The first half of the year flew quickly and since I’ve been off the WordPress-radar for months now, how about I start again by sharing what’s keeping me busy this whole time. Here we go.
January is always a good time to start new resolutions, ditch old ones, and set new personal records. According to my running journal, I ran 90,83 miles in a month. The cold weather didn’t bother me after all but I recall having a bad cough for two-three weeks. As you can see on the left photo, I used a scarf to protect my neck and naturally, it didn’t help.
Now before you think I’m this fit running woman, let me make myself clear : I eat twice as much. I’m lucky to be surrounded with people who share my love for food, my German classmates for example.
It was the love month yet I experienced a heart-breaking event, just a fresh month away from welcoming the new year.
My father had a brain stroke and before it gets depressing, he survived. Papa and I came from a birthday party and soon as we got home, he felt off. He was dizzy, puking, and his high blood pressure was way up. We weren’t able to take him directly to the hospital but instead waited on it— a thing we regret until now. Papa was however strong and prayed throughout the whole ordeal. We took him to the hospital and learned that it was life-threatening. It was a miracle he survived. Guess it’s clear to say his faith saved him. He stayed at the hospital for three weeks and from then on, we felt a big change in the family. We had to step up and start over.
In the midst of a trying season, God brought me a new church community : Alpha. After months of going to a German church, I went back to the english-speaking church I’ve been going every time I’m in Hamburg. One Sunday, I heard someone announcing something similar to my Victory/Every Nation church and signed up. It was also during the time I’m asking God for a community as well as a church where I just don’t routinely go to but a place where I could feel at home. When God hears something pure, He answers instantly. Suffice to say, Alpha was an answered prayer. A bonus : I gained a friend… someone who I know will be present in my life for a long time.
(I must’ve shared this story a couple of times but this’ll be the first considering it’s on my blog!) I met Abbie during the orientation night of Alpha and in my head, I was wondering “I hope the people are nice. I’m shy. I like to have christian friends in Hamburg”. I was lost in my thoughts that I literally lost my way. But lo and behold, some woman got lost as well and she was going to Alpha alone. Surprise surprise! We clicked instantly, thank God for having the same values! We then attended Sunday masses together and formed an amazing friendship. I’m so glad to have a friend who doesn’t mince her words, especially when I get overwhelmed. Someone who’s bold enough to tell me when I’m way over my head. She’s indeed God-sent, especially that I’m starting a new life in Hamburg. What’s amazing is the fact that our friendship is formed and nourished by God, so I’m sure it’ll be a long, fruitful friendship.
Hi, Abbie. I know you’ll be reading this. I’m grateful for you.
From the wise words of a legendary princess (cause Beyonce is Kween), “Work work work work work work. You see me I be work work work work work”. Rihanna, 2016.
Around this time, I was babysitting 3 times a week, learning German weekdays, and helping my Mom twice a week. It’s only by God’s grace that I was still able to attend Alpha meetings, hangout with friends, and run. Although not as regularly as before.
After a year of keeping my hair long and ruly, I decided to chop it off! Good timing that we’re welcoming the summer season although in Hamburg, summer means rain wind rain sun little sun rain. I also got very busy fixing all my documents needed for my university application. Two weeks before the beginning of the application, I learned that I couldn’t apply for Masters due to my Bachelor degree in the Philippines. They say that in order for me to take my masters, I should have two bachelor degrees. My work experiences didn’t count too. It would be however easy if I enroll in a private school, but then I will be poor and drag my family’s finances along the way. Crazy. After prayer and counselling from my family/friends, I decided to pursue my studies but a Bachelor. If this is the route where God is taking me, then so be it.
My birthday month was packed like Mcdonald’s big mac!
My classmates threw a surprise mini-celebration during my class and afterwards, my family celebrated my birthday (+ Kuya’s) at my Mom’s favorite buffet restaurant. Yes, our birthday on her restaurant of choice. Mom’s the boss. It was a very peaceful celebration— nothing too fancy, just with my family and love all around.
My Kuya threw a grill party that weekend and I invited my friends over. It was very enjoyable and made me think about all my friends in the Philippines; wishing they could be there to meet the people who’s making my move fun. Also nice that I can show a little bit of my Filipino culture to them. I didn’t scare them away, thank goodness.
I also did something I’ve been contemplating for quite a while : running a legit marathon in Hamburg.
I finished my first 21k marathon in 2:10:09 seconds! It was also a self-test since it’s always been a dream to join a major international marathon. Looks like if I train more, I can do the Berlin marathon next year! Not to get ahead of myself, I just wanted to share how fulfilling the 21k was. The people were really serious! After gun start, people were just passing me and in my head, I wanted so bad to speed up. I just told myself to get rid of my ego and stay on my pace. It was the best decision since I was able to hang on until the end, without stopping. It was very fulfilling when I reached the 16-17k mark ’cause it meant, I was breaking my distance record. 20k came and at this point, people were walking and most injured. I was reciting a couple of Bible verses (Philippians 4:13, Hebrews 12:1, Philippians 3:14) for encouragement and boy, it saved me. I was laughing and jumping when I reached the finish line. Unfortunately, my family wasn’t able to take a video or even a photo, since they got so shocked that I finished earlier! I had to fake-run just so they could have a video of me reaching the finish line. Haha.
A week after the race, we went to Frankfurt to watch my favorite band’s concert. My uncle gave me a concert ticket as a Christmas gift and I was seated way above the stage. I was watching alone since the venue sold out quickly but hey, God has his ways! My uncle and I waited at the concert arena, hoping someone would be selling their tickets so we both could go together. 30 minutes before the concert starts, someone came up to us selling passes. How lucky are we, right? One more catch : We will be watching infront of the stage.
It was an amazing way to end my birthday month and basically, the first half of the year. I also received my visa extension which means I don’t have to worry for the next two years. God has been just amazing and moves way beyond my imagination.
Wow, this has been a long update but I hope I kept you interested and read until here. Now, let’s see how the second half of the year turns out. One last video to close this entry: