Monday, June 17, 2019

Mother Said "Remember and Pray"

By Marjorie Engcoy
Columban Lay Missionary in Fiji 

Few months into the second term, I made a call to my mother and told her, “I want to come home. I don’t understand what’s going on anymore. I’ve had enough; I’m done.” There was a long pause on the other line and I thought the signal was crappy again. Then, she answered me, “Remember whom you made your commitment to; remember how you were given this opportunity; remember who called you; remember and pray.”  

Marjorie with her Mom Elvie and niece
I admit that I was not in a very good space at that moment. Now I know, how depression feels and looks like—it was definitely not the best place to be in. That short conversation with my mother brought me to the corner and a series of flashbacks that played like a movie reduced me to tears that day. I did what she told me: to remember and pray. But there were too many things going on; I needed to talk to someone about it or else, I will go crazy. I called my personal companion and I had the longest conversation with her. God bless her heart for listening to me that long. She listened and helped me to listen to myself and see things clearer. At the end of our conversation, I felt a little better. The process of getting back on my feet gradually took place.

My second term is memorable for me. It has pushed me to my limitations, sometimes beyond my limitations. It made me cry barrels of tears. It taught me some valuable lessons. But it had its beautiful surprises as well, no doubt about that. It allowed me to discover more about myself. It gave me the opportunity to nurture my skills and learn new ones. It blessed me with new friendships and relationships. It made grow more mature. It nurtured me spiritually. It painted more colours in my missionary life. It gave my missionary song a more meaningful melody.

Towards the end of the term, I thought I was so sure of my decision of not renewing. But it looks like God’s plan is better than mine. The Lord turned things around for me; he refueled my tank. This through the faces of the people I journeyed with—mothers, fathers, youth and children. I felt more encouraged and inspired to continue. Then a small mishap came. A few people didn’t quite like it. But I said, all is well—it’s not going to change my decision. The most important thing is I can still serve; I will renew. When I got home for vacation, my mother and I had the chance to talk about my second term experience. And she said one thing that I will not forget: “Giving up is not the answer to all the big difficulties in life; taking a break is.” And this has made me appreciate this vocation even more. Now, I understood what my mother meant, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Surely, Mother knows better!

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