“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the grace of God.” – Acts 20:24
Eleven years ago, if I was a runner, I bet people would know my ending. I would not finish well.
Despairing, insecure, easily-angered, self-centered and proud. All of these were me before I get to know Jesus Christ… I was molested at eight. I grew up not feeling loved at home. I knew Jesus was God, but I haven’t fully experienced peace and comfort, though I talked to Him while staring at his crucifix every day. At a young age, I started asking God if He can accept me as His own.
I tried being active in a Catholic Church, even considered to be a nun just to be close to God. I have that hunger to just be near Him to escape all the pains and insecurities caused by my past. Little did I know that my best friend kept on praying for me since we were in grade school. I always declined her invitations to go to church or Bible studies because I relied on the activities that I did for God in my church.
When I lost a writing job and was again too depressed, I finally attended a Bible study at my best friend’s home. God opened my eyes that my works aren’t the first steps to get closer to Him. It’s my confession that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.
“For it is by [His] grace I have been saved, through faith. And it is not my own doing, it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that I would not boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
I realized this truth when I was editing and directing a script for a Passion Play. The script says that Jesus’ mother was His co-Saviour. The line blew my mind for the Bible says that it’s only Jesus who saved all people from eternal death and that we can spend eternal peace with Him if we put our faith in Him alone. That was my defining moment. In the quietness of re-writing the play, God spoke in my heart that I have to rely on His Son Jesus Christ and surrender everything to Him, and I did.
My position in that ministry and my family’s approval were taken away from me for this one definite purpose. God allowed me to be separated from them to experience that He is the Perfect Peace, Protective Father, Loving Saviour and Loyal Friend that I’ve been looking for. When my parents sent me out of the house, I began to grow deeply in reading the Bible. My quiet times with God were the happiest moments in my life. His words about forgiveness and joy moved me, so I was able to forgive my parents, my offenders and everyone who hurt me just as I was forgiven by my Heavenly Father.
Right now it is still a mission to share the gospel with my parents. With God’s help, our relationship improved as they see me getting less depressed, irritable, self-centered and proud. He is the reason why I desire to serve them well. When I was still hurting, I did not want to see my parents. But now that I understand how Jesus sacrificed His life for my sake, I know that it’s worth the effort to see them.
Each day that I spend reading the Bible and praying to Jesus, I feel more and more secured in Him. This life is my testimony. I committed to give Him my best, even if it meant self-denial every day. Though there’s still favoritism in the family, I am joyful. Jesus is the Lover of my Soul and my Greatest Comfort. I won’t be shaken by my parent’s hurtful ways. I was saved to please God. And I am determined to please Him by continuously praying for my parents and consistently sharing Jesus’ love with them.
I know there would be more challenging times at home. As I aim to finish this course, I depend on Jesus, my Strength. I believe that He is giving me the power to love without counting the cost, the will to be obedient to the Father without thinking of the status quo and the desire to embrace people without trying to get the glory. As God commissioned me to spend my life with my discipleship group, who had also committed their lives to Him, I am so blessed to witness how he uses the story of this race that I’m running to encourage them to live their faith to the fullest. By His prodding, I am also waiting on mission opportunities where I can share His compassion for the lost.
Jesus Christ has been my perfect model and my great Life Coach for eleven years now. This race is not very easy, but it’s worth running for I know that He is pleased waiting for me at the finish line. To Him, who heals all relationships, be the glory now and forever.