Many people know me as a funny, entertaining host. They think life has always been light and easy, but not many would know about the rough edges and curves that I had to bump into or go through to find that lasting joy. This is my story of redemption.

I grew up in a Christian family and was obedient to the rules of my parents growing up. At a young age, I got distracted by the notion of having “crushes” or “girlfriends”. Even if my parents would remind me not to lose focus on studies, I opted to have it my way. Early childhood relationships among other things took away my focus on my studies, and I lost track of my academic standing since then. However, since I have been more excellent in extra-curricular activities like leadership, I had an excuse to stay the way I am.

My habit of disobeying my parents reached a crucial point during my stay in a public science high school. We were invited to join a camp somewhere outside the metro and my mom wouldn’t allow me to go. Being hard-headed, my classmates and I collected money to pay for my fee and I just told my mom it’s paid anyway so I should join.

With a heavy heart, my parents allowed me to go, only to find out that in that camp, I would be sexually molested and taken advantage of by a teacher in a different high school.

What followed was a hard, rough life for me. Broken because of the purity I have lost and the shame I feel whenever we have court hearings, I chose to disobey and rebel against God. I lived an impure life thinking I lost it anyway.

Lust was a very difficult battle for me that time. For the times that I wanted to satisfy myself, I indulged with pornography and lewd conversations, even engaging in flirting and secretly engaging in casual sex with people I don’t know. I immersed myself with green jokes and mastered sexual innuendos in most of my interactions with others.

My secret impure life was hidden so perfectly behind my stories of leadership, Christianity, and my pursuit of the “right” romantic relationship. Deep inside, the problem was obvious. I definitely lost respect for myself. Sex was something I gave away just because “I lost it anyway”. I lost my life’s direction.

In 2005, our family moved to another church, which led me to hear more encouraging words from the youth ministry. I got planted in a discipleship group and submitted to my leader’s authority as I went on to journey a life of transformation. I was also in a relationship that pleased God, even ending it soon after so that we could honor God and honor our parents. Around this time, I thought my secret struggles would have ended, but it only tightened its grip on me.

The habit of disobedience didn’t end there. As soon as I entered college, I entered a relationship with a girl who I thought would be the one I would be marrying after graduation. Around this time, I had stopped casual sex and had been pure in that area for 4 years already. However, pornography still had its hold on me and my mind got polluted with the worst kinds of images. Because I was still struggling with sexual thoughts, it was never an easy task to protect our purity during this time.

The greatest act of disobedience was done to GOD — while messages at church kept on reminding me to live by the Spirit and stay pure, I fought hard with God and lived my life, my way.

My then girlfriend and I gave in to premarital sex, and worse, lived together. It meant more time for intimacy, and we found ourselves living a double life as members of the church but also as a couple living impure lives.

God in His sovereignty ended the relationship I valued most after 3 and a half years. I felt so heavy, I felt so dirty, I felt so used up and tired and tagged along wherever. I felt being punished by God for my disobedience. I had no vision, my plans were thwarted, and I have destroyed my life again. I suffered from a deep bout of depression, losing more than 10 pounds in one week. I had no sleep and I kept on fearing losing the things I held dear. In desperation, I tried to commit suicide.

But the goodness of the Lord is immense and unimaginable. My sister who came in late from a party saved me as I hung on loops of extension cord. I got my second chance, and while I didn’t know what to do with it, I knew there was a reason why I got saved that night.

The next events were a lot of disciplining and submitting to God’s authority over my life. With total surrender to Him, God has brought me to a stage of discipline to a stage of healing. I was reminded that God makes all things new; even the purity that I always thought was taken from me. I repented of the many sexual sins I struggled with and that time committed to purity again.

2 Timothy 1:9 says, “who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”

It is a joy and a comfort to know that there is therefore now no condemnation to those who belong to Christ.

In Him I find my victory.

The grace that sustains me daily, the forgiveness for my past, present, and future struggles, and the love that assures me I have all that I need in my beginning, my forever.

Today, I am being used by God for His greater glory through hosting, preaching, and teaching the Word of God. I lead in a young adult ministry in, serve as host for different church events like retreats, and speak in different youth groups and share my life story to them.

I have also followed the call for discipleship, first by duly submitting and being accountable to my own mentors and disciplers, and am now discipling men intentionally and serving alongside them in ministry.

My battle with lust has definitely been better than the past years because of God’s grace. I strived to avoid sex outside marriage and also committed to seriously fighting my habitual sin of giving in to pornography. It wasn’t an easy nor perfect journey, but by the transformative power of God, I have been victorious and have been more in control of myself, valuing purity as I looked at and focused on a HOLY, PURE GOD.

Recently followed God’s call, with my parents’ blessing, to leave a 5-year stint in advertising as I went on to go full time in Church as its Communications Coordinator. It is a fulfillment to see my passion to share Christ’s transformative power and my calling and work to actually meet altogether. Finally, I found the greatest joy of life – to live a life pleasing to the King, serving Him with all that I am and all that I can become.

There is indeed blessing that comes in obeying God’s Word. I grow everyday in intimacy with Him through my daily devotions, biblical studies, and serving Him in ministry. Please pray for me as I continue to live a life of obedience and submission to the Author and Perfecter of my faith, my one True Savior, my only Source of Life. All glory, honor, and praise be unto Him forever and ever.