Who doesn’t have at least one friend right?
Being an introvert myself, it takes a long time before I warm up to a person, though, in some rare cases, there are a few who I surprisingly felt comfortable with in an instant (I honestly think they’re my soul sisters). It’s also not in my personality to approach someone first, It’s not that I don’t want to talk to them, it’s just that I don’t want to disturb or bother them in any way and I’d thought maybe they’re not in the mood to talk, but people oftentimes mistook it as me being a “snob”, not true though –I usually talk and jokes around a lot when I’m with friends.
But surprisingly, I’m changing (Mike can attest to this). I am more outspoken now, I can now reach out to people (first), I am “blogging” without being anonymous (w/c I tried a few years ago which didn’t end up well), I opened up about that “something” (I believe this has a lot to do why I behave this way) that had been bothering me most of my life and which I tried to deny to the best of my ability. I can now forgive and say sorry even if that person didn’t even ask for it nor showed remorse and lastly, I can now tell the person that he/she said something that bothered me which I don’t usually do before to avoid starting a fight or any misunderstandings. And I owe those changes to the Lord who led me to His people that I became friends with here in Dubai. I still have those moments when I’m too shy to do some things and moments when I just want to be left alone to think and be my usual self but I refuse to focus on that anymore because I know that slowly but surely God will finish what He started in me.
Going back around 3 yrs ago, when Mike was just new here and was just starting at his job, we fight almost every day about the littlest things, where just by merely looking at each other can start a fight… and I never backed down on those fights. Part of the reason was because we are so stressed out at work that we unknowingly vent out all those frustrations on each other. It got so ugly that we both agreed on going our separate ways (Our families in the Philippines will never know anyway). I remember him telling me that if he only knew it will turn out this way then he should have never agreed on joining me here in Dubai and that’s when I realized that there’s something really wrong with me, with us, and that our relationship is not healthy anymore. I remembered praying… really hard about our relationship, about our hearts.
Then, a friend of Mike (now Kael’s Godfather) sent him a message on FB about this church where we used to attend back in the Philippines and which we were also looking for at that time. (What a coincidence right?… I don’t think so, you see the grace of God is like that, He will keep on knocking until you realize that apart from Him, you are nothing) I remember texting one of the contact persons (Kuya Mark) if it’s the same church and when and where the service is, aside from providing me the details for the service he also asked me if we’ll be interested in joining a Dgroup and the rest is history.
Kuya Bong became our Dgroup leader where we meet every Sunday to study His word and how to apply it in our daily lives. We were able to know each other’s stories and struggles, we were each other’s support group. Then, the Church decided to separate the singles to the couples as each of us has our own issues and struggles that need to be addressed. We were able to know more people who are just like us, struggling with their relationships, who each has their own challenges.
But what really got me intrigued about Dgroups, are their smiles – those sincere, joyful, welcoming smiles – those smiles that says welcome to the group, we were once like you, we know what you’re going through and we’re here to listen to and help you, but I bet those people weren’t even aware that those smiles made a difference – at least for me.
I remember thinking if they’re real or if they even have problems – you know, “problems” that real people have. Then they started sharing and I started listening only to find out, that those things that kept me up at night, my so called “issues”… are nothing compared to what they’re going or went through. I learned that they don’t let their circumstances/situations define them or The One they represent, rather, The One they represent defines who they are and how they handle their circumstances.
Joining a Dgroup didn’t just saved our relationship, it also saved both of us in the process. We were able to address the root cause of our “problems” (pride) and started working on not just rekindling our relationship but also rebuilding his fellowship with the Lord and me establishing a relationship with Him.
This journey is far from over, but it’s nice to know that there are people who will be with you, will pray for you and God purposely put in your life to guide you and assist you every step of the way.
Maybe you’re just like us, or you’re just like me, wanting to save your relationship and save both of you in the process, or maybe you feel lonely… empty, there’s that something in you that no material things or no one else can fill, or maybe, you just want someone to talk to or you just like to listen, maybe you’re also intrigued by those smiles and you want to know what or who is behind it. Whatever that “maybe” is, I encourage you to join a Dgroup and maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for and gain a friend or two that will last more than a lifetime.
I’d like to say thank you. Thank you to those people who welcomed us with your smile. Than you for making a difference in our lives.