The feeling of being alone, is the worst dilemma that an OFW could ever have from living away from home. This is the moment in one’s life that is characterized by deep loneliness, depression, and feeling of hopelessness. Having friends around sometimes is not enough to ease the pain of longing for the loved ones. Some of us OFWs, hide these pains in the deepest part of our hearts that no one could ever see. We never want people to know that we are hurting, that we are frustrated, that we are suffering, that in times, we also fall down, and in this moment, we need a hand to cling on. Let me share with you my favorite Turkish Poem:
Poem of Loneliness : Orhan Veli Kanık
Ones who don’t live alone don’t know
How much silence scares one;
How one talks to himself;
How one runs to mirrors,
Longing to a soul,
They don’t know.
This is true based on my personal experience, and I believe that it’s not only me who is going through this kind of very sad situation. There are so much of us,who are running away from this chaotic, whirlwind world of OFWs.
I was never a devoted christian. My mother did not teach us how to attend the mass, she never believed in priests. I heard a lot of stories about them from my mother and learned to doubt them too. There were times I wanted to strengthen my relationship with GOD, but every time I enter the church and listen to the preaching, my mind begin to wander and entertain different ideas. And when this happens, I start to feel uncomfortable, and decide to leave in the middle of the celebration.
But my life and belief changed when I started working abroad. Like what I said before, life in a foreign land is like a battlefield, you’ll never know when the trouble comes, and how it affects your entire life. It can hurt you mildly, or it can ruin your life totally. It is also an open book how I lived my first few years of my life abroad. It was a total mess! Some could even compare me to a sunken ship just waiting for the enormous wave to engulf me. I thought I could not survive. There were also times that I was lost and confused and almost wanted to end up my life. Yes it’s true. This was my past, too far beyond from who I am now.
I did not know how I started sailing in a wind of different positive direction. I think I could say that I owed it from a very true friend of mine, who never gave up on me, and who picked me up every time I fall. It was such a blessing from God. Come to think of it, I had so much “trusted” friends, but during the lowest points in my life…there were few who were available to “at least” listen when I wanted to share with them my pain. Ahhhh….true friends are really hard to find, and glad that I found ONE!
Aside from a dear friend, I also have my family and of course my son…then I found the “right” one who is always there to encourage and support me to change my life and become a better person. They are the enough reasons not to give up the fight, aren’t they?
Then little by little, I learned how to pray, with all my heart, at first asking for the strength that I could go on fighting and surviving…and then asking for my family and friend’s safety, asking for giving me chances to start again and again and again…That’s how I prayed…full of requests..
But life is the greatest teacher, and I as I continue learning, I began to see things in a different perspectives. The greatest lessons I learned??? That to receive blessings, I also need to give. That whatever I do to other people, they will also do it to me. Whatever I sow, that’s what I reap. That life is short and we only have a chance to live, so live life with a purpose. And for every little and great things that GOd will give me, I need to give thanks and praises.
Practicing the lessons I learned from my experiences, I started to live a wonderful and meaningful life. I wake up each morning asking myself what good things I can share to others, and asking GOD for guidance that I will be able to accomplish the duties He wants me to fulfill.. And in the night before I go to sleep, I thank HIM, and praise HIM for He had given me another day. And the result? He gives me miracles each day, by giving me things that I need, by making my family and friends safe every day, and by not letting me fall again. He holds my hand like no one has ever done. He cares for me and He gives more opportunities to fulfill my purpose of living. He blesses me everyday of my life. And now, I am an OFW, miles away from home and family, but only a prayer away from JESUS. And now I realized that He is my provider, my friend, my shelter, my God, my everything.
Now I know and I live with these thoughts:
The Lord is a never failing friend.
“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8, NIV
God will never leave us orphaned.
“No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm—I will come to you.” John 14:18
We are never totally alone.
“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5, NIV5
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
See??? Would it be nice that even if we, OFWs are miles away from home, we are still connected with JESUS?
Have a blessed life abroad brothers and sisters!