I grew up in an average home, the youngest of 3 siblings, a daddy’s girl and have always been pro-active. I believed I had to work hard for things and learned to be independent at a young age. I wanted to make my parents proud, so I studied well. Unfortunately they were most of the time working abroad and missed most of my awarding at school. I was quite young when my parents separated but I didn’t mind it, rather I accepted it. I hang out with lots of friends but I never neglected my studies. I finished nursing with fewer loads because of the advance studies I took on summer breaks. I passed the June board exam, had a stable job, travelled the world with friends, family, and my boyfriend and I even started my own business. I was the life of the party, because I always start one, in short, I thought I was doing well, I was living the life and I did it all on my own.
Until I wanted more and was not contented with what I have. I resigned from my job where I was tenured for more than 3 years for what I thought was a good career move to earn more. After some time my business slowly dropped and my relationship of 5 years hit rock bottom, we felt we had everything but there seemed to be some void that left him discontented, me unsure and us impatient of our future. I chose to give up on us and after that failure, I rebounded to a more chaotic and complicated relationship, that made me settle on things less than God’s design and intention for me, blinded by promises that I knew was in vain, making me insecure, prompting me to cheat as I felt cheated myself too and exploding in anger sometimes when I can’t control myself as I tend to keep my emotions in silence most of the time, far from how I was before. A year of lies, confusion, business flaws, financial difficulties, family problems and career misdirection. December 2013 while everyone was merry, I was alone and sickly and all gloom. January 2014 a few days after New Year, I was at the peak of my misery that I lost hope. I felt completely alone, confused, misunderstood, used, angry and at the same time helpless and totally tired of it all. Wounding myself doesn’t work in displacing the pain anymore. I decided to end my life, something a strong, independent, life loving person such as myself would never have thought of doing, but that day, I just didn’t care. As I was about to pop those pills and chug a bottle of vodka with it, to finally find the peace I thought I so needed, God moved just at the right time and moment, because my phone rang and it was my mom calling from abroad, asking how I was and mostly telling me to do some errands. As usual I was pretending nothing was wrong, and as we ended the call, I was suddenly in tears with a great emotion of grief. Deep in my heart I knew this was not a coincidence. I did believe in God, I have heard about Jesus numerous times at CCF Sunday service through Pastor Joby. I suddenly had one question in my mind, “Who was this God who saved me from myself? Why would he?” and then after some thinking, I began seeing the faces of my family, mom, dad, my siblings, how they would be horrified and devastated because of me. Oh God, they don’t deserve such pain because of me. Where was that strong, life-loving girl I once was?
That night, I knew I was lost, and I needed a savior. Curled like a ball on the floor, amidst the pain and shame in my heart I called out to God to please forgive me and help me and that I wanted to give my life in full surrender to His will. This time, I truly accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior.
God moved swiftly in my life after that, First Sunday service of January I suddenly met a high school classmate who was ushering that time, and she invited me to Saturday singles service. That next Saturday, I attended Connect which was the first singles service of the year also, and I was then convinced to join a dgroup. As I started to attend regularly, I was compelled to read the bible and my thirst for the word grew strong as the days go by. I attended GLC1 as soon as it was available. Slowly, God gave my joy back as His promises was revealed to me through His words. I thank God for my Discipler and my Dgroup who served as my accountability and helped me a lot with my spiritual growth, and Pastor Joby who fervently prayed for me without question when I had that tendency to backslide from my past. I got to join the Brand New Single’s retreat and there I decided to be baptized, I am now attending GLC2, active and privileged to serve and be part of the Prayer Ministry motivation team and the newly established Off site Ministry of B1g South Singles Connect. God has blessed me with a promising career, was able to be debt free, and was able to spend quality time with my family as suddenly they started arriving one by one from abroad this year.
I have learned to thank God for both trials and blessings that he has given me. How merciful He was to me is above my comprehension. Truly, only God can change hearts and fill the void that only He can satisfy as He has said in Ezekiel 36:26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
As God took things from me, my comforts, my source of pride and the people I‘ve held on to for the longest time, thinking they would complete me, I now realize we are nothing apart from God. In an instant, he can take everything from us to save us from ourselves and return to Him. As He has said in Isaiah 54:7-8 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger, I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you.” Says the Lord your Redeemer.”
I praise God for breaking me, because the reward was priceless, the reward was knowing Him. The God who gave His only son, shed His blood to forgive our sins so we can have eternal life with Him. I am Jaid Loraine Arcos, a sinner who thought she had everything but actually had nothing, saved only by the Grace of Jesus Christ, the love of my life, My Lord, My redeemer. To God be all the glory and praise.