I’ve been in Lloydminster now for 8 years in May. I’d say it’s been quite a journey coming from the capital city of the Philippines to a small town in Canada, it took me at least three years to finally embrace reality. It was July 14, 2013, to be exact, when my life had a 180-degree turn and a total switch over because of one decision. From being broken and lost to a new woman viewing life in a different set of lenses with vision and purpose, I got saved.
I grew up with a Catholic background and went to Catholic school where I learned the basics about Jesus and the rituals and routines that came with it. One thing I did not know about is the difference between knowing who Jesus is and actually having a relationship with Him. I grew up mostly with a single mom, my dad was ambushed and passed away when I was 4 years old and she married my step dad when I was 10 years old, however, it didn’t take long when things started going south and eventually led to separation after 4 years. My mom raised five kids by herself, I know it was not easy. I started questioning a lot of things, my worth, my identity, my purpose or if I even have one. The lack of father power in my life slowly crept in as I am heading to teenage years, my relationship with my mom began to fall apart and I started having bitterness, anger, resentment, and hatred inside of me, not only to my mom but also to the life that I am living.
I often asked God the common questions of why or what did I do to deserve a life like this? Now it really started to be all about me. Moving from the Philippines to Canada, it seemed like a new hope and a new start at first but the emptiness in my life still kept coming back except this time I do not have my support group from back home which is my friends were my only source of happiness at that time. It is very easy to pretend to be happy, I can always put on a big smile on my face and nobody would be able to tell the sorrows that I have kept deep inside. I started to come out of my comfort zone and find something to fill in the big hole in my heart that is continuously growing, I started working as a bartender in college, exploring different associations and suicide was always a thought to consider if everything else fails. But little did I know, God was watching over me the whole time. How do I know that? Because there were some very distinct instances where I was one decision away from getting my life destroyed but it shifted and unexplainably saved by grace.
I was invited to a potluck at The Potter’s House Christian Fellowship Church, the Pastor’s son whom I met at the bank where I was working at that time invited me and said it was free food. Hey, who says no to free food?? growing up seeing Filipino kids in my country starving all the time on the streets…I can’t say NO to free food! If anything I was very excited to eat more than what my stomach could take (Haha Just kidding!…but not really). I came to the potluck and was surrounded by people who were sincere and genuinely cared about a stranger like me, they shook my hand with passion and I could not fathom how these people could have that much joy in their hearts. I said to myself, they must be all pretending too because that’s what I do… but later realized that their happiness seems to last longer because I know that I can only hold mine for so long before I explode. It was an amazing time fellowshipping with these people and before I left, one person told me to come to service the next day and give it a shot, at this point in my mind I was saying “I already know God, I tried it but it does not work so I’m not really sure if it will make a difference anyway.” Of course, I did not say that. I said, “I don’t know, I’ll try if I can” and all he responded was “don’t try, JUST DO IT!”. I thought it was kind of aggressive at first too, but in all honesty, that word “DO IT” just echoed in my head all night long until all day next day until I made the decision to go. I was not sure what to expect, all I know was my heart brought me here and I was too fearful to miss out on something that potentially could change my life forever.
The moment I stepped into the Potter’s House Church, my heart started beating faster than normal, I was already overwhelmed just by their song service. I immediately felt the presence of God and found myself weeping at the altar in full surrender by the end of the service. I knew God had never left me, He was directing me this whole time to walk away from a life of brokenness, abandonment, bondages of the past, fears of rejection and many more to a life filled with so much joy, peace, love, forgiveness, and purpose. Right there and then, I made a decision to surrender my life to Christ, admitted that I have been denying Him for this long and accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour. It was the best decision I have ever made in my life.
In summary, I made a stand for God, I knew that if I do not make the commitment to follow Him right then, the life that I am living at that time will never have hope to change and with no doubt go downhill faster than I could even imagine. I moved out of my mom’s house after two and a half months of being saved and the journey of living a life with God’s promises began. I can share with you pages and pages of miracles that I have experienced since I carried my own cross and followed Him. Maaaan! was it ever rewarding! Life is still challenging at times but I can tell you that God has redeemed me from my past, He has given me so much joy that no one can take away and also never ends! Now, I take pleasure in living my life serving the Lord for five years this July 2018, striving to walk in His will and fulfill the purpose that He has planned for me. The blessings in my life are continuous, I get excited every day to find out what challenges or blessings God has for me and looking forward to my future that He is preparing as well. I also have learned how to trust men in my life, considering that I did not have a proper or right concept of what a man’s role is and should be in a woman’s life – first was God who never failed to show me His unending love and second is the godly
man that He has blessed me with who I am yet to marry (I’ll keep you posted on that.hehe). If you ever want to hear more of my testimony, I would be more than glad to chat or grab a coffee with you. I attend almost all of our services every week so I encourage you to come and visit us and have your own experience of God’s presence, what are you gonna lose? Nothing, better yet you might actually find that one piece of the puzzle that has been missing in your life for the longest time.
So, Don’t even think twice. JUST DO IT!