In most cases, I would usually do everything I can to the best of my abilities to resolve a problem, to achieve the desired outcome, or to accomplish the task at hand on my own or with the help of other people.
When I have done all that I could and have exhausted all my options and there’s nothing else left for me to do but to wait for the result, that’s the only time I would either worry or pray.
The Long-Awaited Package
Those two packages from the Philippines that I have been waiting for in months were finally being delivered on that one afternoon when no one is there at our apartment to receive them.
I thought I have done all the possible arrangements that I could for the delivery of these packages that I ordered from my home country to be shipped here in the US, but some unexpected, nerve-wracking experiences occurred.
I am usually the type who would spend a fortune for things that I don’t really need, let alone have them shipped from across the globe. But I have no vices or whatsoever but to collect books of a particular genre from my favorite author.
And as much as I am well-aware that having these previous books shipped from the Philippines to the US is impractical due to the expensive shipping fee (hindi ko na sasabihin kung magkano, baka masabunutan n’yo pa ‘ko kapag nalaman nyo. Wahahaha), I was kind of like, “Lord, please, just this once…”. I have no other way to get these books but to have them delivered to me here because I don’t know when I could go home again. They’re not available elsewhere, and they are also instrumental for spiritual growth as these books are Christian novels. But of course, the Lord knows better. He knows me too well.
I have always felt loved by God, but He doesn’t pamper me as much as my parents and other people do. Kahit na pinagbibigyan Niya ako sa mga ‘kapritso’ ko like this one, He made sure that I will learn a very important lesson in the process.
The Waiting Period
One of those two packages contained two books that are self-published by my favorite author with the help of her team. I have paid for the books as early as May of this year and I was told that since I will have them shipped internationally, I will have to wait for the team’s confirmation of the shipping fee that I would need to pay once finalized.
I waited for a total of five months for a response about the final shipping fee that I had to pay. What took them so long to respond? I knew the team was so busy due to the high demand of those books plus the fact that the team members have their personal matters to attend to like school, work, family, etc. If I didn’t know them and if it wasn’t for the outstanding reviews that they receive, I could’ve thought that I’ve been scammed, but no. I knew that they were better than that.
But still, the waiting period had been so agonizing because, although I trust their credibility, I couldn’t help but worry and even be a bit paranoid since I was not getting updates and they were not responding to my messages for months. But when they finally responded and I have paid the shipping fee, the package had been shipped way faster than I have expected. Kudos to the whole team!
The other package contained two copies of a novel that is very dear to me. I have been waiting for probably a year for the author’s publisher to publish this book! And when they finally published it, I had been anxiously checking multiple times a day to see if it is already available on their website,
Right at that point, I felt the Lord gently convicting me of focusing my energy too much on something like I depend my happiness on it. And He lovingly reminded me this: Do not depend your happiness on any single thing or on any person other than Him. Jesus has been so faithful and so patient in teaching me that.
Just when I was already capable of containing my excitement and of handling my anxiety that I was no longer checking the website from time to time and was just waiting patiently, the dear book was finally available for ordering on the publisher’s website! Kung kalian hindi ko na hinihintay at hinahanap, tsaka siya dumating!
It’s like Lord is telling me to, “Leave everything to Me, and I’ll handle it perfectly.”. Somewhere in this whole process, I felt in my core that Jesus would probably not give me what I’ve been waiting for until I come to learn to depend on Him and not on anything or anyone even for the smallest, most mundane, seemingly unimportant request.
At yun na nga. As soon as it became available, I ordered two copies of it (balak kong ipangregalo yung isang copy), and I had them shipped internationally also kahit masakit sa bulsa. The transaction went smoother than I have expected and just like the package of self-published books, sobrang bilis din ng shipping nito!
The Consequences of My Choices
The two packages that came from two different sellers were set to be delivered at the same time by the same carrier. They were scheduled to arrive on an unexpectedly earlier date to my delight. The only problem was, walang taong nandoon sa apartment namin na available to receive the packages!
The carrier came at around 3:30 PM of Wednesday. Most of the tenants were at work. And my mother, although pinagbilinan ko about the delivery, was asleep at that time because she had to work that night. Naawa naman akong paghintayin siya, so since hindi naman namin alam kung anong oras eksaktong darating yung delivery, pinatulog ko na siya. My mistake was, I forgot to tell her na alisin sa silent mode ang phone niya so she can hear her phone ringing when I call her in case na dumating ang carrier at nasa work pa ako.
I could have arranged for the carrier to deliver my packages on the weekend para nandoon ako sa apartment to receive them. But because I got too excited and I thought I have waited for too long and I cannot wait any longer, hindi ko na pinabago ang schedule.
The delivery guy who was a Spanish speaker called me because there was no one there to receive the packages from him. And because he only speaks very little English and I speak very little Spanish, I wasn’t sure if he understood me when I instructed him na ihagis na lang yung mga packages as far as he can mula sa main gate para hindi masungkit ng iba na taga labas. Tutal, mga libro lang naman ‘yon, hindi naman mababasag.
I was on duty and I was not on break yet, so I was not able to stay with him on the phone for a long time. And even though I called him again to make sure that he was able to do what I asked of him, the way he answered me was sort of unsure. Parang hindi sya sigurado. So lalo akong kinabahan.
