just another step

just another step


and still, a year and a half later on mission in the philippines, emotion continues to run high – most times, usually more than one, which makes it sometimes difficult for the libra in me who desires balance at all times
.it’s been a stressful week with lots of activity going on in the ministry – lots of planning, lots of preparation, just lots of things to do, lots of running around, lots of follow-up with people who i’m pretty sure look at their received text messages and don’t respond, and well, that only adds to the frustration when trying to get things done within a time crunch. but needless to say, i learn to deal with it. with more activity going on with the baguio festivities that completed this past week, i can honestly say i don’t want anything to do with large crowds of people or chaotic noise around me for a LONG time. seriously! yesterday and today, i dragged myself out of bed at 11am. that NEVER happens. but, my body totally needed it, for sure. exhaustion – i think that’s the word.
HALT – hungry? angry? lonely? tired? um, probably all of the above, except for the hungry part, because i am trying to be more healthy about my unhealthy eating habits that i have developed here on the MSG-induced island of the philippines. 🙂 i’ve noticed i have been angry a lot – but not so much angry, more like frustrated with false hopes that i have come to realize. just when things SEEM to be getting better and we seem to be making some progress, perhaps it is NOT quite there yet. and i definitely got to the point where i started going off in verbal vomit to one of my close friends because of this frustration. then, after five minutes, i sat on the sidewalk and continued to eat my siomai that i had with me. in silence. i needed time. then of course, 2 minutes later, my two cousins walk by, and they just had good timing. thank you Jesus! 🙂 haha, i definitely got the lungs of my Reyes family roots where i can do that, but after i say what i gotta say, then i’m good to go. pretty sure those around me have come to understand me in that sense. thank God for loving people surrounding me! 🙂
lonely. not so much lonely, but the reality that i am not going to be here forever in the philippines is starting to catch up to me and my reflection on missionary life and its transient nature continues (i think it will always serve me with contemplative thought). more times in the past two weeks have people been asking me when i am going to leave, because they say they need to emotionally prepare for this. which gets ME thinking, crap, ME TOO! i need to prepare myself…but until then, lots more to do, and before i know it, i’m going to have to leave the philippines. what? is this real life?
i am reminded: “a missioner goes where he/she is needed but not wanted, and stays until he/she is wanted, but not needed” – pretty much one of my favorite quotes from the maryknoll family…
and then, onto the next step in life. 🙂
tired. for sure. totally tired – i get up at 6am, try to wake up my body with some yoga in the am, get ready for work, out of the door at 7:30, work at 8 which usually involves doing some organizing and planning and corresponding, then usually running errands mid-day, then on my way home around 5ish, then mass sometimes, then dinner, then prayer and then crystal catch-up-with-my-life time around 8:30pmish. and then repeat. of course, everyday is different but it usually involves some sort of being tired. it’s just always constantly having to be aware and alert of surroundings at all times too. that gets exhausting! and getting around! and dodging cars and making sure you don’t get run over. yeah, gotta watch out for that one.
anyway, on my super frustrated day that i had, i received this quote in my inbox:
Today, notice if you have a “chip on your shoulder,” confronting and intimidating others to get your way. Can you tone down the aggressiveness and still find a way to be effective?

clearly, the unhealthy “8” in me was winning. and i was thinking to myself, “Crystal. Stop being so combative.” haha, that happens from time to time when i get really riled up. i had to change my mindset, immediately! the frustration with the situation around me was affecting me, and i had to stop myself immediately. can NOT let negative energy permeate within me. it’s just not healthy, and it is not what i need, nor do i function well in those situations, clearly! i’m starting to think i am the epitome of an 8, but i LOVE when i healthily venture to the direction of the 2. 🙂

we had adoration that night, which is what i totally needed, and i was thankful for that. two things specifically stuck out to me:

one:  That body of goodness [life of Jesus] clashes with the evil and sin of the world. This causes pain, and suffering, scorn and injustice. All this Jesus accepted without trying to dodge it when he discovered it to be entailed in his mission.

then, during prayer, we chose different scrolls that were in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and just picked one which contained “a message” for us. i chose the yellow (of course!) scroll, and in it, was this verse from Hebrews 10:23-24. It read, Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy. We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works.

As soon as I read this scripture, I thought to myself, Jesus knew that he would experience pain, and suffering, and scorn and injustice, but still, he persevered in his mission because he trusted God in it, and what was Jesus doing, as he continued on the road to Calvary? STILL, Jesus was comforting the women, STILL, he was loving others. This was a message for me to persevere, to continue, and while there would be these difficulties in mission, I am not to dodge it or act out in anger and frustration, but rather, to continue my mission to rouse one another to love and good works, while trying the best i can, to do so myself.

sure, emotion is sometimes difficult to work through, and there are sometimes five different things that are on my mind at one time, and yeah that is exhausting in itself too, but, the peace comes, and i know i can look forward to the moments when i realize it has been there all along.

this was especially a good reminder for me that i received two days ago:
Grief work is very helpful for Eights. You are not the kind of person to sit around feeling sorry for yourself for long, but if you are suffering, it is important to find meaningful ways of grieving your losses and hurts. 
i think i’m in the midst of finding those ways, and it is all part of a blessed process. 
and to close, i leave you with Hebrews 6:10, For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones. 
pardon all of the “8” and “2” references…all part of the enneagram 🙂 learn more here – http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/ 

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