I was an insecure, self-centered, control freak party girl who felt unloved by my family. My mother would call me fat, untalented and flat-nosed. I felt like she’s always pointing out what was wrong with me, which caused me to feel unwanted and unloved.  My older brother, on the other hand was her favorite so I harbored jealousy and resentment.  There was always a comparison and competition between the two of us.  The only love I felt came from my father, but being an overseas worker, he was absent for the most part of my life.

Orig_Jenica Josue

In high school, I was gaining popularity among my peers.  This encouraged me to perform better academically, winning contests and getting involved with a lot of things. I wanted my mother and all the teachers to know that I am better than my brother. I sought acceptance and significance outside our home, trying to please everyone for fear of being rejected.

I took my strength from others’ applause and flattery.  I thought that the more friends I had, the more boys I attract, the more popular I became, the more in control I was.  I became self-centered and wanted the world to know who I was. I found it really hard to follow and submit to anyone’s leadership because I wanted to be in control. I also started drinking and partying every night with the people I considered friends. I preferred to sleep over at friends’ houses to avoid going back home, where my mother would just scold me or have me do chores which my brother does nothing. I tried to shun all the negativity from home by being another person outside – someone strong, confident and self-sufficient.

Before graduating from high school, my father was diagnosed with colon cancer and died even before his surgery. I didn’t feel anything different since he was always away anyway. I continued pleasing my mother during the burial, hoping that she’d realize that I am the better child. I also strived hard to get more medals than my brother during my graduation so as to be recognized as the smarter kid.

One day, when I was in College, a Christian organization invited me and my friends to a pizza party event. Little did I know that these people will share the love of God to me.  I remembered the first Bible verses I took note of:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

All my life, I thought that the Bible was just a compilation of myths and fancy stories but now it’s making sense to me.

I started believing in God and his words. I entered the University being boastful but God revealed to me my ego and crushed it slowly before my eyes. I realized I am just a speck of neuron in an ocean of brains. My father left us with a mountain of debts when he dies.   During my freshman year, I wanted to end my life because I couldn’t pay for my tuition fee. I wept bitterly asking God why He took my father’s life – he would’ve done everything just to give me the education he dreamt for me. I blamed God for all the bad things that happened in my life. I felt helpless and disabled for the first time. In the end, I asked God to prove Himself and help me because I can’t help myself anymore.

I was surprised that before the day of the enrolment for the next term, a grant came that swept my outstanding balance and even gave me a monthly stipend! From then on, I trusted God with the impossible and truly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Indeed He is a father to the fatherless and is never late. He also changed my attitude towards my mother, turning my bitterness into joy. All my life I thought no one can love me with all my imperfections but God made me feel worthy thru His undying love in every way possible.

God said in Isaiah 40:31,

“Those whose hope is in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run but not grow weary; they will walk but not be faint.”

My hope and trust is no longer on myself but on the One True God who changed my heart and sacrificed His Son, Jesus so I can live.