My name is Marc Sorongon. I am your typical church-grown boy, I grew up in a Christian environment. During my childhood years, my devout Christian parents made me attend kids’ church as if I actually had no choice. I attended a Christian school elementary days, and it was in high school when I finally understood the real meaning of having a relationship with Christ. Jesus became real to me. I was on fire for the Lord, serving Him and so in love with Him. Ironically, it was also at that time when my bondage to sexual lust started.
Despite being in love with God, I could not stop looking at pornography in the Internet. Time came I could no longer resist the temptation and was caught in bondage to sexual self-abuse. It brought on enormous guilt and completely sucked my passion away from God, stunting my spiritual growth.
Many times I cried out to God for help. But because I kept choosing the pleasure of sin and got too comfortable with it, I could not stop what I was doing. And, so I gave up trying to stop sinning. I chose to dim the light in my spiritual life.
I told myself: “I cannot live a double life any more… to live a secret life of sin and at the same time, live hypocritically as if I’m under the grace of God.” I convinced myself that it was much better to never ask for forgiveness for my sin since I would commit it over and over again anyway and just keep displeasing God. I made a choice. I gave up going to God. My mind became completely deceived and totally corrupted. It became so calloused that I no longer felt any guilt. I even began to hate being in church every weekend. I was afraid to fail God. And yet, I was not ashamed to displease Him and to stay a failure. I lost all hope, just gave up.
Then, my family decided to leave our previous church, I got deeper into my sin. And even when my family had finally decided to make CCF our new home church, attitude-wise, I did not see it as my chance to restore my fellowship with God. Instead I became even more stubborn and distant. I’d always try to escape and not go to church. I did not want to change. I continued my life in lust with different pornographic materials, and getting hooked on several other sins as well.
My first year in college, I started on alcohol. I began going to bars and clubs to drink. I felt I was having the time of my life. I drank whatever alcoholic beverage I could get hold of. I rationalized and deceived myself, thinking that as long as I did not pass out while drinking, I was not sinning.
It was only after a former girlfriend of 5 years expressed her extreme resentment that I attempted to stop. I must also confess that my relationship with her wasn’t pure. Although we were Christians, we weren’t living steady lives of purity. There were times we became physically intimate and had crossed our personal boundaries. And worse, my whole life completely revolved around her. By then, I had completely taken off my eyes from my Savior.
But God is so good and gracious. And yes, He is sovereign. Even though I desired so much to hold onto my girlfriend at that time, there was no stopping God’s will for us. Before the end of 2006 year, we broke up. She ended the relationship because she could no longer bear running away from God.
My heart broke. It felt really trampled upon, wounded, beaten and in deep pain. My world crumbled. Without that relationship so precious to me for so long, I just didn’t know what to do anymore.
Losing her made me frustrated with God. I felt that He was punishing me for my sins of lust. Because of the pain and struggle and anger in me I wanted to hate Him, but I just couldn’t. I hit a dead end and could not run away from Him any longer. Weak and vulnerable, I locked myself in my room, cried deeply to God asking for forgiveness for all the years I had been running away from Him. As I poured my heart out to Him I realized He was allowing the pain because He loves me. Although I had turned my back on Him, He was, and is always there for me. He never stopped reaching out to take me back into His loving arms. It was a new beginning.
I have never felt so close to God than at that moment. He was right there beside me listening to my cries. As Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”.
I began praying to God nightly constantly asking for His help and wisdom. God is indeed faithful. He told me everything I did wrong and He answered my every question through His Word and prayer. O how great is our God that He is ever so patient with us. He answers with love and gentleness.
I opened myself to my Father. I attended one of our church’s seminars and it was there where I understood the meaning and purpose of what had happened in my life. I learned that everything that occurs in life is all for the glory of God and not for any other person. It is really all about Him, and not about me at all. That whatever happened in my life, good or bad, even the breakup with my girlfriend, God had allowed for one ultimate reason, and that is to glorify HIM alone.
I truly did see the glory of God during those painful moments. Out of His mercy and faithfulness He broke me so that He could put the pieces back together His way. It was at this moment of brokenness that I felt His love and comfort. I am in awe of His great love. Though I had sinned against Him, disgracing His name through my actions, despite my filthiness and wretchedness He was willing to take me back. He was simply waiting for me to ask for true forgiveness, to come to repentance, so that finally, He could take care of me as His very own child once more, He could take care of me and fellowship with me as His very own child once more.
God is still at work in my life. I know and believe I am a work in progress. And God can use unfinished and broken people to glorify His wonderful name. Now, I am sharing the comfort that God has lavished on me in my d-group. I am also now leading my own d-group where I am teaching these men about the word of God and His love for us.
As underserving as I am, He has also called me full time to serve Him in the singles ministry of CCF Alabang. I am now the singles ministry head where I am entrusted to lead and shepherd singles, and teach to them the word of God every Saturday.
I have let go of the pains from my previous relationship and am learning to fully seek and trust God’s plans for me. I thank Him every single day that He enables me to overcome my weaknesses by His the grace. Yes, there are temptations and I know my own will and strength will always fail so I hold on to His Word in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I believe that there is still a lot of room for change in my life. But I am no longer afraid of change, for I am no longer relying on myself. I love holding on to Jesus’ hand and allowing Him to mold me and guide me in every step of each and every day. To Him I give the glory alone forever and ever!