Past Perfect

It’s funny how at every reading of the Emmaus story, the same line never fails to strike me:

“We had hoped,” the two disciples told the stranger before them.

A grammar nerd like me can’t help but note that the verb “hope” is in the past perfect (or pluperfect) tense–a tense that is appropriately reserved for referring to actions already completed before some point in the past.

So when the disciples told Jesus, “We had hoped,” what they meant was that they no longer hoped. In short, they had given up. You can almost hear the sighs behind the words.

I’ve always felt an affinity to these two disciples making their way to Emmaus. I get how they feel. I know what it feels like to feel lost. They had such dreams and aspirations. They had pinned their hopes so much on Jesus, and just like that, all their dreams, hopes, and aspirations lay in ruins. With this dead end before them, they felt they had no other option but to turn back and go home.

We’ve all been there on that broken road. For some of us, in fact, we’ve been on several broken roads.

Can you recall the last time you’ve been on that kind of a road–when your hopes had been shattered and you felt like you were walking amidst ruins, when you found yourself facing a dead end and you felt there was no option but to make a U turn?

Pray over the memory of this broken road. What were the circumstances that led to it? How were you feeling? For this prayer period, stay with that feeling. That’s probably similar to what the two disciples felt.

You may want to play this instrumental piece as you recall that experience.

Julian Lloyd Webber

If you would like to share about that memory–or at least, what it was like–feel free to do so below.

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229 replies on “Past Perfect”

“We had hoped” – I was the same many years ago, in the depths of despair, distressed, gave up my dreams of a career for family and yet felt like a failure in my role as a mother and wife with my self-absorbed musings and feelings of anguish. I’ve come around and wish I was a better mother back then but try to give myself grace. Hoping my children remember more of the good times than the bad, and forgiving myself because I tried to do good even if it might not have been good enough.

One of my darkest moments was when we found out that my daughter had learning challenges and at that point, none of the schools that we thought were the best ones for her, could take her in for a variety of reasons that continue to baffle me to this day. In my mind, what kind of educators refuse a child and refuse to extend support for a child who needs it? We were eventually led to what turned out to the best school for her, with teachers who loved and cared for her in a way that makes a mother’s heart sing. But at the time, i was personally devastated and i harbored so much bitterness in my heart. Today, i brought my daughter back to that school that opened their arms to her all those years ago, this time for face-to-face classes for the first time in 2 years. And i have nothing but gratitude for a God that continued to walk with me during such dark days, even when i felt only bitterness and despair.

I have mental illness and hear voices where everyone I know who has been kind and nice to me in life, betrays and spurns me. It is very difficult to hear the voices.

Praying for all my co-retreatants. … This is an Emmaus moment for me… feeling dashed since one of the important, life changing things i was hoping for did not come true… and i am facing a career cross road of staying in a place with better pay and going to a place with better work condition… what is life-giving in the long run? Lord of the Emmaus journey, show me the way… the day is almost over…

the roads of marriage lead from well paved to broken, well paved, to broken,,,,the ebb and the flow…accepting at this point that perfection is not possible but thankful for the moments that are near perfect, and that they tide me over for the broken roads ahead, always recognizing with gratitude that God holds my hand so i don’t fall apart when i walk the broken road…his presence allows me to stay joyful and full of love so that the broken road eventually becomes a good road to travel on again

Lots of broken roads in my life. It made me really sad everytime I meet one. But after a while I realize that God had other plans for me.
It is true that when one door closes, another door opens. God was leading me where I am needed, where I am supposed to be.

One of my recent broken roads are my brothers. Tried my best to be logical, fix things thru different plans and strategies. But in the end it doesn’t work out. Frustrating, sad, but all I can do is lift it up to the Lord. That He be the one to guide them to what they need to do and where they need to go…

Another broken road was in my profession. I was trying hard to achieve something and in the end I failed. I was frustrated, sad and then very down. It was a feeling that I will never be enough, never good enough for something… During that time I tried to cheer myself up thru songs. Listening to “In His Time” and “Fix You” to make myself remember that my timing may not be God’s timing. And that this bottle neck may just be God’s way of pushing me to the right direction.

Thank you Dear God for always guiding us… I pray that In our lives we will be able to better serve You and Your people…

I had hopes of…I am focused on my own expectations and although I have no control, I did not accept that I have no control at that point in time when I am so focused on what I want. Lord, help me to trust in you that your grace is enough for me.

40 years ago, I was set to propose to the girl of my life … But she wanted to enter the contemplative convent, to find out whether she had a vocation. She asked me to wait for a year … but 3 long years passed and she looked so happy, getting ready to become a novice.

That made me question whether I too was being “called”. The road ahead seemed broken, and I was broken-hearted too. Work became a drag, but serving in a community of committed Christians gave me a sort of joy. Perhaps I too should try out whether I was being called to be a priest. I had a stable, well-paying job, and my siblings were dependent on me for their education, but none of that mattered now … I resigned from my job and set about applying to enter the seminary. I asked Mama Mary for guidance: if this decision is wrong, Mama Mary please set things aright. Bahala na po kayo.

As I was completing my theology studies, I learned that my ex-girlfriend had left the convent. She did not let me know because she did not want to be a distraction. Thank God, my spiritual director had the discernment that I should not proceed with my scheduled diaconate ordination … and our ways were directed to each other again.

I believe that the Lord Jesus, thru His Mother Mary, was with us all through the years. Our respective stays in the convent/seminary deepened our faith foundations, and prepared us for a deeper relationship with God and each other. Basing our life on the Lord’s ways has enabled us to raise 5 kids well, and also to serve well in different parishes and renewal movements in the Church.

Indeed the broken roads have led us to trust the Lord more, to take refuge under Mary’s mantle, to experience that Jesus is alive and longs to lead us to the Father.

When I quit my permanent full time job for a reason that my new Manager doesn’t “want/like” me. I don’t know why. I felt I was on a dead end. Our family was challenged financially because my part of the budget was cut/gone. Now I realized that God has a reason why things happened in our lives. That circumstance to strive, persevere and it led to me to a better permanent full time job now.

Dear Lord, thank you for bringing me to that “broken road”. It was not easy but by Your grace and blessings I was able to get through. It also taught me to be strong and trust in You. Amen

I recently lost hope in trying to finish what I started due to frustrations and failed expectations. I then hoped I am given a new assignment so I can show every that I have a new assignment so I have a perfect excuse from doing the things I was supposed to do.

But then I realized that I was just tying to escape from the task I initially planned so I will not look like a fool. I was being afraid to look like a failure in what I may consider my last hurrah after being regarded as having a successful career.

This retreat made me realize the path I need to take- the path I am supposed to continue despite the odds. And remember that redemption is on the other side of these difficulties and frustrations.

the complicated grief of losing someone to suicide.. the aftermath.. among those left behind. really felt like a dead end then.. we are slowly recovering.. in God’s grace…

May 2021 – Getting hit with covid. Those were quite lonely times especially since my family was affected.

Early 2010 – Having great difficulty and struggling with my academic life in general, but I didn’t know how to express that “I need help” to my peers/classmates and teachers/professors. I shifted out of my degree program that time. But interestingly, a few years later, I became a teacher myself in the degree program where I had shifted to and I graduated from.

May 2021: Got hospitalized with covid, just within a week after my father was also hospitalized with covid. Although we were able to stay in the same hospital, covid protocols (and hospital capacity) removed the possibility of us being taken care of together. Those were lonely times.

Thankfully, both of us were able to recover. I think those times helped prepare us for the stronger delta and omicron waves that were to come months later, though, both in terms of natural immunity and developing a stronger sympathy/empathy perhaps for those hit by delta and omicron.

Shattered hopes – failures,dissapointments, shortcomings. Yes, it made me sad and (a bit) hopesless these past years, but I always believed that God was there all through out. In happiness and pain, God was there. Even in the times of spiritual dryness and lukewarmness. He has been always there, He is just waiting for us to reach out his broken hands, enbrace His broken body, to make us whole again.

April 2018. I remember when I was notified that it was the dead end to a goal which I’ve been working on for years. It was devastating. Since then i have been trying to come to terms with it, trying to accept it as it was and remove any blaming to persons and circumstances. Since then i have been trying to make peace with myself. Since then i have not made any personal dream / goal. Each day have just been coping and going thru the daily nitty gritty. No more disappointments. No more dashed hopes neither were there any grit and hopeful determination.

This reading of the walk to Emmaus means so much to me. I beg for the grace of the burning heart because of Jesus.

Prior to the pandemic, my family and I got sick and I experienced complications after that. But while trying to recover I also had to make up for the work that I left behind. Because I was busy I failed to review an investment – one which I have been paying for 5 years and was worth more than a million, my life savings actually. When I remembered it around June 2020, I found out that they sent an email which I never saw, saying that it was forfeited. Because we were on lockdown I could not go to their office and clarify. I was able to talk to someone but she just confirmed that it’s gone. For a week I was crying and pleading to God. I felt lost and when I was about to give up and just accept defeat, I was led to a resource person. That person helped me even though it took a while. During that entire waiting period, I was filled with anxiety although I was praying really hard. That’s when I learned how to walk by faith not by sight. God showed me that if I trust Him things will work out. It’s nit exactly what I had planned for but better. although there are still cahllenges even up to now. When I am tempted to doubt nowadays I always remember that time.

