All of us pray, maybe for the Latest gadget in the market, to win the lottery, to pass their final exams or to just get through the day. We all have different purposes why we pray. Some pray faithfully while others just stop praying because they think they will never be answered. I am the kind of person who easily gets tired praying for my desire/s if I think it will not be answered at all or soon. But, lately, I was moved and I changed after I witnessed God’s faithfulness. He answered one of my oldest prayers.
My mama and her family became Christians when I was 3 years old. She tagged me and my sister along, making us dedicated to God. My papa was okay with the idea that the three of us will go to a “Christian” church, but, from what I remember, he never showed any interest in going with us to Sunday services or to anything related to it.
With literal “child like” faith, I always prayed that my Papa will also accept Jesus. Being the child that I was, I cannot bare the idea that he will not be in heaven with God and our family. My Mama also have the same prayer, that my Papa will also accept Christ as his savior.
My father never lacked anything as a father and a husband. He tried his best to provide for our family and he is super “maasikaso”, he really enjoys cooking and “serving” Tonie and I, especially my Mama. But to be honest, I grew a little scared of him because of reasons that I cannot explain until now. (It might not be that obvious since people think I have a strong personally, to the point that I am not scared of anything or anyone)
When I was around 8 or 9, my father started coming to church with us. I can see him changing but everything was short-lived because our whole family stopped going to church regularly when I was in my early teens. Yes, we backslid. Something that I do not and cannot tell people before.
For years, my family experienced a lot of trials. But instead of going to God or my family, I tried to find the feeling of belongingness and completeness from my friends. But nothing seemed to work. Everyone can see me smiling, but in my heart, I knew that everything within me and around me is not right. I started to feel restless and I started to be consumed by the feeling of emptiness. I know something was missing in my life, and it was God. Someone I knew when I was younger, someone I used to talk to everyday — I wanted to go back to Him but the idea that I did not go to Him for a very long time and tried to find happiness in things other-than-Him, gave me an impression that I am no longer worthy–that I am not good enough.
Despite my doubts and fear, God never gave up on me. A few months after I finished all my units in college (Oct 2010), a friend who just started to attend Sunday services in Victory Greenhills, asked me to come with her – Tonie later came with us. Unfortunately, my friend stopped going to Sunday services in Greenhills since she needed to go to Bicol and be with her family. I believe that God used her to bring me back to Him. Tonie and I was water baptized on the 5th of December 2010.
My Papa, Mama and my aunts, who were overseas, got inspired when they knew that we were baptized and were active in church. They also started to attend Sunday services in the city where they were in.
Last April 2011, my parents flew back to the Philippines for my graduation. My mama went back overseas a month after but my dad stayed here because he needed medical treatment for his severe back pain. Every Sunday, my Papa would come to church with us.
My Papa and I are very much alike. More than the looks (and the similar feet! hahaha), we also share the same habits, temper, behavior, etc. I can say that I am more like him than any other person in the world but we cannot get along. We always have some misunderstandings and it even comes to a point that we do not talk for days.
All the other aspects of my life is great, if not perfect, but my relationship with my own dad is far from that. The situation tells me that we really have a better relationship, but I am continually praying and claiming that God would change my heart and my Papa’s heart. That we can get through a day without fighting, that he can understand me fully and I can grasp him completely, and just love each other.
November 2011 was healing Sunday, my father was forced to attend the service alone (Tonie and I were still at the Single’s retreat in Talisay). During that service, Kuya Bernie (a leader from our church) prayed for him and he invited my Papa to join their victory group. When we got home, My Papa excitedly told us that he already joined a v-group (He thought he is the only one in the church who is not in a v-group). After attending the victory group several times, I saw that my Papa was changing — his mindset and how God has molded him to be a better person, as a father and as a husband.
We started having a great relationship and there are days that I cannot believe what my dad has become, how God changed him, and how he changed me in the process. We now barely fight, we became more expressive with each other’s thoughts and feelings. We can now talk about everything, especially how great God is in our lives and to our family. Now, I have a better relationship with my father, and a better capability to love others and God.
Last January, my Papa broke the news that he will join the March 2012 Victory Weekend. I cannot explain the happiness I felt from that moment on. Just the idea that he will be immersed in water to symbolize that he is now a new creation really makes me emotional.
After a few weeks of one-on-one sessions, 3rd of March came. After my shift (I work at night), I went straight home. I did not sleep or took a nap because I might not get up on time for the water baptism; I really wanted to be there. I just freshened up and went to Greenhills with Tonie.”
While waiting for the Victory weekend participants beside the pool, my friends (especially Ate Lyka and Marbie) were already teasing me and my sister. They kept saying “Iiyak na yan!”. I was busy taking pictures of other participants when I saw my Papa going into the water. I called Jerome Po immediately. We asked him to go to the event because we wanted to make sure that someone will take a picture of my papa. Then I asked Pastor Bojo, if I can also go into the water, he said yes. (To be honest, I will still go into the water even if he said no! 🙂 )
When my Kuya Manny started praying, Jerome Corona started to sing and my friends started to shout “Iiyak na yan!” again. After a minute, I started to cry. I cannot believe that my Papa was going to be water baptized in a moment, 19 YEARS AFTER WE STARTED PRAYING.
I cannot explain the joy in my heart, the faithfulness of God and how He fulfills His promises. How He never forget my prayer when I was little–after all what happened in my life. From that moment on, I have no doubt that everything that God promises to me and to my family will be fulfilled in His time.
God, I will never get tired of seeking you. Thank You for giving me a father who reflects how you love me. I will forever be in awe of You.
He will keep his agreement forever; He will keep his promises always.” Psalms 105:8