#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast

Ever since I was a child, I have always been a victim of bullying. All kinds of bullying — physical, cyber, or social. Throughout my elementary years, someone would always tease me, throw stones at me, not welcome me into a group, and even make fun of me or make stories about me. Lahat ng judgments. Why? It seems like almost all the illnesses are in me — eczema, dislocation, overweight, asthma. My doctor gave me many restrictions and medications na masakit talaga sa bulsa. I felt like a burden.

Many said, “Hayaan mo sila. Study hard. You will be successful later on.” Or, “Lumaban ka. Huwag kang takot.” It hurts so badly.

High school came, yet still a wreck. Failing grades, broken friendships, bullying, failed family relationships. May rejection pa nga ni Crush. Parang lahat na lang ng kapalpakan nasa akin. I remember, during my fourth year in high school, I got a lot of failing grades. There was one quarter na nakalimang failing grades ako. Because of it, I was considered one of the “doubtful students” in our school. It means that it was unsure whether I would graduate or not. I felt so depressed that I even questioned my existence in life. Tinanong ko rin si God, “Worthy pa rin ba ako? Am I destined to suffer?”

I became an introvert and lost my self-confidence. That was the time na I began to pray harder and ‘yung manalig nang totoo sa Kanya. Unlike dati na lip service only. I even listened to Gospel songs on my phone as my way of praying to Him.

And you know what? HE ANWERED MY PRAYER! I graduated from high school! Despite my unworthiness, sinfulness, and lahat ng pagkukulang ko, He reminded me of His great, limitless, and unconditional love and mercy. Na He does not look at our sins; rather, He looks at our hearts.

As my way of thanking and giving back to Him for all He has done for me, I joined our campus ministry and also started attending The Feast when I got to college. It was also my way of making bawi sa lahat ng kasalanang nagawa ko sa Kanya. My grades got better and I also made new and good friends.

After attending The Feast for almost three years, I became a servant. I met an awesome support group that strengthen bonds together with the Lord. Unlike before where I wouldn’t be welcome into a group, I now have found a place where I feel I belong, where I am loved without judgment.

Despite all the beautiful changes, God gave me another big test. Six months ago, I was operated on due to the patellar dislocation in my right leg. It was so hard since I couldn’t move that much. I had to cancel taking the Licensure Exam for Teachers just for the operation. I was pessimistic at times because of the hardships, but that didn’t stop me from praying and having faith in Him. And God has been so faithful! He helped me survive my six months of recovery. My rehab has just finished this month. :) It was a tough journey, but God was there and He helped me make it through.

There will always be challenges, but I realized that if we pray and continue to have faith in Him whatever happens, victory will always come our way. Suffering is not our destiny. For Him, despite our imperfections, we are worthy to live a victorious life.

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