God always delivers , no word of His will return empty..just trusting Him made things right.. even in darkness He will bring light just trust and believe in Him.. i envy those two men Jesus chose to manifest to them, gave them Hope when they thought all was lost.. yet the Holy Spirit somehow in my lowest moment comes to my aid or my Guardian Angel may be.. those 2 men had a life changing moment for me.. if Jesus could approach and share His moment with them..then He can do the same thing for me…
Praise be His Holy Name.

So far every time things don’t go well, the Lord seems to appear… just when I feel alone with dreams shattered, He just leads me to take another path. Thank you Lord for being there.

August 28, 2012 my wife and I lost our third child, who had just turned one year old 9 days prior. We were devastated… We felt the hospital was negligent… This event triggered me to slide into depression… I could not even go to mass… Nagtampo ako kay Lord… I was going around the Philippines and my project paper in my Masters in Theology was about Family Catechesis through a bible study method that discusses the Sunday readings… but in the midst of serving him, we lost a son? It is still a journey from grief to glory and it has been a long one. 10 year this year..

It still pains me to this day and every August I still take a week off to mourn and remember him… I just had to write it down in this space as I ended my day with this online holy week retreat….

I am truly sorry for your loss. It must hurt tremendously, every day. I am sorry. Prayers are promised for you.

Recalling the broken roads I’ve experienced in my life made me realize that it was meant for me to go through that path. It may be broken, but I know Jesus is there. He blessed the broken road and it made me whole again.

I’m actually on that road right now. I thought that once my mom and I moved to our new house, we could start again. We could forget all the sadness of the past and make new, happy memories. I could relax a little, maybe even go on a vacation. I hadn’t gone on a real vacation in years, there was just no money for that. Now, I can plan for a better future, or so I thought.

My business partner backed out before we could do product testing. My mom got sick, then suddenly died. Now, I’m almost back at Square One. No debt unlike before, but all outgoing money, and no idea what to do next.
It’s heartbreaking to lose your only remaining family just when things were supposed to get better. I feel so lost, but I can only trust that God will guide me out of this limbo I’m in.

I am so sorry for your losses. I am ashamed that I still feel lost in many ways yet there are people like you who are enduring greater losses than mine.
Please be strong for your dearly
departed
family members, for yourself.
You will get through this. God will never abandon you.
Hold on to Him. Ask Our Lady for help.
Be consecrated to her. I am praying for you, dear brother/sister in Christ. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

My black friday Reflection was even though Jesus died, good things happened after. And this is what awaits you. Things will be better. As you said , now you have no debt. Your mom’s death is devastating and lonely to bear, but new doors will open to you if you let them. We pray for you.

Looking back at my experience, it brought back the feeling of being defeated and being left on my own. I felt that I was abandoned by my mom because she can’t do anything about the situation, which in the first place was a result of my personal decision. I was in a point where I was already willing to give up what I wanted to pursue but it was not long enough when a good friend extended assistance so that I can move forward.

My broken roads were outcomes of the relationship of our parents and their situation in fending for the family. They have been separated for many years when my father worked overseas. When he came home it was my mother who took the chance to look for better work opportunities and for the family to migrate to another country.

The trade offs were miscommunication and misunderstandings between our parents, differences in expectations and lack of unity for everyone. Because of these, other goals and plans for the family were nowhere.

My father and sister were able to join my mom after several years. My brother and I were left here in the country since we were past 21 years old. I set my own life goals and wanted to make my brother set his own too yet it didn’t happen for him. He felt that he had control over his own life.

After 30 years of living abroad and gaining foreign citizenship, my mother came back to the country with the help of a family friend who accompanied her. She has not emotionally recovered 2 years after my father passed away and she had a falling out with my sister. I tried getting in touch with my sister to find out what happened. The only response I got was, “You do not know how difficult it is to live with her.” Those were her only words to me through a text and we never heard from her. It took me time to figure out what happened to my mother through her friends and I had to put pieces of stories together.

With our mother back, my brother was very happy because he will have someone by his side to support him financially. He has been working on his own but still asks for financial aid from our mother. I feel helpless with my mother’s situation because she also allowed these things to happen.

I tread broken roads and continue to do so because I choose to cross them from time to time for the people I love. It is difficult yet I thank my husband and children for supporting me every time I feel lost. My mother is growing old. I cannot change her ways. She needs help in doing some things for herself, looking out for her and even managing her finances.

The feeling I had was that of helplessness when I was thinking of my broken roads. Though it was what I felt, there was also that hope to find courage to continue with my own path and just cross the broken roads once in a while to be of service and in loving my mother, brother and sister.

Sinasabing ang paghihinagpis o matinding kalungkutan bunga ng pagkawala o kawalan ay bahagi ng ating paglalakbay na kailangan nating mapagtagumpayan dahil ito ang magtuturo sa atin upang maging isang bagong-tao at makita ang daan patungo sa Diyos.

Ang tagpong ito sa Landas ng Emaus ay imbitasyon ni Hesus upang muling ipaalala sa atin ang mga iniwang palatandaan ng Diyos upang siya ay makilala natin sa bawat landas na ating tinatahak.

I had always felt that I was called to the vocation of marriage, but each time I only seemed to encounter only heartbreak after heartbreak, and I’m already in my late thirties and it still isn’t happening for me. Sometimes there were people who I thought that maybe this was finally “it”, and the last one in particular, was the one I had really hoped was finally meant for. I had felt so lost when that ended, and I wondered if maybe “no” was the answer all along despite my deep desire for this vocation. But still, despite the broken roads I seem to keep travelling, despite the hope that only seems unfulfilled, I hold on to faith that God will lead me to where He wants me to be, in the end. Praying also for anyone who might be going through the same thing.

I went through something similar in my 30s. Far too many broken relationships and apparently wrong choices that left me shattered each time. I like things to go as planned always, and clearly this was not part of the plan. I went into a minor depression for over a year, where I would weep uncontrollably every. single. day. and every single time i was driving my car. But somehow, at the end of the day, I found myself in Mass and/or in the Adoration chapel — where i would continue to weep uncontrollably. This went on, until I finally “confronted” the Lord in a retreat, asking Him to please tell me what His Will for me was — because I wanted to get married — but would He rather that I maybe become a religious (judging by all the failed relationships)? The Lord answered that it was okay that I follow my heart (marriage), so I asked Him to please be the one to supply the spouse, coz i always made the wrong choice anyway. He did. He delivered. The Lord is faithful.
I realized that during that heartbreaking, dark, and confusing time of my life, He was purifying me and preparing me for Something Better, but I had to be ready for it, I had to be ready to surrender to Him and trust that He had my best interest always.

Thank you so much for sharing this, this was very encouraging and affirming. The Lord is faithful indeed, and we just need to trust his timing. Thank you and God bless you. 🙏

I thought to myself “Is this what they call rock bottom?” while tears stream down my face. I felt so empty, lost, and useless. I wasn’t scared to die. In fact, I would have welcomed it.

Feeling the same way here. Every day, I just choose to walk towards the light and live by the promise that it is after the darkest moments of our lives that sun shines to its brightest! God bless us all.

Please do not give up. Things will get better. Abandon yourself to God.
Let Him
direct
you.
Hang in there. Kapit lang, kaibigan kay Kristo! Kaya ko iyan!
Praying for you! 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

I have taken many u-turns and always pedalled forward with hope. But now I feel less of my former strength and conviction. Dear Lord, I want to feel my heart burn within me like before. Tears flowed when I saw the the huge veil covering the cross in church yesterday. I wait for you Lord.

I feel more reassured and comforted in the Lord’s presence, reading about all the broken roads and u-turns. I feel less alone somehow. Thank you, Lord…thank you, Father J…and thank you, fellow retreatants…hindi pala ako nag-iisa…

One of the lowest points in my life or one of the so-called broken roads was when I decided to leave my first job. I was burnt out. After 7 years of doing routine work day in and day out; seeing people exploited, underpaid. Offering them false hopes that if they persevered, they just might land a regular job with the company they were assigned to…

Unsure where I was going, unsure of what the future held for me, there before me rose the temptation (during the lasr week of my job), to steal an amount of money entrusted to me. Had I taken it, it would have tide me over for probably a 100 days. Money that I could have used and spent wisely before I found another job.

Relieved that I didn’t take the money after turning it over to my boss, a few days passed and that’s when I think the Blessed Mother prompted me to visit her in Baclaran. I prayed so hard to Her (every Wednesday) that my next job would lead me to work in the province. I needed physical healing after just getting over a bad case of bronchitis. I then thought that working in the province would restore my unhealthy lungs.

