Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Risks of Change

I grew up as an only daughter (I only have one sibling) under the care of a very protective and strict mother. As a youngster, I was not allowed to go on sleep overs in other people's houses, although I was allowed to invite friends for sleep overs at home. My parents did not even permit me to learn how to ride the big bike because they deemed it too risky (I eventually learned one summer when I was about 11 or 12 when my brother and I would sneak out to go bike-riding with friends after our parents have left for work). Playing cards, reading comics and street language were strictly prohibited at home and going to the movies was done behind our mother's back.

In high school, other than the prom and the officers ball, I was not allowed to attend evening socials. There were a few occasions when I was given leniency but it was once in a blue moon. In college, the reins were loosened a teeny weeny bit but there were still restrictions. Heck, I had my first boyfriend at the age of 22 when I was already attending law school.

I practically lived my whole life in the comforts of our home, in a simple neighborhood and in a city considered as the most livable in the Philippines, with good friends, many of whom I've known since grade school.
In April 2007, I went to the U.S. leaving behind my loved ones and a good career. I left my comfort zone to be with the man I love. That was the biggest risk ever taken by this Filipina who pretty much led a sheltered life in a mid-sized Philippine city called Bacolod.

The changes in my life have been very challenging, rewarding and at times, unsettling. But when faced with a seemingly unsurmountable challenge, I always think about Ruth, a Bible heroine, who made a big risk in her life when she took on a new country, new family, new religion, new life. She underwent a lot of stressful changes but the great risk brought with it great reward.

A part of me still holds on to my simple, safe, "comfortable" past but I am willing to face the changes in my life and the risks that go with it. Changes can be avenues of growth and as long as I am connected to Him, He will guide my path along the way.

My strength and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.


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