WHEN I suffered my second stroke in 2015, I realized I have to re-order my life.
My medical abstract didn’t show why I suffered hemiparesis. But I know it’s my second bout with sub arachnoid hemorrhage. The first time, my whole was paralyzed.
On the other hand, hemiparesis is paralysis on the right side of my body. I can still move the affected side of my body, but with reduced muscular strength. For two sides, a physical therapist worked on my recovery from my paralysis. My treatment focused on improving my motor skills, allowing me to better manage my daily living.
In my normal life, I write using my two hands to touch type my articles. With my hemiparesis, however, I have to use my left, teaching it new skills.
As Board chair of the Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Program-Philippines, I signed multi-million contracts using my right thumb. Someone has to lift my right to press my thumb to the signature area. Before, NTFP-EP has to pass a board resolution using my right thumb.
God has given me a new lease in life. I survived because for the second time, I prayed that not my will but the Father’s will be done.
I discerned that His will means I have to re-order my priorities. Before my first and second sub arachnoid hemorrhage, my spiritual sunk to fifth priority behind work which can be divided into NGO work and other environmental and human rights advocacies, court-annexed mediation, SunStar Bacolod column writing, family – and spiritual life. That is to say, hearing Mass on Sunday.
With my new normal, however, spiritual growth came first. Prayer and Life Workshops, first as a participant, and second as a prayer guide.
Last year, I accepted to head the weekly The Feast Bacolod Bulletin. That means using my print media skills – or what the charismatics call “gifts” for writing, editing, and desktop publishing. I also have to use my organizing skills to enlist The Feast attendees and servants to contribute their gifts and personal stories to the Light of Jesus Family and to the general public.
In the process with my new Catholic Christian identity, I regained my motor skills. I can again use my two hands when typing.
My rebirth is an expression of my acceptance of God’s will to serve Him. Your will be done, Lord.