Hope is a breathing, powerful thing. So powerful that it can ignite one’s paralyzed soul
Have you ever experienced a point in your life when you can’t feel anything? For me, that was what I have been feeling ever since the pandemic started. I don’t really know why, but for the past several months, it felt like my life was gradually losing its meaning.
It probably began last school year, two semesters back when we started having classes online because of the nationwide lockdown. It was very stressful for me because our home was not anywhere near to being conducive to learning. There were a lot of kids around—from infants to toddlers and several grade-schoolers. We did not have an internet connection and my computer shuts down once in a while. While studying, my attention was occupied by the loud cries of children, the incessant hammering outside our house, the quarreling of our neighbors from both sides, and my professor’s lecture—all at once.
It was really tough, but I kept on pushing, consoling myself that this was just a temporary setup. So, I did my best to accomplish all of the requirements, study my lessons, and answer everything on my own. One particular day, however, I failed to submit one assignment of a major subject because of a power interruption. To keep the long story short, I got a zero on that task and received a 2.25 as my final grade.
To some, I will just be one of those students who failed to get a Latin honor because they have fallen short of the required grade. One out of a certain number, just a part of statistics. But to me, I still could not get over the fact that I failed to achieve my lifelong dream because of an unfavorable circumstance. Endless what-ifs flooded my mind for a long time. What if I lived in a different neighborhood? What if I tried to excel harder in other activities? What if I tried to submit it earlier? Unfortunately, none of these could ever change my reality—being disqualified.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not one of those who think that grades are the biggest deal. It’s just that throughout college, my parents have been working really hard to pay for my tuition fee. I was not smart or favored enough to get a scholarship, so they have to pay it in full. I tried to look for a part-time job, but it only took a month for me to realize that it is nearly impossible to work and excel in this degree program at the same time. So, to compensate for my parents’ hard work, I thought it would only be fitting for me to present them with a Latin honor. In addition, it will increase my chance of landing a nice job, which will expedite the process of making it up to them.
Then again, none of these will happen because I was disqualified. A full semester has passed in a blur, with each day making me more demotivated. What is the point of exerting effort, when I know that I will not be recognized in the end? I thought that passing the qualifying examinations would make me feel better, but I felt just the same. I even doubted myself that I only got through it out of luck. Unwinding during my free time did not help either, because the things I used to love could no longer make me happy.
Nevertheless, I am aware of my situation and I know that I cannot continue living like this. So even when it’s hard, I made a conscious decision to pick myself up once again. I devoted myself to reading the Scriptures first thing in the morning and putting my thoughts into paper. Despite everything that’s been paused and lost because of an unfortunate situation, I realized that I still have everything I need—including my faith. I started to practice old hobbies and interests which I stopped doing since I went to college. I learned to appreciate the value of simple things and simple blessings once again. I tried to drop unhealthy habits and carry on with new ones, and most importantly, I started dreaming again.
All throughout this process, God has been with me. He helped me pick up the broken pieces of my old self. He stayed with me during the darkest nights and taught me to appreciate every morning. Hope is a breathing, powerful thing. So powerful that it can ignite one’s paralyzed soul. As a matter of fact, Hope has a name—and His name is Jesus. This same hope has encouraged me to continue even when the future was blurry.
Of course, this is not a perfect testimony. Sometimes, I still find myself getting anxious and unhappy, especially when I am idle. There are also instances when it feels like I’m back to square one. But it’s different now, because now I have hope. Hope to start anew, hope for the future, and hope to dream again.
LAYOUT BY: Sigrid Deryll Q. Dy