Lo and behold, after completing the novena I got a call from an NGO and to cut a long story short, I got that provincial job that I had always dreamed of🤗

Ecstatic! Oh how I thanked the Lord and our Blessed Mother for this truly wonderful blessing. They guided me and turned me into a better person. And from that day on, oh how I learned to value more, honesty, integrity, devotion and discipline.🙏🙏🙏

I gave up my corporate life for the priesthood. all is well but then i committed a sexual sin with a fellow seminarian. I was sent out of the seminary because of this. I though this was over but then God led me back to the vocation with the very remorseful heart. I left and decided to continue my life in the corporate but God had another plan. He led me back to the formation. With his grace things will go according to his plan.

The infidelity of my husband and our eventual separation was a broken road that left me shattered. Shattered self-worth, shattered hopes and dreams of a happy married life. This broken road experience was used by God to let the light in – in the end. God led me to an inner strength I never thought I had. I blossomed as I discovered my life mission along the way.

I have been in several broken roads: losing my husband, our house burned to the ground, losing my daughter to cancer in 2018, then my companion son to pneumonia complications in 2019 and my mom to old age in 2020.
In all these broken roads, I prayed for damay and You were there Po, kaya nakaya.
Salamat Po God.

In that broken Road now .
And Yes , Several broken roads .
Under Grey skies

Holding on to KNOWING and TRUSTING

Praying for Grace from the Spirit that only the Spirit Can bring .

LORD, sa inyo na . I lift it all up to you .
Please let the LIGHT in .

I started traveling on that broken road just last month. Since God placed the desire to work with special needs individuals in my heart, I had hoped he would open doors for me. Didn’t turn out that way and I feel stuck, lost, confused, anxious and desperate because I need to earning a living as my savings are running low.

Praying for you!! Hang in there! He will never abandon you. Look at the birds in the sky, and how God feeds them! Ikaw pa kaya na nilalang Niya sa hugis at kawangis Niya?
🙏🏼💓🙏🏼

I traveled the broken road more than 33 years ago. To manage the hurt, I rebuilt the broken road but I did not fix the foundation because I just wanted a quick fix to hide the pain. The road deteriorated through the years until 2 years ago, it broke completely. It’s so difficult to heal from the hurt.

Betrayal of those whom you have truly loved is deep. I have experienced that many times. They really loved Jesus and expected so much from His Love. At that time all they felt was sorrow and pain and Jesus must have wanted so much to console them.

….am walking in someone else’s broken road right now… am holding their shattered dreams…. sickness broke their roads… financial problems shattered their dreams….. we had too had hoped…

Shattered hopes—yes i experienced this after i lost my mom in 2020 just before the pandemic started, then i lost my younger brother the next year in 2021. We had hopes of my mom & dad growing old together & seeing their apos (my kids) graduate from high school & college. For my younger brother who had been living & working abroad for many years, our hopes for him returning to manila to be closer to us & to spend more time with as were shattered as well. So many future milestones & memories & plans together which we hoped to celebrate & share together, now all gone. But making a u-turn was not an option for me. I had to keep going & had to fight thru my grief. There was a lot of work that needed to be done. Other People left behind who needed to be taken care of, and there was no one else who could do that work but me. So yeah, taking a u-turn was not an option. So how did i get myself to move forward, one foot in front of the other? The only explanation i have is because of Jesus & Mary, who were with me during those dark days, holding my hand, walking with me, never leaving me for 1 minute. It is still a long walk or journey for me– an also fearsome one since i know not where this broken road will lead me to in the end. But i guess i just need to be brave & trust that with Jesus & Mary with me, things will turn out alright somehow in the end. Love & light to all my fellow pilgrims in this journey. I journey with you all, & i pray that Jesus & Mary journey closely with you all as well 🙏🙏💖💖

How I long for “kintsugi”, the japanese art of mending broken vessels. I need to be made whole by a practitioner of the art, but most of all, I need for him the mend the lives of the people I have broken.

I know I cannot remove the pain of brokeness that I caused. All I could do is pray that somehow, someday, I could see that broken vessel whole, its cracks now filled with gold.

As for my own broken self, I pray that I too would be made whole.

Jesus said, “What thing?”. Often times, I also focus on my pains and hurt. There were two things that happened in Jerusalem, the crucifixion and the ressurection – the good news and the bad news. I linger too much on what is painful and hurtful, and miss out on the good stuff. I also become the bad news personified as I cling to my damaged self.

Am I resistant to being made ‘kitsugi”?

Jesus said, “What thing?”. I know now that for kitsugi to work, one highlights the broken character, to accept that I am broken, and accept that someone loves me, cracks and all. I know I am not worthy, but Jesus cares for me anyway. I must accept the good news before me, that I am loved.

Jesus was broken because of what I did. Yet now, he is whole, yet with scars to remind me of my sins. I pray that My God will heal the all wounds that I inflicted. Heal them like kitsugi, for me, Lord. I will treasure it and care for it more this time around.

If the goal is to love, where am I on this?
Where can I do this in a way that is meaningful for me – and if I can know, meaningful for my neighbours?

For me it was during the previous election when we went all out to campaign for the Otso Diretso Candidates. I really felt bad when none of the OD candidates won and the likes of Bato and BongBong won (esp BongBong bec he didn’t even offer any platform and just did the budutz(?) Dance!!!).
My heart broke everytime I see their incompetence esp when this pandemic happened. True it may be a first for a lot of people but VP Leni showed that things could be handled better. Imagine what she could have done for the country and the Filipino people if they set aside their egos and personal interest and supported her programs?!

Kelan pa ba magigising Ang mga Pilipino. Angal Tayo nang angal sa patakbo ng bansa pero Ang mga binonoboto naman puro trapo?
Wala along anak. Tingin ko, kahit sino Ang manalo, magiging okay pa rin kami ng pamilya ko. Pano Ang Iba?
Lord God, pls help the Philippines and the Filipino people. The Filipinos are indeed worth fighting for. Mababait, obviously mapagpatawad, masipag, matiyaga.sanay sa dusa… But it could be way better for them…. For us. Pls guide us Lord to choose the candidates who will truly serve the Philippines and Filipino.

Amen! Felt the same way after the loss of otso diretso. Praying for a different/more favorable electoral outcome this time around 🙏🙏🙏

Same here. My broken road is our beloved country. And like you I question if Filipinos are really worth fighting for? We keep on choosing the wrong people to lead us. We vote on popularity and not on character and accomplishment. Your line, “The Filipinos are indeed worth fighting for – Mababait, obviously mapagpatawad, masipag, matiyaga.sanay sa dusa” reminded me of the good traits we Filipinos have. Lord, please, please guide all Filipinos to vote for Leni and Kiko. Lord, let the good win over evil. If you will it, it will be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I have kids though but I resonate with everything you posted!

Iyan din ang saloobin ko ngayon.
Volunteer kina Leni Kiko atbp,
Nangagamba ngunit patuloy na hihikayat ng mga kababayan hanggan sa huli!
Para sa akin, pamilya ko,
para sa ating lahat,
Para sa Bayan!!
O Panginoon,
huwag Niyo po kaming pabayaan. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

When I got sick exactly a year ago. I felt the dead end. There is no turning back , no Uturn. But Jesus is showing me a new road, an alternate road to new life.

Praying for your father’s eternal repose, and for you and for your father as well. I lost my father some years ago too, and I still often feel the sorrow of seeing him on his deathbed.

My family and I were offered a good deal by a relative. we had hoped that the transaction will push through without any problems. Everything was going smoothly until materialism threw a monkey wrench into the transaction. Not only that, another transaction that we were hoping for suddenly fell through, aggravating the situation for our family. Through prayers and scripture and this retreat, my eyes are being opened and I just feel that the Lord will see our family through. Having hoped for the transactions to be finalized and then the sudden downturn really caused our family to have hurt feelings and were saddened by the turn of events. But knowing that the Lord will always be there has kept me from being bitter and vengeful.

after the elections of 2016 and for the last 6 years of this administration, i felt the entire country was on that broken road. God was cursed, the Bishops were sued, the Filipino people were humiliated and the poorest were stripped of their human rights. we had hoped for change. coming into the May elections, our hopes are once again rekindled…

In the broken segments of my life’s journey, I don’t think I have ever gotten to the point where I felt I was at a dead end. Even in my most painful moments, I must have felt the presence of Jesus and allowed my “emptied” heart to hope still and find some peace.
Perhaps, in God’s kindness and mercy, He has not let me be so broken. My heart ♥️Overflows with gratitude for Help s many blessings.
Lord, thank you for not giving me pain more than I can bear. Thank you for helping me endure the disappointments of betrayal and Unmet expectations. Lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil, Lord God.

My broken road took place before the pandemic hit. My marriage was going through a rough patch and I was doing my best to fix things. Just when I thought we were on the road to recovery, I discovered texts from my husband to another woman. I felt betrayed, devastated, all hopes shattered. I was furious and was tempted to call it quits regardless of the consequences to my children. God however was calling me to a different path- the path of mercy and forgiveness, Jesus’ path. And now I am thankful that I followed his path whenever I see my family, whole and unbroken only by His grace.

