We grew up from a remote area in one of the barangays of the sitios of our town where carabaos were our playmates, the well as our faucet, the forest as our comfort rooms, the banana leaves as our paper, the broom stick as our pencil, the net bag as our bag and the full moon as our fluorescent. We were blessed to have our two feet as our means of transportation and a shanty in which we consider our home. The banana trees were our sofa, a soft place to reflect on and dreamed over what we want when we grow up. The neighbors and relatives were our masters because we voluntarily sold ourselves as slaves even if we don’t want to. We were subjects of criticisms, ridiculed, laughed at, and scorned because of too much aspirations. Me, being the eldest, my only dream is to see my brother and sisters living a luxurious kind of life. My constant prayers are for them to be protected from the wiles of the enemy, to be protected from the harshness of this world, and to be protected from the meanness of people who thinks they have the edge in life. We were never perfect growing up. We loved and hated each other a lot. But only us can feel what each others feel because we have been together although we are apart.
I wish I right away pursue the dreams God has for me. But. No. I didn’t. For 16 years, I was lost in what I thought was a great relationship with God only to wake up one morning and realized that I was again used and abused no longer in the roughness of life but on the cover up of what I think was a great relationship with God. I turned my back from the very people who inspired me, mainly my brother and sisters in the name of calling leaving them sailing all by themselves. I left them in exchange of strangers I considered my brothers and sisters. I lost the passion that I had to help them because I was so into pleasing the people who always insist that the voice of the man of God is the voice of God. I knew that it was nothing but cultic but in the name of loyalty, foolishly, I stayed.
It took a constant hearing of the Word of God and a real conviction of the love of God that breaks me out of religion. That God loves me enough whether I am working full time or not. That God loves me as I help my family. That He loves me whether I do Bible studies or not. That He called me to simply be me whether people likes me or not.
The greatest realization thereof is knowing that the very people whom I left behind are the very people who stayed with me. They may seemed silent but they right away mended the broken pieces of me. They were silently hurt but they voiced their love of support.
And guess what? The very people I considered family, the people who shouted and texted their I love you’s to me were silent when I was in the darkest hours of my life. I wish to really live in the place of regret over how foolish I was to right away believe but how non-sense it is looking back when there is more sense to live in the City of Hope.
And now, waking up, I am thankful for God’s power to break religion out from my system, to let me see what really matters and to let me realize that there is more to God than to the religious activities we equaled as being intimate with God.
“May each of you find your worth in the God who called you as you and love the people who has been with you since birth. The truth is, strangers love are too shallow. They will say I love you because they can get something from you but when your world turns upside down, you will see, that the one’s left staying with you are the people you once ignored, Family”