• mr. ikigai

2018: WHAT A YEAR IT WAS


It has been quite a while since the last time I posted something on this blog and alas another year is over. My fingers are almost forgetting how to press the keys on my notebook. Indeed, it is remarkably unspeakable how every year we are amaze on how quick a year is. My 2018, dubbed as “My Recovery Year” have had its many ups and downs but it is for certain that I remain standing and is fully recovered with the grace of the Lord. To God be all the Glory!!!


It is by necessity that I share some highlights of my 2018 through this platform that I envisaged to be the channel in professing my faith and gratitude to the One who made it all possible, our Lord Jesus Christ! And so, here are some notable things that happened off my 2018-list and so many other great things that God has allowed me and my family to experience.


I was poised to learn Nihonggo or the Japanese Language not only as a tool for communication but also for survival and to thrive in this new environment, most specifically for myself since I am the one in need to adjust with all the changes around me. And so, in the beginning of 2018, I have studied Nihonggo. I quickly learned to read and write the basic Hiragana and Katakana, as well as a little Kanji to survive a day. Sure there’d been clear struggles with speaking and understanding but the Lord has orchestrated people and situation where I honed my Nihonggo-communication ability. More importantly, I am now able to apply my little Nihonggo at work and continue to be better at it day by day. My current job has able to nurture this new language skills through daily use and practical/physical application of what I have learned in school and books. I am so grateful to God for putting the right people at the right time. My “Sensei-s” (Teachers) and “Senpai-s” (Seniors) encourage me to never give up and give all I’ve got. It was fun whenever I am able to utter new words, new sentences in both familiar and unfamiliar situations. By acquiring this new skill, my world in here is expanding little by little. I still has it - the ability to thrive in any situation. Praise be to God!!!


Out of literally nowhere, one of the biggest miracles and surprises of this year was when mom found a trace and he himself, the long lost father of my sister. Who would have thought that after almost two decades a day could still come for my mom and my sister to be reunited to the main man of their story. The moment they confirmed it was him, through a sharp phone call, I have seen tears in the voices of mom and sis. As for me, it was both healing and piercing at the same time. Healing because obviously after a terribly long time of quandaries if a day like it is still possible, it did happen. And, it is piercing because the fact that he is alive and well also mean that he chose a path for himself with others and not the one with my mom and my sister. The truth is, I am hurting for mom and sis. Yet, the joy of finding a long lost person in your life I guess is so much greater than any shade of negativity hurling around it. Thanks be to God indeed.


Through an online job that started at the latter of 2017, I was able to support myself and my mom for most of 2018. I managed to tick off some important debts as well. At the onset of it all, I am completely oblivious of where and how I would be able to support myself and all of my obligations. But the voice inside of me is crying out loud saying God will make a way, and truly, faithfully and amazingly God paved the path for opportunities to be incredibly possible. This online job has also unlocked so many doors - dreams, visions, plans and the works. It has given me all new perspective at work, professionally, and personally. It has bestowed me an unyielding weapon to climb greater heights wherever, whenever. And very recently, I finally landed a local job, although this is very much outside my comfort zone, the silver lining here is that I am physically active every day and is able to earn to support myself and all of my obligations. This somehow paved the way to being in good shape. Thus, I am faced with slumbering enemy: my flat feet. I am physically unable to do anything else after each day of long work and would almost always cry from the pain I feel in my body. Hence, I am reminded that this is nothing compared to the pain that Jesus have had to go through just to save me, and so still I thank the Lord for all of these experiences. I trust that the best is yet to come for me and my family because of God’s divine grand plans for our lives.


My best friend, of course, is still with me through thick and thin. I continue to thank the Lord for literally sending an angel who guides and gives me sanity and refuge every step of the way. Although at times I can’t help but feel guilty for abusing her kindness and for the fact that I can’t return all the favour and love she has showered me, I know that it is not only for me to give it back but for God himself to return the blessing a million fold. I thank the Lord for opening a portion of my heart willing to ask and receive help. Farfetched from what I used to be - a prideful immature person. Being vulnerable has given my heart a new shape, more so, being needy has bowed my head low enough to reach humility.


I have rekindled a red-string connection to Mother Mary and so is my Catholic faith. Being born with the solid-Catholic side of my mom, and the Born-again Christian side of my dad, has opened my eyes to the semblances and differences of these sects. While there was a portion in time when I wandered and tested the water being a Born-again Christian, I have found my path back to Catholicism. Without stressing so much on efficacy, personally, I found myself much nearer to God through the Catholic doctrines and teachings. While attending Born-again fellowship I used to have guilt for talking to Mother Mary at times in my prayers, but I also realised how important her role was in the fulfilment of Jesus’ mission and how she was hailed as a set-apart disciple and handmaid of the Lord. Slowly this year, I am able to talk to Mother Mary without guilt that Jesus or God the Father might get jealous or what have you. I think one clear thought I have on this is how can a sinner-saving and perfectly-loving God go petty over people praying to Himself and His people.


With this blog as my platform, I am able to re-channel my energies to something that could at the very least inspire other believers and hopefully non-believers. I am very happy how this website turned out to be. My eyes were wide open seeing how it has gain progress from a mere idea to reality. How can I not believe in the wonders of the Lord and the faith that carried it through. Starting up a blog maybe something easy for other people but for me it has been a long-time dream. It gives me a great sense of pride that I am able to structure words and sentences to build a picture and share a glimpse of my life through it. I always knew that through this I am able to put to good use the God-given talent of writing. Proudly, I am indeed a writer after all. Thanks be to God. Through this website, I am able to reach out to people I barely knew. I am able to slowly break the shell of shame for sharing my story. This blog has given me the gate to voice out the things I couldn’t tell the world out of embarrassment to my heart’s desire.


Lastly, but most certainly is not the least, our precious time together as a family - mom, sis, nephew and I. Who would have thought that this can be possible, we are together in a foreign land with all things new. We survived the coldness of Winter and the heat wave of Summer. We have spent blissful moments of Spring and Autumn. Surely a mom’s prayer is so powerful that God and His universe conspired to turn a dream to a truthful reality. All praise be to God! We may not have the luxury of everything but the daily physical presence of togetherness is undeniably something that money can’t buy. In my heart of heart, I believe that tomorrow is even brighter for it is God’s promise. This year, we have lost loved ones but we remain standing because the Lord is sustaining us to each day. I am also very grateful for the inexplicable presence of my beloved Nanay all steps of the way.


Again, as I close, I’d like to thank God, the Father Almighty, Mother Mary, and Jesus Christ for the year it was. To God be all the glory!! 2018, being my year of recovery, has indeed recovered plethora of great joys and wonders. I am humbled and grateful for another amazing year it was.

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