“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
I’ve been a Christian all my life (usual story, Catholic since birth, went to non-secular schools), but I didn’t really put much thought into what it really means until 5 years ago. I was stuck at that spiritual crossroads for half a decade until I finally had to choose the path where I was led by the Spirit to continue my walk of faith.
After a severely harrowing experience early this year, I found myself attending Victory again. Contrary to how I dealt with my problems before, I ran towards God this time. I was desperate to know Him so that I can understand why I had to experience that much pain. Was it a punishment for being imperfect? A test that I have to endure because I am called for a greater purpose? And if He chooses not to answer these questions, then I just wanted to feel the peace only He can give that surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
I’m grateful that there are people in my life that went the extra mile/s to help me with my walk. After numerous Facebook chats, coffee dates, One2One sessions, attending services, I was certain that I would like to publicly confess my faith through water baptism. Special thanks to my friend Jan who conducted my One2One, partnered with me in the weekend retreat and of course, helped pastor (Coach) Rob with my baptism. Thus, now I call her Jan The Baptist. :p You know, in reference to John The Baptist, the cousin of Jesus Christ who baptized him in the Jordan River. The time when the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.” (Luke 3:21-22)
So if it happened thousands of years ago, why is it still important now? First, it is a move from death to life. It’s a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Our being submerged into the water identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb, and His resurrection after 3 days. Second, it confirms a brand new and blessed life. It’s a symbol of a new life with God. Baptism is like a wedding ring, an overt symbol of the commitment you made to be a follower of God. Also, as the Word tells us to baptize believers “…into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, (Matthew 28:19) then it confirms our position in Christ and affirms the blessings of the Father on us as his children.
If you’re asking me if my life has been smooth sailing since this decision, sorry to disappoint you with the truth, but NO. :p We weren’t promised a storm-free life, but a storm-proof one. The difference from my life before and now is that I am absolutely sure now that God has my back. I am still a sinner, but everyday I am motivated to be more like Jesus. I can only do this through His abundant grace, for if left on my own, I cannot transform myself. I am sooooooo far from the woman I believe that He wants me to become, but I know deep in my heart that I have been called for a purpose, therefore, he will work things out for my good (Romans 8:28) .
I also believe that He doesn’t call the qualified. Instead, he qualified the called. I am in the process of knowing Him more. I started taking Foundations Classes in Victory Katipunan (Layo noh? Doon ako tinawag for some reason eh kahit na nasasaktan ako sa lugar na ‘yon. Hehe, pero obey lang!) and hanging out with friends (Hello to my VG in Makati!) who are in love with God.
I’d like to end this entry with the note that came with the gorgeous sunflowers that my friend Charm sent to me as a (spiritual) birthday gift. I am truly humbled that there’s a God who can give me beauty for ashes. There’s a God who hears and answers my prayers (quickly when He deems fit), in fact, I wrote on my prayer journal the morning before I received those blooms, “Jesus, penge naman ng bonggang surprise. Lambing lang po.”:) and BOOM!! He showed me His lambing through the thoughtfulness of my friend from Singapore. There is indeed nothing impossible with God. ‘Yan ang specialty Niya. I once told someone that I had a difficult time motivating, “Problems aren’t forever” and I got a reply “You’re right, but I don’t know when my problems will end.” If given a chance to talk to this person again, I will tell him that He is loved by the Architect of the Universe… the Ultimate Manager of Time. With this wisdom, how can one not trust Him completely and follow His ways?
I am excited to see the plans and promises He has for me to come to pass! I hope that you get to experience His presence in your life especially if you haven’t surrendered your life to Him yet. And I also hope that His plans and promises for you will be revealed clearly as you get to know Him more.
I invite you to visit http://victory.org.ph/ . If you live or work in Makati (or you feel like you have a calling in Makati), you may also visit http://victorymakati.org/ or http://facebook.com/victorymakati .