By the early 30s, many questions were popping in my head:
- is this (all that I thought I wanted) called happiness?
- where is my life going?
- how do I make a return to this good God?
- am I growing? am I using all my gifts? are there more gifts undiscovered?
I was, for many years, serving already in church ministries - particularly RCIA. I embarked in missionary projects. But I sense within me a calling to something more. I didn't know what, where or how.. except to stay faithful to what I was already given.
When I met the Cenacle Sisters in yr 2009 in a silent retreat in Chiang Mai, I received healing and from there I had a great desire to give myself to God. But I was not ready to give it ALL yet. Very much like the rich young man, I had come to Jesus with a desire but then walked away sad.. the stirring within my heart was so constant that I had to try again, but failed each time to say a complete YES to Jesus. This movement in prayer happened over 9 months till finally, I made an agreement with the Lord. “1 yr is all that I can give. I will suspend my credit cards, give away my car, park my cash into my parents’ retirement fund and hang my career. Then Jesus, do whatever you wish with me" and I left for Manila in year 2012. “What's there to lose?” I thought to myself. “Except for money, I will gain clarity, international exposure and meet people. If I'm not accepted by the Cenacle, maybe God wanted me to see something in the Philippines.”
Life was never the same ever since. Deeper Healing began. Through Spiritual Direction and intensive formation of the heart, I met God in my brokenness, who loves me passionately, accepts me unconditionally, and forgives me completely.
He didn't tell me to change.
He just showed me how uniquely and wonderfully made I am.
Reclaiming my blessedness was the ultimate gift!
Thereafter, I knew what I needed to do with my life: a reorder of my lifestyle, my perspective of self and others, my priorities because I don't wish to lose this gift to anything or anybody - ever again.
My faith journey in the Cenacle is somewhat like that of Easter stories: awakening and deepening.
Like the disciples, rooted in our own culture & tradition, I needed to relearn who this Messiah really is.. how can the cross / suffering bring me life, is conflict always bad... what does it mean to love (what are my expectations of love)... is harmony at all cost, the highest value?
Very often, I feel overwhelmed by life's challenges especially caught in interpersonal dynamics, I am invited to return to my Galilee - the first encounter of Christ and experience of my first true love.
I still do not often make the right choices. But that's the beauty of the Cenacle - the gathering of a community of enthusiastic learners. To listen to and re-learn from Jesus the new meaning of God's Reign. It is where I dare to say "I am indeed slow of heart, teach me Lord".
End my sharing with this note:
My vocation is a response to the healing love and gentle touch of God. Because of this personal experience with Jesus, I desire to give myself fully to his mission: to go and tell others of this Good News.
Others need to know.
Sr. Christine Lam (Kriz)
My vocation story begins with a search for oneself & deep desire to want to give myself completely to something / someone.. eventually as we know now, I found my rest & peace in God.
I had many good experiences in life. With the blessings from God, I had a fast progressing career, the money & freedom to do all that I desired, some good adventures / regular travels and a few boyfriends along the way.
In all these endeavours, & more, what remained constant was the presence and generosity of God. One who protected & cared for me especially in difficult times of my life. Of course, this Almighty God need not reveal himself as such but he did, out of great love for me.