I wasn’t sure if my packages were safely delivered and if they will not be stolen outside. I called my mother for several times, but when she wasn’t picking up, I remembered that her phone was on silent mode! I tried to call the tenants that are my friends in the apartment even though I knew that, most likely, they were still at work and not yet home by that time.
Praying Instead of Worrying
Usually, my travel time from work to home is bearable, and I am not worried at all even if it takes longer than usual.
But that time, it was different. I have estimated that I will not be home until 6:30 at the latest. So, I had to endure what felt like the longest and most agonizing three hours of my life! I may sound like I’m exaggerating and that parang ang liit at ang babaw lang ng pinoproblema ko, OA na kung OA, pero gano’n talaga yung nararamdaman ko that time.
And I have no one else to blame but myself. I could have explored other options and I could have done better in general, but because I was driven by my emotions for the most part, I have brought so much unnecessary anxiety to myself.
But what seemed to be ‘unnecessary’ was still useful for the Lord to teach me lessons. And the most important of these is to remember and choose to pray instead of worrying.
I have already done what I have chosen to do and what I was able to do at that moment, and when I was at that point where there was nothing left for me to do but to wait and see kung nakita ba yung mga packages ng mga tenants na nakauwi nang mas maaga kaysa sa’kin at ipinasok sa loob ng apartment building? o kung nandoon pa ba yung mga ‘yon sa labas pagdating ko? O kung wala sa labas at wala rin sa loob yung mga ‘yon, anong gagawin ko?
I was beaten up by my worries. Then I realized that the Lord allowed all these to happen so I could learn to combat my worries with not just my rationalization and whatever defense or coping mechanism that I know, but with prayer and faith.
It was like, that moment and the whole experience was orchestrated by the Lord to teach me to depend on Him, to increase and strengthen my faith in Him, and to focus on Him instead of just merely distracting myself with other earthly things.
What was I praying for?
Aside from my packages, I thought of using that time (traveling from work to home) to pray for the people and things that I haven’t been spending enough time to pray for, like the people who asked me to pray for them, the ones whom I know were suffering or were going through difficult times, and those things and issues that needed to be attended to.
And although pasingit-singit pa rin ang mga worries about the packages habang nasa byahe ako pauwi, by the Holy Spirit’s power, I got through! I was able to repeatedly turn my focus back on the Lord to continue praying for several matters including my own heart.
And I have also been reminded during this experience that in everything, we should pray first before we decide what to do. In this way, we give ourselves an opportunity to receive the wisdom that God will give us when we ask, to calm our emotions and excitement down, and to enable ourselves to make the right choices and decisions as wise as we could.
GOD KNOWS BEST. NOTHING IS TOO LITTLE NOR TOO BIG FOR HIM TO WORK ON.
As we get closer and closer to the apartment, my heart was beating louder and louder. At sa tuwing hihinto ang sasakyan dahil sa stoplight o sa traffic, I get that ‘so near yet so far’ kind of feeling.
After three long hours or worrying, praying, worrying, and praying, I have finally arrived at our apartment. From the moment I stepped out of the vehicle, my steps were heavy but fast. Pagkapasok na pagkapasok ko sa building, the first thing I saw on top of our mailbox were my two precious packages fresh from the Philippines!
What a relief! THANK. YOU. LORD! Again, OA na kung OA, pero mangiyak-ngiyak ako the moment I saw them! Hahahaha natatawa ako sa sarili ko remembering that!
I grabbed the packages and as I walked towards our unit, I recalled the racing realizations from earlier.
Naiisip ko talagang ang liit na bagay lang nito para mamroblema at ma-anxious ako nang ganito sa dami ng problema ng mundo ‘noh!. I can imagine some people or even the Lord scolding me for having such little faith! But I realized Jesus is not ruthlessly harsh. He convicts but He doesn’t condemn even though He has the right to.
At yun na nga eh, maliit na bagay lang, so kayang-kaya ni Lord ‘yon! Kahit pa ‘yong mga malalaking bagay, if it is His will, nagagawan Niya nang paraan to work for our good (Romans 8:28).
But I would like to end with this: God knows what makes us happy and what is good for us. If something is not going to be good in any way, He won’t give it. Pero kapag binigay Niya, kapag hinayaan Niyang mangyari, it means He can work through it for your good. Kahit na nga sa mga ganitong klaseng bagay na hindi ko naman ikamamatay o ikasisira ng buhay kung hindi ko man mareceive yung mga damuhong packages na yan pero binigay pa rin ni Lord. Because He knew He can use this experience to strengthen my endurance, perseverance, patience, faith, hope and love for Him in the process.
Kung umabot kayo sa part na ‘to ng blog, I would like you to know that I appreciate you na pinagtyagaan mo ‘tong haba ng chika ko! If you have comments, go ahead and let me know! If you think I sound like a whining brat or whatever, gorabells lang! Hahahahahah
And I am grateful. I am beyond grateful to the Lord for His continued faithfulness in my spiritual growth.
And thank you for joining me in this journey!
Photo Sources: Unsplash and Pixabay