My parents used to force me and my siblings to go to church all the time. And we just never really wanted to go. I didn’t want to go to church and sit in service for 2 long hours and listen to the pastor preach about something I have no idea what he is saying. I would skip service with my friends and we’ll go hang out at the park. Sometimes we’d go for so long that church was over and we’d get in shit from our parents. I was in high school. I didn’t know much except go to school and try to get good grades to please my Dad, go on the computer every day for hours to chat with friends, and take the bus and go to the mall with $10 in my pocket.
I came from a Christian family for as long as I can remember. I didn’t know how to believe in God. I felt like every attendance at bible study and Sunday church days were all by force. Of course, I know that there is a God, I just never asked my parents or anyone “How do I believe in God” or “Who is God really” and “How do I know he’s Real”. These are some tough questions if you were like me not knowing anything and having to convince yourself that you do believe only what your parents believe. My parents always told us to pray before we eat, pray before we go to bed, and thank him for all the great things we have in life. I remember at one point being so stressed with school and my Dad said to me “Find God first, then everything else will come into place”. But how do we feel and know that God is there?
Seven years ago when I just started college, I was in a relationship where things weren’t doing so good. It was an unhealthy, unstable, and violent relationship. Most of us girls once in our lives, have dated a guy that we were so in love with and we couldn’t see anything else but HIM, even though shit was rocky AF and were so blinded that nothing else matters except the love that we think we had or we already know that it’s not good for our soul and we still want the relationship to work out because we fear of the unknown, what comes next. So back to what I was talking about, what was it that I wanted to save this relationship even though things were going so wrong?? Everything just felt so negative. I even prayed to God to help make this relationship WORK! Crazy isn’t it when you’re so young, naive, and all you wanted to know was what you think you needed but actually was the other way around. But as the days and time went on, nothing changed and everything was still in the exact same spot.
One day we broke up. I was completely devastated, heartbroken and felt as if my heart was ripped right out from my chest. It was the hardest break up I had to go through and I was not aware of this feeling at all. I was losing control of myself and I would cry every single day. I couldn’t focus on school. I felt like I didn’t really know where or who to turn to. I didn’t feel like venting out to my friends either, because they’re probably annoyed of hearing my same old love story.
One day alone in my room balling my eyes out, I opened up the Bible and started reading. I prayed so hard and begged God that night to give me one more chance with this guy because I wanted “closure”. I didn’t feel complete about the relationship ending in such a sudden. It was so hard to let go just because of fighting all the time. This was honestly the first prayer I’ve ever asked so hard for from the bottom of my heart. And honestly, it was like God heard me. He heard every word out of my mouth and heard all of my cries that the next day, my boyfriend at the time called me and I jumped with surprise. We came back together and worked things out.
Within a while of being together, I finally knew where things were going. I felt like a different person after reaching out to God. I knew I wasn’t meant to live in this kind of lifestyle; negative, gloomy, limited, strict, and most importantly and especially I couldn’t be MYSELF. When I was in that relationship, I had low self-esteem, I was always so worried, I felt insecure, I didn’t have freedom and those kind of feelings are so unhealthy to live with. I felt distant from my family and my friends and I didn’t want to live in that kind of lifestyle every day and therefore I knew that I could make a change to not waste my time and live like this because being in an unhealthy relationship can really affect your productivity and drains down your mood.
From there on, the relationship ended. It was a mutual break up. I finally made a decision and sadly, heartbrokenly, yet strongly told myself EFFF this. It was extremely hard, yes I still cried every day, yes I was lonely, yes I felt like failing, BUT that was when I turned to God. Some people come to their beliefs in different ways and there are some who seek God and find him during their darkest times. And why during those dark times? Because if we were just living life day by day we wouldn’t seek out for God. That was my first encountering with God and I knew he was there with me throughout that rough time.
Ever since that day and on, my belief in God has become stronger than ever. My relationship with God came to another level that I have never ever imagined or thought of before. I learned that to receive your blessing is to be “Patient”, and it absolutely does not happen overnight. After that relationship ended, every single day I always prayed for happiness and success in anything that I choose to do or whatever that comes in my path. If you truly want something, you have to keep asking and he will give it to you! Don’t give up! GREAT things take time! And the beautiful strange thing is, God may not even give you what you’ve been asking for, he will take it away and exchange you with something that is way more meaningful to your needs than you have ever imagined. Why? Because God knows what is exactly meant for us. I prayed so hard to be with my boyfriend at the time, but I didn’t end up with him. Instead, God took away my WANT and replaced me with what I NEEDED. Which was “SELF LOVE”. I learned to put my feelings first and I learned to see my worth because I didn’t see that at all. I learned to not fear anything or anyone who comes or goes out of my life. After that relationship, I learned about God and I learned about Myself, Who I Am. I took a lot of time alone reflecting on myself and finding peace. And now to look back, I’m so glad I got out of that relationship because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have what I have right now. Self Love is the key to happiness. To know who you are, what you want, and your purpose is so valuable. Once you figured this out, the right things will come to you. You’ve learned to grow a backbone, you’ve learned to set your standards and you learned to set your own priorities. You attract what you are and being positive with yourself, you will attract positivity.
Not only I learned how to be stronger and found where I wanted to be, but I was also able to focus more on myself rather than fixing broken pieces that were meant to be that way since I had God I felt more confident in doing things around me. Most people who knew me from growing up, I was the one who never challenged myself and the slowest minded person. I was the quietest and shyest person you’ll ever meet. Every job or education course, I always took the easiest and the most comfortable routes I know I would be with. I always avoided a challenge that I knew would come my way. I never tried because I was too afraid of failing but little did I know that failing actually meant gaining.
I was afraid of letting go of a bad relationship and I was so afraid of doing big things for myself. When I started reaching out to God, everything felt so different and in such a better view. Then I realized the only person you should be afraid of losing is only You. Why worry about someone else so bad when you are the best thing you could ever work on and be proud of!
During college and after my relationship ended, was where I had a turning point and told myself time to get my shit together, get myself together and stop caring so much. Ever thought to yourself you just had enough and needed to just get the hell out of your comfort zone? Being shy, self-doubt and lack of confidence were what bothered me so much. A couple of years ago, I came across this book called “Painfully Shy- How to overcome social anxiety and reclaim your life” written by Barabara G. Markway. As soon as I saw this book, the title itself stole my attention and I purchased this book right away because it was calling my name! If it’s you, I recommend it.
Before this was never me and now, I don’t look at a situation or a new opportunity that didn’t or did work out like it was a bad idea or out of guilt. It’s definitely trial and error. Or being with the wrong person, things can change. I wasn’t happy where I was before and to that, I prayed and talked to God every single day that I learned that his way of sending us messages from my experience is through people and signs. I never really talked to anyone about my feelings during this phase, I only talked to God and honestly, he was the best Friend I could have ever asked for and had.
After I found God, I was able to do things that scared me. And my Dad was right. Find God first then everything else will follow. When I found God, I found Myself. When I found Myself, I made better choices.