Monday, August 12, 2013

God, Bible, and Me

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 

I may not seem like it, but I used to consider myself one of those not very sociable and unpopular girls in school. I have always felt a low sense of confidence. Although I have the greatest friends in the world, no matter how hard they tried to cheer me up, I would always feel lonely and left out. I have always wanted to be friends with most of the girls and boys in my class and be close to them. I want to laugh, play, exchange secrets, and do other things with them. In short, I want to socialize more, be friendlier, and have a good sense of humor (not that I don’t have one).

My hand drawn version of loneliness 
I feel this way probably because, even if I have all the things I ever wanted than some kids my age, deep inside, there is something very valuable missing in my life. I was not contented with the material things I had. My family and friends mean a lot to me, but there's still a void in my heart-- a missing piece yet to be filled or replaced.

Since my Dad went to a foreign country, I was deeply affected by his absence. “Why did you leave us?” was my lonely, unanswered, lingering question. My Mom says that he left for a reason— a good one at that. And that he always loves us. I had faith in him, but that was slowly disappearing day by day. How could he love us, when he’s been away for a very long time? I ask myself. The small hole in my faith for him kept growing bigger as time went by. I cried every night, my heart full of sorrow, breaking into sobs every now and then. I just can’t get over the fact that I am losing him, my only Dad, the only irreplaceable one in my heart. 

Ironically, it is in this phase of longing and loneliness that I had found true joy and new meaning to life. I have decided to move on. I realized I should write my own story, because I have my destiny to make and my own path to take. I can make great things happen in my life, for I have found my ‘real Dad’ in heaven— the answer to my loneliness. I have discovered that the greatest joy of all was God, Himself.

My family taught me about religion since I was a young child, but I still ask myself, “What is true religion?” I have known all these years that I am a Christian. I have studied in Catholic schools and I have learned a lot about God, but I did not know the depth of meaning behind His existence. I knew about sacraments, commandments, the cycle of the liturgical year and all the teachings I hear from attending Holy Mass during Sundays and holidays of obligation. I thought I already know Him, but I was wrong. Yes, I have prayed all the possible prayers and I have sung praises before, and I thought that I have worshiped Him enough, but I was wrong. I have not truly opened my eyes and welcomed God into my heart. I haven’t welcomed Him fully with my love.

It is then that the realization dawned into me. Were my feelings and prayers to God meaningless, and my worshiping utterly useless? I was an unemotional robot all along. I haven’t felt real love towards Him in the beginning. When I read the Bible, and felt the power of God’s love, remorse and regret poured all over me. I asked myself once again, “Why have I only realized it now? Why when, after all these years, when I always knew about God, I have only realized this now?” I was truly ashamed with the thought that my worshiping and praising then seemed like a mockery to God— a mockery to His love.

I had begged forgiveness when I prayed that night. I begged Him to forgive me, so we can both start over again. I was renewed as a true, God-loving Christian. As the days passed by, little by little, I have opened up to Him my deepest sorrows, dreams and longings. I had grown to love Him more and more each day, looking up to Him as a father figure I may not necessarily see, but I know who will always be there for me. Even if God has no physical form, to me, He is always there, watching and guiding me wherever I go. He is also my shoulder to cry on and my best friend. I always share with Him my thoughts, feelings, and stories. 

When I started this fresh new phase in my life, I have also renewed my relationship with the Bible. The Bible is God’s plan of salvation for all of us. What was written in it were Christian teachings and incredible stories about Jesus. Whenever I think of my Dad and needed guidance, I turn to the Bible. I flip to a random page and read what message it has in store for me at that particular moment. And every time, I feel that the message accurately addresses what I need to realize at the moment. It speaks to me in a sense that I will never be able to explain, because it spoke to my heart. It is an amazing book, no wonder it is known to contain ‘the greatest story ever told’.

Sadly, the Bible is often treated like an everyday possession by most Christians. It remains unopened, gathering dust and cobwebs in most homes, waiting to be read. Sometimes people even pile things up on top of it! It is a sacred book meant to be treasured and respected. Most people don’t realize that one of the best ways that God communicates with us is through this book. All we need to do is to open and find out God’s message and reflect. I believe the Bible can change one’s perspective in life, because it changed mine. Try to discover how it will transform yours, today.

My Dad is still away, and I miss him— nothing has changed that fact. But what greatly changed was how I have come to accept that all things happen for a reason, most of the time far beyond our human understanding. We must trust God’s plan and His eternal goodness and wisdom. Just like a father plans grandly for his child’s future, so does our Father in heaven. Imagine how much more can the one who holds all the riches of the entire universe bless His children? Immensely and immeasurably!

God loves you. All you need to do is to reach out, ask, and listen.


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