Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Princess Wenslyn"--Part II

In my former entry, I briefly mentioned many facets of life as an "heiress" of Filipino-Chinese ministry. Yet there is one facet that often encompasses the rest.

I know I am blessed, and I often use this blog to remind myself of that fact. I am privileged to receive the training, the love, the direction, and the provision that came with my position. However, there is one problem. The problem with being treated like "Princess Wenslyn," is that I often fool myself into believing that I really am royalty.

Of the several hundreds people I know, 95 percent do not have consistent contact with me outside of churches or religious organizations. Therefore, these are people who see my angelic side, and that side only. How hard is it to be kind at church? It is relatively easy, and people are usually amicable at church.

What I hear 95 percent of the time, therefore, are praises.

It really gets to the head.

It is usually unnoticeable to the common observer, but even in ministry, there is popularity. When I search my motives for ministry, I often have to confront the ugly polutant of church popularity in my heart. I want to be people's favorite translator, pianist, assistant, BS leader, and the like. It makes me glad to hear people calling my name, asking for my attention.

It really gets to the mind.

Then interpersonally, it gets uglier. When a person thinks of herself as a princess, how would she treat her friends? I know my true self is a pain to be with, and only a few, if any, know those true colors. A princess thinks she deserves admiration from her peers, a princess thinks she is to be ranked as "better" than others her age, a princess believes her charm would enchant any guy, a princess believes she deserves more praises, more attention, more gifts, more friends, more admirers, more esteem than if she had earned any of that at all. A princess believes she is more important than everyone else.

It really gets to the heart. Or no, it really is from the heart.

Recently, God has been showing me the imperfections of Christian leaders, be they my seniors or my peers. That includes, of course, myself. And as I survey the different cases, I find the one common pitfall--pride.

In my case, pride is what fools me into believing I am better than others. Perhaps I may be blessed uniquely. Perhaps I do have certain skills or knowledge that are unusual for my age. Yet those do not make me deserve anything more. In the kingdom of God, a princess is a servant, and His kingdom comes first.

It is a hard truth to chew, and even harder to apply. Yet I know most of my struggles can be lessened in intensity, if I were only willing to listen to God in this one.

I am and I am not "Princess Wenslyn." I am a princess in that I have a portion in my Father's kingdom, but I am not a princess in everything else. I must not dwell upon the praises, I must not "serve" in order to win people's favor, and I must never contend that I deserve more esteem or more care than others do. Then most of all, I must let those principles reign in my heart, beyond pretentious rules of etiquette.

If only I would listen to this lesson, life would be easier. Father, let me learn.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lucky in Love

Well, I'm not exactly lucky, I'm actually blessed. And I'm not in love, at least not in the world's terms. I know people mostly wouldn't dream of calling me lucky at this hour--a 19-year-old girl blogging alone on Valentine's Eve. Yet, I guess, I've always refused to see things two-dimensionally.

In matters of romance...

I am blessed, because I do not have materialistic parents. Although they want the best for their children, my parents do not over-value wealth. They have never tried to matchmake me with any rich guy, and they have never favored one admirer over another by materialistic standards. I am never pressured to marry for money, nor for all of the earthly comforts money could bring.

Then I am blessed because I have a loving family. Even if I am single, I'm still secure and loved. I do not need to use romance as an escape or relief from domestic woes.

I am blessed because I've always been taught to prepare for a husband, rather than long for a boyfriend. I am blessed because I was taught to save my first kiss, perhaps my first love, and all the rest while I still hadn't given them away.

And I've never noted this until some friends called it a blessing...since I'm brought up and prominent within a Christian circle, the guys who actually notice me are mostly Christians. I am not tempted to lower my religious beliefs because of non-Christians' romantic attention.

And most of all, I am blessed...for I have already found the love of my life. What romance do I need to long for, when I already have God's love in me? Anything else would merely be bonus. I only need His love.

Now, it would be wonderful to end my post here, in the spirit of a thankful and selfless Christian girl. Yet that's not the only side of me.

I'll be honest. I don't think like this all of the time. I'm human, I'm selfish, and I'm childish. There are still times, and quite often I'm afraid, when I'm overrun by discontentment, impatience, or jealousy.

Sometimes, I feel rebellious over my parents' principles. Sometimes, I get upset that godly matters (such as walking the path of ministry) would turn away a handsome and charming admirer or two. My heart often taunts my mind with many questions...

Howcome my best friends are of marriageable age, while I'm left behind? Howcome I can't have the gratification of romance now? Howcome people who are less prepared than I am for relationships actually have them...but I don't?

I know I can keep sane from these emotional self-inquisitions only by His grace and wisdom. I know that I am blessed. After all, I've stated so many reasons why I am. I also know that the best chapters of my lovelife, be it spent in falling in love with my future husband or in learning to serve Him as a single, are still yet to come.

I write this post as an offering of thanksgiving, and as a reaction to what people might say of my current position. Yet more than that, I write this also to remind myself, and maybe others like me, that we are already blessed.

We are nothing, yet He loves us. Even now, we are blessed. May I, may we all, always remain thankful, content, and faithful to Him.