the everlasting way.
The tension between Frey and I subsided when I prayed for God to change my heart, (while I didn’t know she was actually praying for herself too), when I confessed the situation to my dgroup in the Philippines & asked them to pray for me. One of my devotions also compelled me to take action, it says that the way for people to know that we are Christ’s disciples is when we love each other; *gasps* basic knowledge in Christianity that I always forget; I cannot say that I’m the Lord’s if I do not love, for God is love Himself. Eventually, God opened an opportunity for us to get to know each other better. It began during our service training, when we didn’t have a choice but to share a meal because we both love seafood, and the stock was limited. Haha! I know, medyo-PG. Who would have thought na food lang pala ang mag-rreconcile samin. But what really brought us two closer is that towards the end of our training, we didn’t have a choice but to be each other’s room mate. Irresistible grace nanaman. I had two room mates before her (Ajla and Dawn, I love and miss them!) and when my 2nd room mate Dawn graduated and moved to Riyadh, I had no choice but to move in the same room with Frey. God moves in funny and mysterious ways talaga! That time, I told Him, “I don’t know what exactly You are up to, but I’m excited & I trust You, so bring it on.”
It’s been 2 weeks being in the same room with my former enemy. I won’t go into details on how it has been, but I feel sooo blessed having Frey as my room mate now. We cry and laugh together, we pray together every night before we sleep. We both acknowledge that we are saved by Grace. We both apologised and asked for each other’s forgiveness. We now call each other sisters in Christ and we believe we’ve got eternity to make chikahan about His goodness. Grabe, madalas kaming napupuyat cause we’re both talkative and we love to share lots and lots of testimonies. Indeed, all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. God is so intentional in making us live in harmony with one another so that we may glorify Him in Christ with a united spirit. (Romans 8:28; 15:5-6) How amazing!
Two more days before we move to Riyadh. We’re both aware that it won’t be easy, there’s more to discover in our newly blooming friendship, not just between us but also among our batch mates, and the thousands of colleagues we are yet to encounter. We’ve got a lot of adjustments to do, we may disappoint each other in the future but we know that the battle isn’t in the flesh but in the spirit, and as long as we have Christ in our center, we’re cool. Christ is our Peacemaker! Yay! ☺️
I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35