Back in 2014, when me and my fiance broke with me. It was a tough feeling, shocked to say the least, that it happened since we’ve been together for more than a decade. I tried to hide the feeling through different diversions and never acknowledged that I was deeply hurt. I just tried to ride with the punches but certainly without moving forward. I just rode in limbo for several months.

Another was when I was faring poorly at my work. I became so passionate in my ministry as a lay missionary that I neglected my work. I felt so disconnected with my job and with my officemates and with the company itself. Even if I had transferred to a new department at the office, I still feel the disconnection with the company and most of my officemates to this day.

Thank you so much for this retreat Fr. J. This Black Saturday retreat touched me the most. I ended up tearing up so much…I must have cried a bucket of tears before I could collect myself and move on to the final portion of the retreat. The Spirit must have moved me so much. One reason for the tears was because this made me come face to face again with my past broken roads and the realization that i was and now am a survivor of these shattered hopes and dreams….That these people and situations that broke my roads were actually Northern stars that led me to a better place and situation. Another reason for my tears is the situation that our country is in right now. I share your sentiments Father J. I am also surprised with myself why my eyes easily well up when I watch those rallies on TV. It is truly bizarre. I wasn’t like this before. I am hoping against hope that God will grant us a leader who will truly be the Easter of the Filipino people….God bless you Father Johnny…And all your endeavors…my prayers!

My broken road is always with my children. when i have high expectations and they choose another path. Through these times, i learned to trust the plan of God. In His time. And i have never been disappointed with the outcome.

Having been an entertainment & film studio executive for most of my working life, I had hoped to shift from being a suit to being a “creative” —making the jump from marking distribution to content. I thought leaving my previous company would allow me to re-focus from regional duties to pursuing my passion beginning with the local industry from which I had been estranged for decades. Despite exposure to my friends in the industry little headway was made in my initial 2 years back in the country. That little headway I was proud to be part of though for it was a significant work of an internationally-acclaimed local filmmaker. But it stopped there. There was no follow-up project afterwards. So when an opportunity came calling to help with the international entry of a then little-known streamer, I grabbed the chance. I was sort of back in familiar territory. I went back to what was my competence. That stint ended, too. I was neither here nor there. Then the opportunity to produce for a newbie Filipino director came and my creative hopes were lit. Even remotely (as I was based elsewhere then), I worked earnestly on this project. Meanwhile, said newbie also asked me to partner on some other intended films that were being planned and I accepted. The first project was completed (with some dramatic challenges overcome). It was very good work. It traveled and won acclaim locally and internationally. Newbie filmmaker gaining much ground with industry players and was getting busier. Taking influence from prominent ‘players’’ a new production company was set-up: WITHOUT ME. Another partner was conscripted and collaborations with other production companies were set-up. Previous projects we would’ve worked on have been put on the back burner. My hopes to ‘grow’ in the industry together with said filmmaker were dashed. Along with this came doubts of whether I am fit to move into ‘content production’ especially given the lack of integrity that I’ve long known exists and perpetuates in this space.

The road for the last two and a half years was dark and uncertain until I learned to call on God. I ws not a prayerful person until the pandemic hit the world. I learned to renew my relationship with the Lord, attending daily masses online and say the rosary every night with my husband. I was really afraid that if I get infected with covid and die, it would be the most painful death for me becuase my family will not have the chance to see me go. So my daily prayer intention was to pray that I outlive the pandemic and I firmly believe that the Lord heard my prayer. And until now, it is still my prayer and with added adjustment – that I and my whole family outlive this pandemic.

Two years ago, I recall a dark experience in life. I always believe that the Lord is leading me to religious life. However, I eventually got afraid because I thought that my experience was a hindrance to enter in the convent. I was broken and hopeless that time. But the Lord showered His love and grace to me. Little by little, I accepted what happened to me.

I never imagine my husband would be having an affair with a colleague. But I believed there was Divine intervention because when I discovered this affair, I was with my children. They served as my anchor. Kahit todo deny pa si husband. yung mga anak ko na ang nagsalita dahil may alam din pala sila. Nilihim lang nila. I have forgiven my husband but it will take a while to restore the trust. I have offered this “broken road” to our Lord and to Mama Mary. I continue to pray for healing and restoration of trust.

I will pray for you. I went through the same and recovery is not easy. We truly need graces from God and Mama Mary 🙏.
My unsolicited advise , if you don’t mind.
Make that decision to accept what happened, forgive and re-start. Just focus on that and pray for that strength to carry on. There will be many occasions to doubt but you must fight that!
Knowing that your end goal is to “ put everything in order” because of love ….. for your children, your husband, God and Mama Mary will help you.
In doing so, don’t forget to take care of yourself, too.
God bless you always 🙏

Thank you for that unsolicited advise – it refreshes the continuing healing that loved ones around you provide amidst big past pains that surface in times of doubt and sadness.

My annulment was one very low point in life where I could have chosen to stay angry or be a better person. The choice was made clear when during that time many people asked for help – and there was much “work” to help others which showed a higher purpose and resulted in a better career.

As a fighter, I learned kneeling was the best position to assume a winning stance against any opponent. Thank you God for the graces of loved ones and the capacity to try loving others even when it hurts. Please continue walking with me here…

I remember the hurts, disappointments and frustrations I felt with my family – loved ones particularly my husband and daughter. I remember the seeming failures at work although those hurt my pride more than anything else. The family hurts are probably more significant. Sometimes it seems unfair. But again, Jesus reminds me that He is with me through it all. Once again His example of love is the only way. I also pray for other broken relationships in my family. May Jesus’ love and mercy prevail.

Many years ago, I thought that God’s will for me was to be a consecrated person. But the turn of events dictated that I leave the community life and be on my own. It was my broken road.
I had several questions in mind – what am I going to do with my life now? How would my future look like? Who will take care of me when I’m old and dying? Who will I hang on to at this point – I suddenly found myself alone, without anybody, with no savings because I have given myself to the Lord since I was young. I thought then that God will take care of me all my life … and then, He let me go. I was so scared of tomorrow!
And then He revealed Himself again through the people around me. I was not alone after all. There were people who held on to me in my brokenness and helped me get on my feet again.
It was a slow process of searching … of trial and error … of resistance and then courage … of losing myself and then finding myself again … until I was able to finally get up and start hoping again.
Jesus did not let go of me after all … He just redirected me to a better place.

Thank you so much for this. You have strengthened our hope that these broken roads are really just detours!

There was a point in my life when I no longer believed in myself. I was lost, confused, sad and scared. I hated myself. I felt like I was only a shell. Far from who I hoped or what felt like me. I knew I wanted a different path for the longest time, but with the pandemic and my background, it wasn’t going to be easy. The road was very uncertain. I felt like I’ve wasted all my energy and time. I also felt guilty and delusional knowing that there were people who were less fortunate than me. But I wasn’t happy… I wanted to take a U-turn, hoping I could turn back time or just be content/unemotional, but I knew I couldn’t. Looking back, I think in a way my suffering was like a whisper from God telling me that “I gave you this dream, it’s a gift, you must chase it. It’s gonna be okay.” Of course, this wasn’t obvious at the time, but I knew I couldn’t stay in the same place any longer. So I made what I would call a big baby step even if I was uncertain, scared and felt like falling apart. As expected things did not go smoothly and I made some mistakes, but my life is much better than before. That would not have happened without the grace of God, being there with the choices I’ve made.

Jesus not even telling the disciples that he IS Jesus reminded me of my situation. It took time for me to be courageous in embracing my dreams, and taking action. I was met with a lot of worry, doubt, anger, and shame from loved ones and from myself. But rather than hearing the voice of God saying “This way!/ You are loved./ It will be okay.” I think at the times that after I’ve made choices, realized that I am moving forward however painful/uncertain the journey and small the step, that I am still breathing, that I have wonderful family and friends despite imperfections – I think that’s God’s way of showing me that He is there, every step of the way. Just like when Jesus broke the bread and shared it with the disciples.

There have been instances in my life when i just thought that it’s the dead end of the road. But when i pray for someone to help me heal the pain, suddenly i meet a person who explains to me why it happens. Then my burden becomes lighter as I engage in reflection. I believe that when one engages in silence, he gets to realize that after all, the dead end is not really the end as he sees some light. Instead, it leads one to a path or road not usually taken by anyone. That road may be rocky and tough but it becomes less rocky as one learns how to navigate and face things head on with confidence and trust in the Good Lord!

Empty nest. My children are adults now and I understand that they have their own families as priority. I feel left out. And now two of my children are not talking to each other. Before this I was hopeful. I don’t mind the empty nest so much as I am so deeply frustrated about my children’s strained relationship with each other.

