I can always go on on how things have changed over the course of twenty-one years of life. I can just enumerate the so many ups-and-downs that are already there even if I try so hard to change some parts of ’em. I can tell you of who I was before and the things I did to be here today. But, no. I didn’t know who I was, and looking back, I think I’m not liking the “Daine” I have made myself to be.
Just like any other kid out there, I had a pretty good childhood. During grade school years, I was always a part of the honor roll, been elected as class officer, and graduated with flying colors. Those were the days that being a kid felt like the easiest thing to do. All that was demanded to me was to go to school and study hard. I was pretty much okay until I learned how some people looked at me. It made a mark on me and somehow affected on how I looked towards myself. It wasn’t a nice feeling; to hate yourself because you chose to believe what they have told you.
Then come high school. They said that it was the time to discover and enjoy things of this life. And I did learn so many, sometimes I think I already know everything. I was in first year high school when I first had my mobile phone. I remember saving up my week’s allowance so that I would have some money to buy some prepaid credits. (During that time, it costs 30pesos for one day unlimited texting. Ang mahal, ‘no?) And I can attest to what they say that it’s a crazy world out there. I met random strangers over text messages. Spent hours and hours talking to them with nonsense and pointless topics. Mobile phones? Tsss. I was even scolded by my parents because of it. But going back to my highschool life, it was awesome. I found friends that stood up for me. And actually, that’s already more than enough. Highschool is highschool. I would always want to go back and laugh at all the stupid things I did.
Even before I start discussing my college years, I want to share with you that after I graduated in highschool, I had a romantic relationship (RR) with the then-boyfriend. This would quite help in pacing up the feels of my college life.
Then come college. It didn’t sink at first that it was the make-or-break moment of my life. I didn’t take my studies seriously for I was so taken aback by the RR, that I spent more time exerting more effort into it than studying for my exams. I also wasn’t able to join my planned out extra-curricular activities for I just wanted to focus all my attention to the then-boyfriend. (Gosh, was I really okay with that?) I have compromised study times and bonding moments with my friends, again, for the RR. Then eventually, the RR ended and I was devastated. Literally. I didn’t attend my classes, didn’t pass homeworks, projects. I failed quizzes because of my absences. I’ve withdrawn myself from everyone and carried the pain and brokenness all by myself. I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do. I just knew that I can do it on my own.
I continued pacing this earth after deciding to numb everything that felt so painful. I looked for medications that I thought would end the sleepless nights. I continually gave a piece of myself to what this world promised. I lowered myself to the point that there was no love, no respect even, was left of me. Nothing, as in nothing, was left of me.
It is in our brokenness that we are made whole.
I was so broken that I knew no one would ever take me in. But Jesus defeated death so I can live out His plans for me. I was so blinded by pain, but Jesus made me see that everything works out for good of those who love Him. I didn’t listen to anyone, but Jesus hears my soundless cry for love. I was really, really nothing. But today, Jesus says I’m everything.
I can never understand how God’s grace works, but I am so grateful that I was saved by it. The time that I needed saving, most specially from myself, His grace rescued me. I cannot imagine how far His love goes that I’m still standing today with victory written all over me. I can never be worthy of what Jesus did on the cross, but He said I am never worthless.
Do you know this saying that goes, “If only I had a chance to go back and change some things in my life, I would…”? For me, if I’m given that chance, I would not take it. Everything that happened to my life, every decision, every mistake, I would leave them at that. It’s in the broken pieces that I was mended to what God has planned for me. It’s in those broken pieces, no matter how it scarred Jesus’ hand, that I am built to become more like Him. And it’s the broken pieces that I have learned that I needed God to do it for me. Because if it’s only by my strength, I never could have done it.
If it wasn’t for all of it, I wouldn’t be here today to tell you that God can use our deepest miseries for His greater glory. I can tell you that giving up is never an option when you know it’s for and from the Lord. And I can confidently tell you that God isn’t finish with you, yet. Have the honor of living out the Kingdom’s missions for His glory alone. And you would then understand the reason for your next heartbeat.
So, do I like the Daine now? Well, if Jesus says I am the person He created me to be, then, it’ll be more than enough for me.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)