Bored, in doubt, confused? Here’s what Mel Llesol discovered about truths that only God can explain and would also want you too.
God’s plan is mysterious for our human mind. It is always unpredictable and impossibility is always a possibility. In our limited perspective our future may only be what we can fathom but His is infinite, immeasurable, unwavering and we only have to trust and center our lives on Him. And with it, we are certain of our victory.
Three years ago and until now I am still amazed how I’ve been. At the moment, I just got back from London, after taking Masters in IT at Brunel University London. Of course being halfway across the world from family, friends and community has been challenging especially with distance and time zone differences.
Missing the people dear to me was a struggle, the weather and even the adjustment with people I met there everyday but I am reminded of the verse
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, wait on the Lord.” Ps. 27:14. The same verse draws me and continues to speak to me during those three years.
The word ‘wait’ was always His command to me and along the way I have learned lessons I know I won’t exchange for anything. Allow me to recount these experiences with my incredible God.
1. Grace Under Pressure. I lost consciousness in my office’s elevator in August 2009. The incident caused a cut on my lower right eyelid and only a few centimeters from my eye. I was rushed to the nearest hospital, undergone series of tests like CT scan, EKG as well as provided with a techie instrument called Holter.
I didn’t know a one-time fall can be caused by such complication. After these procedures the doctor explained that I have neurocardiogenic syncope, a neurological condition caused by a misfiring of signals between the heart and brain.
The ailment also brought changes in my lifestyle that includes not staying late in the evening, minimizing prolonged standing, having anxiety or worries and even as simple as riding an airplane. It was obscure for me and I asked God why it should be me- but God’s answer was “why not you? Wait on me.”
Knowing these facts, I was fearful, scared but dependent on divine intervention while doing my routines. And surprisingly I was able to finished my 3 year term as a Branch Leader of my community, was cleared of the illness after a third medical examination.
Then, the three years was a difficult journey however looking back, I am more thankful because I am alive, that alone is a manifestation of God’s greatness.
Those three years taught me to be more generous with the people around me as God has been. The days and nights passed with a promise of a better tomorrow with the men & women, I call brothers & sisters in my community and the blessings they brought to me of how His grace is sufficient in weakness.
2. Profound Will. I prayed for recovery and God granted it. I didn’t know how possible it could’ve been if not for God. In my plan I wanted this and that but God’s ways are ultimately better than my own expectations.
In times when I thought everything was at pace with my own plans God purified it. Amongst it was studying abroad.
Out there in a foreign land brought forth more than one or two difficulties. Being away from friends, family, and even community was hard to bear at first.
Truly God’s ways are not ours not even our thoughts but my stay there allowed me to see the infinite love of the Father in concrete ways:
1.) He led Jun Viterbo(my pastoral leader)in community who made sure am connected with our community’s alumni network.
2.) I was also assisted to be linked with the Servants of the Word (a lay brotherhood of men) in London & Antioch (one of the communities and a member of the global Sword of the Spirit, an ecumenical network of 75 lay Christian communities)thru Abyong Calo also a brother I knew well in the community and was part of the brotherhood.
More than blessings
Being in a country different from my own caused me to adjust and language was one of them. Since English is not my first language I doubted how I would survive especially on events I will have to attend like my first community get-together.
Nevertheless, I did okay. Home may be far away but I also have the best filled days there. I know God knows me well, knows my heart well enough and made me experience the things I needed most.
On hindsight He did plotted my days as if I was home, like the worship experiences I’ve had were like when I was still in Manila. Or when the opportunities came to join in activities like Koinonia, an outreach just like what I’ve had in College.
Through these events I was also able to meet single professionals from other Christian Communities like The People of God from Lebanon.
A chance to join in a ‘Lord’s Day Celebration’ (it’s a celebration on Saturday evening consisting of prayer, worship and meal following the Jewish tradition of the start of their Sunday during sundown) with the Servants of the Word Brothers.
It was a time well spent, and it was also an impeccable moment to connect with Lingkod/Ligaya alumni and meeting and catching up with friends and like Jake Yap (Servant of the Word Brother) who was then on sabbatical. God was there with me as He granted these venues to comfort, to secure and to console me.
With these circumstances I’ve had, I found a deeper meaning, and purpose in life– it has made me see that having a community is a continuing discipleship despite distance, culture or language differences. That in worshiping God there are no boundaries.
A few months back, the familiar soil of my homeland was a relief…all of my longings evaporated, my long wait has finally come to an end and yes it was real – I was home.
I am home bringing with me more joy, more courage, more things to be grateful for. He was my mentor there and always and I commit myself to do the tasks He has for me. And with my education there, may it be rocks to help make a difference and pursue further studies.
After all, ‘waiting’ taught me to be prudent and discerning knowing that I am part of His grand design. That something great will happen. God waited on me all throughout the 19 years of community life.
And I look forward for more fruitful adventures with my God. More than all these and my professional pursuits I am also excited to be with my family, the people I love, my brothers and sisters in my Christian Community.
I am blessed and so are you. As one great Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr Pedro Arrupe while debilitated of stroke said:
“More than ever I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God. It is indeed a profound spiritual experience to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands.”
God is omnipresent; we don’t have to search him out or feel Him close. He is there wherever we are. He is there in all our victories, our joys and even in our desolations and sufferings – God is right there, in our very being, knitted and intertwined with us. And He waits for us to be acknowledged that we may find Him.
Mel Llesol is an IT professional and is a member of Ligaya ng Panginoon, a charismatic trans-parochial community based in the Philippines. The same community is also a partner community of Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon and Christian Youth in Action, of which he was part of from College till his early years as a professional. He considers these communities as his second family and with it he also met the group Servants of the Word (A group of men who dedicates themselves into single life for Jesus Christ).
Other than these, he is a technology buff who loves to explore new places and is very interested to learn new things. He is also a firm believer that all things work to those who love God (Romans 8:28).