Winning Moments

How do we deal with moments when we are on top?

I grew up proud. I was a consistent honors student during my elementary days: three second honors, three first honors. I also won contests, especially those related to music and writing. All those achievements I enjoyed to myself. I rarely thanked the Creator then, as I believed that everything I achieved, I achieved on my own.

When I started coaching the Collaborative Desktop Publishing in 2013, it was our first time to join a regional press conference, and the first time the journalism category was made a contest. We snagged the 5th spot out of twenty divisions in region III. Our division, San Jose City, was but a small division, but reaching a spot as high as that, the award got in my young, immature head. I started priding myself as a good coach, and boasting that the members of my team were well-experienced young journalists.

Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a downfall. Proverbs 16:18

That victory was what I constantly reminded the first team that I coached, and that led to our first downfall. The members had their issues and in the middle of the regional press conference, they fought and submitted an unfinished output. We did not get to the top the next year.

Our downfall was not yet done. The next year, I had to let go of the most of my members because they would not cooperate with the training routine, so I had to look for learners who may not be that skilled, but were teachable. Thankfully, I found the perfect group. But that time, I changed my approach. I stopped reminding them how good the Collaborative Publishing team was, but I told them the story of why we failed.

And we trained with discipline. We lived by a mantra:

"Champions behave like champions before they are champions. They have a winning standard of performance before they are winners," said Bill Walsh, a football coach.

And we couldn't have done it without the help of one of our student teachers. He was a journalist himself, who specialized in both sports writing and radio broadcasting. He was with us all throughout our journey, from the Division Presscon and beyond.
But our struggle for the win had to last for about three years. We did not place in the top 10 initially, and I had to give up on my faith (I was a Christian then) after the fall. But then we just had to stick together and learn new things, make new connections, make new friends, struggle to amp up our knowledge and skills, deal with disciplinary issues etc.
In 2017, we finally went back to the top, but as 8th placers. That time, we gave back the victory to our Creator, to Whom everything initially belongs. In 2018, when I was no longer their coach due to pregnancy, my team members made it to the 7th spot.

Now that I am back as a coach of Collaborative Desktop Publishing, I am no longer bragging to the new members how good I am as a coach, and the victory we previously had. Through my existing members, we would tell them stories of how we came to be, how we succeeded and failed, and how the Father has been with us all the way. Whether we win or lose the contest doesn't matter anymore. What matters is the journey and to Whom the efforts have been dedicated.


I have been proud enough to accept compliments for everything I do - from singing to writing. I started getting praises in the songs that I post on youtube or in the Facebook page Let Us All Unite for Elohim, and reactions in my blogs in Bigkis. The number of reactions might make me a little elated (because I still have pride in my heart), but this time, I see to it that I have to give back the praises to our Elohim, Who deserves it all. He was the One who blessed us with the skills and the talents, and giving the credits to Him is long overdue. Part of living life for the glory of the Most High is not only by following His commandments in the Torah, but giving Him the highest praises for Who He is and for what He has done in our lives.

Even today that our division sent me out of my comfort zone, to do great things, to study greater lessons, to create something that the entire country could benefit from, I am praying that my heart continues to praise the Elohim, for I will never be able to achieve everything if not for Him.

May we all remember our Father YHWH for everything He has given us, and may we use all His gifts to help others, especially for His glory.

Be blessed. Shalawam.