Meg is a lady manager’s nickname. She requested that her true name be withheld.
Meg, 33, said that in her younger years, she found the Mass boring. Still she attended, considering that the Mass is a Catholic’s Sunday obligation. With her mother, she even completed the Christmas Simbang Gabi. Well, that is just so she could get a peek at her crush, or to have her wish granted.
She went to college. And it was around this time that she turned her back on the Church. She joined a non-Catholic group when she hit a low point in her life.
In 2000, I went through a difficult time in my life. I didn’t find peace, even as I attended Mass. I was hungry to experience God in a way that would change me from the inside out.
Then, I found this Christian church. But I did not stay there. I chose to leave and abandoned religion altogether. I lived life in whatever way I wanted. I was always partying and got into casual flings.
Another five years went by before I finally found myself back in God’s loving arms through The Feast.
Finding The Feast
In my late 20s, I had a boyfriend. But our relationship did not work out. Heartbroken, I looked for casual flings again.
Then came Carlo. I met him on an online dating site. We fell madly in love. Things went so fast. Next thing I knew, we were living together.
I knew that Carlo loved me with all his heart and I loved him back. But because we jumped right into it without precaution or planning, our relationship started to crumble in no time.
I had my insecurities and I took it out on him. He, on the other hand, was compelled to provide for his family. They wanted him to work abroad as a physical therapist. But to be able to do so, he still needed to pass the Physical Therapy board exam. He was torn between two choices: quit his job and review for the exam, or just stay in his job, forget about working abroad.
Carlo chose to quit his job and take the review classes. But the opportunity to be hired overseas did not materialize. We faced uncertainties about our relationship, which became the root of our perennial squabbles.
Clueless about his life direction, Carlo decided to seek God. He remembered The Feast. You see, in 2007, a friend invited him to attend The Feast then being held at the Camp Aguinaldo Theater in Cubao, Quezon City. He attended The Feast but busy with work, he could not attend the prayer gathering regularly.
Amid our troubles, Carlo decided to go back to The Feast which, at the time, had already transferred to Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City. He asked me to come along.
At first, I was reluctant to go. Remember, I had abandoned religion altogether.
“Just give it a try,” Carlo insisted. “For me. For us.”
Wanting to make our relationship work, I went with him.
Carlo and I attended Feast Valle Verde sometime in 2012. At The Feast, I knew I was home. That Sunday at The Feast, my heart rested in God’s comforting presence. Feeling God’s overwhelming presence and His immense love for me, I cried the whole time during worship.
We weren’t consistent in our attendance at first. Then, we started to crave for more of Him. Until one day, we realized we were going there every Sunday without fail.
What I love about The Feast is its welcoming arms, its acceptance. It’s okay to just keep coming even if I had issues, sins, and wounds. It’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to take my time to heal. I didn’t have to heal overnight.
Little by little, as we continued to attend The Feast, I began to heal and change my ways, and the results reflected in how I dealt with life, especially about my relationship with Carlo. We realized how badly we needed God in our relationship. We decided to make things right before the Lord. In November 2014, we got married in a Catholic church.
It’s amazing how God provided for our church wedding. Our family and friends were there to celebrate with us. We were happy and so were everyone there for us.
In one of The Feast talks about finding the right spouse titled How To Avoid Jerks and Jerkettes, Bro. Didoy Lubaton, one of the Feast worship leaders, and his wife Mayi testified about how the Sacrament of Marriage has immensely blessed their relationship.
“There’s a special grace in marriage,” Bro. Didoy said.
True. I felt closer to God and better positioned to receive His blessings after Carlo and I decided to get married in the Church.
But life isn’t that easy.
Since he could not get a job abroad, Carlo decided to build a business in partnership with a cousin. Early this year, the business floundered and they had to close shop. As part owner, Carlo incurred a million-peso debt. He felt abandoned by those he thought could help him with his monetary woes.
I felt helpless. I wanted to pay off his debt but couldn’t. Our savings didn’t amount to much. We started fighting again. He didn’t want me to get dragged into his financial mess, so we reached to a point where he wanted me to leave him. But I wouldn’t of course.
By God’s grace, at The Feast, we mustered enough faith in God to be able to overcome life’s blows. We also learned practical ways to handle our finances.
We both found new jobs and our combined income is now thrice as much as what we were earning last year. Carlo negotiated with his creditors who agreed to a flexible payment term. In a few months, he will be debt-free and soon we will be able to purchase our dream house.
Back to the Church
Realizing how much I missed during those times I gave up on the Church, I now religiously attend Mass with Carlo every Sunday. I am always excited to hear God’s Word and look forward to the homily of the priest. Carlo and I also go to Confession now.
Thanks to The Feast for the spiritual nourishment and for expounding on the importance of the Sacraments. I have never been a happier Catholic.