This is a story of faith – a story of how the renewal of my faith has helped me find the will to live.

*Note: may come off as hypocritical to some*

I am in no way near being able to solve the problems I have created for myself over the past years that blew up in my face hard last year, but no dwelling on details here. All I have done is to take a step forward – beginning with forgiving myself… or at least, in the process of. Like I said, this is a story of faith.

I’ve always been religious, always had a relationship with God that was more like a best friend I can bother anytime. The fact that I attended a (very) strict Catholic school for girls in High School built this relationship. I was no saint, I had my fair share of sins even then, but God started being my person. I talked to Him so much, especially when my grandmother, who was my wall and pillar, passed.

God helped me through college too. In my senior year I faced my biggest hurdle yet – that fight for my graduation, and I swear this is one of my favorite stories, but God showed up and fought for me. He only sent me one message and that was to believe in Him. Thankfully I was too focused on my cries that I heard it loud and clear: “believe in me”, and He delivered.

Now looking back, I know it was when I moved to the UAE that I completely traversed the wrong path that would further lead me into this situation. I fell in love – hard. I built a life that I shouldn’t have, but still did. When faced with the question of why, to this date, I have no answers. I just did. I justified every wrong move and decision, every hurt, pain, and lie with “love”. I am not here to badmouth the guy, it was an 80-20 bad and good. The choice was mine. It was wrong, but with my justifications, felt right.

It ruined me.

The decisions I made lead to my downfall. The love I thought would be enough suddenly wasn’t. All the bad decisions were what they were – bad. What started to surface was the unconditional love of my parents, hell, did I take that for granted.

The guy tried to stick around during my lowest, but he was so used to me pulling us both up that it didn’t work. I remember a conversation a couple months before the complete downfall:

What if I can’t hold us together anymore and I fall?

But you can’t, because you’re the stronger one. I won’t know what to do.

I crumbled into pieces. I had no idea how to get up. A fall I did not expect, could not have prepared for. I was so convinced I would continue to drown. I felt so alone, for I have successfully burned all my bridges and no one would dare get to me. For the first time in my life, I felt so helpless, and all the good I did in the world wouldn’t even come close to the bad that I have done. I just wanted to quit, having maxed out everybody around me, I was alone.

And then God called me home.

He sent people I never expected, and brought me home. 9 months ago, I saw Him again after so many years. He reminded me that He was my person, that He never left.

(This is where it gets hypocritical for some who might read this. And it’s not my goal to persuade you to believe.)

Everybody says it’s a process, and now I know what they mean. I am able to write this now, albeit difficult and accompanied with a bucket-load of tears, but if I were to even try this 9 months ago, I won’t know what to say.

I spent a lot of time coming to church on Wednesdays to worship, only to end up crying among a sea of strangers and being comforted by His presence assuring me that one day, it will be a tiny bit better. He reminded me that no matter how much I have sinned and how much I felt that the world has turned it’s back on me, He will be with me in every step. I was introduced to people whom without judgement accepted me, and see beyond the sins. They know me, they know my story, but they keep assuring me that I am greater than my sins. I have a purpose, I am forgiven. God’s love is so much bigger.

It is a process. I have gotten so far from where I used to be, and still too far away from even rebuilding what I broke, but I am positive that I will one day get there. It is a heavy feeling to be carrying around all the time to date, but I am not carrying it alone.

This is a story of faith. Had I not opened up my heart, mind, eyes and ears to His calls – I am not sure where I would be right now. My faith has lifted me up, and will continue to.

“Who am I that the highest King would welcome me?
I was lost but He brought me in. Oh His love for me…
Who the Son sets free, oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God, yes I am

Free at last, He has ransomed me, His grace runs deep
While I was a slave to sin, Jesus died for me
In my Father’s house, there’s a place for me
I’m a child of God, yes I am

I am chosen, not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me, not against me
I am who You say I am”

If you are reading this and you are one of the many people I have hurt, I am sorry. I am trying, and if you can’t forgive me still, I respect that.

Of friends and trials

Funny when you reach a point in your life that you are at your lowest, how you truly discover who the real ones are and those who are just there, well, for their own reasons.

If you are in a bad situation, and have actually approached all of those you consider your friends and not a single one of the capable ones is willing to help, who do you turn to? They say do unto others what you would like others do unto you. This is specifically true, proven, “others” will do the same for you, not the ones you expect to.

Friends, there should be a clearer definition of friends. Friends are those who are actually there beside you in moments when you really have nothing and no one, and those who don’t desert you, those who will never judge and try their hardest to understand. Agreeing is one thing, but understanding is another. If you have someone who understands you and your actions regardless of what they may be, and will be willing to help you until the end, then you have found yourself a true friend. Steer away from selfish people, who only think about themselves especially in moments where you doubt yourself.

There are times when I just want to stop thinking and make like a ball and stay in one corner where no one will ask me what my plans are, and isolate myself from the universe… but if I do that, the world won’t stop would it? My responsibilities won’t stop with me. It’s always easier to quit and give up, but what good will that do?

So, I pray. I pray for strength and for clarity. I pray for help. I pray that somewhere out there something is just going to come and happen that will make things better. That is our best weapon, faith in prayer.

Be wise, be kind. Eventually tables will turn, and you will be reaping rewards of being kind.