Since elementary I have dreamed of becoming a priest. I avoided courting girls though sometimes it is but natural to have crushes. Instead, I focused on my study and eventually finished a Bachelor’s Degree in Education major in Mathematics. I never had a chance to enter the seminary for the reason that I have to fulfill first my obligation to my family being the first born. At any rate, I have just turned nineteen (19) and still have plenty of time to spare to help my family.
By fate, I have landed a teaching job in one of the most prestigious schools in ther province. It only took me 2 ½ years before I was appointed to a middle administrative position that lasted for six years. In those years that I have served the school as a high school teacher and as a junior administrator, never in my mind that I have forgotten my boyhood dream – that priestly thing. I was even encouraged to join the religious life of the La Sallian Brothers.
I just do not know what was that force that had prevented me from doing it so? Rather than forcing the issue, I have decided to set a specific time frame: at the age of thirty (30), I will make my final decision.
The year was 2002, I have reached that point in my life that I really need to choose which path will I go: single blessedness, priesthood or married life.
Great decisions come not by chance but thru intense prayer and discernment. I prayed to God to show me sign(s) that could help me to decide. Until one day, serendipitously, an anonymous texter sent me a message that went like this, “can u be my txtm8?” – (can you be my text mate)
Being too busy that time I ignored that message. But days had passed and more text messages kept on coming. So reluctant this sender, that one night I succumbed to the pressure and text backed a message. “Hu r U?”, I texted. I thought one of my colleagues are trying to fool me around. To my surprise, the mystery texter introduced herself! Her name is Rosemarie. She is from Tuguegarao, Cagayan but during that time vacationing in Manila. To cut it short, we became text-mates and later developed a relationship that I could not explain. Is this the sign that I have asked for?
I have opted to meet her in person. I made a surprise visit on her in Manila but unexpectedly only the one to be surprised at the end. My enthusiasm to see her had faded, the moment I saw her. She is a two-legged polio victim and could not walk by herself. Indeed, I was shocked. The worst thing is, I am falling for her already! Of all person why she … I asked God.
After that meeting I became confused. I grasped for reasons why such thing happened. Is that really a joke? What would my friends tell me the moment they learn whom I am texting with? What if my family rejects her? So devastated I was that once again I turned to God for guidance and enlightenment.
And truly, HE works in a mysterious and unfathomable way.
I continued to communicate with her through text. She was already in her native province when I intensified my courtship. Thus, it became a long distance love-text affair. A year later, one summer vacation I went to her place to meet her parents and relatives and of course to present myself. It was a 12-hour trip sometimes mountainous especially nearing her place. Two years after, we got married!
Now I know why God did not allow me to become a priest. He has another planned mission for me: that is to marry a polio victim woman, to be her guide and cane as she walks, to teach one lonely person to become self reliant and lastly to take care and love her forever.
Love cannot be gauge by how compatible is one person to another. Rather, the barometer of love is how you complement the infirmities and weaknesses of your partner. There are things that we cannot do but your partner can and vice versa.
Me and my wife are now looking forward to our 8th wedding anniversary on October. It was a marriage that I did not ask for. I did not expect it as well. It was a love that was truly sent from heaven!