"Tromsø is the Paris of the North", they say. For me, it is my home – my happy place. Tromsø is where you go when you don’t want to see the sun for some time in the winter or when you want to have a 24 hour experience of it during the summer. Because of its location, it’s a perfect place to experience the magical dancing lights of Aurora.
Hi, I am miss D!, I am 25 years old, from the Philippines. I’ve been living in Norway since 2011. Last year, Aug. 2018, I move here in Tromsø to study medicine.
I am currently renting out two bedrooms in my apartment under AirBnb. Feel free to book & visit this incredible place.
During weekends I work as an assistant in the hospital (UNN). Travel is my medicine, specially getting lost and navigating new places.
A dream is a picture of the future we desire. Joseph the dreamer is a well-known character in the Bible. He is known not because of his self-made greatness, but of God’s greatness in His life. His greatness is the product of his faith and it all started with a dream, a dream from the very heart of God.
When I was in my teenage years, I challenged God to show me His greatness.
My childhood was spent in the province of Isabela, Philippines with my grandparents, uncles, aunties, and cousins. My family’s source of income was mainly farming so mom had to work abroad just to support us. I never met my dad. I had an amazing childhood with my grandparents taking care of me. The farm has been my playground, my happy place. Though we had little, my grandparents did their best to take care of me. I was happy until grandpa got sick and died when I was seven. It was then I started to ask questions. Everything that happened after that seemed downwards, but I stayed motivated. I did well in school, I learned to figure out things alone... I learned to be independent.
We all know that growing up is tough, specially without parents around. It’s like trying to figure out life with blindfolds. Despite of changing schools, going to meetings by myself most of the times and not having parents during special events - I worked harder in school.
High School time came, and I started to wonder about my purpose, about my identity. The more I learned about God the more I got confused, so I wanted to know more. Every time I felt troubled, I would read about God. I wanted to know Him. What is His plan with me? Why He allowed me to be born? What should I do with my life? I got so frustrated that I challenged Him. I challenged Him to show me who He is.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” He said (Jeremiah 33: 3). One day, I stumbled upon a book: The purpose driven life by Rick Warren and after reading it I started to believe that God can do great things in me. Since that day, I fed my spirit with God’s promises. God’s answer to our prayers come in different ways. Sometimes His answer is quick, sometimes it takes years... sometimes we don’t know until it comes to pass. He tests us that way. He wants to see how far we are willing to go with nothing but faith.
Before choosing which path to take in college, I prayed hard and asked God to guide me. I want His will to happen in my life. For some reasons, I know He answered. He closed the doors that wasn’t for me and opened what is. I believed that He has ignited a desire in me to be a missionary-doctor someday. I started to see visions and I believed them even when all of them seemed impossible that time. To put it simply, we did not have enough resources for my dreams, but I believed anyways.
To experience God’s greatness, we must be willing to take a leap.
My mom got married in Norway in 2008 before I graduated high school and again, things started to change. That time, the process of family reunification in Norway takes time so I thought maybe I’ll just finish school in the Philippines. There was no assurance, no clear plans, we were trying different possibilities. The more things got uncertain, the more I trusted God.
I was in second year college when I learned that my visa got approved and I had to come to Norway before my 18th birthday. That time, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to come. I was doing well in school, I got friends and had plans with them. It’s difficult to leave everything behind. I prayed and asked God for guidance.
The peace that comes from God assures us that He is in control.
Summer 2011, at the age of seventeen, I travelled by plane alone for the first time. There were a lot of questions and uncertainties, but I know God is with me. I am not alone. I will never be alone.
When God calls, He will provide.
Norway is a great country, overflowing with milk and honey. Being a foreigner, there’s a lot of challenges. Milk and honey don’t come free even if they’re literally everywhere! The more I get to know the country, the more I realized that I got swept away from my dreams. I was farther than before, almost impossible to make another leap.
"Your dreams are not just yours to reach, they are God’s tool of showing you How great and mighty He is – if you only know how to follow through".
There were two main challenges I had to face: First is the language and second is the fact that I had to start high school all over again, that's three years! Doing high school in a foreign country means learning to speak their language well. Good grades plus foreign language is a mission impossible.
"Change is painful, but necessary".
I managed to finish high school here in Norway or what they call “Videregående” but my grades were not good enough, so I had to retake some exams. Here in Norway, admission is on grade/score basis since universities are free. There are four med-schools here, and they have limited slot every year. The process of admission in every university depends on the first ca 110 students with the highest grades and enrollment happens once a year.
Failure knocked me down several times. It broke me to pieces that I didn’t know how to continue. I thought that there was nothing more to give. I kept failing year after year, three years to be exact, and I thought maybe it wasn’t for me after all. There were many times I wanted to quit taking exams. I stopped believing on myself, but I never stopped believing on God.
"Waiting is enduring the process while God is at work in fulfilling His promises".
The year is 2017 and I told God, I’ll try for the last time. I have two semesters to work on my grades and if it doesn’t happen, I’ll move on. Amazingly, it only took me one semester to complete the grades I needed and by that time I knew that the promise has already met God’s appointed time.
Breakthrough happens when we refuse to stop on the first obstacle- keep moving forward!
There were so many things that happened in between, things that would take me pages to write if I put them all here. Getting to med-school was just a part of a bigger picture, there’s a lot more to come – things God has appointed for different seasons, in His own perfect time. The lesson I’ve learned so far is that, even failure can be a breakthrough when we learn to fail forward. Failing forward is learning to see opportunities in every situation, even in the bad times. Of course, don’t forget to surround yourself with people that is truthful, people who corrects you when you’re going the wrong way. I am grateful that God blessed me with friends that became my family. They were my anchor in the storm – they keep me stay grounded.
As for you, I want you to know that nothing is impossible if you believe. No matter what happens in life, choose to keep your faith. Life isn’t all happy moments, we’ll face failures along the way, but it will make us stronger. God may seem distant sometimes, but if we learn to change perspective and admit that it is us that drifts away, we realize that God has been constant all along. His love endures forever, even when we’re unlovable. As we face life, surrender may be our greatest weapon. As someone once said, the distance between you and God is the distance between your knee and the floor – we stand stronger kneeling down.
“For I know the plans I have for declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11.