Meynarissa ‘Emcy’ Manuel, 32, nicknamed Emcy, is single and holds a Bachelor of Science degree, major in Computer Science.
She works as an information technology (IT) consultant.
She lives in Caloocan City.
Emcy said she thought she lived just an ordinary, “nor-mal” life. Then one day, she woke up and realized something else.
‘I Wished God Would End My ‘Useless’ Life’
I THOUGHT I lived an ordinary, normal life. No life-altering events like terminal diseases in family, no death, no financial difficulties —we’re not rich but we’re able to eat more than three times a day. I never got into a bad crowd when I was a kid. I did drink liquor — occasionally, but just to socialize. But that’s it. No drugs, no cigarettes. I did good in school, above average I must say.
In a nutshell it may look as if my life was perfect. Even when I graduated from college and found a job, my life simply revolved around work and friends. I came to office early and stayed late. And during Fridays I went with my friends from the office to bars or hang out in someone’s home.
I had a so-so relationship with my siblings. We didn’t get into serious fights— only the usual squabbles whenever they went into my room and used my stuff without my per-mission. With my parents, I had conflicts with my mom only whenever I didn’t tell her if I was not coming home and stay-ing instead in my friends’ home. It’s pretty normal.
My life was normal— or so I thought.
One day, however, I woke up and realized how empty my life had become. I was already 25 at the time, and I was living on my own abroad— far from my family and friends.
After that morning, the succeeding mornings became a drag. I sometimes thought that I was wasting the space I was using on this Earth. I looked at these great people who died so young — but lived a useful life. But me, poor, wretched me, was useless. I found myself asking God why He had to wake me up still. I even kind of prayed He’d just end my life — in a dramatic way, like in a car accident or plane crash.
Finding The Feast
Actually, I didn’t have to find The Feast. I literally grew up in the Light of Jesus Family. My parents have been members ever since I could speak. And they simply dragged my sibs and me to those weekly Feasts.
So going to Mass every Sunday was the norm for us. But I never had a real connection with God. I was in good terms with my family but I never had a real connection with them, either.
I’d attended The Feast like forever, but I was just that— an attendee.
I didn’t feel a passion to serve God. So one day, out of desperation, I prayed to God. I told Him, “I will say yes to you. I will serve, wherever, but you have to do the work, I don’t want to volunteer, someone has to offer me a service and this time I will say yes.”
A few months later, Bro. Danny Anonuevo, a Feast builder, called me. He told me that Feast Valenzuela would be launched, and he asked me if I could be the Media Minis-try head. I chuckled, as I remembered the promise I gave to God. It’s funny because I had no skill in media work. I was only chosen because I was working as an IT professional and everybody just concluded I could do media as well. I was going to say no, but because I made a promise to God, I said yes nonetheless— and my life has now become far from the ordinary.
Today, I wake up with a purpose. The Feast has made me realize that. I got to know a different side of God — not the One who was far and difficult to reach, but One who is easy to talk to, Someone who cares, not One who demands to be loved, but One who courts me to fall in love with Him.
I found God at The Feast. I met Him there in a personal way — not the version I read from the Bible, or saw in mov-ies, or stories I heard in the Mass. I met Him like a new friend, a long-lost friend, a father, a brother, someone who relates to me.
The Feast is a complete package — the worship, the practical talk on enhancing your relationships, on financial literacy, on fulfilling your dreams. Because of this, I found God in all areas in my life — not only in Church, but also in work, when I travel, when I play, in the faces of people I talk to.
I also like the Light Group where you meet true friends who care for you.
Today, I serve as head servant of the Media Ministry of Feast Valenzuela, member of the Singles Ministry, and head of a Light Group.
Back to the Church
The Feast has inspired me to explore more my Catholic faith. To understand the beauty behind our traditions and practices. In our local Feast, we don’t have Mass. But I ac-tually enjoy going to Mass in our local church now— more than ever before because now I feel God in every part of the Mass, because I understand now what each part is for.
I heard somewhere that Catholicism is the most lenient religion in the world. Because even in the Vatican City, seat of the Catholic faith, there are mosques.
During Mass, we never close the doors to late-comers. I guess that’s what I love about being Catholic. Yes, we have traditions and practices but at the end of the day, we are not strict and bound by rules, and we don’t believe that we are the only ones who are going to be saved. We know we have flaws, we know we are human, so we welcome everyone.
I also heard from one of the recollections that other Christians believe that we humans were originally ugly, so we want to mask ourselves with the face of Christ.
On the other hand, we Catholics believe that we are beautiful inside — just like Christ. But we masked ourselves with the ugliness of sins. With God’s love, however, we are able to remove the mask and let our real beauty show.
I like that idea—that we are all originally good —because that’s how we are made.
Honestly, I believe that everything happens for a rea-son. I was born in a Catholic family — because God knows I’m better off as Catholic.