It’s Easter Sunday today and I woke up to smell of my father’s lasagna. It’s not a normal meal even for a chef’s daughter. My father cooking such or simply my father cooking means there’s something special about today.
So, on an empty (and growling) stomach, I indulged myself in the sentimentality of today’s celebration.
As a kid, I remember Easter being such a happy time because I can finally laugh, be loud, eat meat, and watch regular programs on TV again. Growing up, I can say that I looked forward to Easter still for the same reasons; until the year 2010 when I already had a good sense of it. That year, I celebrated with an understanding of the cross and the process of Jesus bearing it, dying and resurrecting. That year, I was fully aware of the GIFT that what Jesus went through was.
How I saw it as a loving gift is something that I wish to share today – my own Easter if you’d allow me to put it that way.
Below is my testimony which I wrote in 2010 as part of the requirements for completing Training for Victory, a 10-day discipleship class. My hope is that you will be encouraged by it. And if you are just like me, I pray that you realize that Someone up there values you more than anybody else in the world does. People can shower you with words, time, affection and gifts but only One can die so you may live.
A couple of years back, I was Rorie the sorority girl, the social drinker, the girl who tried to smoke for the sake of bragging, the girl who followed the suit of her non-Christian friends for the sake of belongingness, the girl who caused her Christian boyfriend to regress.
I was that Rorie – that Rorie who would try and do almost anything to keep her friends, her boyfriend. I would drink, club and smoke for my sisters in the sorority. I fed the weakness of my boyfriend just so I can have him by. I was that Rorie – that Rorie who always wanted to fit somewhere, who found security in having people close. My friends and my boyfriend defined my being. My happiness and sadness depended on them (mostly on him). Take them out of my life or just even place them afar and I’m doomed.
That was who and how I was until God led me to that one place where I could truly belong and find security – in His arms.
Right after I had my thesis bound, I was sent home to Laguna – far from all of my friends in Diliman and my boyfriend. I was literally at home most days. I had no money for transportation to Manila. I did not have enough money to call people on a regular basis. After years of having them so close, I felt like I was on exile when I got home. I would cry everyday because I really miss them, especially my boyfriend. There was no place more secure than with his company and in his embrace. Initially, we would regularly communicate via SMS until he went on a one-month Christian camp in Visayas and I could not tell you enough how alone I felt. When he got back from camp, he broke up with me telling me that even though he loved me, he had to do it for Him. He told me it was a command from Him that he cannot just ignore.
I was devastated. He was the love of my life, my security blanket and God took him away from me. I was so tempted to get angry at God. I felt as if He’s taking all the people that I love away from me. He wanted me to be alone.
There I was confused about what to do after college; cannot even get out of the house because I did not have resources; and ALONE. I was tempted but I also wanted to hear from Him. If He could talk to my boyfriend and give Him a command, I also dared Him to talk to me and explain. And so I did. Everyday, I would read a chapter of the bible although I was just reading it for the sake of finding a line that would give me something to the effect of a command that tells me “tell your boyfriend that he needs to go back to you”. But He didn’t give me such. Instead He gave me the series “God the Father Revealed”.
After a month of seeming isolation, I got accepted in IBM and moved back to Manila. I decided to attend VCF QC again since I’ve been casually attending the services back in college.
It was the last installment of the “God the Father Revealed” series. Worship was incredible. I felt every word pierce through, touch and consume the whole of me all at the same time. But preaching was more incredible; it really led me to tears. The main verses were:
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11
The preaching described how God is a father who wants the best for His children. How you can have access to him anytime because of what Christ has done for us in the cross; how he is not just a God who is able to give us all our needs, give us His best but He’s a God who is willing. He is so willing He even gave us His only begotten son. He is so willing that Jesus died for all our sins. That is how much He loves us, He loves me. That is how He is as a Father. To us, to me who is undeserving – Jesus died on the cross. Right then and there I felt God speak to me and tell me, “Rorie, isn’t that the kind of Love you need? Isn’t that the kind of security you want? Rorie, I’m here and I’m able and willing to give you those and I will never, ever leave. I will never part from you. You don’t have to do anything for me to accept you, that’s how much I love you.”
And I’ve never felt so safe and secure and loved. I didn’t know the people sitting beside me. I was a stranger inside the UP Film Institute (venue of the service). Technically, I was still alone with no company but I did not feel it at all. I knew, I was sure that I have Him.
Came Altar Call, I raised my hand and rededicated my life to Him. I made the decision to surrender my life again to Him.
Presently, I’m still physically alone most of the time. I would commute to and from Makati-Quezon City alone everyday. During days off, I would usually be alone in my room. But despite that, I have never felt so secure. I always felt that I was in good company. God has been so faithful to me. Now, while He remains as my bestfriend (all around Guy actually – father, friend, partner), He’s been blessing me with the company of other people as well – a small group from VCF Malate, a small group from VCF QC, Victory Weekend Friends, Training for Victory Friends and a renewed friendship with my ex-boyfriend.
Truly with Him in my life, I could not ask for and want more. His saving love is more than enough.
To date, I am back in a relationship with the ex-boyfriend I referred to in my testimony (after 3 years of being apart) . I can only attest that God has the best intentions. That He is a Father who gives the best gifts. That He allows some things to happen so we could let go of the good/better things that we have settled with and receive the best from Him.