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Eight Reasons Why I Thank God for 2014

On the first Monday of January, the first workday of 2015, CFC Executive Director Tito George Campos exhorted that as we start a new year, we must never forget the year that was (and the years that were), especially the lessons we've learned along the way. He encouraged us missionares to continue to behold 2014 and ponder on how it has prepared us for 2015. 

I must agree that while our past does not define our future, we cannot discredit the influence that it has on our present (and yes, eventually, our future). And so, for my first post this year, in the midst of the storms that I am currently facing particularly at work, I look back, behold, ponder, and thank the good Lord for these eight reasons why 2014 had been an awesome year for me

1. Freedom (aka Independence)
2014 was a year of fully embracing the beautiful gift of singlehood. It wasn't easy as I had to leave my comfort zone. I had my fears, and mind you, they're big and serious. But it's as if the Lord was screaming right into my face: "It's time, Aiza! You're 28 and you're a big girl now! Be the woman that I intend you to be - strong, independent, nurturing, generous, loving, empowered!" And so I became single in every sense of the word. And it was liberating! 

One day in December I woke up thinking of the things I've been wanting for so long a time (like a camera). I was hoping that somehow I could still have them as Christmas gifts to myself. But God made me realize that I have already given myself the best Christmas gift ever - freedom, independence (dependence on God). Now I can truly say that I am SFC - single for Christ. :)

2. Opportunities to love and serve more
By the grace of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, 2014 was a productive year in terms of service. One of the highlights for me was the mission trip in Leyte last November. Since there were only three of us in the service team for the Princess Diaries, I had to give two talks, lead a worship, and facilitate the activities. What I loved about that experience was the realization that I have received more than what I have actually given. During the healing session in Talk 4, I felt healed more than any of the participants. It was a very personal encounter with the greatest Lover, the constant and ever-faithful Partner, and the most valiant Warrior - God Himself. :)

3. Unfailing grace and unlimited blessings
Suffice to say, everything is grace! All that I have, all that I am, all that I was able to share, all of it came from a God who generously gives. I don't have much, but God provides everything that I need, and more. :) As Fr. Melvin Castro once said, God will give you not the miracle that you want, but the miracle that you need. And for me, every waking day is a miracle!

4. Realizations about life, love, and many other things
There's just a lot! I guess I'll just share them some other time. :) But if there's one lesson which I believe costed me so much to learn, it would be this: the only person you can depend and rely on aside from yourself is God. :)

5. Travels!
Every time I go to a new place, I am refreshed, renewed, re-energized. While most of my travels were work-related or service-related, I still thank the Lord for allowing me to marvel at His creation, for protecting me at all times, and for patiently journeying with me. :)

6. Endless encouragement and overwhelming affirmations
Thank God for the gift of family, friends, and community through whom I feel God's embrace. I am blessed with people who never fail to encourage and affirm me especially during my lowest moments. Thanks to them I have kept my sanity despite everything that I had to go through last year.

7. Exceeded expectations
Truly, God's ways are not our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, His plans are way way better than our grandest dreams, and His love is just so overwhelming. Indeed, He is more than enough! :) Not all my prayers were answered in the exact manner that I would have wanted, but God has proved time and again that He knows best. It's simply everything I wanted and more. :)

8. New beginnings
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end, so goes the song. I made big decisions in 2014 that included "endings". But those endings led to even more beautiful beginnings. And I feel nothing but excitement and joyful anticipation of what is to come. Something wonderful awaits me, I just know it. :)

Today is just the 11th page of my 2015. I've been through a lot already, but there's definitely a lot more to come! Only the best for God's beloved. ♥

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