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experience that changed your life

February 2, 2010 Leave a comment

I made this for my english composition class, but I’m reluctant to submit it. I’m not sure it it’s appropriate – being a bit spiritual. Anyway, para hindi naman sayang – post ko nalang dito. 🙂 baka sa facebook din, bahala na…

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I still remember the first time I questioned the existence of God. I just finished reading a book about the Greek mythology for the first time and as much as I have loved every part of it, I was shocked. The Greeks invented their gods mostly out of the need to explain their physical world when science wasn’t there to help them. My eleven year old, raised as a Catholic in a Catholic country self was confused and terrified at the idea. I did what most kid my age would do, I asked my mom about it. And like all moms at that time would do, she simply told me that thinking about such things is a sin and I should just watch the TV again.

By the time I got into the university, I was a full-pledged agnostic. Agnostics do not deny the existence of God, but they are convinced that one can never be certain about it. I considered it a moral victory whenever I could get someone wonder about his or her religious convictions and question their personal spirituality. But for some reason, despite wanting to be one, I could never swallow the idea of atheism. I went through several personal experiences that simply would not warrant the conviction that an omnipotent being does not exist. Yet my logic and reason debates with these experiences, hence, I remained an agnostic for most of my adult life.

My life has been satisfying for the most parts. I had a great and fulfilling career, I had meaningful and special relationships, and I would like to think that I grew up to be a responsible adult. However, this happy and contented life changed drastically when my husband and I decided to move to the US. Moving to the US seemed to be the best option the time we made the decision and one that we were looking forward to. If only we knew then how difficult it would be, I’m not sure if we would have made the same decision. The change wasn’t as pleasant as we have thought it would be. We were constantly broke, a humbling reality we never faced as young professionals in our home country. We didn’t have friends, or any resemblance of a social life, nor can we afford one. We were constantly afraid of loosing our meager source of money and failure in the academic career my husband was aiming for. We tried to find ways to be happy, but the instability and utter misery was too noticeable and fooling ourselves otherwise was impossible. There were times that we wanted to go home, thinking that would make us happier. But we held on, deciding that staying was the wiser and more practical choice.

The first time I attended a Christian church out of the need to socialize with fellow Filipinos in the US, my mind was kicking and screaming. Like all Christians, they were vigilant towards the call to spread the good news of Jesus. They wanted me to accept Christ as my savior, for my sake. Rejecting such an invitation would have been easy, if not for the fact that they were the nicest and kindest people I have ever met in my entire life. Meeting them, being with them was simply unbelievable. I have been wary of phonies in the past and I have developed the ability to spot one at an instant. But, these people were the real deal; they were simply good. Still my stubborn mind held on, when asked if I’d like to accept Christ, I would defiantly say no. I would attend bible studies because my curious mind wanted to know what it was about. Every time I attended one, it was like I was holding a debate session in my head: my agnostic convictions versus this radical belief of faith in Jesus Christ. Maybe it was divine providence, because despite not really wanting to do so, I found myself attending all the bible studies and lectures held by that small church and listening to the things they had to say. Then one day I opened the bible given to me and tears just started pouring out of my eyes. It was at that time, that I became a born-again Christian.

It is funny how I needed almost a lifetime to build up the experiences, philosophy, and principles to become an agnostic while it only took two years to weaken all that foundation and accept the Christian faith. I think this is where God’s grace came into play. The bible mentioned several times that God breaks us into pieces in order for us to seek him, and only with a broken heart and soul can we truthfully be with him. I believe this to be true, because if I were not pulled out of my comfortable and steady lifestyle, I would have not known what it is like to be humbled by God.

Since I became a Christian, I’ve tried my best to incorporate teaching my new found faith in my correspondence to friends back home, especially to those I’ve enjoyed having my atheistic talks with when I was younger. Also after accepting Christ, my husband and I went from the worse to rock bottom. We lost our means of income, we were threatened to loose our home, my husband was diagnosed with an incurable disease, and I got pregnant. But rather than drowning in misery we were showered with blessings and grace. With peace in our hearts and God’s words in our minds, we were able to find ways to solve these insurmountable problems, something we may not have been able to do without the strength our faith gave us. Rather than dwelling in our stressful situation, we focused our eyes on our faith and patiently waited until everything fell into its right places. I can say it wasn’t easy, but amazingly it was. I believe such is the power of a true and renewed faith.

Now I am far from that unstable and stressful existence. We are financially stable, able to sustain our daughter’s needs, and my husband’s health has been better than ever without any fear of regression. The challenge that I face now is maintaining my close relationship with God without life’s adversities. But whenever problems come my way, I now know I have someone to look up to for guidance, I have reason to hope for the better, and believe in the things that I do not see.

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verses i’ve read during my first few days as a Christian that cemented my faith in the Lord:

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

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