I was born into a Christian family in the Philippines. Praising Jesus was just a part of our life, like waking up and going to sleep. There was laughter, a genuine love through good times and bad, and respect for God that I admired.
I had a painful early childhood. I was abused at an early age and didn’t know how to process it. We moved to London in the UK when I was 6. I was referred to Trinity Church through one of my dad’s colleagues and close family friend. I was painfully shy and never wanted to join the other kids in Sunday school. I stayed in the main hall and listened intently to the sermons. By the time I was a teenager, I knew I loved Jesus and that He loved me but I had questions. I’d pray so hard, some nights asking, “Are you there, God? Can you hear me? Could You be MY Saviour?”
Years later, I ended up joining the Friday Youth Club for teens and that gave me the courage to join their Sunday classes. Our teachers were the daughters of the friends who introduced us to the church. Vida Mae and Barbara Joy.
When we were confirmed, our teachers said they would pray over us all to call on God’s promise of each believer being baptized with the Holy Spirit. I remember two of my friends started to speak in tongues. I was scared and excited at the same time experiencing this. Something we had only read in the Bible was happening right before our eyes. But there was that silent doubt in my mind that came from the same question I had asked God before I asked Him into my life and heart. “Was I good enough?”
When teacher Barbara went to Uganda for missionary work, she was in a fatal road accident. Her family’s faith were a testimony of God’s love and grace to us all. I volunteered to help Vida Mae, lead the youth group on Sundays. I love teaching, so I continued to teach and use my gift help others until this day.
I had many opportunities to be water baptized, but I hesitated. At first, I thought I didn’t need to be, but there was a quiet voice of doubt every time I thought of it. At Cornerstone, I heard a different perspective on Baptism. It typically follows a personal choice to believe in Jesus as your Saviour and Master. Acts 2:41 says, “Those who believed… were baptized…” You mean, I didn’t have to prove that I was deserving of being baptized?. Oh.
I came to Cornerstone Church in 2020, during the start of this pandemic. While my husband was deployed as a nurse in the local ICU, I found out about his infidelity. We separated and are still dealing with that. My therapist connected me to Pastor Andrew. God gave us a fellowship, a faith-based community. I joined a Small Group and consider it’s members some of my closest friends and Brothers and Sisters. I’ve even followed my calling and volunteered to help in the Parenting Ministry, and Youth Ministry. But even in the midst of doing all that, there was still something missing. These past 2 years have strengthened my faith in ways I couldn’t have imagined. When I say, I trust the Lord with ALL of my heart as my favourite Bible verse goes: “ Trust in the Lord with ALL of your heart..”– Proverbs 3: 5-6: NOW, I know that God wants us to REALLY trust Him with ALL our heart – EVEN WHEN things are going remarkably and painfully wrong, EVEN WHEN my whole world is crumbling all around me….Even when my children are in pain.. Even when I’m about to lose my home, and my parents are sick, and we’re thousands of miles away from family, and Covid-19 – I trust Him. I know that Jesus’ plans are there to prosper us, and to give us hope, and not to harm us – because I vow to seek His will (Jeremiah 29:11-13) for the rest of my life.
But there was something still missing. A piece of a puzzle I couldn’t figure out, UNTIL I registered and joined Pastor Jeremy’s “Living Into Your Identity” workshop. I discovered the missing piece – I named Satan’s Lie. The one he whispered into my life from a very young age. The enemy used that same lie over and over again through the very people who were supposed to love me and my own thoughts, to tell me I wasn’t good enough. I was focusing on the pain they’d caused me rather than the TRUTH that God gave, and continues to give me. A TRUTH that says, I AM UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED. I AM A VICTORIOUS CHILD OF GOD. The pain lifted, and I got it! Jesus dying for me on the cross, is the ultimate expression of unconditional love. It’s so humbling. It’s that love that reminds me that even when bad things happen, and there are times when I want to give up, or lash out in retaliation, I’m reminded that HE never gave up on me. And His resurrection and love made US victorious over the the enemy’s lies. We ARE ENOUGH. We are forgiven and we are valuable in Jesus’ name. I chose to be baptized because this is a new chapter in my spiritual journey in Christ.
– THANK YOU. God Bless you all.