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January 3, 2011 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

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Found myself reading through the UPCAT thread on Twitter. I didn’t pass. I never actually dreamed of UP. Had I known earlier how good (understatement) it is to study there, I could’ve done better on the test. I even managed to go to the mall and buy Tuesday with Morrie hours before the examination because I was “bored.”

That was what, 4 years ago?

I never dreamed of UP. Or should I say, I never dreamed of becoming any when I was in high school. All I know that I enjoy before was to make fuzz about showbiz entertainment shows and discuss it among my showbiz enthusiast friends. And guess the course I applied in all of the entrance tests that I tried, ta-dah! NURSING. :)

But just like what my sister wrote in one of her blogs, which for me was flawlessly stated, that “…the great thing is, even when we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). In my case here, even when I was still lost, God had control of my direction.”

So He put me in Miriam (and I will be forever thankful for that). No, He first put in my heart the love of writing which was very new to me until I gave it a random try when I was in fourth year high school. It’s never too late, right? I never knew I could write, I just used to adore people who could write well. So I’m still new to this.

What’s interesting though is that while I was going through that UPCAT thread on Twitter, I had again bouts of wishful thinking. Wish I desired to study there. Wish I knew better when I was younger. And even though I didn’t experience how it’s like to be a UP student, UP will always havea special place in my heart.

Because that’s where I met Jesus. And it’s more than enough reason for me to love UP and why whenever I step my foot on the beautiful campus of Diliman, I would always feel lighthearted and restored. Because that’s where I met the Lover of my soul. It’s my Narnia, you know. And whenever I want to escape from all the hardships of this mean world, a walk around Acad Oval with a friend would do to remind me “You’re saved by grace, Fiona. It is done.”

What I didn’t know, however, that accompanied by this saved life Jesus has purchased for me on that tree, are true friends that I will meet.

UP will always have a special place in my heart because that’s where I found true friends, those who stick closer than a brother, those who helped me greatly in my walk with Christ. I realize just now that maybe God really wanted me to have these friendships because even when I was new as a Christian, He had already placed me in a small group with students who then resides in Kalayaan Dormitory in UP Diliman. Of all places! I was even once defined as a “lone Miriam student who faithfully attended small group in Kalai.” And even today I’d gladly hold my title as UP’s adopted one. It’s my Narnia.

I think I haven’t really showed yet my deepest gratitude to this school, or to the students I met in this school. Come of think of it, who would’ve thought that as God brought me to Miriam, (which was way out of my plan) He would also bring me to UP. And to all of the people who I met in this campus, thank you for being part of my life. I mean it. Thanks for everything, for always making me feel at home and for treating me like I’m one of your own. I never deserved any of you but God is indeed a good and gracious God. And even if I didn’t pass UPCAT, it’s almost like it. Because of you it’s almost like experiencing being in two campuses at the same time, minus the torture hehe.

Thank you UP! Feels like home. It’s been quite a ride. :)

Ahhh, finally pulled off the blog that I’ve been wanting to write. :)

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My first ever small group. Ate Ruby’s birthday celebration at Kalayaan Dorm, 2008

4th Annual Sunken Overnight

4th Annual Sunken Overnight

University Graduation 2010

University Graduation 2010

Babes' LG at UP Oblation

Babes’ LG at UP Oblation

01.04.2011 1:22am

 

January 2, 2011 by by Fiona Mae Alvero

I’m no futuristic person. My Strengths Finder 2.0 results have actually described me as a person who “lives in the moment.” My Adaptability theme sits close to my number one theme which is Communication.

I started to keep on wondering though recently how this year’s gonna be like for me. I guess aside from the fact that it’s new year, it’s mainly because I know this year will not anymore be like the past years I used to have. Years that when March comes and vacation starts, I don’t panic because I am so certain of what’s next. Easy, when vacation ends, it’s school time again. And same goes true the next year.

This year, however, the cycle I’m very much familiar with since I was 4 will soon come to a stop. So can I panic now?

I’ll be soon done with school, that’s what I’m certain about. What will happen as soon as the graduation program ends, on the other hand, is a big question. One that which made me whisper a wish just before I started writing this blog, “I wish I can see what will happen to me in the future.”

But I can’t.

NightLampThen I was quickly reminded of an advice my youth pastor told me about sometime last year. “You know what,” he said, trying to find the right words to explain to me what’s in his head. “Have you ever wondered why God’s word is described as a lamp, and not as a sun?” he asked and I hope he won’t mind if I share this to you. He’s actually referring to the passage in the Bible where the psalmist described God’s word as “…a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm119:105).”

A lamp can only light a certain part of a dark hall. And with it, it can only help you to see what’s near you. That’s why in order to see what’s in front, you have to carry the lamp with you so that it could light up the path that you’re walking into. And because it’s the only source of light, you depend on your lamp to see what’s ahead of you. Leave it behind and you will not see where you’re heading onto.

God’s word is a lamp. We may not clearly see yet what will happen to us in the future but as we continue to walk with the lamp in our hands, we will surely see the beauty of what’s in stored for us one step at a time. It’s a journey. 

And because it’s the only way to see, we want to MAKE SURE we’re holding on to it wherever we go. We will learn to trust and depend on the Source of the light. “You can’t leave it. So there will be relationship,” he added “because we know that if we walk without the lamp, we will not see what’s in the dark.”

“If God’s word is like a sun, we will see everything, we will see the future and it will be overwhelming because you will see how great and amazing the things that God will do in your life.” I honestly got goosebumps in this part. Sitting on the couch while listening to him, I imagined the great things that God can do in my life and by just thinking of it was already enough to overwhelm me, how much more if you see it altogether in one picture.

“Or you may get disappointed,” he continues “because you might NOT see what you want to see. You might also become too proud. And there will be no relationship, because you won’t anymore need God to light your path, you can see everything already.

Thank God I don’t know the details of my future, because for sure I will stop praying and reading my Bible. I will stop seeking Him.

Maybe the new year makes you want to panic like me. This year, we may not know exactly what’s in stored for us. It’s a dark path until we walk in it with the lamp in our hands. I pray and hope that we will not dare to leave that lamp behind. And as we walk into the path of this year, I hope when we reach the end we will find ourselves with only deeper trust and dependence on the Source of the light.

We don’t really need to panic.

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Ptr. LA Mumar the man behind this great insight, is a former youth pastor of Victory QC, and now senior pastor of Victory Makati. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

 01.03.2011 1:54pm

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