Living in this time of pandemic has truly been one of the hardest times in my young life; and not just for me but to all of us. We have different stories but we were all connected because of pain, hardships, and struggles. Last year, one of the most heartbreaking moments in my life happened when my father passed away. It happened before the pandemic began but when the pandemic came, the pain I felt became different. The pain made me feel like I was alone and that no one could understand what I was going through.
As days, weeks, and months have passed I tried to hide my pain while serving the Lord. I kept hiding my pain. I closed myself to the world and to the people around me because there is pride in my heart saying that they can’t understand the pain that I am going through. In short, I faced that pain alone.
My heart was so desperate looking for answers on how to forget the pain that I was feeling. I prayed to God asking for help. I was asking for His grace to save me but it hurt because I felt like He was not listening and not doing anything. Until I attended a retreat and there was this line in that retreat that I heard, “For us to experience God’s grace we need to open our hearts”. At that time, I realized that since the time when I cried for God’s help, He was already listening and was already answering my call for help.
God made me realize that He never abandoned me and He was always present through the people around me, all I needed to do was to open up to people who will listen because He sent those people. I am very grateful for the gift of community because God is present through my brothers and sisters who constantly pursued me in my moments of brokenness. Most importantly, I am very grateful to my family because truly they are a gift from God.
From this experience, I learned that for God to find and save us, we need to open our hearts to Him; and as we open ourselves to God let us also open our hearts to the people who never get tired of pursuing us. Through those people, God makes His way of answering our prayers. At times, we may think that no one can understand what we feel or understand the pain that we are going through but let us remember that God sent people in our lives for a reason. They are the people who will listen,understand and love us but for that to happen, we must first also allow ourselves to be loved.
We must never forget that the presence of the people around us is proof that God is always present.
Josh Tina is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team.