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our circles of influence

most of the time, we’re oblivious of the impact we make on other people.  sometimes we think that in our struggles, we’re all alone.  little do we know that through our struggles, God teaches us lessons, and he teaches others through us, as well.  these people who are around us are part of our circle of influence.  and all of us have our own circles of influence, whether we like it or not. 

yesterday, i got this text from one of my younger friends, carla, who’s currently a 3rd year BAA student, “good morning. ate lory. i nd ur help. we have to wrte a paper for 151 abt our role model in life. snce we cant wrte abt our family, im havng a rly hard tym. iv bn thnkng abt it for days n i realzd na i want to b lyk u..ur d only person i knw pursuing d same dreams as mine. i admire how u manage ur acads, org, marriage, God n frnds. can u share with me how u manage? wat r ur inspiratns in life?  Hope u dnt mind. i rly thnk i want to b lyk u…our paper is due later at 1pm. hehe.”

when i read the text, my first reaction was, “naku, nakakahiya naman, parang di yata ako worthy to be emulated…to think i’m also encountering some struggles and difficulties of my own.”  but then again, naisip ko, “sige na nga, 1pm daw yung deadline ng paper…so, tulungan ko na ‘to.”

and so i shared what i can with her  – my blog (which is actually for all to read) and resume.  i also sent her an email with answers to her questions.  today, i received in my inbox a copy of what she submitted to her prof.  it was pretty flattering and touching.  here’s what she wrote:

            My mother once told me how important it is to find someone to look up to, someone who has reached your dreams, and someone who inspires you. She stressed out the importance of having a role model in life. She then told me that if I find one, I should be thankful because I can have someone to ask for advice and guidance whenever I get lost or down due to my struggles in life. Some people never encounter a role model in their lives. But I did, and I realized how lucky I am to have met a person whom I can look up to.   

            Last January 27, 2007, during UP JPIA’s 4th Student Leaders’ Workshop for High School students, I crossed paths with Ms. Lorybeth Baldrias.  Being the officer-in-charge for the said project, I made sure our speakers for that day were well taken care of. I knew Ate Lory served as UP JPIA president during her time. I was also aware that we graduated from the same high school and we were both active in extra-curricular activities for UP Rural High School. Little did I know that our paths were more intertwined than expected.

            Aside from living in the same town, studying at the same elementary and high school, having the same undergraduate course, being officers of UP JPIA, we are also reminiscing childhood memories of a certain person both dear to us. She was his elementary best friend, I was his sister. He is special to both of us. My brother’s life and death brought Ate Lory and I closer.

            As we got to know each other, I admired Ate Lory more and more

not only for her academic and co-curricular achievements, her time management skills balancing work, family, academics, and service, but for her outlook in life and her faith in God. She finished elementary and high school with honors, graduated cum laude with a degree in Business Administration and Accountancy, and now, she’s on her 4th year at the UP College of Law. Having been through the same struggles with accounting, Ate Lory consistently reminds me to strive harder and practice solving. She even tells me which books are helpful. When I was so down due to my accounting last semester, she was there to encourage me, give me strength and believe in me. Knowing someone who survived the course without any pressures inspires me to loosen up, prioritize my academics without punishing myself for any mistakes I might have made. As Ate Lory puts it, “If you have a mistake, you need to admit it to God, yourself and whoever may have been affected then move on after that.”

Ate Lory also shares the same passion for serving people through active participation in different organizations. “It’s not easy being a student leader, but it certainly gives me a lot of fulfillment, knowing I could be in a position to make positive differences in processes, paradigms and people lives”, she once wrote in her blog. Currently, she is the president of the UP Law Student Government.

Now at 28 years old, she just got married last December to the guy of her dreams and is living a happy married life. Inspired by God, her family, her husband and people who overcame obstacles in life to become accomplished (ex. Cesar Virata), she is now one step away from fulfilling her dream, which is also my dream, to become a CPA-lawyer one day. “I also have my struggles, I am not perfect. But thank God for His grace which makes me overcome.” I know I have a long way to go in order to reach my dream. I know that struggles and difficulties await me. But now, I also know that every time I face a crossroad, I can just look up to my role model who is fighting the good fight, finishing the race and keeping the faith. And hopefully, like Ate Lory, I can overcome.

——————

i remember that the last thing i wrote in my blog was about my struggle about staying in law school.  the struggle still exists, but somehow the storm has been reduced to something akin to a monsoon wind. 

last saturday, i decided to just let it all go, surrender and re-commit all that i am and am doing  to God.  i cried out and released my struggles before Him.  true, my situation hasn’t really changed much yet, but I know it will in time…or perhaps, it’s my perspective which ought to be changed.   i know that if i just focus my gaze at Him, He’ll be the one to shift my gaze towards a vision – a path He would want me to take.  

i so pray that He will continue to show me the next steps and to empower me to do what He wants me to.

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