The Greatest Gift I Received This Christmas

Christmas is a time for giving, sharing, and loving. Usually, most of us receive gifts from our friends, family, and loved ones. Each of us receive memorable gifts which we cannot truly forget because of its value. With that, I also received one of the best gifts that I had so far in my life

Every December 16 marks the start of the Simbang Gabi here in our country. For Roman Catholics, we celebrate mass every dawn which is usually at four am. This consists of 9 days of early morning mass until the 24th of December. At first, one gets excited during the first day. However, as the days pass by, one cannot deny that it entails a lot of sacrifice to wake up early in the morning and to just have 3 to 4 hours of sleep while at the same time, have work during the day. It’s really not easy. Yet, I believe that all the sacrifices are truly worth it because you are not doing it for yourself but for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Simbang Gabi at our parish, Immaculate Conception. Our church is still a work in progress.

During this year’s first day of Simbang Gabi, I am truly blessed and grateful that I served as a Lector at our Parish at Immaculate Conception, Aluba, Upper Macasandig. Likewise, last December 16 was a memorable one for me because of the start of something new. Do you know what gift I received last week?

I am honored and privileged that our company has changed my employment status from probationary to regular. It is one big gift for me because as I remember my journey as a probationary employee during the past 6 months, it was an uphill battle.

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I experienced difficulties that challenged my character, my personality, and my principles in life. I remember those times when I really committed a lot of mistakes. When I say a lot, I could not anymore count those times because I can say that I mostly commit mistakes each day of my probationary period. At first, it was shameful for me because I am an idealistic person. I am also a slight perfectionist. Moreover, despite the mistakes I made, I am grateful that I committed such acts because I was able to build a foundation from those things. If not for those mistakes, I would not be able to perform at its best today.

At the same time, I remember those times where I have been embarrassed and shamed by people who thought of me as a weak person. At first, I got hurt because of the treacherous words which this person said to me. I could clearly remember that I walked out and cried because of the person shaming me in front of my office mates. I could also sense that she is always making me miserable. Yet, I will always be grateful of the things that she did to me. I have forgiven her, but I cannot forget the words she said to me. I also haven’t changed my outlook on her as a person. It has been clearly embedded in my mind that she has this identity. It made me realize that I must be able to value my worth by standing firm so that she won’t be able to step on me amidst my meek personality. Likewise, this reminded me that even though one would already reach the top, we should never step to other people just to achieve our own selfish satisfactions. Also, one does not have the right to embarrass a person just because he or she is just a neophyte because we are all created equally and most importantly, you will never know that this person whom you have shamed will reach greater heights and will be the one who will help you in your needs in the future.

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The one I would never forget during the past few months are the tortures and sacrifices I experienced. When I began my position, my predecessor left me a pile of backlog work. I still remembered when my counterpart office mate and I went home from work at 10:30 in the evening in order to finish everything. I remembered when I always seek for His guidance every time I go to work because of the anxiety I face each day. I also remember when only our Section Head and Team Leader helped and mentored me during those times when I got confused with everything.

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However, despite such things, I will never forget those times where I excelled because I truly did my best. Most of all, I will be extremely blessed for those people who helped me reach this place today.

First, I am grateful for my counterpart office mate, Tara. I still remember the time when I was alone in my designated position for one and a half month. Life was really miserable because no one was helping me. I was on my own feeling frightened of the things that I don’t know (Line from Jessie J’s Song, Flashlight 😛 ). Then, during my first day of work was the day where she was interviewed by our Head who went to our branch. I really prayed that hopefully, she would be the one who would get hired as my partner. Fortunately, the heavens have heard me as my prayers were answered. I am always grateful for her every single day because I would not be able to fix the mess if we wouldn’t be able to do it as a team. Thank you Tarabels!

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My partner, Tara

Second, I am exceptionally blessed with our Section Head and Team Leader who continuously and untiringly helped and mentored me in everything that I do. I know that that there were times that I still commit lapses despite the fact that our Section Head continues to remind me. Yet, she never fails to teach me and to educate me instead of reprimanding me and choking me from anger. Also, I am grateful because of her patience despite her stressful position as Section Head. To my Section Head and Team Leader, thank you very much to both of you Ma’am. I will really never forget how you molded me so that I would be able to perform my duties and responsibilities in my position despite the adversities we have experienced.

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Lastly, I am truly loved by our Almighty Father who unceasingly guided me throughout my the bloody and chaotic battle I have faced. He never failed to be there at my side during those times where I felt depressed and during those days where I felt anxiety because of living my life in the office with fear. He continues to guide me in this very demanding responsibility that I have. He relentlessly guided me so that I would not be able to commit unfavorable mistakes. Above all, he protects me from harm and evil and continues to the strengthen me each day so that I won’t give up. He became my protector and my companion. Thank you very much Lord! Because of that, I will continue to honor and serve you until the end of my days.

Because of this, the challenge of being a regular employee doesn’t stop there. This is just the beginning of everything. I am thankful for everything and blessed this Christmas because of this wonderful gift.

Thank you very much UCPB!

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