I have found the answer – I have cried a river and experienced great pain to realize how great God is!
By Angela Alsie Borromeo
I am almost five years in service to God. Yet in my mind, it is still clear how I came to know Him. We are thought to fear God since childhood. And I kept that in my heart ; the holy fear of God and the knowledge that He sees me wherever I am. I even used to think that He records all the things that I do that He dislikes. That is the reason why I lived a ‘limited’ life.
As a child, I had no constant playmate. My older brother and I were left in the house after school when my father and mother are out to work. But usually, my kuya goes out to play and I am the one left playing in a world of my own. During those times, I prayed a lot, introducing my pleas and hardships to God as a child. I even used to ask God to take away all my worries and fears in life. Back then, I cried often and hard – my tears were unstoppable.
Years passed by and we moved to a new house. This was when my father started watching Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path). I saw the show’s opening billboard wherein there were soldiers at war in a cruel place while a classical music played in the background. I was curious as to what the show was about. And so I watched the show and began to adore it. Before I knew it, the show’s wise host, Bro. Eliseo Soriano, accompanied us every night. It was almost as if he was part of the family.
We used to have weekend family gatherings before. I looked forward to every weekend because it was when I saw my relatives and enjoyed good food as well. One weekend, I was surprised to see my jet- setter aunt who arrived with her hair tied up in a bun and wearing a Chinese-collared blouse and a long skirt. I thought to myself, “What happened to her? ” She used to wear very short shorts and haltered tops. My aunt announced that she was already a Christian. She explained that the reason for the great change in her and my uncle was because of Ang Dating Daan. I said to myself, “Okay, some weird things really happen!” But I admit that I look up to her. That is why I became even more curious as to what it’s all about.
One morning came and my father approached me and said, “Let’s get indoctrinated in the Ang Dating Daan.” He also invited my mother, but unfortunately, my mother told him to go ahead without her. On a sadder note, my father decided to put things on hold as well. But although I haven’t voiced out my answer to his invitation, my heart said “Yes, let’s go.”
I was in high school when I experienced great struggles in life. I never knew why my father became mad almost everyday. He was mad about everything and at everyone. I kept on praying to be in a different atmosphere where there is peace. Where there are no pressures or phobias, no pains and fears.
I was a junior high school student when I asked my father to allow me to get indoctrinated in the Members Church of God International. He grabbed my hair with his right hand and pulled it on top of our dining table. I was shocked when he shouted at me saying, “If you come home with your hair still this long, I will cut it until you’re bald!” I used to have long hair, a biblical lesson I learned from when I attended a Bible Expo in Laguna. But because of my father’s threat, I had no choice but to cut it. I felt so sad that day coming home with my new haircut. And it was strange because from that day on, I felt so low. I cried every night.
On the night of my debut, I told myself that my sadness had to stop. I decided to proceed with the mass indoctrination sessions no matter what. It was January 2005 when I started listening to Bro. Eli’s indoctrination videos. I used to call the mass indoctrination as “Step One” since I am used to putting sequences to the things I need to do. “Step one” for mass indoctrination and “Step two” for my holy baptism, and now, I’m currently on “Step N” – the process of getting better in service to God each day. February 4, 2009 marked the big change in my life. It was a fresh start; it was when I left loneliness behind.
Because of my faith, I was prohibited by my father to step inside our house for some time. That is because he wanted me to turn back from what I have believed. He even told me that I have been a fool since I was a child. My father told me that I kept on trying to live a foolish life. I told him, “I accept your decision to abandon me as your child, but your accusing my God as turning my life into sheer foolishness is something that I will never accept.”
“The time I started to love You is the time I started to love myself,” this is what I would always remind myself to remember how it all started and to once again feel that unexplainable feeling of happiness and contentment.
I feel blessed that I have seen the God I used to talk to since I was a kid, the Lord who mediates in spite of all my erroneous works, my leaders who cared and loved me more than my own parents did, my significant other who held on and followed me in service to God, and to the entire brethren who completed my life with God.
I have found the answer – I have cried a river and experienced great pain to realize how great God is! I am blessed and no one could ever contest that. And I pray that God would guide me all the days of my life, that I may be with Him until the end.
Thanks be to God! May His peace and blessings be with us always.