As a child and a teenager, I grew up in a catholic household. Going to church with the family became a routine but I had not really understood the Gospel of Christ and had difficulty staying awake when I read the Bible. I am the youngest and had grown up seeing my mom as the head of our family. She’d go to work early and come home late, tired and goes to sleep shortly after preparing food for us. I remember how my dad would stay at home and try to take care of us kids but end up going out with friends and getting home drunk. Without a mom to take care of us and a dad to lead us, I felt lonely and unloved. Growing up, I would usually fight with my brothers over TV because that is the only thing that entertains us. And as the youngest, I would usually give in to their demands.
High school became an avenue for me to divert the loneliness I felt by hanging out more with friends. Then came college, I spent lesser time at home and spent more time getting into relationships. At 3rd year college, my mom can no longer afford to send me to school, so I stopped. I was devastated; I didn’t want to stop school and be left out by my friends. But I had no choice. At nineteen I started working. I worked in a call center and was able to earn and help out paying for our utilities and debts. I worked until I got promoted to be a supervisor at one of the largest BPO companies in the Philippines, spending more time at work than at home because I didn’t like to stay there and feel lonely and bitter at life. This made me arrogant towards my parents. I considered myself as their border, just going home to sleep and bathe. I surrounded myself with different people and got into more relationships that were all destructive and leaving me more hurt and more lonely.
Ironically, a former boyfriend invited me to attend a singles retreat being sponsored by CCF B1G South Alabang back in 2013. He shared to me the video on facebook and instantly I was able to relate with one of the characters in the video. To be honest, my heart was wrong and crooked when I said yes to attending the True Life retreat because part of my heart wanted to please that guy who invited me. Little did I know that this was God’s way of calling me to start a personal relationship with Him. Proverbs 16:9 said “In their hearts humans plan their courses, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Unknowingly, the four ladies in my breakout group will become vital in my spiritual walk. We are now in one DGroup. In the retreat I was able to discover God’s love and gift of salvation and even had my public declaration of faith.
After the retreat, I maintained a regular meeting with my Dgroup and started attending Sunday service at CCF Alabang and B1G South Connect. Now, I had completed Biblical Foundation 1 and 2 and as of writing, I am now on my last class for Baptism and am looking forward to completing all GLC 1 classes. This year, I’ve started going thru a Bible plan to finish reading the Bible in one year. John 7:37-38 said “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” Now, admittedly I still feel lonely sometimes but I’m quick to remind myself of God’s unconditional love which is also manifested thru the love of my Dgroup.
I am Isah Salazar who once felt lonely but is now full of God’s unconditional love through the sacrificing of His son, Jesus Christ to give way for eternal life.