My Stubborn Heart
Before I came to know Christ, I was shy and timid. One of the many reasons I lack self-esteem was because I did not grow up with a father. My dad works as a seafarer, so most of the time he’s not around.
I was “the good girl” in the eyes of my parents, relatives, and peers. I was good in school and was a teacher’s pet. But I was quiet and afraid to get close to anyone. I was rejected and bullied until freshman year of high school, so I lived a life fearing rejection. I became more reserved and unforgiving. I held grudges against those who hurt me.
Then I befriended boys because I found them more truthful than girls. At 10, I had my first boyfriend. It seemed innocent until it became my lifestyle. I thought happiness and security come from relationships with boys until I got heartbroken over and over again.
I rebelled against my parents when I was in high school. I would come home late from school and frequently fought with my mom especially because of the relationships I had. I thought of my home like hell. I wanted to get free. I wanted to escape.
I was often angry and easily triggered. I hated corrections from people who love me. My life was school and my room. And it was essential for me to have a boyfriend because they made me happy, or so I thought.
God’s Stubborn Love
Growing up, I only had a religion. Our family went to a Christian church but we weren’t committed. Eventually, we stopped attending altogether.
Many years later, the pastors in our church reached out to us again. They offered to conduct a Bible study in our house. My mom accepted and opened our home to them. From my high school through college years, the season of my teenage rebellion, they visited us regularly.
At first, I didn’t want to participate in any religious activities. I’d slam the door going out of my room every time they’d call me for Bible study. But I get interested whenever I hear stories and lessons from the Bible.
When I was about to go to college, my parents went bankrupt. The bank evicted us from our house. Everything crumbled. No more trucks. No more grocery. No more house. No more friends.
But our pastors were there during that difficult season. They comforted, encouraged and prayed for us. We moved to a different house but they persisted in visiting us regularly and encouraged us through God’s Word.
My parents forced us to go to church during this low point in our lives. Hearing the preaching of God’s Word every Sunday for 3 months and seeing the love our pastors have for us, God opened my eyes and my heart. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I realized He loves me and I need Him. God showed His stubborn love through the persistence of the leaders of our church.
As a new believer, I knew very little. My life went on having some changes. They correct me whenever they see my faults and weaknesses. Oftentimes I would rebel against them because I didn’t want to be corrected. But later on I realized they love me; they want to keep me from harm.
Love Always Prevails
I’m glad about the changes God made in my life. They weren’t instant, but day by day He changes me. From a shy and timid girl, I’m now able to stand in front of people and minister through songs and exhortation. God also enables me to share His Word with other people.
From having a religion, now I learned that having a relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important treasure in life. He is the Way to the Father and to heaven. Jesus isn’t just a story, He is alive!
From being a lustful woman, who went from one guy after another, I now have a husband of 10 years, by God’s grace. I learned the value of commitment in relationships and how God reserves that one special person for you.
I’m no longer afraid of befriending women. My hatred for women has changed to being accepting and loving. I have girlfriends now.
From getting even, I now let God do His work because He said, “Vengeance is mine.” God enables me to release forgiveness because He has forgiven me first.
From being rebellious, I learned to respect my parents. I don’t hate them anymore. Instead, I pray for them and share God’s Word with them.
Knowing Christ and having a relationship with Him gives me hope. As I read the Bible every day, I realize I fall short of His glory. Until my last breath, He will continue to change me from glory to glory. I’m not going to be frustrated with my shortcomings, the Holy Spirit will help me overcome them. I want to be the version of myself that God wants me to be. I am still learning to be patient and forgiving of myself; if Jesus did that for me, why shouldn’t I? The journey isn’t easy, aside from myself, we also have an enemy who wants us destroyed. But I know Christ is in me and He will not leave me nor forsake me. As I walk with Him in faith, I know my future is promising. He has done the difficult part, I just need to obey as He leads.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
A personal testimony of Vanessa H. Edaño, Tele-Interviewer at Sun Life Financial. She is a wife of 10 years to Richard Edaño. She serves in the music ministry while her husband serves as assistant pastor at United in Christ Christian Ministry.