So You Made a Mistake

I panicked this morning when I woke up at 7:38 am because I was supposed to be at the office by 7. By God’s grace, our meeting in the morning got postponed to next year, so I didn’t miss it. When I arrived at work, my immediate supervisor told me that I received an award (President’s Star Award – Outstanding Customer Service) during our company’s Christmas party the night before. Because of a family affair, I wasn’t able to go to the party, so this surprise really encouraged my heart. I felt like I didn’t deserve it because I knew my weaknesses in different aspects. It also felt ironic because I was late for work today. But nonetheless, I thanked God for His grace and extended my gratitude to my supervisor.

IMG_1582

Fast forward to 5 pm, I found out that my colleague and I experienced delays and miscommunication in one of our tasks. Unfortunately, our mistake led to a terrible domino effect on the other departments involved and we were called to the ‘principal’s office’. From 5 to 6 pm, all I could think of and feel was anxiety, regret, shame, and worthlessness. Immediately, I felt like I was melted cheese or a rotten vegetable in the office. I wanted to fly away and never come back. But, I couldn’t turn back time, I couldn’t linger on my regrets because those were already in the past. All I needed to do was to face the reality that I made a mistake, take responsibility, and learn from it.

While my colleague and I were trying to discuss things and seek help from my supervisor, a hundred discouraging thoughts quickly entered my mind which eventually crushed my spirit. I hurried to the bathroom and cried because I knew that I needed to let it out. I mustered a whisper to God and asked for His grace and mercy in the situation I was in. I asked for a miracle.

By God’s grace, a few minutes later, my supervisor walked in the bathroom and told me that one of our managers could help us out and somehow alleviate the stress and delays caused by our mistake. With a deep sigh, I thanked the Lord, washed my face, and headed back to my table in the office.

IMG_1579

Despite the roller coaster ride that I experienced today, one of the things that I am grateful for was the conversation that I had with my supervisor a few minutes after my bathroom break. We sat down in a private room and talked about what happened. She graciously listened to me and comforted me in spite of my weaknesses and it was really a heartwarming time. Instead of adding fuel to the fire, she (once again) graciously and gently rebuked me and gave me a kind of support that only a supervisor can give.

One of the things that she said to me that still gets to my heart was this: “Don’t let that one mistake define who you are. You did a good job this year which is why you were given an award. Even though you made a mistake today, it will not define you.”

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I silently listened to her words of encouragement. I was keenly listening to her voice, but at the same time, I was listening to God’s as well. It was as if God was embracing me at that time and saying to me that His grace is enough for me and will always be enough for me.

IMG_1470

Today was our last working day for the year and God made it as exciting as possible. By His grace, He allowed me to experience His goodness and victory when I received the award today, but at the same time, He also allowed my heart to get crushed and humbled so that I would be reminded that it was, is, and always will be because of Him, His grace, and His love for me. Even if I make mistakes in the future, I know that He never will. My security and hope is in Him and not in my own strengths. And I’m learning to focus on His grace and power and not on my weaknesses.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” [2 Corinthians 12:9]

So I made a mistake. It’s not a big deal because the beautiful thing about God’s grace is that He can turn even our greatest mistakes into our biggest blessings. Sometimes, He may even use our mistakes to bless others too.

Thank You, Lord, for 2014 at work. It has been a privilege working for You this year. I know that You are not through with me yet and I look forward to more adventures with You soon.

Hershey’s Chocolate Ice Cream from Ministop

Hershey’s soft serve ice cream at Ministop is one of my favorite affordable desserts near our office. I remember trying my first cup (worth Php 15.00) after a tiring day at work and I instantly fell in love with it. On my way home from work a while ago, I decided to drop by the store and buy a cup of the tasty chocolate ice cream.

While I was enjoying the first few teaspoons of it, I felt a nudge in my heart to give my ice cream to the street kids who were near the store. God clearly spoke to my heart to give some tonight because the last time he encouraged me to do so (which was also the first time I tried it), I disregarded the idea and finished the cup of ice cream by myself.

So, I told God, “Okay, Lord. I’ll share it to the first kid I see on the street tonight.”

Photo taken from wnot.com.ph
Photo taken from wnot.com.ph

After a few seconds, two kids approached me near a parking lot and said “Ate, pahingi naman niyan.” Immediately, I smiled at them and said “Sige!” while giving them the cup of ice cream. I guess the kids didn’t expect that I would give it to them because their first response was “Wow! Binigay nga ni ate! Salamat po!”

Tonight, I was reminded that by God’s grace, He gives me the privilege of buying a cup of ice cream anytime I want and I know that He can also take this privilege away anytime He wants to. Everything that I have is His. If He calls me to let go and share even the simplest blessings to others, I am encouraged now to humbly and cheerfully do so because I know that it will honor Him.

“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” [2 Corinthians 9:7-8]

I wanted to fill my stomach with a cup of Hershey’s ice cream tonight, but God chose to fill my heart instead.

Thank you, Lord, for humbling moments with you. May You bless those two kids and may they know You more each day too. :)

Thursday Tune #30: One Life by Danny Gokey

So, it was just a hoax. Whew! Earlier today, I read tweets and posts online about the death of Cesar Millan, the “dog whisperer”. It didn’t really sink in until after I got home from work. However, after checking his official Facebook page and reading more updated articles online, I learned that it was just a false report. No wonder it didn’t make the headlines of newspapers worldwide. Usually, when celebrities pass away, everyone immediately gets informed — thanks to technology.

From http://wallpaper-actress-beauty.blogspot.com
From http://wallpaper-actress-beauty.blogspot.com

This event reminded me of a song that I heard recently while I was browsing through YouTube. It was written and sung by Danny Gokey (third place finalist on the eighth season of American Idol). I wasn’t able to watch that season, but I learned about Danny’s story online while watching his interviews. Four weeks before he auditioned for American Idol, he lost his wife due to complications of a routine surgery for congenital heart disease. It was a devastating experience for him, but by God’s grace, He used Danny’s darkest moments in life to bring out good and give hope to others who are also experiencing similar struggles. Praise God for you, Danny Gokey!

Danny Gokey (Photo c/o hollywoodreporter.com)
Danny Gokey (Photo c/o hollywoodreporter.com)

One of his songs called “One Life” talks about the reality of death and how important it is for us to maximize the life that God has blessed us with. In the song, he mentions tragic events that people experience all over the world – those that lead to death. However, he also comforts the listeners by encouraging them to be serious in extending love to others while we still can, while we’re still alive and breathing.

I’ve been listening to this song since Monday this week and it has been such an encouragement to me. I love it because its sound remind me of my favorite songs in the 90’s, but more importantly, the message of the song helps my heart re-focus on more important things in life – like, living for God, loving Him and others, and sharing the hope that I have in Him to the people around me.

“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” –James 4:14

“How was she to know as she ran and slammed the door
That the angry words she spoke were the last words she would breathe
How was she to see eternity between the red light and the green
It all ended suddenly

Cause tomorrow isn’t promised
All we have is one life, is one time
To live and love and make it right”

[One Life – Danny Gokey]

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” –Mark 12:30-31

 

P.S. Dear Cesar Millan, I’m glad you’re still alive. May God bless you and use you to be a blessing to more people. I pray that you will also know Him more each day. :)

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)