"Genesis 2: Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."
There is a season in every man's life when he shall be born again to live the life God has called for him to live. But in order to live again an old life must be left behind where pain, sorrows and tears can be turned into lesson of hope, faith and love.
This is the promise that God has given us. Each morning is a new day for us to live the life worthy of His unending grace and righteousness. For in His love there is no condemnation but everlasting freedom. The perfect love which is a gift we receive even if we are sinners.
Allow me to share with you a holy experience of God's love, how He changed my heart in ways I never could have imagined. Only when we allow Him to fill our hearts, never will we feel empty again because under His wing we will always, always be filled and fulfilled.
My name is Valerie May, native of Olongapo City, Zambales. My parents are Atty. Sergio P. Cruz (deceased) and Eva M. Cruz. I was born during the EDSA year when Philippine Democracy has just been restored from more than 20 years of Martial Law regime. It was a time full of promise. My parents were just as filled with hope for it took them nearly 15 years before they were blessed with child, a daughter, me.
I was named Valerie. Derived from the French name Valérie or from the Latin Valeria which according to my father means a strong lady. Born to the world without any sibling I was trained by my father to think like a man, to always protect myself. He was almost like a sniper ready to eliminate any threats both real and imaginary.
Contrary to my father's protective love I felt the nurturing, soft and very maternal love of my mother. My second name "May: was attached to my first name, hence Valerie May because my mother's birthmonth is May. One thing I am truly grateful for is my parent's taste for naming a baby. I love my name and could not have imagined being named in any other way. "Strong" is how I believed I grew up to be despite being sheltered as an "only child."
Almost throughout my growing years my parents' support financial, emotional and spiritual motivated me at almost every activity I did as a child. Compared to my contemporaries, I was a late bloomer. In my elementary years I was rather shy and timid. Perhaps still trying to search for a place to fit in and set of friends to belong to. I was awkward around many children for I grew up alone mostly in the company of adults.
Four years went by and I am off to college. A very exciting phase of my life. It is my first-time ever to be away from home. Armed with the trust I have built over the years from my parents and family they allowed me to live alone at a dormitory in Quezon City.
I was enrolled in an exclusive school for girls. Coming from a secondary institution with mixed boys and girls studying in an exclusive school was a major adjustment. Not that I was looking for boys but something in the holistic experience of real-life learning was a part I find missing. After a year of hard work I transferred to UP Diliman where I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in History. I considered it as a stepping stone to enter law school. I have always remembered wanting to become a lawyer for as young as I could remember and whether I have an explanation or not I just wanted to become a lawyer.
Driven as I was, it was the time when my relationship with the Lord became strained as I became more and more enmeshed with my dream filled with "I". Never had I experienced any defeat yet and as an over achiever ego and pride took over me up to the point that I felt that I can do it alone. My mind knew that He is up there but He was not in my heart. I was just so occupied always busy and that I thought was the measurement of my self-worth.
It was also during this time when I was not able to enter law schools which I initially applied for. I decided to diversify and instead enrolled for MA. It was also one of my passion and so I kept still for two years. But law school has always been in my mind and by the time I was ready I applied again and I was accepted in Beda Manila.
It was another conquering for me and yes I remembered praying, praying, praying really hard for it. I felt desperate like it was my last trip and if the ship sailed without me it will take another long hiatus before I can get on board. God does hear our prayer, I believe that His great love for me made Him give in to my plea. But boy oh boy! I believe that this time He is ready to give a little disciplining. No, big disciplining that will change my life in ways I never could imagine.
Just when I thought I was strong, Someone up there is infinitely stronger and greater. Allow me to conclude this part with a verse from Proverbs, one of my favorite (Proverb 3: 11-12).
"My son do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke because the Lord discipline those he loves..."
(To be continued)