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The whole group at Oasis of Prayer, Tagaytay. Photographed by Wendy Ang

I realized after this experience that no matter how complicated the world is today, you have  the option of putting yourself out of it while learning from uneasy days of your life without  leaving the people around you in despair. That no matter how hard it would be to get out from it, there’s someone within your faith who would always help you to be better.

It’s so surprising how experiences go on in the right timing. I was in a ‘semi-depression’ the past few days. I do not exactly know why, I just feel that I am emotionally challenged. And when you are dealing with such test, as much as you want to avoid affecting other things, you just can’t because it somehow poisons the way you think. But then, I have to go on because I still have a life to live.  The question is, how to start over again and when?

My retreat last october 20 and 21 was an answered prayer. It made me go back to how I was before I sit in the corner of the room where we do our sessions.  I learned how significant looking back is to me. Past will always be a past but it doesn’t have to be forgotten all the time because from there we became who we are. The retreat refreshed my mind. It rejuvenated my soul. It made things be forgotten for a while while curing some wounded parts of my life. The feeling that someone was there to listen to your story, even I just imagined it so, was such a relief that eventhough I do not personally tell stories to my peers, I was still able to let go of what was putting my life in such depression.

There’s really power in tears. The moment I get to release all the reservations I had, I started to think over again the things that I mistakenly did and the things that should be corrected. And think the people who are affected and the people who cares. I realized that of all the people in the world, my family will always be the one who are much affected yet are the one who really cares so much.

Whenever I hear family-relation stories, I get affected easily. That was the topic we shared about during the retreat. It aims to heal wounds that sources from family. Our facilitator had a lot of inspiring and touching stories he shared to us. From his personal stories, he made us think of how important our families are, and how important life is. Life is short because time is always against  us. Even we  want to live any longer, we can’t because we don’t control time but time does control us. The truth is, we only have little time to spend with for our family and we should not take it for granted which most of teens like me do.

Life is really unpredictable. You wouldn’t know when and where things will happen and whom you’ll be with when you’re already there. Before I was depressed. Now I’m okay. It helped me a lot to contemplate and realize things. But most importantly, it lead me closer to my creator who let me borrow this life. That whatever problems come in, He is there to help me make it through.

Life has a lot of surprises– and it includes  death. No one was warned of their last minute on Earth but we are aware that it will happen in an uncertain time. It maybe a year from now, or a day or an hour and it may all happen in any way. But what we can do is to make every single minute our last minute on earth. So that everything we do is not a waste but rather be remembered.

Lastly, I wanna thank my retreat mates for such a wonderful experience. After the tears we all cried out, you made each one smile again. I hope we all learn from this experience. I also wanna thank those who gave me letters. Some of it do not have name, but whoever you are, I appreciate how you appreciate me. Thank you for believing that I am committed. Your letters inspire me to do better. So there, after retreat where I found peace, I have to face again the real world. I have to dwell again in the battlefield of life. I have to deal again with imperfections of the world… but this time I am new.