It’s been a month since the CFC-Youth Pacific Regional Youth Conference happened on Surrey BC.
It’s been a month since the post on the Facebook group of CFC-Youth Richmond has reached 300+ comments all about the favorite and awesome moments of #RYCWord of my brothers and sisters.
It’s been a month since I wrote down my feelings and #RYCWord reflections on my journal.
It’s been a month since I performed alone in front of 650 plus people.
And although a month has already passed, and so many things happened in that course of one month, I will forever remember that experience that made a huge impact in myself and greatly increased my deep love and gratefulness for our Savior Jesus Christ.
A day before the RYC, on Thursday, I went to the confession and mass at Holy Rosary Cathedral in downtown Vancouver. I was tired from school and I remembered being stressed about all the homework, upcoming tests, and my performance on the conference. With my heavy heart and mind filled with stress and worry and my heavy backpack filled with books and binders, I set out right after school to the Holy place. I arrived early, and I decided to go to confession first. The confession itself was such a great relief and blessing because I felt lighter after being able to confess my sins. I will admit that it had been such a long time before I went to confession. And that confession made me feel cleansed again. I cried right after and while reciting 10 Hail Mary’s. I don’t know what it was, but it wasn’t out of sadness or anything of that sort. It was this incomprehensible but great feeling that I get every time I look at His body on that cross; my heart swelled and the tears just fell.
On the mass, I remembered the priest saying something about sacrifice. He said that as Jesus sacrificed for all of us, what about us, ‘Are we willing to sacrifice, to do something to a great extent, even if we are going to be ridiculed or criticized by others, FOR GOD?’ His homily was basically about that. And those lines really stuck me that time. Despite all my stress and worry, I remembered how blessed I am with the upcoming RYC and the opportunity of performing the spoken word. And those lines from the priest gave me a lot of courage. That although I felt nervous and worried about my next day’s performance, it gave me a reminder about my faith and love for Him and how I shouldn’t be afraid of showing my love. And that despite what other people may say or think after, those shouldn’t all matter because I am doing this all for God.
On my prayer during the communion, I teared up again out of my burning heart, and I prayed for the success of RYC and that He would bless all the performers including me. I prayed that He would give me courage and that He would remove all my fears and doubts.
Calm and joyful, I left the church with a lighter luggage and a smile on my face. I went home, and before I went inside the house, I happily looked up on the bright clear blue sky, knowing that tomorrow will be a great day.
The day most awaited came, and I prepared. And before 6:30pm, we finally arrived at the venue. Hello’s and hugs were exchanged before the door opened. These simple gestures always remind me of the love we have for God and for each other.
Then I found myself standing among the 650 other youths in the gym, worshipping God out of love, and then cheering as my chapter went on for praise parade, original song, senior band, and junior band.
Then my turn came.”Next up, Richmond POETRY SLAM!”
I went to the stage feeling nervous. I looked at my chapter one last time and I caught a glance at one of my brother who helped me a lot. He smiled, made a sign of the cross, and I did too. With a big exhale, I walked towards the center. I stood in front of 650+ people with sweaty palms and a heart beating fast on my chest, and then I started to speak.
(As you can see, I am not an outgoing person. I am shy. And this is not an understatement. I am that type of person who is afraid of public speaking and like in Sarah Kay’s poem, ‘My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons.’)
After my performance, a lot of people told me that it was really good and there was one sister from my chapter who said that she really loved it and that she wanted a copy of my poem. These and all the other compliments, I received with great gratitude. But I really believe that it wasn’t me who performed, it was God in me. I can say that I really felt His presence in me. After about 1/4 of my performance, my nervousness went away, and all that was left of me were my great love for Him burning in my heart and my poem memorized in my mind. Although I forgot some lines, through Him I was able to deliver my poem with so much emotions, driven by that fire of love in my heart.
All the hugs that I received right after, and all the compliments, it is all for God. It is all for His glory.
My heart was definitely filled with joy on that first night for I have conquered my fear, I stepped out of my comfort zone, I took a risk and I was able to achieve one of my dreams (to do a poetry slam) and I was able to spread His word. His word that transformed me and my life. ❤
Although I didn’t win, I felt that I already won with the love the I received from the people around me, and from the joy that I received knowing that I was able to share my testimony. And my only purpose for doing poetry slam is to give Him glory and I did it, and that was enough for me. 🙂 And what made my heart burn more for the Lord is that after doing that for Him, I was also given something. I was rewarded with a new-found courage. A courage that made me stronger and fearless in facing the challenges in life, a courage that made me realize that taking risks will bring good fruits, and a courage that constantly reminds me that there is nothing impossible with God.
Day 2 of RYC equally brought so much joy in my heart and I will always treasure all the memories made and all the testimonies heard. Once again, on my second RYC, the Lord filled me up to the brim and my heart was overwhelming with joy. Truly the Lord is so great and awesome, because He answered me when I asked, He gave me comfort when I sought for Him, and He let me in when I knocked on His door. ❤
And with this, may God be praised forever.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. -Matthew 7:7