STRONG IN CHRIST
She died when I was five. He died when I was nine. Both of my parents left me with my three older siblings at a young age. By the way, their mom left them as well even before mine did. Yes, we were born from different mothers. I was my daddy’s only child from my mother. I was born eighteen years after his youngest son. Come to think of it, with the age gap I have with my siblings, they can be already be considered my parents. For almost the first decade and a half of my life, I didn’t know what losing my parents really meant. After all, I got to only spend a very little time with them. I didn’t feel the gravity of what I lost. It was not till I grew older that I saw other families that I realized how different it was for me.
Before he died, I was a spoiled daddy’s girl. We were financially well off before we almost lost it all when he was hospitalized and died. I was given everything I wanted, whenever I wanted it. I got all the support materially and emotionally. I could still remember how things were when we had three cars, four televisions in the living room, three housekeepers and the parties held at school and at home whenever my birthday came. Though I was born from a different mom, I got all the attention, provision and love I could get from my father and siblings. When my father died, my siblings did their best to care for me.
With all the abilities and support I had, I’ve always been a leader and one who held honors at school, putting me in the spotlight. I grew up proud, bold and strong, thinking that I can do great things on my own. At a young age, I learned to be strong and independent by cause of circumstances when my parents died. I was not used to submitting to authority because I was not answerable to anymore. Being an orphan, I felt that no one had the right to direct or control me. I was good enough on my own.
On hindsight, I realize it was foolish. I realize now that I wish my parents are still around now that I’m older – to guide, direct and provide for me. I am thankful that my siblings held their responsibility towards me as best they could, but at the end of the day, they are not my parents and they have their lives to live. This longing for a parent and person of authority only surfaced later on in my life.
Things changed at home when one of my brothers got married. We started to lose all the freedom and independence we had. His family stayed with us and our lives were never the same after that. There were new people living with us and differences in personalities started to cause friction and misunderstanding. I couldn’t accept the fact that someone was controlling us. Everyday, I felt like I was suffocating.
I was still trying to do my best in school. Still receiving honors and spotlights. But I was also the subject of a malicious gossip going around school that I was making my way with my professor. I was misunderstood and broken. I was starting to crumble… and I found that cause to rebel. I started to question God, His existence and why these things were happening to me. I was doing all the rituals and practices that my religion required but He became a distant figure in my head. I allowed myself to start thinking that perhaps there was no God and I grew indifferent to Him. I even started wearing an inverted cross as a sign of my rebellion and bitterness. I even reached the point of convincing others of my unbelief.
I explored witchcraft and other supernatural dark practices. But because of my strong fears of seeing strange entities, my interests vanished as quickly as it came. But rebellious streak continued.
Still, my rebellion continued. I was broken and did not know what my purpose was. I was seeking and asking what the meaning of life was. It was not until I was invited to attend church service, where the topic at that time was about having One Life To Live and Living A Legacy. A question was asked: “How would you like the people in your life remember you when they hear your name?”
I realized that I didn’t want to be remembered the way I was living. I wanted to be remembered as a different person. I wanted to be remembered as someone who influences people with all that is good and true. I wanted a change. I continued to seek and ask of who this God is and for Him to reveal Himself to me.
And He did! He found me and set things that I attend this service. As I kept seeking, He kept revealing Himself to me. He healed and turned my life around. Now I know that this God is real and he lives in me. He broke and defeated me in my rebellion and conquered my sins. Above all, He understood me and believed in me because He loved me. He is my God and the Father I’ve been longing for. I am whole and new in Him.
“ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”