It is in our brokenness that we are made whole.

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)

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Grace.

God has been reaching His hands to us in many ways unimaginable. But most of us don’t notice because we tend to count on our beliefs that we are THAT strong, we are THAT invincible, that we can get by just with our capabilities. I was guilty with this thinking; that I got through everything in life because I was mentally strong, I made the right choices, and I listened to the pieces of advice that were imparted to me. I was very confident that I am the person I was because of what I could do, without thinking, “Where did all those come from?”

“Am I proof, that You are who You say you are? That grace can really change your heart? Do I live like Your love is true?” –Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets

I am a worrier. Even though I know I have prepared well enough, the possibility that I would be unsuccessful still crawls in. This world’s influence of constant failure ruled me for a long time, and it hasn’t done me any good. When I succeed, I feel relieved. Otherwise, I sulk in my own misery. I tell you, it isn’t the best feeling this earth could offer anyone.

A friend asked me what grace is. I wasn’t able to answer her because I really don’t know how to explain it. All that I ever managed to blurt out is that, “It is related to God’s mercy.” So I asked what it means, and I have been told that “Grace is something given to someone who doesn’t deserve it.” Yes. I guess I wasn’t able to expound on it because in the first place, I wasn’t really worth it. I wasn’t, but God does the opposite. His grace saved me all my life, and I haven’t stopped, even just for a minute, to thank Him.

That grace can really change your heart?” Yes, grace really does this. I have this new perspective that nothing is ever hard if you know God is able to help you out in just about anything. That God is the source of hope that life continues even if you stumble almost all the time. And that God is the only One who can bring about the best in you.

Do I live like Your love is true?” I always think about this. I wonder if all my actions and words reflect of how God is ever great. I live in a world that critical eyes are to be anticipated. They will think that you have no right to commit sin. But what if I don’t live it out? Will God kick me out of His kingdom? One thing I have learned, no one knows your being like God does. His love will be evident from those who accept Him in their hearts. And that’s how strong His love is. It will steer you in that direction that will only lead to His righteousness, no matter hard you resist.

“Am I proof, that You are who You say you are?” I maybe still “new” in this faith, but I am just thankful that God wants me to become an evidence of what His greatness can do. I am still in the process of understanding who Jesus is, but I am already overflowing with the love He can only offer. I don’t know, yet, what He really wants me to do, but I will rather be here than in any place where His name must not be spoken of.

God is the only one who can help you. Can you give up everything for Him? If his unending and unfailing love is at stake, why not? That is more valuable than any treasure anyone could offer.