Pressing forward with faith is not always easy. How do you keep the faith when everything seems lost? Here is a story of a young woman and her example of being positive despite the challenges in her life.
I became a member of the church when I was 8 but I was a product of a broken family. My dad, being away from me most of the time, and then my mom, left me when I was still at the age wherein I just learned how to walk. Growing up on a very poor extended family with no mother and mostly no dad in a very challenging neighborhood made me become so prone to many of my worst experiences in life as a kid. Not much of an emotional support system, bullied all the time, and was abused emotionally and physically. I remembered asking myself: Mahal ba ako ni Heavenly Father? Bakit ko naranasan ang mga trials at an early age? Bakit kasi di ako belong sa family katulad ng mga tao na nakikita ko sa church?
I remember how envious I was the time when I just got into young women seeing my other young women friends so happy sitting with their families during sacrament while me, being the girl who has lots of insecurities and wanted to be accepted. But then there’s this night that I told Heavenly Father in one of my unforgettable prayers that I wanted to be close to Him, expressed my desires to choose happiness and a better life, serve others and have a good eternal family someday. I prayed for help to always remember to choose Him all the time. I attended the church and pay attention to the lesson every Sunday. I started to attend seminary and then I attended the institute. I Started to read the scriptures and my patriarchal blessing more often. I pray whenever I can. I choose to repeat the two previously mentioned deeds on some of my tumbling moments in my journey through those years. Then I made sure I’d finish my bachelor’s degree as an RN. Soon enough, God was very supportive to give me the hair strand-like opportunity to come here in the states and helped me passed my license so I can enjoy one of the most rewarding job. My life did get way much better but even after these blessings, I’m keeping my promise in trying my best to choose Him. I Indulge into the scriptures, wholesome materials and songs. I have helped numerous people in whatever way I can and then have finally made the best decision yet, and that is to be a temple ordinance worker at age 26. I know that if I continue to choose Him I will be married in the temple for all time and eternity.
I know that there will be so many unmentioned miracles, blessings and tender mercies of the Lord if we exercise the agency that the Father gave us in the right way. I learned to choose to count and appreciate my blessings instead of what I lack of. My testimony of the Savior also grew because of that And my favorite part? It is knowing the true meaning of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I’ve learned that the atonement is so vast that it covers not only sinners but also those who suffer deep sorrows, anxieties, fears, depression, happiness in short, lahat ng nafefeel natin because He felt it too. I’ve learned that the Lord loves and accepts me way more than his anger towards me whenever I make poor concious choices. He was and He always is there for me during my struggles. I have felt His divine support and realized how He worked His hands in my life since the time I allowed Him to. I became aware that my love and respect for Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father greatly increased and as I continue to choose Them even in the hardest times, it will continue to increase. I felt more closer to them and I felt more of their overflowing love na I cannot seem mostly to contain that the only way to bear it is to do good to others and serve them more. Now thankfully through all of these my questions were answered. I know that all these experiences whether good or bad are the Lord’s way of teaching me how to slowly become like Him. Well, I still have a lot of questions to ask, but I know this is the best time to try my best to prepare to meet with the Lord someday and ask those questions myself.
Author’s name withheld