When God Speaks
A Testimony of encounters with the Word of God
I am Kim from Cebu. I am 22 years old and I work as a teacher. Normally, testimonies begin with our very first encounter with the community. In my case, I met them during our Recollection when I was still 4th year high school. After that encounter, some disciples and missionaries were very consistent in inviting us to join prayer meetings (later I learned that it is called School of the Word). At first, it was not hard for me to relate because I had my classmates who were with me joining as well. But, I also had fears... I was shy because I don’t know what to expect from this community – there are even lots of sharing which I dread the most! I am not a well-spoken person, so it is quite difficult for me to share my thoughts. I can still remember that my voice is always shaking whenever it’s my time to talk!
Looking back, I could tell how much Jesus wanted to make friends with me. He consistently accompanied me in every Yes that I make whenever I am invited to go in the community because He knows what I need to know and do! I could choose to attend or not, right? My desire to know Jesus deeply became clearer when an incident happened, and my father told me not to go the community anymore. That situation bothered me! In my mind, I immediately thought, “No way!”. It was not yet too long since I have known the community but at that moment I felt like I don’t want to leave them. It felt like something very important will be taken away from me. I resented my father for that and I was not able to go to the community for few days. But, Jesus at that time, stayed with me. Just like what Ruth said in the bible, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.” (Ruth 1:16) For once, I thought I would be far from Him but it made me realize how much Jesus wanted to stay with me especially in those moments. I asked some missionaries for help to enlighten me about my father’s decision and that prompted me to go to prayer. In my dialogue with Jesus, He made it clear to me that there’s no point of resenting my father. That I should face the situation with more patience and more love. I realized that the reason why I don’t want to do what my father wants me to do is not because of the people in the community but because I have found a place where I can grow in my relationship with Jesus. Having a community of faith never crossed in my mind before. At first, the Verbum Dei charism did not attract me so much but I find it interesting because it related somehow with my personality. Although, I don’t want to speak so much but the people are eager to listen to you. Learning about their activities also excite me because I wanted to volunteer in stuff like that!
I perceived in that experience Jesus’s invitation for me to be aware of my decisions – that discernment is really essential! To listen to the voice of Truth could sometimes be a path of painful obstacles, but you see, these obstacles were never meant to harm us but to bring forth strength and peace in our life. Choosing to stay with Jesus in the community made me decide to commit and take part in the mission that He has left us and I am joyful that I am still serving Him until today. I will never forget that experience for it led me to where I am now – not a perfect disciple but a servant willing to be transformed and converted in one’s faith each day. The passage that helped me stay and persevere with God is from John 15:5 that says, “I am the vine; and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Honestly, even if I am already joining the community for years now, I still have lots of fears, insecurities, doubts, uncertainties, and inconsistencies. But, Jesus assured me that His love is perfect and it will always be enough. It is a misconception when people thought that if one is involved in a religious community, he or she is very pious and “problem-free”. I even thought to myself: “When I knew God even more, my life became much challenging. There are lots of suffering and persecution – emotionally and spiritually.” That’s true! But I can testify that once you have tasted the rawness and authenticity of the love and mercy of God, you will always be drawn towards it and you will keep asking for more. Today, talk with Jesus and listen to the beating of His heart. His heart beats for you and He asks you to stay always with Him 😊