WAVES crashed, tempting me to plunge into the tepid late afternoon sea. Despite my mother’s order to stay indoors, I found the sea too enticing to resist. As with other warnings she gave me before, I disobeyed her, stepped at the tempestuous current, and willingly let the water engulf me.

As my arms stroked against the stubborn stream of salty water, I was instantly reminded of the many restrictions and limitations my mother and other people imposed on me.

I was fifteen then, and strongly believed that the forces of man and nature were conspiring against me—even God. Feeding my bruised ego with thoughts of being treated unfairly, I blamed Him for letting unpleasant circumstances happen in my life, which I didn’t deserve at all.

I kept my grudge against Him for making me suffer, thinking no matter how hard I tried to do good, God was always there to punish me.

But it wasn’t like this from the start. I used to have a close relationship with God but soon crumbled because of unfulfilled prayers. So I drifted away from Him, and began doing things my way thinking life was not subject to God’s liking but mine. That’s when I started feeling lost and out of control.

Choosing to push God away from my life was very much like treading the dangerous sea alone.

Having a hard time staying afloat, I found myself gasping for air. Panic started to consume me as it was already getting dark and I could not seem to reach the sandy sea bottom. What was more, my vision of the shore was getting hazy, making it more difficult for me to determine which direction to swim.

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Most powerful telescope almost done

When my feet finally touched the sand reality punched me hard in the gut: I was drowning. And save for the raft several feet away and a couple of jellyfish stinging my legs, I was all alone, left to die a meaningless death.

I couldn’t quite remember the exact series of events after that. When I opened my eyes, the first person I saw was my mother. Her brows were knitted, looking worried. But it didn’t take long before her weariness was replaced with ease as she saw me recovering.

Physically drained and emotionally exhausted, I couldn’t recall the trivial details of what happened. All I knew was that I attempted to swim alone, despite my mother’s warning. But instead of scolding me, she just kissed my forehead and hugged me.

What I saw in my mother was the kind of compassion and understanding God wanted me to feel about Him. Along with her, God was the only one who has always been there for me. It was really awful that I took them and their concerns for granted. But now I realize I need them more than anything, and with that, I know I will never again attempt to plunge into that water without them. Kathleen T. Valle

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