Like many of you, my broken road was the loss of a loved one, my mother. She passed away when I was in my early 20s due to cancer (am now a senior citizen). The loss had such a great impact on me as we were close & she was such a loving & giving person.
I only realized how much I missed her when I too became a parent & saw how my wife takes care of our children who are now grown men. She is there for them even now when they are adults.
This just makes me miss my mother so much, even after all this years. However, I’m also happy that our sons have the comfort & guidance of a mother.
The loss of my mother also made me closer to Mama Mary, becoming an Immaculate Heart of Mary devotee. Mama Mary was there in place of my mother during my times of trouble. I’m sure my mother was also there in spirit.

Betrayal and infidelity. I’m in a broken road right this moment. How many times can one forgive and forget? I know Jesus had said to forgive without limits and it’s something I know I’ve done but forgetting while experiencing the same torment again and again, I just cannot do it. I have so much to be thankful for and I tell the Lord every day how I grateful I am for blessing with all that I need. But when your partner in life tells you he no longer loves you, not just once, just when you think things are okay, I feel lost and have found myself hurting and believing nothing I do will make my marriage last. I have children I love dearly but the pain instilled me have me think of “disappearing from this earth” a number of times and for some reason, I still cannot understand how this person can break me. I pray to God everyday and I ask Him to make me strong. But when things happened a few days ago, I saw myself retreating, distancing from Jesus. I don’t know if it makes sense even but I feel that maybe this is the punishment I get for my sins, and that however I pray, I do not deserve God’s help and I will just need to accept all the bad that is to come. I know I should not allow my happiness to be based on just one person, or any person, and I hate myself for loving him too much. I know Jesus loved me unconditionally and accepts me for the person my husband hates. I just feel I don’t deserve it. I feel lost. I do not know how I can move on with the thought that the person I decided to spend the rest of my life with no longer wants me. And I just wish the Lord can talk to me and tell me what I need to hear.

Praying with and for you, Jinny. Keep soldiering on! This “broken road” is a detour to something better.

Thank you. This means a lot. Looking forward to the better and brighter road God has planned for me. I’m just hurting so so much.:(

Thank you all for blessing us with your posts/stories — the Spirit is moving through you and among us all! Praying for this community of strangers that are bound in faith.

My broken road was when my husband was seriously sick and after three months ,he passed away. I was in denial,refusing to understand the situation,refusing to see the end of that road. I was praying ,really praying to God for his healing but as time passed ,he looked sicker every day. My heart was broken watching him suffering from pain . My mind was numbed sometimes I felt not functioning well. But I prayed and prayed but God ,I believed found it not suited for us. They say let God & let go. What that means? I continued to hold on to God ,tried to seek what He wanted me to do,what He wanted me to become. My Lord gave rest to my beloved husband. I was left alone with my Lord holding my hand to pass this broken road .He blessed me with a stronger heart to carry the load and let me survived the loneliness,the emptiness,the brokenness… facing my future with my family with strength and without fear ,with hope. Because of this experience,I learned a lot about this life. It was not an easy walked but my Lord Jesus accompanied me 24/7.Praise to you Lord!

I came close to hurting myself, to taking my “emergency exit” one night last year. I was engulfed again by my loneliness and I couldn’t see through it. All I saw and all I felt then was pain. I wanted to slash my wrist, imagining all of the pain that was inside me would flow out and I would finally find peace. I didn’t pray. I didn’t think of God. I didn’t feel Him. Now I’m asking that He give me a stronger nudge and a more attentive ear when another episode comes.

I just wanted to say that you are not alone, and I too know how hard it is to remember sometimes when you are in the middle of a depressive episode (this is something I also know all too well), but even when it doesn’t feel that way, you are needed and loved. God especially does not abandon us even in the midst of this darkness in our lives. I hope you are also able to seek help for this, and if you need resources (therapy, mental health professionals who can help), please let us know too. We are all praying for you.

Please seek help.
I have anxiety and
moderate
depression.
I’m under meds but no therapy yet. I read
this e-book entitled
Feeling Good by Dr Burns recommended by our family friend who is a psychiatrist in the US.
Hope this e-CBT will help you too.

to walk away from hopelessness . how easy it is today to do this . just swipe your phone or click a button and we are away from hopelessness . Then Jesus comes into our lives in a form of comfort ..a listening ear , a song of hope and then i find myself in prayer . All is not lost because i am alive and so i must hope . to walk away i prevent myself to respond to the call . Mother Mary stay with me , hold my hand that i may have hope like yours . “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,..”

reading through others’ broken roads made me realized that I am blessed to be journeying on a fairly smooth road at the moment. Although I’ve gone through a lot of broken roads and shattered dreams in the past, God has been faithful in showing me the light leading to the right detour, and I am grateful. I pray for my fellow retreatants that Jesus may hold their hands as they traverse their own personal roads.

This broken road for me is grief. A few years ago, I lost a very good friend due to illness. Until right before he passed, I thoroughly believed that he would make it. That’s why his passing is extra difficult. It took a while to accept. And after he passed, it’s as if my life and world also stopped. But perhaps it’s Lord whispering into the inner depths of my heart to continue to live, no matter how difficult.

Indeed, I experienced not only dead ends but “roads closed.” An ultimate test neither I can go back, make U-turns or detours.. empty road, if I may say.

The “Road to Emmaus” has always been my lenten reflections because of the emotions involved by these people whom Jesus loved, and the fellowship that nurtured them which made them recognized our Lord, a turning point, that there is ALWAYS hope to those who believe that LOVE can endure everything.

I’ve been through many broken roads. In my younger days, I pleaded with the Lord. Prayed longer and even visited churches. As I matured I learned God has 3 answers : Yes, if it’s good for me; No, if it is not; Wait, if the timing is not right.

So I learned to wait on the Lord. I would still pray pero hindi na gigil or demanding. My prayer now is : This Lord or something better. Bless me to be able to follow Your will. I would share my burden with a trusted family member or friend and will be on the look out for solutions.

Now, I see my children treading these broken roads. At times, my husband would like to give up already. But I remind him, we shouldn’t. I tell them directly: Papa & I are not giving up on you. I’m praying for you, see and I raise the rosary at them. That always makes them laugh or shudder. If you need help, we are here. Humor is such a big help. Slowly, we see them coming around.

I had hoped that after really taking care of someone you love, doing your best to protect her from covid, all efforts failed. Broken road because she was my pillar and steadfast anchor. I begged for an extension for her to still be given that strength but who am I to decide that. I did not understand but I kept on asking for healing for something that I cannot do alone. I am still on that road but with somebody leading me to the road that I should be going now that I will not be with her no matter what I do.

This is what I am learning after nearly five years of dashed hopes and dreams (I don’t think we were in any way short of praying, seeking divine intercession, all novenas under the sun were duly said and prayed from the heart): a lot of the time, my disillusionment about Jesus was because of my wrong ideas and impressions. I thought that if I prayed the right way, my daughter’s cancer would go away and she would get back the life of a young teenager, the life she was supposed to have. I wanted Jesus to do what I wanted…but the truth is, I didn’t really know Him as well as I should have. Like many people who have not experienced the life-changing heartbreak that comes with devastating health crises in the direct family, I tended to “write” or cast Him to suit my convenience, effectively giving Him His role to play: this is the life I want, and the Lord’s assistance is invaluable for me to get what I aspire for (for myself and for my family.) In truth, it should work the other way around: it is the Lord who has perfect plans for us, and we should arrange our lives so that His plans will come to fruition.

My daughter is now a disabled person, and the doctors say there is no hope. She has been abandoned by many of her friends who found cancer too depressing to even think about (please don’t get me wrong; we are very grateful for those who stayed and have said that they will stay until the very end.) She sees her peers making the hopes and dreams that seem to be the right of young people…knowing that these can never be hers. If we judge all this by man’s standards, the Lord must surely have abandoned us, like the friends who couldn’t stomach thinking of cancer.

My favorite line from the 2020 Fatima movie goes “Faith begins at the edges of understanding” – I truly cannot understand what is going on, and so my belief that the Lord knows what He is doing and is still guiding us through a (still)beautiful story He has written for the daughter He loves even more than I do…must be faith. (Don’t get me wrong: I wanted so much for her to be a mother herself, to know the joys of motherhood that I was privileged too experienced. But if God has other plans…His will be done.)

My task is to keep trying to get to know Him…with consistent regular prayer, reading more theology (I am sadly lacking in this regard), so that I may truly know (or come as close to knowing) Him as He is , rather than painting Him as I think He should be. I may never understand why He allows what He does…but knowing that He knows what He is doing and that it is good and perfect, is enough.

When my daughter quietly told me that if she goes ahead, she wanted me to promise to be okay, I realized then that however painful it would be to see that first sunrise on a world that will not have her in it :'( , I will strive to keep making my way closer to the Lord, so that I can one day be reunited with this precious child that God allowed me to call my daughter for a short time…only this time, in a world where nothing – not even that monster called cancer! – can tear us apart ever again.

Being a mother myself, I can feel your pain. Thank you for sharing your journey through your daughter’s illness, reaching a point of acceptance. I can sense that you have a lovely daughter who loves you so much and worries over you!
May you continue to walk closer with the Lord so that when the time ever comes ( and I pray that it not be soon), you will be comforted by the thought of reuniting with her in eternity. Prayers for you and your daughter.

