Thoughts on Opened Gifts

I woke up this morning in my old bunk bed—after 24 hours of transit and a couple more hours of unpacking. I decided to sleep in this morning—if 7:40 am can be considered sleeping in due to jet lag—and take it slow.

And just like that, 18 days have gone by and I am back in Manila. Just like that, I have witnessed perhaps was one of the greatest God-given adventures of my life thus far. Just like that, it’s July 28 and I’m reporting back to work tomorrow.

In the weeks that I was away, I didn’t miss a lot of home because I felt home in a lot of bits and pieces. Because home, I discovered, could be found in dear friends, friends you just met, and in community. With this, I admit that I felt a sense of dread coming home, knowing that I was going back to the normalcy of everyday life.

What’s one to do after the great adventure? What’s there to life after the sights, the God moments, the wonder, the thrills?

But waking up to this morning led me to another thought regarding the trip. The trip was one born out of faith last year. Months had passed, and despite having no leads on how I would: a) move out, and b) have the funds to go to the conference, I prayed and believed God for them anyway.

Things only started looking up in April. By then, I have moved out in February. In the last few months, God had moved in all aspects of the trip—providing and surprising me to the last minute. I soon saw the pieces come together, and it wasn’t until only a few days before leaving when I had the logistics and operational side of things sorted out.

And after all that happened, after all that God has done and moved and birthed in my heart, I wake up today with the feeling of staring at the confetti on the ground. I am taken back to the last moments of every leg of the trip—hugging my aunt at the Baltimore airport, my best friend in New York, new and old friends at Orlando.

So what is left of the last few weeks of what perhaps was my greatest adventure so far?

It is simply God, and in that carries so much meaning.

This trip was the BIGGEST thing I was praying for in the last year, and it had come and gone. And like this trip, faith goals will one day (in God’s timing and will) be met, prayers will one day be answered (same as follows), and life will go on.

And what remains is not the already opened gift—with the wrappers, boxes, and ribbons stored away. But the Giver of the gift who, if you let Him be, the greatest gift there is.

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