Thank you for loving TOC as much as we love you! In this episode, the anniversary celebration continues as we talk about the remaining three of your most favorite episodes.
We never thought that the pandemic would last so long. As someone from the South, we thought it would be something like the Taal incident, that after a week or a few weeks, everything will go back to normal already. I suffered from the experience of feeling unproductive for taking a gap year. My outlook in life became limited to what is just in front of me at the moment and this led me to search for meaning, but I can’t find meaning to anything. There were moments when past issues I’ve already conquered would resurface, causing me to feel depressed and anxious. I am thankful for TOC and for Kuya Jello for helping me process and walk through what I am experiencing.
When I look back, I see that I was in a grieving and denial phase, unnecessarily asking for reasons why things are happening. Then I started to look at things that I can control. There were times that I’ve made excuses to stop sharing the gospel because of the circumstances. This principle helped me become aware of my surroundings:
“Productivity doesn’t always mean action. Productivity could also mean self-reflection.”
Another highlight from Pastor Tito is his point on childhood memories:
“We don’t forget but we can move forward. Moving forward is subjecting yourself to the healing process and there’s nothing wrong about it.”
There’s nothing wrong with being weak and going through a grieving process. Our family and friends have very vital roles in the healing process.
I’m so glad that I can say that I didn’t waste the year, though I really cried hard not just because I was a graduating student, but really because of the situation. I also went through the denial phase, telling a friend that this pandemic would end quickly. I took this opportunity to encourage my batchmates so I wrote an article.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is this – It may seem that it’s a wasted year but it’s not. Even if we are in the comfort of our own homes, we can still get out of our comfort zone. It’s just a matter of finding ways and being creative on how we can make the situation better.
Since I am homeschooled, when they said “wasted year”, I was not really that affected. The only difference was I could not go to church onsite anymore. As a worship leader, it was challenging to connect and lead people since online worship meant facing the camera instead of people. This caused me to lose my drive to serve and to lead victory groups because it felt uncomfortable. However, God was so faithful that during this season of doing everything online, my victory group grew and a friend from showbiz finally agreed to do One2One with me. I was like, “Lord, it’s not a wasted year for me!”
The worldly perspective is, it’s a wasted year if our plans did not push through. However, if we look at it in the lens that what matters is not really our plan because God can break our plans to replace them with His plans. It’s beautiful for us Christians, in a sense that we have a fresh view of the value of God in our lives during this tough time unlike when we are doing fine and okay. The pandemic has taught us and caused more lost people to hold on to the Lord.
“It’s okay not to be okay” is a very comforting phrase coming from God. He knows what we are going through, so it’s okay not to feel okay but don’t worry because we don’t have to dwell on this feeling and we are not alone. We can get strength from each other when we are weak. There is beauty in helping each other.
For many of us, the wasted year has become a wake up year, especially for the workaholic and for those who do not take time to pause and reflect to realize how blessed they are.
How is being part of a community helping you in dealing with the challenges we are going through?
It’s very helpful to know that even if we are distanced from each other, we still have people who are still there for you. This pandemic has also revealed who are the people who will be there with you no matter what.
Before the pandemic started, I was so used to being around people so when the pandemic hit, I was not really used to being with people I don’t talk to that much. The situation made me feel so alone. However, I am grateful that we still have technology, like social media and Zoom to still get connected with people online. This made me realize that I am not literally alone, I am with people in my household and my friends are there for me and we are experiencing the same situation. And more importantly is the fact that we are not just with people, we are also with God.
This whole pandemic has revealed to us how important relationships are, how other people can help us because we cannot do it alone. We need other people and we need God with us.
How did this episode help you see the future that is ahead of you?
We should have clarity in every relationship that we have. Communication is key as it brings clarity in relationships. As young people, we tend to focus more on the “kilig” or our feelings but a relationship needs commitment, not just feelings.
When we enter into a romantic relationship with someone, it should lead to marriage so when we notice red flags, we should not blind ourselves. However, we should not look for red flags because that is already fault finding. We should look into the positive character traits and see if it’s worth committing to.
I was inspired by the story of Pastor Joe and Ms. Carla and also by stories of wholesome relationships among couples. What I got from this episode is the reality that relationships are not just about the good things or the butterflies because there are also conflicts. Let’s try to see the reality, not just in romance or relationships, but also in everything.
The pandemic has really revealed a lot of our reality. Actually, every different season reveals a lot about ourselves, our desires, may it be in relationships or not. Think about our present selves first before thinking about the future.
Our temporary desires cannot be exchanged for the eternal purposes of the Lord in our lives.
This episode of Today on Campus is hosted by Renjo Almario and Daryll Reyes. They are joined by CJ De Guzman, Notch Zenarosa and Yronn Garcia, students from different ENC centers in the Philippines.
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