Being a mother myself, I can feel your pain. Thank you for sharing your journey through your daughter’s illness, reaching a point of acceptance. I can sense that you have a lovely daughter who loves you so much and worries over you!
May you continue to walk closer with the Lord so that when the time ever comes ( and I pray that it not be soon), you will be comforted by the thought of reuniting with her in eternity. Prayers for you and your daughter.

Thank you so much, MM. Your kind words and prayers bring consolation in the darkness. The uncertainty that comes from day to day makes us “blind” in this journey, forcing us to rely on God and His plans that we cannot seem to understand…it often is a source of sorrow that we cannot make our own plans. My daughter said to me a few hours ago that she was so sorry that because of her condition, we could not go on a vacation like a lot of people did over Holy Week. I told her, We did…we went on the Via Dolorosa, with Jesus for our invaluable guide. I like to think that He treasures our company this way 🙂

My darkest days was when the business we put up went bankrupt and we accumulated so much debt. We had to face creditors, court cases . Everyday was just pressure on how to meet the obligations. Trying to get into another deal to recover then experiencing another crash. It was just too hard on the ego, physically , emotionally draining. I was constantly crying and blaming myself and my partners but at the same time needed to be emotionally detached to come up with solutions. But amidst all these suffering was a silver lining. For some reason when we were running out of funds , a deal will come thru that will pay off the obligation. Eventually, we shifted into another line of work which was more rewarding financially . I heard from Oprah that she doesn’t believe in failures. That it is just the universe telling you to take another path. I was desolate during the whole ordeal but emerged with a stronger faith because every time I was in the brink of collapse due to these money issues, God sent us a blessing. And ai knew it was from him because it happened too quickly or too easily and just on time. So although I am still a chronic worrier, I always look back on these times when He was so Alive in my Life. Maybe I had to go through this to Believe. As they say gold is purified by fire. I am willing to go through the furnace. Just stay with me Lord all the Way .

They say that a crisis can bring out the best or the worst in a person. Unfortunately, the latter was true for my husband and has been a difficult person to live with. I feel that I too am pulled down in his misery.

Loneliness and fear but God pull me back to live again.. God uses good people to bring back my faith and to go back to God who loves us.. Truly all things work for good for those who love God.

I am not afraid of broken roads because these are the roads less travelled and more often than not would lead to more beautiful place. As long as my faith in HIM is constant, I believe I will never be led astray.

I have been worried about our finances because I am the only one working. Nearing my retirement I was so afraid if we will still be able to sustain ourselves. All I wanted a comfortable life on my retirement. But God never ceased to surprise me, he gave me an extension to work to earn and also a blessing that my husband will be able to close a deal. I have learned to trust and offer up to him all our worries and because of His love for us He has been my guiding light and has truly blessed us with what we need. I am so thankful for all the graces and blessings we have received and continuously been given.

Feels like I have been traversing a broken road for majority of my life… there have been numerous blessings to be thankful for but I always slide back to lacking confidence, energy, passion for something, not being genuinely happy… cant seem to get out of the negativity, feeling left out and inaction… I plough forward hoping still that I may finally listen, understand and follow His ways and teachings. Its tiring and frustrating and the battle all starts inside of me.

Loneliness and fear but God pull me back to live ve again.. God uses good people to bring back my faith and to go back to God who loves us.. Truly all things work for good for those who love God.

“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going, because they were holding on to something. That there is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”

The pain of losing your daughter to unimaginable vices seems forever for almost 20 years but I never used the past tense of hope. I never get tired of expressing all my fears and thanking God and Mama Mary for giving me the courage to cross the broken path and guiding my daughter back. It was an unexpected and much welcome answer she was back during the pandemic. My hope is now present and future tense. I trust we are now together – we will be journeying together whatever roads to take – broken or not with much love and faith.

Not really shattered but I would describe it as decay, deteriorating relationship. It confused, angered, me. Why did he changed in such an ugly manner? Was it midlife crisis? Was it the medicines effects? It even manifested glaringly during the pandemic. It affected the family’s relationships, the dynamics. Put a big strain. Where was the caring, funny, happy person? I see a short tempered, quick to anger soul, unapologetic, no remorse, self- righteous, mocking, uncaring attitude, quick to raise voice, shouts, bangs doors. Uncaring even if he makes an ugly scene.
Yet when in front of friends, becomes a totally different person, friendly thoughtful, generous, quick to praise, talkative, caring.
Then when alone with family, becomes silent and the negative traits surface again. This became a roller coaster, this became my broken case.
What to do? I want to bring back the laughter, the funny moments, loving, caring moments.
This I resolve to bear to preserve peace. Yet I resolve to change myself, to be more understanding, and forgiving, and do more of the caring, loving, sacrificing, offering, with the hope of inspiring the change also with the other. Will take more work. But the power of this retreat, the love of God, the life of Jesus, will help me bear everything. 💕

A career change 25 years ago . . . back then, it was bewildering to start a new path. I felt that I disappointed many people when I withdrew from a responsibility that was given to me. I sought God’s guidance – He gave me signs that I needed to tread a different path. I lifted all my fears to Him. I thank God for holding my hand and planting me in a place which allowed me to be fruitful.

My broken road-s : broken marriage, broken trust, broken relationship with children, broken dreams, broken confidence ~ but one thing wasn’t broken:God’s LOVE for me ~ i hanged on to that love & mended myself …ALL THINGS COME TO PASS , GOD IS ALWAYS THERE leading you to the right path ~ Trust Him, Trust the CROSS❗️

It was supposedly the biggest break in my career, to become Chairman and President. But I messed it up. And it also ended due to a hostile takeover. I felt discouraged and lost hope of ever tasting success. Now I know that it happened for a reason. I’m okay now. Praise God!

I’ve been on broken roads before, when I got kicked out of my course back in college, and again many years into my dream career when I realized it wasn’t my dream anymore. In both these moments, I felt lost and that I lost myself, helpless, hopeless, and oh so small.

But it was when I was in these depths of despair that I clung to God more fiercely and prayed more fervently. He did come through for me, slowly leading me to better roads — ones that led me to become more myself.

I didn’t see it at first. It took a few years for me to see God’s hand at work, and as more years go by I see more and more of the graces and blessings He has given me in those broken road moments.

Because of mental health issues, i am unable to work. My greatest fear is if my family dies ahead of me, i will be left alone to fend for myself. This caused my anxiety to get out of hand, feeling anxious all day everyday. It seemed there was no end to all the anxiety and worries. It seemed hopeless that the time.

Just keep moving forward. God will always find a way to plant seeds of HOPE along your way. He will help you find them too. God loves to surprise us with His love, mercy, blessings & graces.

In many of my broken roads I have seen how he cares by his footptints in the sand. Unlike the two disciples I did not, ” return to Jerusalrm” the moment I recognized him.
Maybe this time.
He shows himself once more.

I can relate to you very much when I lost my family… but I was also forced to think about the people who depended on my being there to support their families especially at work.

That what when I learned the kneeling position is the most powerful position you can ever take…

Praying for your continued strength to shine your light to those who will need it.

Nothing much mattered to me during that time. Even getting up was such a chore. So I stayed in bed, doing nothing. I believed that there was nothing to be gained and nothing to lose as well. There was despair at first but even that faded away into emptiness. There was just nothingness.

I think of this broken road– this thing that seems the Lord wants to give me but it has ended up in this broken road. I remember feeling exasperated at the first major challenge thrown my way; a direct contradiction to what the Lord said would happen. Parang– teka Lord, akala ko ibinibigay mo to sakin, bakit ganito nangyayari? I was angry, hurt, disappointed, but most of all, EXASPERATED. You’re waiting in expectant hope for the Lord, but life throws you a curve ball and perhaps you thought wrong, maybe? Na di naman pala yun ang gusto ni Lord for you? I dunno.

So I feel what the disciples on Emmaus felt. Dejected, hopeless. Uwi na lang. Na-scam lang pala tayo. Na-budol. Walang kwenta. Sayang yung panahong umasa tayo at naghintay. Wala pala. So readyng-ready na sila umuwi. But the Lord intervened– a divine interruption– just when they had succumbed to discouragement.

The Lord knows to intervene before we do something drastic.

Trigger warning // suicide attempt

It was 2020 when I almost had an “attempt.” Looking back, I think it was fueled by stress, self-doubts, unpleasant automatic thoughts, and just the belief that everything will be easier when I’m gone. It was a hard night, and with the lockdown, I had no access to help (aside from family). At that time, I was at a dead end, thinking that I do not have to worry about anything once I’m gone, that all these stresses and sadness won’t be felt anymore. It was an “easy way out.”

The only thing that probably saved me that night was sleep. I was so tired and drained from crying and overthinking, that I fell asleep with a rope on my neck.

Those were the darkest days of my life, but I’m glad that I had the courage to ask for help and doing much much better now.

