The days I came to know the one true God and His purpose for my life were the best and sweetest days in my twenty five years of existence.
Before I was called by God, I was a believer of Chinese forecasting of the future---horoscopes, zodiac signs, predictions---I rely on these astrological tools to unveil my destiny. It was predicted that the year 2014 was not a lucky year for people born in the year of the dragon, especially for Leo's. I’ll have unfortunate loss of career and friends and probably have unstable love life and health --- things that I dreaded the most. Who would want to hear that you’re to loss a job this year or get unlucky applying for a new one? Who would want to hear that you’re about to feel ill or lose your special someone and even good friends? Such bad news. I had accepted that this was my year-round fate. I even wondered at that time if I'm still to apply in the ranking of school teachers for secondary. My hopes were down. I was supposed to fail this year.
But I didn’t. Failure is not an option this year. I have succeeded in aligning my goals, my life to the purpose designed for me by God. He called me. I’m glad I responded.
It was true I lost some friends this year. I resigned from my job tying me at home. I suffered from a lot of work related stress before the end of March. I had trouble patching this communication gap with my boyfriend. It felt like we’re talking but we’re never on the same page. Amidst these trials, I found my God.
I admit I had walked in the dark. I was a Dan Brown fan. I read his novels and discovered my fascination for the unpopular religious groups he often mentioned in his books. One of them was the Opus Dei. It was one of those occult groups which the Vatican allegedly continued to persecute. Their faith is strengthened by pain or suffering, that’s why they indulge in this ritualistic ways of inflicting pain to themselves---something that I found rather intense and passionate. I was so engrossed in discovering their nature, their truth.
Though Dan Brown’s book was categorized into fiction, I believed there are hidden truths in his book. I prodded the net for information and got a little discouraged to know that these antagonistic groups he so beautifully present were already non-existent. The first glimpse of light first came to me when I read his Inferno. It was a thrilling book that has this recurring passage from the bible that says “seek and ye shall find.”
I seek and at last, found the truth--truth about my church--truth about my faith. I felt betrayed for having lead to believe the wrong religious principles about God and worship. In my heart sprouted this unknown hatred for the church that was supposed to guide me in the light and not live in utter hypocrisy.
I was thankful enough to have Liz around. I guess she was sent to pick me up from the dark. When I had a lot of questions already, she invited me to their AG church. Before, I thought, born again? Baduy. People who say halleluiah and amen all the time. They looked comical to me. That’s why when she asked me to come, I hesitated. I prayed that night to God an honest prayer. I asked for His guidance because I felt so lost.
I went with her and found the church so warm and welcoming. When bro Robert was praying over after his Sunday school, I bowed my head and sincerely asked the Lord that if He wants me to be part of that church, he’ll send me the Holy Spirit. He responded. I felt the weight of a new spirit coming into me, dizzying me yet, giving me this lightness of feeling that I so much longed for. I was complete. I was emptied and filled. And for the first time, I understand.
A few days after, I suffered persecution. Rick Warren said that our greatest ministry comes from our greatest pain. I was judged because people believed I wasn’t a good teacher for upholding an ethically correct decision in answer to the problem at hand. Rumors and gossips initiated by my suppose-to-be-friends-at work, disrespect to me by my students, threats ---I went through all them. I thought my knees will buckle but my spirit was strong. I never said a word to them, my enemies. I never backfired. I hold my silence and rend my temper. I thought it was impossible to do since I’m a very temperamental person but I did. I was humbled midst these people. One of the very first miracle manifestations in me. I confessed my suffering to no one, except to Liz who had been with me all the time. She made me trust in the Lord and I could proudly say, di nila ako natibag. I cried, yes. I cried for the betrayal of friends whom once I trusted the most. I cried for the unjustness of my situation. I cried. I begged the Lord to stop the trials. He heard my cry. He saved me and pulled me up again. And now, I am stronger than ever.
It was my greatest pain. It took me a whole week reading psalms to stop the bleeding of my bruised heart. I survived. The life lesson I learned from that experience was hard earned and will continue to reflect on my teaching.
It was predicted that my life this year will be miserable. I doubt that. In fact, this is my best year. I came to witness miracles. I came to savor the sweetness of answered prayers. And I came to enjoy the honor to be called to testify in His name’s sake.