This is an open letter to You, based on everything that has happened this past year.
I hate that a part of me is angry for speaking about this because I think people could have had it worse than me, but at the same time, shouldn’t I be allowed to speak up if things were difficult for me? So I’m just going to say it:
I had a really tough year.
I felt that as each day passed, I was wondering to myself, “God, how much more do you want to test me? Do you really think I am that strong to handle all this at once?”
I started off my academic year with the news of a beloved lecturer passing away. Granted, each and every student felt his loss. Why should I be given any special treatment? But it hurt so much. I didn’t understand. I was going to return, triumphant, telling him that I fulfilled my journey full circle. I had a text exchange with him just a day or two ago before he passed. How? Why now? God, I had so many questions, but I could barely speak because thinking of it always made me digress into a mess of tears.
Of course, You would have seen me struggling. Aside from the news, I felt unqualified in the course I was studying. I felt like I couldn’t really get through the ropes. I felt like an island. I had friends around me who did make things better, no doubt. But I felt so dumb, so stupid, and so inadequate. I felt that I didn’t deserve to be there with all these other people who boasted of qualifications, experience, and charisma, all amounting to greatness higher than what insignificant me would have ever reached. “Just work hard and study more,” people outside of what I was studying said to me.
But how do you study when you start to lose all motivation and purpose for what you are doing? God, I started distancing myself from You because I felt so weak. I felt so angry at how things were going wrong. I lost my passion. I felt frustrated that You were not helping me.
I thought that You weren’t helping me when I failed an internal paper because of another loss of a loved one. I thought You weren’t helping me when I ironically failed a family-related paper on top of the week I was going through the loss of another loved one. Three loved ones in a year. I remembered laughing mockingly at how things turned out. I thought that You weren’t helping me when I failed all three major papers on top of that because I was so down and out of it during the whole time I was preparing. God, I’m sorry, but for a while, I started hating the mention of You.
But now that I’ve gone through all of that, I am slowly able to see the purpose of why I had to go through what I did. Why everything was rocky, why it didn’t go according to plan, why things happened the way they happened.
God, You were helping because You saw so much more in store for me than I could ever imagine.
You saw how much more I needed to grow. I needed to be shattered so that I could grow out from the picture-perfect wordly titles I used to boost my self-worth. You saw greatness that could stem from my vulnerability. I needed to be prepared because I would eventually meet others who would be dealing with what I was dealing with and I would be used as Your vessel to provide them comfort. I needed to feel as down as I did because I started appreciating the need to ask for help and to depend more on You.
I didn’t understand the plan You had for me. And I may never fully see the whole picture for all Your plans till many years from now. But I cannot deny that You were always my constant, even when I strayed. Because when I was alone with my thoughts, music praising You and Your goodness comforted me. When I finally confided with friends about what I felt, Your presence enveloped me. Whenever I ended up crying and I couldn’t find the reason for the inexplicable emotions I felt, You never once judged me or told me I was weak.
Dear God, I’m coming back to You once more because I should have never left. But thank You, for always waiting with open arms, even when I don’t deserve it.