Thank you for sharing. Grateful that you’re here to post this and we’re able to read it. I don’t know what the Lord has for you, but somehow I’m exited for you! Better days ahead and much love and prayers to you! <3 🙂

Thank you Pat, for sharing. Your audacity to share your “past perfect” touched me very much, and thought, SOMEONE must have hoped for you, back then, which also enabled that courage from deep within to carry on.

Prayers offered. Stay with God. It is in our weakest God is nearest. God has recently revealed that to me. When I thought that “running away” from Him, He is not with me anymore. But He made see this truth; that I got it all wrong: It is in my weakest, that He is nearest.

Agree with you Sr. M.

And also realized it is at your strongest that you are tempted. This is why our Lord’s Prayer is so powerful especially the part we ask “Deliver us Lord from every evil and lead us not into temptation”…

Am humbled by the sharing of fellow retreatants who have endured more pain and losses. Thank you all for sharing and may you be blessed in your journeys by and towards Him.

Thank you for sharing, I pray for that you continue to be holding on to Jesus and that all shall be well.

When I thought my husband and I were on our way to mending our relationship then I caught him again…. I thought ayoko na…. Bakit Lord akala ko…… perseverance

The broken road for me is this pandemic most especially the first year. There was no feeling of making a u-turn but more of standstill and the feeling of your life was put on pause mode. You cannot rewind to your pre- pandemic life, you cannot continue to play your life because so many things have changed so instantly and you cannot fast forward because of the uncertainties that covid brought to our lives. We lived on our savings for several months and when the income came back, it was down to around 10% of the usual and did not come monthly. Fast forward to the present, we are still in the same financial situation but the big difference for me is the feeling of hope, trust and acceptance because despite how covid affected us, the Lord never abandoned us, he protects us and he continues to provide for us. He was and will always be looking out for us.

I am in that broken road right now. What I thought was an answered prayer is turning out not to be a pleasant thing. I feel lost, with no direction. I’ve tried to do and explore other things, but every time I do, it seems that the Lord is not allowing things to happen. So it seems to me that his will is for me to stay where I am right now. I can’t help but feel miserable because I do not feel I am fit where I am right now. But I cannot do anything but accept the current circumstances.
I have also been in search of what my mission in life is. But nothing comes to me. Although I try to seek, I can’t find it.
I am at an age where I feel I should at least be doing something that I enjoy. Not something that is forced because it is what I need to do. But that doesn’t seem to be available to me right now.

Same here, I have been pondering over my reason for being. At my age (already an SC), I feel I should already know but I still don’t !!! I pray for you, and me, and those like us who need to discern our missions in life. May the Lord grant us ears to hear what He wants for us.

Even though I am still young, I had a lot of broken roads already. I felt lost, unmotivated, and with no purpose to live. I am grateful that our Lord welcomes me with open arms again and I can feel His forgiveness after my confessions.

I gave myself time to think of badly broken roads but for the love of God (for which I am truly grateful), I couldn’t think of one that still leaves me feeling very hurt all over again. God has been and always is the best tour guide in this journey of life. Kapag medyo naliligaw ako, nandoon naman Siya lagi. Kadalasan pa nga ako pa umiiwas.

Nasa lonely road ako ngayon kasi kamamatay pa lang ni Mana. Your constant companionship is much appreciated, Panginoon.

Salamat for this grace, Lord. I feel peace and gratefulness at the same time now that I sit and look at my past and present challenges. Never alone — Salamat for always Being There.

I’ve been to too many broken roads before. Growing up, I always see myself as someone whose life has no purpose and meaning. I grew up asking God why did he allow me to live. My sister who was born before me died and my brother who was born after me died too. I questioned God, bakit di na lang ako yung namatay para hindi ako nasasaktan ng ganito. I had a very tough childhood. I felt that I was always the black sheep, the ignored and rejected one in the family. I tried to kill myself how many times before when I was in high school. I had so many suicidal attempts but I don’t have enough courage back then to do it. My conscience won’t allow me. So I continue with my hopeless life.

The turning point of my life was when I encountered God through our community. I got to know Him more and love him more. I was once lost but now found. I have come to realize why He allowed me to go through those pain and suffering. He opened my eyes to see my life’s purpose and meaning. Now, I am currently serving as a Fulltime Missionary in our community. I decided to dedicate and commit my life to the Lord who loves me the most. Hindi niya ko sinukuan kahit na ilang beses ko siyang tinalikuran at tumakbo palayo sa kanya. May mga pagkakataon parin na nadadapa ako in my spiritual life just like the two disciples who want to return to their previous way of life but God has his own way of revealing himself to me to make my heart burning for Him even more.

Thank you, Lord, for your unconditional love for me, for us.

To bianca,
I admire your courage treading forward and building new roads. My daughter’s name is also Bianca which means ” white rose”. I congratulate you for rising above the ashes and moving forward with hope. Please accept my hug and my prayers. Move forward anak. God is our hope.

Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us, Blanca. With you describing how it was for you, my own niece came to mind. She’s been on that broken road too. still is actually, and has yet to open her heart to recognize the Lord in the “u-turn”, through people and community circumstances that offer acceptance and belonging that enable healing and transformation. Kindly help me pray for her, too. Again thank you for sharing. And I also send you my humble prayers.

Am glad to hear your honesty in sharing as well as recognizing He shall always love us unconditionally, kahit ano pang kasalanan natin…

Will always pray for your victories in overcoming life’s challenges and shining your light upon those who need it.

I am in that broken road now, so many uncertainties, regrets, and self-doubts but I know that I am walking this road with the Lord. It is hard but this retreat is a timely reminder to keep walking with the Lord.

Chasing career growth, promotion, higher salary, better benefits, multinational workplace – these all led me to leaving my 10 years of hard work for greener pastures. At first it seemed so ideal because it provided my needs and my family’s but then the pandemic happened just 2 months into the job. Work dynamics and culture didn’t seem to work for me, all the more that businesses were not performing well and the pressure was really on. During that period, what really hurt me was the feelings of not being valued, self-doubt and loneliness. Although I was seasoned in my field, other people’s actions and comments made me doubt my decisions and capacity- just because I was outnumbered and they wanted to push their own agenda. I was so full of doubt and anxiety. The compensation was no longer enough to say that all this trouble was worth it especially if integrity is always questioned.

Lord, i need You, others need You more, Please let us all come to You and feel Your love.
Jesus, I trust in You.

Too many broken roads in my life..when I was publicly humiliated through my dismissal from govt..framed..betrayed..Still with God’s grace, I was
able to leave my job with grace and forgiveness for all who have hurt me..but the pain I caused my children, even if they understood the entire situation was too much to bear then…I thank the Lord I was able to get
an offer immediately…looking back..He was with me in that hopeless state..and helped saw me through. Like the Emmaus disciples, I returned to my “Jerusalem”

Just like the 2 disciples I also felt hopelessness in my broken roads. But then thinking if I stop praying and hoping, what if He answers my prayers? Even in my hopelessness I still hoped that this broken road where I was before and even where I am right now, I just surrender it to the Lord and hoping He will lead me to a better road… I still hope in my hopelessness feeling…

When my brother died, i lost the sense of doing the mission, i refrain in giving communion to the sick/elderly, i have to stop some planned activities in the school..what matters for me that time is to find the meaning of his death. Unknowingly I was having a U-turn. Is it okay?

I don’t think a U-turn is an option for me. I don’t want to go back to a dead-end. There’s way too much unfounded guilt, confussion, anxiety & tons of unanswered questions back there. The only option I have is to keep on moving forward with great hope in my heart that things will unfold rightly with God’s grace & mercy.
Love & Light to all.

I cannot pretend to know what you are going through. It must be very painful. And I’m sorry that you are going through this. As i read your comment though, Jesus’ words on the cross came to mind – My God My God, why have you abandoned me? It must have been very painful for him too. He cried in pain. But on the 3rd day, He was resurrected from the dead. A lot of times, we can’t fathom what’s happening around us. But God never abandons us. We just need to have faith. I don’t know why, but I felt a strong urge to comment on your post. I hope you find your peace.

Years and years after trying my best to just entrust my problems to God, it seemed like the struggles were never-ending. I didn’t understand why He allowed those to happen to me, when I was faithful all the way. I felt so lost and discouraged. It just became too overwhelming for me to handle, until I found my way back to Him all over again.

I made one wrong decision until another and another. I was at the dead-end “or so I thought”. If only I had been more diligent, I had been more sensitive, had been more careful… I would not have made those choices. Nightmare after nightmare, I was in a vortex of self destruction. My only way out is to really get out.

Going back to that “broken road” moments, I can still feel the same emotions. “Hindi pa pala ako healed.” The horror is still there. I still felt my heart beating fast as if it was yesterday.

Lord, heal my broken roads. Grant me peace to embrace my broken roads, my broken self, my broken dreams. Walk with me again. Amen.

May God bless your desire for healing. In my own journey, meditating on Jesus’ story of healing brought healing…healing is primarily God’s action but we need to do our part…when Jesus says, stretch out your hand, pick up your mat and walk, we need to believe and do it. The complicated becomes simple as we respond in faith. God bless you! He is near.

