how i came back home

img_7589Last week, I wrote about how I grew apart from God…now, it’s time for the story on how I ran back to Him.

Towards the end of college, I suddenly thought of going back to church – the kind of church that I knew when I was a kid. This was going to be easy because two of my friends are active church-goers. Coincidentally, I needed someone who works in TV stations (for our thesis) and they said that they know one and he goes to their church.

Sadly, this just went on for a month. After getting what I needed for our thesis, I stopped attending again. My friends didn’t bother to drag me to church, they just let me focus on “important” things that needed my time.

I felt bad because I really wanted to go to church. I hated myself that I wasn’t committed enough to it.

I kept the plan in the back of my head. I told myself that I’m going to revisit the idea again when I’m finally really ready.

I graduated from college in 2009. Got my first job a couple of months after then left that job in 2011. After that, it was one unsatisfactory job after another until the end of that year. During these times, I even abandoned my thinking that I should just believe and pray to God.

However, out of desperation to have a stable job by the coming 2012, I called on Him again. I laid out what I wanted for 2012 before Him – I said I want a job where I could jumpstart my life as a young professional, a job where I would stay for some time. I prayed about that repeatedly all December of 2011 and it worked! After the New Year, I got a job interview and I started my new job the following week.

I stayed in that job for three years. During these years, I didn’t talk to God again (well, there are occasional times when I did like when I asked Him to please allow me to watch my favorite artist in Seoul).

It was only in 2015 when I did again. I asked for almost the same thing I did back in December 2011 – a new job, a job where I can stay for a very long time. Like before, He gave me what I prayed for.

However, it seemed that from 2012, God had been planning for my return. In that year, He put a girl in my life. I didn’t know who she was at first. It was a friendship that really took time to develop. I laid my eyes on her towards the end of 2012 and only managed to establish an easygoing kind of friendship during 2014.

This girl turned to God when she broke up with her boyfriend in November 2015. She became a Christian. In the middle of 2016, she asked me if we could have a deeper and closer friendship – something I don’t really offer too anyone (a story for another time). I agreed and it was chaos right after that.

Opening up caused me to feel insecure, anxious and depressed. I blamed her for all those emotions. Yet, she repeatedly told me to turn to God. To really believe in God. However, despite doing what she told me right away, I was compelled more to not do it. I was feeling pressured and it wasn’t right. I told myself that if I’m going to reach out to God in totality this time, I’m going to do it because I was doing it on my own free will not because my friend was urging me to do it.

So, I asked for some space. During the distance and time the two of us were not talking much, that’s when I started doing devotions again. I didn’t tell her this. I kept it to myself for some time. I want to get used to everything without her looming over me. Fortunately, it worked.

Now, I’m doing three devotions, reading articles about God, praying a lot, going to cell groups and accepting invitations to attend church. I have never felt more alive than now.

and i’m alive

img_8518I was sliding. There was nothing to hold onto. The rocks were smooth and wet. No rough edges could stop me from going straight down. I already pictured what would happen. Then, I silently and loudly called, “Lord!” Just then, everything stopped.

My friends from work went for a climb at Mt. Balagbag (Rodriguez, Rizal) yesterday. It was an easy climb. It was more of a trek actually. Still, it was tiring. Walking up a hill isn’t easy anyway if you didn’t grow up in such a place.

After the climb, we went to one of the nearby waterfalls. I think it was called “Otso-Otso.” There were a lot of people in the front so we headed up to look for a spot where we could relax.

I took pictures of the falls with one of my friends while the others are already dipping in the water. Then, we called them to swim where the falls is so that it would be more fun. The water was cold but refreshing. We took pictures with someone’s GoPro (I put my phone aside with my friend’s so that it won’t fall on the water) and joked around.

Then, it was time to go.

I climbed back up from the water. I was wet all over. I put on my slippers and picked up my phone along with my friend’s phone and watch. Then, I headed carefully to where my stuff is with my hands were both occupied – my left hand was holding a monopod where my phone was attached and my right hand was holding my friend’s phone and watch. Then, it happened.

I slipped. On the rocks. By the edge of the waterfalls.

My butt landed on a rock and I felt myself sliding down. The rocks were very smooth and there were no rough edges to stop my fall. My head was filled visions of the next chain of events – I would roll down along the rocks, bump my head against them and land on the shallow cold water. I didn’t reach the part of how I would look like after all that. I just immediately called on the one being that could possibly help me – God.

My heart called for Him. Upon the first cry, it was like the time froze. I wasn’t sliding anymore. I was shocked in disbelief.

A friend of mine rushed to my side. She clung onto my right arm, hoping and trying to keep me in place. However, there was no need for that anymore. I was already safe. Everyone was shouting something, but I just told them to calm down. I felt like I would really fall if they kept on their loud voices.

Stupidly, my first concern was the stuff in my hands. I looked on my left where my phone was. It got detached from my monopod, but luckily it was still plugged into the cord. It was hanging there on the edge. I immediately handed it over to my friend who was beside me as well as the other phone and watch in my other hand.

Free from everything, I got up on my feet. On my own.

The back of my ankles were hurting and so was my butt. However, I was all fine. No wounds or even scratches. I was alive.

Usually, such incidents would leave me high on adrenaline. I’m a thrill seeker and that should’ve been a perfect thrill. However, I was scared. For the first time, the thing that would usually excite me scared me. Scared me so much that I called on God.

I couldn’t help but be amazed. God heard me and He was really there. He was the one who kept me in place when I should’ve went straight to my end. He was also the one who told me to stand up. He saved me – literally – and it was overwhelming.