Unexpected turn of events
“Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you”—”Ironic,” Alanis Morissette
If you asked me three years ago what my plans were, never would you have heard me say “To have a baby.” Three years ago, I had my life all planned out. I even created a vision board for all my plans, and one by one I was beginning to cross them off. I had just passed the licensure exams for professional teaching and I had gotten into my dream school—Bank Street College of Education in New York—to take up my master’s degree in education specializing in general and special education. Everything was all planned out and I was ready to go.
Then one morning, I decided to pee on that stick and saw those two tiny lines. It took me seven tests and a trip to the OB-GYN with my cousin and my best friend to accept the fact that I was indeed pregnant.
When I told my parents about my pregnancy, I felt so ashamed and disappointed with myself. I felt that all my plans had instantly fallen apart. I had lots of questions, such as: How will I push through with moving to New York if I have a baby? Can I raise my baby there? Do I leave my baby here in the Philippines? Do I just forget about taking my graduate degree abroad?
I was admittedly not happy during my pregnancy and questioned everything that had happened. I questioned God and asked Him why this was all happening.
But life really has a way of sneaking up on you. I decided to defer my slot in Bank Street and just focus on raising my baby. When I gave birth in October 2019, I moved in with my grandmother and devoted my time to my baby. He became the most important person in my life, and the joy he brought to my family was indescribable. I forgot all about my plans of moving and just decided to take it day by day. Until this pandemic happened and the whole world stopped. Everything done in person was moved online, and the only way we could connect with each other was through technology.
One day, I got an e-mail from the school saying that they were going to conduct the classes fully online. I opened this idea to my grandmother and my family about me attending school online while still here in the Philippines. They were more than supportive, and my grandmother even offered to help me with my tuition. So I decided to e-mail the school and ask if I could enroll while I was still in the Philippines; they were more than happy to accommodate me and include me for the fall semester of 2020. I am currently still in the Philippines and about to finish my second semester in Bank Street.
Who would have thought something good would come out during this pandemic? I was not only able to stay with my family here in the Philippines and be fully present in all of my baby’s milestones, but I was also able to begin my journey as a graduate student. This, of course, wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of my family, and most importantly God.
Everything happens for a reason, and even if we plan our lives down to the last dot, I realized that if it’s not in God’s time it really won’t be for you. The problem with trusting in God’s plan is that it happens in His time and not ours. We tend to be impatient and try to move things up to our speed, but that’s not how He works. He gives us roadblocks in life but rewards us with blessings we never imagined we could ever have.
If you ask me again if this is the life I wanted three years ago, I still would say no. But I would tell you that this is the life I needed to have in order to grow. As the Bible verse goes: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
Rochelle Kate E. Licaros, 28, is pursuing a master’s degree in general and special education at Bank Street College of Education in New York while teaching at a private preschool in the Philippines.
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