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DYING TO ONESELF (Part 2)

It is never easy to leave our comforts behind. It only becomes rewarding when we have the conviction that leaving is in response to the Lord's greater call. What tremendous and perfect joy it becomes!

Along the way, we get bewildered. The perplexity has nothing to do with the work from our perfect God, nor with our relationship with Him. Rather, it comes from circumstances and events which we feel are not of God's anymore. We feel it deeply in our hearts.

There comes the call once more to die to oneself. The pain is intense, yet joy abounds, knowing that we are heeding the same voice which beckoned us to serve. Here are more thoughts from our brethren who made the sacrifice for the sake of truth.

It is never easy to leave our comforts behind. It only becomes rewarding when we have the conviction that leaving is in response to the Lord’s greater call. What tremendous and perfect joy it becomes!

Along the way, we get bewildered. The perplexity has nothing to do with the work from our perfect God, nor with our relationship with Him. Rather, it comes from circumstances and events which we feel are not of God’s anymore. We feel it deeply in our hearts.

There comes the call once more to die to oneself. The pain is intense, yet joy abounds, knowing that we are heeding the same voice which beckoned us to serve. Here are more thoughts from brethren who made the sacrifice for the sake of truth.

MARICAR GATCHALIAN

“I have been with the community for 14 years, and 13 years of it I spent as a Fulltime Pastoral Worker. I decided to work fulltime after having a very strong sense in my heart to heed the call. It was so clear and so powerful that, though my family and friends had difficulty understanding my decision, there was peace, excitement and joy in my heart. Throughout those 13 years, the Lord expanded my territory. I organized mission trips for abroad, shifted to pastoral work, then worked on conferences, anniversaries, and plays - locally and internationally. I also had a short stint with our radio ministry and finally, as Head of Special Events. The fatigue and all forms of oppression I experienced only made God's hand even more majestic! The perks definitely outweighed the challenges. I also had friends from everywhere … friends for life! There were also miracles - in my life, in my family, in my midst. My work likewise allowed me to travel to all the regions of the Philippines and the world! There were so many perfect moments on mission enough to fill and entire book! The best of them all is having God with me all the time....especially when the going got tough!

“The turn of events in our community led me to make another decision. Initially, I really gave the remaining four-man Council my support. I would go to them directly to clarify issues when things became difficult or confusing. When they opted to proceed with the election despite strong warnings from the Bishops, I tried to hold on. For me, obedience to the bishops was very important. That was why when I witnessed disobedience, it made me rethink my stance. In my eyes, I simply felt that if my elders whom I obeyed could not even obey the elders of the Church made them poor witnesses. Through it all, I realized that doing the right thing was never easy. My last straw was when the present Council called me during one of their meetings to inquire about my involvement in the 1st Restoration Prayer Assembly. Even if they admitted they got the "wrong person" since they thought I was the one who reserved the venue, I realized that I was serving under the WRONG leaders. I went to Mass and prayed hard that night, after which I wrote my resignation letter. It brought me peace, knowing that despite the fears and anxiety in my heart, I was doing the right thing even if it felt like I was swimming against the tide. Slowly, as the weeks passed after my resignation, the peace in my heart grew even more and it brought with it the excitement and the joy. It was the same joy and excitement I felt when I joined fulltime work! It affirmed me even more that this is God’s will for me! With great excitement and joyful anticipation, I am beginning a new chapter in my life. I am where God wants me to be.

“It has been more than a month now since my resignation. The circumstances and opportunities opening up before me affirms one thing….GOD TAKES CARE OF HIS OWN! I am living the life God has planned for me and my future is bright and beautiful!”

DENICE NILLAS – PRICE

“I entered community through YFC in 1993, but it was only in 2001 when I fell in love with God and served our community through a mission trip to Europe. I was then an incoming 4th year law student. After the mission trip, I wanted to drop everything to be a fulltime worker! However, I was advised to finish my studies, and then serve God from there. And so I did. While taking the Bar, most law school graduates apply at the various law firms. The decision to work fulltime rather than work in the big law firms was unprecedented, but God's answer was simple, "Their ways are not My ways." So, I have never practiced law outside of CFC. I have always been a lawyer for God.

“Fulltime work brought me great joy, which included giving birth to the first CFC baby born on foreign mission! Thus, resigning recently from fulltime work was so painful. It was a decision which did not only concern my work, but also my life in this community, for they are inseparable. It was a decision made not overnight, simply for the sake of it. It was a decision made through my own witnessing of the events that transpired since February 20. Having been (un)fortunate to be part of the four-day dialogue, I saw an effort to fix the crisis. Sadly, it was not enough. The agreement to present "the agreement" turned out to be a mere "proposal" to the Elders Assembly. During the elections, people were shouting and dancing for joy, even if it was clear that an election should not push through. What was the dialogue for if not for the intention of coming to an agreement?

“As a lawyer in this community, it was confusing to work through the hurdles of being a legal entity and a spiritual community at the same time. A sigh of relief would always be there, though, when you returned to the loving folds of being in a community. Of late, however, the loving folds have turned into legalities, deception and intrigue. I looked back to the days of faithfully serving God and not the world. Will they just be a memory of days gone by? My family and I have decided to move on … to move forward in peace where God will call us once again in service to Him.”

i forgot, this series has a great intro that i have put in bold here. you may want to use it as std intro for the sharings. thanks and happy weekend.