LOST HOPE
1. Worried/anxious
2. Anger – wasted time, energy and resources
3. Sad
4. Uncertain – what do I do next?
5. Scared; want to hide or to run/escape
6. Can’t breathe
7. Confused – how could this happen
8. My hopes/dreams/future is all gone

Reading about the pains others are going through, mine is nothing. A broken road, nevertheless. Hoping for a good detour in God’s service. Praying for all of us searching for the Lord.

It was heartbreaking. It was a moment when I thought I had been set free from a very difficult moment in my life, only to learn that it was going to be the beginning of a long darkness. I felt despondent and ready to give up. I felt like giving up every day. I felt that I had lost so much of who I was.

to muuuuch Paaaaaaain! I don’t understand, whyyyyy’s still there, I don’t want to make a U turned but I need to, now looking for a seed of HOPE; I’m confuse, where will I go…………..

Just keep moving forward. God will always find a way to plant seeds of HOPE along your way. He will help you find them too. God loves to surprise us with His love, mercy, blessings & graces.

I had been working on getting good at something for a while. But a point came when I felt it just wasn’t working out and I felt I kept failing and failing so I thought to give up on that thing and move on. I felt like a failure! Like I wasted time and money and other resources.
But for some reason it would not let me go. I reflected on that experience today and felt that God was asking me to continue because that activity was making me more open to people, it was allowing me to practice preparing a longer table and welcoming those who I wouldn’t like. But most of all, it was allowing me to be more reflective, more conscious of myself and my emotional reactions. It was also teaching me how to be a better teacher.

Reflecting on the two disciplines and the road to Emmaus makes me feel that the salvation we want may not come in the way we want. But it will be there, if we allow ourselves to experience it.

To everyone in this retreat who felt such devastating grief and loss of hope, you are all so inspiring in your strength and faith. May you be blessed!

I have been on this broken road since I retired. The search for meaning in a life that seems devoid of purpose. It is painful not knowing what God’s plan is for my life after so many years of serving Him through work. I know I should be grateful that I have security and a loving family. But the emptiness can be overwhelming at times. Dear God, help me to be hopeful for a meaningful future. Help me to trust you.

Same here, but I cling to this:
“For the I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE” Jeremiah 29:11
I am searching through Scripture. Prayers for us as we search….

i feel you…retirement, aging and the seeming dead end of the pandemic…it is so hard to find meaning in anything and the energy to keep going. So, i just put my hand in the Lord’s and let him guide me. I will pray for you as I pray for myself and all the other people trudging through their broken roads.

It was in the first few months of the lockdown, 2020. There were two words ” New Normal” that was introduced to our lives, locally, globally.My first reaction was , what was the old normal? Struggling with the emotions that came, I found myself, in an emotional meltdown: tears cverflowing, out of control. I wrote this episode in my journal and over a meal with family members, with some hesitation but eventually found the courage to read to them. All that time, there was total silence and afterwards these words” Mama, thank you for sharing this experience and it was good to have those feelings, fears. Don’t pay too much with the words ” new normal”, etc. Together we will figure out how to go own with our lives. The pandemic was a reality check , brought about by the uncertainty : what path to take, what direction to choose. I believe , then, during those moments of my emotional lockdown, that Jesus , was with me the whole time, even if I never thought of asking His help, as I was too caught up in ” my universe”.

Intense self-doubt and anxiety, felt left behind, had no vision of the future. It was like I was drowning in thick mud.

When my young husband died suddenly leaving me with my young kids…..what now? I felt numb, spacing out yet appeared brave to function for my kids sake. With unsteady resolve…..I visited the Blessed Sacrament daily and just sat there, sometimes without prayer. Just sat there. Jesus must have been cuddling and embracing me and giving me strength to go back to my Jerusalem.

The U turns in my life turned out to be the right move even if at that time so much confusion and pain made my steps heavy and difficult…today I travel the same road and there are detours I could also take. For some reasons, I decide to continue on. Perhaps it is not time yet.

The U turns in my life turned out to be the right move even if at that time so much confusion and pain made my steps heavy and difficult…today I travel the same road and there are detours I could also take. For some reasons, I decide to continue on. Perhaps it is not time yet.

A lot of times, i miss my mom. Why did she have to leave us early? Now i am already a mom, the more i miss her.

A lot of things confuses me too. Whenever i feel no progress is happning, i feel so frustrated, and angry towards myself.

Severa years ago, the hospital that I worked for suddenly went bankrupt and i lost my job together with a number of my friends that I had migrated with. I was totally unprepared for this and felt desperate not knowing how I would be able to support myself in a foreign country without a job. i saw an ad in the papers for a job out-of-town for what I considered was a plum job for me and I was not sure if I was qualified for it. Since I was desperate, I summoned the courage to drive for an interview and fortunately landed the job. I could not have foreseen that the Universe would resolve my predicament in that way and how that job would eventually open doors for me to advance my career. Later in life, I would look back to this experience to remind myself that whenever one door closes, it is because another one is opening for me.

A heartbreaking episode of unrequited love that left me so devastated I had to rush home to my Mother to let myself feel what it’s like to be truly loved. Now that I am much, much older I look back at this past experience of being broken and see myself much stronger and always feeling grateful to my Mother and to God for their love and guidance.

I feel a little strange in this year’s holy week retreat. While going back to my “broken road” experience, I did not feel the darkness as much as when I experienced it. I did not feel at a loss as much as when I was in the middle of it. In fact in the previous reflection what struck me was to go back to Jerusalem right away. I am feeling hopeful. I do not claim full clarity of the road ahead. There are still uncertainties but there is light … light ahead.

I do not know whether I made the right decision about something. I am doubting whether I made the correct choice. It can be confusing. I am not sure if the Lord wants me to change my plan. I just trust that the Lord is with me on this road and He will guide me to the right path.

Many many years ago, I was in the same situation as you. Confused … not sure what to do. So directionless, that I turned to Mama Mary in prayer (d naman ako dating pala-dasal, wala na talaga akong magawa.) Mama, bahala na kayo … kung mali ang desisyon ko, please remedy it, kayo na ang bahala ….
Looking back, I now realize that she has been answering my prayer all the time. The many times I was down, and Mama Mary has always been there – teaching, leading and guiding me to Jesus. I entrust you to Mama Mary now, may she take care of you.

Can not describe the pain within my whole being on the death of my husband….why ….I kept asking why he left me…..when everything was OK already with his cancer…he was cancer free according to his petscan …still I ask myself why…..

Much love. I cannot imagine this pain. I’m also afraid of losing my husband, even as we are both very healthy. Whoever you are, I’ve said a prayer for you.

Praying with and for you. The Lord is there…the Lord is always there at your side, even when you cannot see or hear Him. He will never leave you.

It was not really a broken road – but a sharp turn towards a direction unplanned. I am not young anymore. I built a life (or so I thought) that was moving exactly towards the direction I wanted. Then things just turned a totally different, uncharted, unplanned direction. And here I am trekking a new path, just when I thought I was near retirement. I honestly don’t see where this road will lead. I can’t see too far ahead. It is so not me , in that sense. And I find myself searching and asking – “Why am I here? And why at this point in my life?” This has been my life for a few years now. Just continuing the journey, day after day, as I do not see the road ending just yet. But where it leads, I do not know. I just continue in the hope that I will understand – in time.

Paikot-Ikot. Pasikot-sikot.

Our journey through life with all its ups & downs never really ends until we reach Home where our Loving Father awaits us with a big embrace & smile

Many many years ago, I was in the same situation as you. Confused … not sure what to do. So directionless, that I turned to Mama Mary in prayer (d naman ako dating pala-dasal, wala na talaga akong magawa.) Mama, bahala na kayo … kung mali ang desisyon ko, please remedy it, kayo na ang bahala ….
Looking back, I now realize that she has been answering my prayer all the time. The many times I was down, and Mama Mary has always been there – teaching, leading and guiding me to Jesus. I entrust you to Mama Mary now, may she take care of you.

When my wife died if cancer shortly before the pandemic and lockdowns came, I felt despondent and depressed. She was the love of my life and were together for 36 years. Living all by myself during the lockdown was such a challenge, surrounded by death of loved ones and friends.

There were times when I was at the very edge of hope…peering and leaning into the abyss of hopelessness…

Sending great big virtual hugs of consolation. I wish I could say there were any kind of sense that came out of the monster that is cancer (obviously, I can’t 🙁 ) I just want to assure you, as a mother of a child who is fighting what doctors say is a losing battle to this monster, that Jesus is there even when we don’t see Him. (He cries with us…and if He hasn’t done anything to “rewrite” things, it’s because He sees what is up ahead, and that there is still something good that can come out of all this.) Praying alongside you…keep going…

I felt confused, angry, boxed in and nowhere to go but strangely I didn’t feel totally down . . . I felt like there was still a little light. . .

So much pain… hope dashed… I felt frustrated, broken, disappointed,… I asked, what more is left? What can I do now? I felt lost, and broken. All I can say was: Lord, Lord!

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