"I grew up in a Christian home, grew on christian values, involved in sunday blah blah blah…"
The usual starting line in writing a testimony if you are a christian kid. Well, I’d like to make a difference. Here it goes…
In my early years I have always been aware of who Jesus is and what He did for me. I regularly attend CCF Sunday schools and DVBS, which always-always incorporate the Gospel. The colors yellow-black-red-white-green are a usual for me, as a kid, I even have collections of bracelets and artworks containing that palette. But honestly, as a kid, I didn’t really took it seriously, I was a good kid, not a problem child.
But in reality I only find the things, we learn and do in church, as a routine, a primary requirement to be a typical christian in this world. That for you to be able to live, you need to do these things.
My years went on with these in mind. Not until 3rd year high school that I attended Dive, girls’ retreat in RRC. There everything cleared my foggy mind about who Jesus is, why we do this, and why He did it and all the basic things I needed to know, that’s when I got baptized and surrendered my life. I felt that I was so free that this would be the start of my serious christian life.
Or so I thought.
Weeks past after camp, I started attending youth services every saturday night. The feeling of being involved into something new was great, attended the usual dgroup and tried my very hardest to participate. Later did I realize that I was not going there for Jesus anymore. I realized that I only went there to feel accepted, and i tried my hardest to actually blend-in with the cliquish crowd that I am with, but after a while i felt tired of even trying and did not attend anymore. I felt so ashamed that I was not good enough for this godly “rich” crowd.
I began making excuses every saturday night whenever my parents asked me why I don’t want to go to the youth service. I would say “I have homework” or “I’m tired.” a dozen times until they finally stopped asking me.
And what made it worst? My dgroup leader never - by never - i mean never intentionally checked up on me, never.
A year passed by with now a different thing in mind. That I would never be accepted in a christian crowd because I am not rich enough to be part of their circle.
I graduated high school and college happened. The Lord has willed that I go in a school, again, near my house.
Before school starts, that’s where the anxiety of A new school kick in, I’m surprised that I began asking the Lord,
"Lord, will you please pick my college friends for me?"
And gladly He did. I met three dear christian girls on the first day of classes, at the school library where I stayed on the first day, reading. We clicked immediately and smoothly. Maybe because of the fact that I declared to them that I am a christian but admitted that I am only a christian by name.
The next semester, one of them, Yel, invited me to attend a youth service in another church which holds services every thursday & friday in a mini-mall near our school. That started my path in seeking the Lord.
I attended there regularly and was even involved in a discipleship group. I began to forget all the bitter memories I experienced in the last youth church I attended. Then I yearned to serve in their music ministry but sadly my parents did not agree.
One sunday service, I shared to a childhood Ate that I am attending another church in Ubelt. Then she said CCF’s Jzone holds services every friday in the same area. A feeling of excitement came through me and I said I’d attend.
The week after that I felt anxious in going because I was reminded of the past experience. Tried making excuses but something inside me felt right in going there, so I still went. I tried dressing nicely and prepared myself of the on-coming judgement I am about to face.
Or so I thought.
Arriving at Orient Pearl was a memory my mind did not forget. At that certain day, Morayta had no electricity but the youth service still went on, they gave out folders to everyone to serve as a fan and even in the dark I see the students smiling at me and then I thought:
"I don’t remember it to be this accommodating before."
During the praise & worship, the music team sang “God Is Able” and in the middle of the song the lights began to turn on filling the place with light, filling me with awe. Like the Lord is welcoming me back home.
All my expectations of being judged and looked at with disgust were erased and replaced with a feeling of welcome and acceptance.
After weeks of attending, I again yearned into joining the music ministry, and my parents approved of it, I got excited and auditioned immediately.
And by God’s grace, I passed.
From then on, all my negative feelings about youth worships were gone and replaced with positive emotions of having another family again.
I may have been involved in the other church. But I believe God brought me back to CCF for a reason. This is His game plan for my life and I would like to follow His will.
Ephesians 4: 11-13
Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
To God be all the Glory.
*disclaimer: title is from the song lyrics my friend, Kuya Ronnie, made.