I grew up healthy, all those things I want? I get it right away. I grew up with enough love and support from those people who are closest to my heart. I grew up according to my parents’ plans for me. But not until I hit puberty—an early teen stage I may say.
I met friends, some of them turned out to be my best friend. I hang out with them, we even shared memories. I explored my teenage life with those people. By that time, I really enjoy being that “free and wild spirited girl”. My family’s fine, my grades are fine, my friends are cool, nothing to worry about! Everything ran smoothly.
It felt so fine. I was focused to occupy myself with adventures without knowing that my family’s fate will turn upside down. One roller coaster-like twist I never expected to experience. A usual family issue hits us—financial thing. It was the hardest among the financial issues we had, a heart-shattering season. I was young and immature. So how did I respond to it? “Ah, forget about it and let’s enjoy our time being young and drink those problems away!”
I used different people to forget the burden of our family’s crisis. The girl who once knew as a daddy’s girl turned out to be the one who hated his own father. I end up looking for a “family” outside our home. I looked for people who will give love and support just like how I want to be loved and supported.
But, I failed.
After jumping from different people to some group of friends, all I gained was nothing but regrets and heartbreaks. The more people I tried to open myself into, the more I see myself lower than I used to be.
Self-esteem? Gone. Self-confidence? Zero. Respect and value for myself? Dead.
Even though things around and inside me went worse, I never had the guts to let my academics be put to waste. As I throw myself into different kinds of temporary happiness, I maintained to get good grades in school. At least, something I can be proud of myself – learning how to balance academics and “party” life.
Looking back to my early and middle teenage years, all I can see is regrets, pain, and suffering. Yes, I enjoyed so much. Yes, I met a lot of people. Yes, I built unconditional kinds of friendship. Yes, I was that “young girl” seizing her life despite her problems. Yes, I was happy, but purely and utterly lost.
I’m a lost sheep of a Great Shepherd. I didn’t realize that, not until curiosity hits my idle mind.
I guess it was His idea to call me in my idleness. I got curious, and then I got thirsty. It was one Friday during a summer season when I first met Him – when I first felt Him, and heard Him. I even got melted by His loving touch. Before, I knew that I’m one tough girl, that I can make it through without anybody’s help, that I can be my own superhero. But, it was Him who told me about the Truth. He helped me realize that no one can ever save themselves in this falling world full of altered minds and hearts. It was His job, His own mighty power to save and transform us.
It has been two years ago since that day, a lot of things has changed. A lot of people left—letting me realize that they are not supposed to contribute in my growth. A lot of people stayed—knowing that they will help me appreciate myself even more. Two beautiful years with Him and there is no ordinary day that I would not feel His presence; His mighty love and mercy.
To You, who called me out of the darkness; who brings light and love.
To You, who never saw me as a wrecked and dirty one.
To You, who consider all people as holy and loved.
To You, who cleansed me—who washed away my sins, my past life, my mistakes, my regrets, my anger, my guilt, and my shame.
To You, who made me brand new—whiter than a snow.
To You, who makes me feel valuable—precious than any stone.
To You, who treats me as His holy child; His masterpiece, His princess.
To You, who forgives so that I can forgive.
To You, who loves so that I can love.
To You, who comforts so that I can comfort others.
To You, who did everything just to have me again.
To You, only You, who made me fall in love with my life all over again.
It made me break down on my knees whenever I think of how I let others manipulate my early life, how I let them dictate how will I live, how will I treat myself or even how will I think or act. I didn’t believe enough that He has the power and authority to do everything.
Someone died for me. While I am sinning, doing all those immature things, enjoying young, wild and free life, Someone literally died for me. It took a little while for me to digest it; to let it sink in. It was real. While I was enjoying but desperately chasing different people, searching for the real happiness, I did not know that there is Someone who is so willing to show how He died for His people. Even now, as I write this, it still made me cry.
I’m on my early 20s and I know that there are so many things waiting ahead of me. Looking back to my old and rusty life, I couldn’t thank God more for saving me. His saving Grace is more than enough. He is more than enough! I don’t know where I am now if I haven’t answered His call. I couldn’t thank God more for giving me a fresh start—a brand new life I’ve been always trying to get on my own ways.
If someone will ask me if I still have regrets from my early teenage years? I would say partly yes, and partly no. Yes, because I have wasted so many years that I should have spent with Him. No, because those wrong decisions and actions made me appreciate more of His saving grace. Without those failures, I don’t think that I can appreciate the Grace I have found right now.