I started college in 2010 at Bukidnon State University in Maragusan External
Studies Center and soon transferred to the University of Southeastern Philippines by 2012. My disobedience caused me to be transferred to another university. I had a romantic relationship with someone in there while studying. It was hard for me to accept that my studies were significantly affected; I had to extend another couple of years in school. For me it was a mess because my primary goal was to finish college within 4 years and taking longer than that never crossed my mind.
Moreover, I was more disappointed when my own family and relatives believed that I was just flirting with men instead of studying seriously. My brother also had to stop schooling to give way for me. I became depressed, felt alone and rejected to the point that I thought about committing suicide. Negative thoughts rooting from self-blame started to flow. I am a failure. I am a useless daughter. I felt ashamed.
I and my elder sister were not that close before. We used to fight a lot; I was amazed by the significant changes in her life. She started to always mention about God. She consistently shared Jesus’ love as well as my parent’s love that I can barely feel. But her life allowed me to experience what she has been saying. Indeed, I am surely loved!
I first came to know Jesus in summer 2012 during the season of my disappointments. My sister invited me to join a retreat with her. Thinking it could have been another avenue to look for handsome guys, make friends and merely enjoy the moment as we used to do, I affirmatively nodded. This has been one of my coping mechanisms when I’m in the midst of depressing time.
However, God’s plan was different. It became a life transforming event. It was way more than what I expected. It’s more than what I needed. God found me and offered His love. But above happiness and joy, He offered me His gift of salvation and healing. Received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I gained confidence through Him. I am saved all by God’s grace!
I praise the Lord for all my disappointments because if were not for that experiences I probably would not have come to know Him. God used my disappointments for His glory; they turned into praises. Because of those things, I want to share God’s love to my family and relatives but I still have fears. I have thought that maybe I am not credible because of my past and they won’t believe in me. Thus, I always pray that someday God will give me favor of success as a platform to testify God’s Glory.
Living a Christian life is not easy, yet fulfilling. On June 2012, my sister introduced me to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Through IVCF, my relationship with God grew intimately deeper. I found Inter-Varsity as my training ground in sharing the love of Christ. As an active student-leader, I became the chapter president for three consecutive years. God used this ministry as an instrument in uilding and molding my character into the person that He wants me to be.
I praise the Lord for the people He used to help me grow holistically, the people He had given me to journey with and the students that I led in our campus. I praise the Lord for giving me favor to finish college in spite of life’s scarcity and hardships. I may have not finished it according to my plan but God’s way is better than mine. His plan is perfect and now I know His purpose.
Furthermore, I highly praise the Lord for letting me pass the September 2016 Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). My prayer has been answered by our faithful God! A prayer for an opportunity to testify God’s glory through a favor of success!
I am Reshyl Labor Pongase; a servant-leader, a graduate volunteer, a professional licensed teacher. All the glory, honor, praise and adoration belong to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
(Written by: Reshyl L. Pongase, a graduate from USeP-Tagum
and a GT-Volunteer)