…is one of the most difficult things for me to do. As a certified control freak, I NEED to be on top of things I care about (that’s why I sometimes distance myself from some things…I’d go crazy if I get myself involved in so many things). Case in point was my wedding. My on-the-day coordinator was my friend Fleur Rubio (now Sombrero). She’s already anal to begin with. And yet on the day of my wedding, I surprised her and her assistants by arriving at Fernbrook very early and bringing in boxes labeled with very specific instructions. Fleur and her assistants were happily surprised and impressed–one of them actually said, “Fleur sa kasal mo siya ang kunin nating coordinator.” Or something to that effect.
These past years, I’ve been passionately involved in the case we filed against an infringing review center that is based in N*g* City. Seeing my and (especially) my husband’s product of years of toil copied verbatim by this review center (at may, “Unathorized use is illegal and will be penalized.” pa sa footnote ng bawat page!) made my hands shake every time I leafed through it. I swore to myself we’re going to get justice.
But justice seemed elusive. First, we filed a criminal case in N*g* City (where the crime was committed). Our complaint sat on the fiscal’s office for more than a year, only to be dismissed. What made my and our lawyers’ eyebrows raise was the fact that the fiscal-in-charge found that our case had basis and was about to send a warrant of arrest to the proprietress of the infringing review center BUT this decision of hers was overturned by a higher-ranking fiscal . Our lawyers told us that while the deed of the higher-ranking fiscal was not illegal, it was definitely unorthodox. Imagine the case was reviewed by the assigned fiscal for a very long time, and when she finally made her decision her boss just jumped in and said, “Erm, I think you’re wrong.” I smell something verrrry fishy. And it stank. Actually, until now it reeks so badly.
Realizing that our nemesis (naks, nemesis talaga!) probably has a Herculean stronghold to the N*g* City officials (it’s her bailiwick, after all. As per her former employee, “Lahat na po ng activities sa N*g* City sinalihan niya“), we decided to amend our strategy. I got new lawyers (whom I warned, “Pakialamera ako ha? Lahat ng pleadings ninyo dadaan sa akin for review.”) and decided to bring our criminal case to the Department of Justice, led by the incorruptible Sec. Leila de Lima. Aside from that, we also went to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Being the authority when it comes to plagiarism, the IPO saw that we indeed had a case. But before all that hardcore kaso-kaso stuff, we initially had mediation hearings.
The first time I saw the person behind all our anguish, my blood really boiled. When they offered us a measly P100,000 to have the case dismissed, it felt like a slap. And not being the fool to accept the loose change they were offering, I had a bitter exchange of words with the spouse of the other party. His, “E di pahabaan na lang tayo ng pisi!” speech motivated me all the more to see to it they will grovel.
The night before our Pre-Trial brief, I asked my church mates to pray for us to get our justice. One of them replied that yes, she will pray for me but also reminded me that for God to listen to my prayers, I have to come to Him with a clean heart–and a clean heart means having forgiven those who have wronged us.
It made me step back and inspect my heart. Truly, the thought of forgiving her has never crossed my mind. I just wanted her to suffer in all aspects. I knew my vengeful nature was eating me inside out, but I did not care. And now it was as though someone splashed cold water into my face.
Fart, it is so difficult to forgive someone whom you only know as the person who did you wrong. It is difficult to forgive someone whose downfall you’ve anticipated for the past three years. And probably what’s most difficult is to forgive someone who isn’t even asking for your forgiveness.
I sighed, thought about the sins that I have also committed and thought of God sending His only son to the cross to have my sins washed. I then decided to forgive, and then prayed. I no longer prayed for us to win but for things to be settled amicably.
The following day at the IPO, I was not my usual dour self. I even smiled at the opposing counsel, which I believe startled him (the last time we saw each other I gave him my coldest, sharpest glare that made him look away). He then approached me and talked to me about the possibility of a compromise. Answered prayer agad!
The settlement that the other party offered wasn’t much, although it was significantly higher from the P100,000 barya they initially offered. Honestly, I did not want to accept it. I still don’t actually. I didn’t want to sell “peace” at such a small amount. I’d rather fight even if it means shelling out hundreds of thousands of pesos more.
But as I was asking for His guidance, His words couldn’t be any more clear. At the height of my dilemma, God clearly told me what to do through several verses of Romans 12 (which was my scheduled reading for the day):
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
and then He hit home base with verse 19:
19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord.
I wanted so badly for Him to encourage me to fight. But no, He was telling me to settle (though He encourages me to fight for the missing laptop; I was on Romans 13 when it happened).
And so with a heavy heart, I called our lawyer to accept the other party’s offer.
It has been more than a week since I shook hands with our opponent’s counselor. I still think about the case every day–how I worked hard for it, how wronged we were, how haughty they were, etc. Although I have forgiven them, it is inevitable that I feel another surge of anger every time I contemplate about these things. I want to return the check they issued and file another case (civil case this time). I am having a hard time letting go and just letting God.
I am only human, but through God’s grace nothing is impossible. In time, I believe I will look back and thank Him for patting me on the shoulder and telling me to step out of the driver’s seat. I will thank Him for taking the wheel.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Tell me what you think!
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