Reviewing 2014

January 6, 2015 at 8:37 am Leave a comment

By Jackie Pau,  December 31, 2014

Reading a friend’s comments on 2014 on Facebook I have to concur, this year has been a pretty challenging one. I have felt stretched way beyond my capabilities. I have struggled through some truly rough patches emotionally and physically. I feel I have failed in so many ways. At times, I have felt like a total zero in every area of my life.

In attempting to publish my first book I have experienced the height of frustration and I have been plagued immeasurably by insecurity. I have gone from panic attack to panic attack (I will still have them until I break even I am guessing).

Although I have been told ever since I was a young girl that I should write a book, that I am a good writer; although I have said I will write a book for, oh, the last 15 years or so, I have not done anything about it until now. And it has been terrifying beyond belief.

What if my writing really sucks? What if the book won’t sell? What if I fall flat on my face? What was I thinking? Seriously? These are questions that have been circling around inside my consciousness for more than 24 months now, since this whole process began.

So why put myself through all this? The answer is simple. Writing is one of my giftings in life and I need to acknowledge it and utilize it fully if I am to inhabit the skin God put me in well. Who said being Christian is cushy?

To be a true follower of Christ entails not just cultivating virtues but developing all aspects of my personhood, nurturing my innate gifts and talents are chief. Complete receptivity of my gifts involves discipline, practice, constant learning, doggedness, and an unwavering focus on giving glory back to God who first gave me not just those gifts, but life itself. And I DO want to give Him glory in all I do.

Apart from the book thing, 2014 has been a difficult year for it has been painful, even excruciating, for many people I care for and call friends. It is hard to walk with them and not be affected by the darkness that envelopes them. More so when the best I can do is lend a listening ear. This has been a Herculean task for me at times for I am so not patient. Blast you Saint Paul for saying love is patient and kind.

Before you think my 2014 was a total sob fest, it was not. It contains some of the highest points in my life. Taking my Covenant as an ICPE Mission Companion and having a community of loving brothers and sisters in my life has been utterly amazing and awesome. I feel as if I am cradled in the hands of God through the faith of my brothers and sisters. They have helped me be a better person by inspiring me with their goodness and their love. Thank you my community – each one of you, individually and collectively in your families, has been a special gift to me this year.

More recently, I have been blessed by the ICPE Mission Philippines community during reverse carolling. It is always a joy to be able to live as part of the community; to work, laugh and pray together. What a privilege! Thank you Albert, Esther, Gemma and Joan. Missed you much, Jitka.

The other special thing about reverse carolling besides all I have written about previously is meeting and working with new and old friends. It has been such a blast and I had a great time. Angie and Jon, your music-making skills blow me away. My gratitude to Angie, Carolyn, Clare, Datina, Jeanny and Jon for making reverse carolling so joyous. Ad, Ams and Maize, you know you bring me joy all the time.

I had the opportunity to visit Hawaii early in the year and it was a very special time. Not only did I get to see the titan arum in bloom or the Hōkūleʻa about to set sail on her worldwide voyage, I was there for Saint Damien’s feast day and the changing of the seasons – everything was unplanned which made it all the more special. I had time and space to pray, connect with old friends and reconnect with myself. Those weeks away clarified for me the way I should walk and gave me strength to face the rest of the year.

As a Friend of Gardens By The Bay, I have had the opportunity to visit the Gardens many times this year. Every visit has yielded beauty, not just the beauty of nature, but the joy of shared interests and companionship with my beloved mother. Our walks have been healthy and life-giving. I treasure them all in my heart.

If I were to use one word to encapsulate my experiences in 2014, it would be encounter. Learning about the significance of personal encounters (with, through and in the Lord) inEvangelii Gaudium and then seeing how personal encounters have worked powerfully in my life.  Life truly is about encountering people, strangers and family alike. I see that more clearly each day. Hence I give thanks for my Woman to Woman Ministry sisters, my parish community, my clients, my friends, my family, and all those people I have met throughout this year.

Most of all, I am grateful for all my encounters with Jesus. I may not have been faithful all the time, but He certainly was. He has guided me and protected me through all the storms and rejoiced with me in all the glorious, sunshiny days. He has been with me every day through the year, wherever I went, whoever I met, whether I acknowledged His presence or not. So I end the year knowing I can never be as faithful and loving as Jesus, yet knowing I will not stop trying even though all I can bring as a gift He would appreciate is a humble, contrite and grateful heart.

I look forward to the new year knowing that many things will come to fruition then. Goodbye 2014 and hello 2015.

Retrieved from


Entry filed under: Inspiring Faith.

The Mother of Peace Pope’s New Year’s Day Angelus

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