Do you feel like everything in your life is messy, empty and nothing makes sense? I’m here to tell you that you are not alone.
As the youngest in the family, I grew up as a spoiled brat, “mataray”, “maarte” and “waray batasan." I was selfish, and thought the world only revolved around me. I did not know how to care for other people. I was also anti-social and had a hard time making friends and connecting with people. I was shy and had a very low self-esteem back then. During my childhood, although I knew I was pampered and loved by my parents, I also knew that my family was not perfect. When I was 12 I’ve witnessed how my parents quarelled every day and it was in those times that my father could no longer provide for our needs. My parents’ relationship got worse, and they separated when I was 13 in the year 2012, and my mom died the year after. It was the darkest and hardest time of my life. I felt like I was alone and I had no one to run to. It was when I started to engage in worldly things just to ease the pain and loneliness. I engaged in early relationships, which would only last for months as I could not truly commit, and does not have any idea what love is, and truth be told I only did it so I could have someone who could make me feel special and appreciated. Also, because of my hatred and resentment towards the people I blamed for what happened to my mom and my family, I also started to have anger management issues. Most of the time I would throw things and say hurtful words whenever I am mad or irritated. If I were to describe my old self, I would say I was dirty, broken, lost, evil, selfish, and cold-hearted person.
It was in the year 2015 when I received Christ as my personal Lord and Savior through Dream Quest International which is a dedicated organization in helping young people like me to reach our full potentials. Eventually, I got plugged in to a church and in a lifegroup. Although, I claimed myself as a Christian I was still self-centered, and my hatred and anger issues were still there. Last April of 2018, I failed to pass from my dream course in my dream university. Things didn’t go the way I planned them to be. I can vividly remember how my heart was shattered into pieces because the God I thought was true didn’t answered my prayer. I questioned God’s sovereignty. My anger towards everything pent-up. In June 2018, results from LNU spread online but I could not see my name. I was again feeling heart broken and utterly devastated. But God showed me how faithful He is that day when I saw my name on the list posted in the school. I remember going home praising His name, and in awe of His greatness.
I made a lot of realizations with that experience. I realized how I have been living on my own, that I have not fully committed my life to God. That this life I have is not mine, my life is meant to give glory to the One who created me - God. I have realized that I exist not for my own, but my life is meant to be lived for the fulfillment of God’s purpose in me, and that is to share God’s love to others. It was in that moment too when I realized in my heart that I needed someone to rescue me from my distress, misery, troubled heart, loneliness, life without purpose, and that I needed God in my life. From a life of so much chaos, I was now able to see God’s hand reaching out to me and telling me, "my Daughter Jellian, you have suffered enough and it is time to let go or your hurts and pain and allow me to bring out my purpose in You." Looking back now, I could not see any reason why God would still want someone like me to be His child yet because of His grace and abounding love, He always sees the best in me, even when all I saw was all the worst in me.
Knowing Christ and accepting Him as my personal Lord and Savior has been the most amazing thing I ever did. Since then I learned not to conform to the pattern of this world, to always fix my eyes on Him no matter what. In Him I have found the love I have been searching, to learn to wait and to reserve myself to the one He has prepared for me. I have learned through His Word that my identity is built on Christ and it is He who defines who I am. He taught my heart to be kind, gentle and how to care for His people which led me to take up Bachelor of Science in Social Work.
Being in a lifegroup taught me how to socialize with people. Serving God through a ministry took a huge part in molding my self-esteem and where I should place my confidence. He also taught my heart to forgive the people that I have once blamed for my pain, something I never thought would happen. Without God, I would never be the kind of person I am now. Indeed, He is the only one who can truly transforms us. Soli Deo Gloria!
Jellian Rose Mercado-Susaya
Leyte Normal University
Bachelor of Science in Social Work