The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice. – Henry Sherrill

LITTLE miss perfect’s dark secrets revealed!

If an article were to be written about me, then this line would be the title that would best fit my life story

Growing up in a quiet village and studying in an exclusive school for girls, I was thought of living a simple yet fulfilling life. While my classmates were engrossed in collecting Lisa Franks and Hello Kitty stationery, I was collecting religious pamphlets and memorizing the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When my peers started majoring in “boy-ology,” I was excelling in my studies and extra-curricular activities.

My days would revolve only around school, house and church. With constant company of and inspiration from my grandparents, I was labeled as the “good girl,” the ever-reliable and responsible student in school and daughter at home. Most of my friends admired me for my achievements. Some would even go as far as saying that my life was “perfect.”

But just as their admiration for me reached its peak, I revealed a dark secret that turned their admiration to pity. In a spiritual retreat during our third grade, I shocked my classmates when I told them that I grew up not knowing my real parents.

I was abandoned by my parents at a tender age of two. They left me with our elderly neighbors. From what I have been told whenever I ask my foster parents about my blood parents, they left me because they simply were not ready to raise a child as they planned to work separately abroad. Since that decision to strike it out overseas, my parents disappeared from my life.

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This explains why every time I would be given a special recognition in school, an aged couple would accompany me to receive the award. Although they are not my biological grandparents, they are the selfless neighbors who wholeheartedly accepted me in their house and in their life since the day my parents left me. Their three children, who are all successful in their chosen careers, accepted me and made me feel that I belong.

But despite having a great adoptive family, I still wish that my real parents were around to accompany me when I received special honors in school. But how I wish to see my parents proudly walk up the stage with me.

I used to cry every night while calling out the names of my parents. Despite my great grandparents, I felt unloved since I would never have the “perfect” family. This made me envy my classmates every time their parents personally fetch them at school.

But gradually, I came to realize that my problems were petty compared with what Jesus Christ and other people had endured.

Indeed, I was too busy dwelling on my problems that I failed to appreciate the blessings I had received. After all, I was fortunate to have been blessed with a family who treated me as one of their own. My life might have been plagued with tribulations, but there is the Easter message of resurrection after the passion and death. I could have experienced worse after my parents abandoned me, but God gave me a loving family to live life anew.

In fact, God’s plan of healing for me has just started. On Dec. 31, 2005, 15 minutes before the year ended, my dad called. Tears poured from my eyes when he apologized for leaving me. I was emotionally shaken and was not able to speak. All those years I had practiced talking against my parents if I ever get to meet them, but no words came from my mouth. When my dad said, “I love you,” all my anger vanished. I felt unexplained joy and peace in my heart. It was my happiest New Year.

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A year has passed since my dad’s first call. Since then, we have been in touch regularly. This coming May, he will be coming home from Dubai to spend the summer with me. I feel excited, and at the same time scared. But more important, I feel thankful that God gave my dad and me a chance to heal our broken hearts together.

PRAYER: Almighty Father, forgive me for the times I complained about how my life went bad. I should be thanking You not only for the blessings You have given me but also for testing me with problems that made me stronger. Through your Son’s passion, death, and resurrection, I should be reminded of Your undying love that will uplift me in times of despair. Amen. Yve Camae V. Espeña

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