As we wrap up our One 2 One tomorrow night, I was asked to reflect on this:
Life before Christ and life now that I am with Christ
Thought that it will also be nice to share it with you, to show you how God has changed me.
My yearbook grad in highschool describes me as headstrong -- back then this is so true! I don't have neutral grounds for myself. My yes is totally YES and my no is definitely NO. It became more evident when I started going out with a nice guy and it became an issue that paggusto ko kahit parang imposible, nagagawan ko ng paraan pero pag-ayaw ko indi na ko mapilit. One of which is turning him down every time he invites me to go to church with him.
I like to read and write. I even became editor-in-chief of the school organ. And because I know how to use words, I also know how to use them to hurt other people. My parents would say that I'm pilosopo or bagay kang mag-abogado. That's how decisive I am and I own up to being a bratinella. It was so easy for me to be one as I grew up in the height of our family business. I don't smoke and don't drink simply because I was too afraid to the possibility of what else I could do with the influence of alcohol. I can pretty much loosen up without it so I was always hesitant to try 'em out cause I don't want to go out of my wits. So I always feel superior over others because of this choice. I thought I was pretty mature for my age and was doing my own thing as I graduated at the top of my class but the problem is I don't listen. I was very adamant in seeking advice of those older than me. I would thought they are always talking crap and just using their age for power tripping.
When I began college, the seed deep down inside my heart to seek God started to sprout but I'm not yet aware of it. I became aloof to people and didn't like to make new friends. An achiever that I was, I became more frustrated and disappointed with myself not getting honors at the end of each semester. Somehow I was unfocused all through out my college years, losing my identity because for the past 15 years I labeled my very own self as intelligent since I always end at the top of the class with very little effort. Studying is natural to me - I read, I write, I'm good at memorizing. I passed college alright having good grades with my major subject but I was beating myself up for not living up to the academic standards I have set out for myself. Then series of mishap seem to happen when I started working: our business going down, me being sexually harassed by a relative, not getting my dream job, losing all our asset including the house I grew up in. Year after year, my heart hardens from all the disappointments. As my sole defense to toughen for the next year, I psyche myself to fight harder. I'm not going give up, no way!
But when my mom died due to kidney disease, it started to become clear to me. It did not happen overnight but that was the catalyst of the real change in my life. I started looking for the real answers. Amidst the not too-perfect-to-my-standard life, God actually placed people in stand by that would help me find Him. Parang chess kung iisipin, pinuwesto Nya na yung mga piyesa Nya, nag-iintay na lang mag-mate at talo na ko! Hahaha :) When I started searching for Him, indi ako nahirapan. I didn't look far. He gave me a man, who was with me all throughout these years reminding me to go to church.
All the bad things that happened to me -- from the academic meltdown to the death of a beloved was to strip me from notion that I am the master of my fate. It was a series of events that I had to go through that I may fully realize that I do not own my life...
In 2008, I was baptised a few days short to my 27th birthday. It was the best birthday gift ever! Imagine that I graduated highschool in 1998...it took almost 10 years before I gave up my stubborn self!!! See how patient our Lord is!? Kung iba lang siguro yan they would already gave up but He was so patient waiting for me to surrender to Him and acknowledge that He is sovereign over my life. That only through Him I could truly be happy and be successful! Circumstances didn't became alright in an instant but the burden is so much lighter for I have God that I could barely feel the heavy load. But in time, His blessings started pouring in. With His grace and provisions, I am just overwhelmed!
As for the Bratinella Sassy -- I became more calm, graceful with my words and now I just found out how beneficial listening is. At work, I would do my programming codes while instead of listening to mp3s I listen to the past preaching from our church podcast. Before I talk because I want the spotlight but now I listen so I would understand. I listen before speaking to make sure what I would say would be from God that it maybe heard. I'm still chatty at home with my now-husband (kilig!) but we chat on how God is teaching us with our married life. I no longer depend on my own strengths but now I know that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)