Dec. 11, 2017
Dear Fr. Chad,
Sharing my personal spiritual journey starting from Discovering Christ, then Following Christ and Sharing Christ, has been on my mind, especially with the retreat we last had with David Lins. Please accept our sincerest gratitude for shepherding us through these spiritual journeys.
I decided to share in the hope that it will encourage our community members to start their special spiritual journey as my husband and myself did. It strengthened our belief of God’s existence and brought hope to lost souls and those in despair, (just as we once were) to find PEACE, LOVE and JOY!
During our retreat for the Sharing Christ seminar, our speaker, David Lins from Our Lady of Joy parish, asked the question: “what made you stay to the end of these seminars?” I wanted to respond right there and then but my faint heart and emotional feelings would have surely made me cry and not allow me to be able to share what I want to share.
So here goes…it all started when my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the last two years of his life, then leaving us on Nov 11, 2015. My father’s name is Emilio and my mother is Magdalena. I have five sisters: Julita, Josephine, Leticia, Evelyn, and Marissa, and one brother, Anthony, the youngest and only boy. I am the fourth in the family and had started to help my parents earn a living selling meat in the market at the young age of 5. With this role in my family, I turned out to be the “right hand” of my parents in practically everything that affected my family’s increasing financial and business activities. Over the ensuing years, as all of us finished school through the hard work of my parents, and each got married, I came out ahead in almost everything: successful career, great marriage, great children, financial independence, (having learned how to earn and manage finances during my childhood), etc.
My parents looked at me as a super woman and the one they trusted more than ever to manage our family assets. But all of these crumbled with miscommunications, misinterpretations, judged actions, issues of inheritance, and as mentioned by one of my siblings: their envy of my success, my family, etc. After the death of my father, the six of them managed to turn my mother against me. On my recent August 2017 visit, I thought my mother understood what my siblings were doing, but when I came back to the U.S., everything reverted to my bad image before my mother. Again, I could not speak to my mom over the phone as her caretaker and nurse were instructed to block my calls. My lawyer advised me to sue but I declined as I know this will cause undue stress upon my mother who has a heart condition. This pain, which I started to carry since my father passed away, was the beginning of my search of God’s presence, help and answer to my prayers.
I found myself hearing God’s answers to my questions through the people in these group meetings. Like, God hears you, offer it all to HIM, He will answer you in His time; He will answer you according to His divine plan; God is in everyone’s soul, every person you meet; there is nothing that is so bad that you can do for God not to love or forgive you; He knows every part of you even before you were born; He suffered, and died for each of us that we may live once more and be with Him for all eternity… Added to this, my group’s sharing of their more somber and unfortunate life experiences made me realize that the pain and hurt I am carrying is nothing compared to their greater sorrows. Each moment of rejection from my siblings (I begged their forgiveness for whatever hurt or pain or anger I caused them, and they all refused to forgive me and most told me that they do not want me in their lives and hope that I would vanish from the face of the earth), sank me each day to depression and on many instances, the thought of committing suicide. But God is good. Over time, with these meetings and another religious Catholic charismatic group that my husband and I joined, I found strong spiritual support and a “new” family. God continued to speak to me and answered my questions through them, calmed me whenever I started to be anxious and continued to give me hope when depression seemed to set in.
Last October 13, my husband and I prepared for and attended the Life in Spirit Seminar, a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit where we were baptized in the Holy Spirit, and I am humbled to have received the gift of tongues on that day.
Corpus Christi did great introducing these seminars in our parish. Someone like me who was once lost, and felt my prayers not answered, found myself and my answers in these spiritual group meetings. I am a reborn child of God. With Him in me, there is nothing more I shall want for with HIM, nothing is impossible.
My family problem is still not resolved, but I carry them now with joy knowing that my sufferings are used as sacrifices by our Lord for the benefit of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering more than me. My spiritual life is better with my deeper and closer relationship with Jesus Christ our Savior, our almighty God the Father, and the Holy Spirit. God is everywhere, and we need to believe that, so we can see and hear His answers and Him speaking to us through our brothers and sisters in Christ whom He places in contact with us in our daily lives.
Instead of continuing to feel the pain of rejection from my mother and siblings, I pray for them for enlightenment and for their souls to be saved from whatever darkness that is stopping them to have peace with me. I am back enjoying the company of my beloved husband, children, sons‐in‐law, and grandchildren; the people I forgot, whom I deeply care about, whom I hurt when I allowed myself to slip into depression due to this family challenge with my mother and siblings. As for my gift of tongues, I understand that this is my direct communication to our Lord. I use this often now to intercede for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering physically, emotionally or spiritually.
Each day, when I wake up, I offer myself to God for His purpose, praise, honor and glory. I also pray that our Lord would give our brothers and sisters in Christ the same grace and blessings and even more, to receive and experience the graces I had received and continue to receive by trusting in HIM now more than ever.
Trust and praise the Lord and you will never go wrong. He will answer your prayers in His time, according to His holy will and His divine plan.