Throughout my years of blogging, I mention talking about my faith in God here and there, and how it’s helped me get me get through a lot of trials and joys in my life. I kinda mention it in my old blog when I dedicated a post of the 3 verses Cecilio and I chose for our readings from The Book of Common Prayer (which is commonly used in Episcopal and Anglican churches) for our wedding. Lately though, I’ve had an inkling to post about my faith as a Christian. You could say it’s Spirit-led for me to even write about this. Part of me wanting to write about this is because it’s a new year, and I want to be more in touch with my spiritual side by praying to God more again throughout the day (and not just if I am in dire need of something), reading the Bible and devotionals.
I’ve always been raised in an evangelical Christian environment. Well, my mom mostly taught me about God and Jesus, and while my dad believed too…it was really my mom who rooted that faith in me. My family and I moved to the U.S. when I was 2 from the Philippines, and my mom had a religious worker’s visa. She was working for my uncle (her brother) who was a pastor and also moved from the Philippines to plant his church. My mom and her siblings grew up practicing Catholicism and Hinduism (my grandpa is from India), and my dad’s family was/is a part of Iglesia ni Cristo, a Philippine church. Everyone in my mom’s family became born-again Christian, which led my uncles to become preachers. I grew up going to my uncle’s church and attending Sunday School. My parents and I stopped going for a while though. I’ve gone to church on and off my whole life.
Usually, when you talk about your Christian faith, you are supposed to give a testimony about how you grew up, found God and how that turning point changed your life. I can’t really pinpoint an exact moment when and where I accepted Jesus into my life as Savior. I rededicated my life to Him during my sophomore year in high school in 2005 when I was struggling a lot in adolescence, or in 2008 when my last ex broke up with me. I’ve always strayed back and forth though, and eventually going back to Him.
Honestly, I’ve never been comfortable sharing my faith or talking about it. I grew up having classmates from different backgrounds and cultures, learning to respect and embrace them. There were periods when I was on “fire” for God and where I did have this sudden itch to talk to people about how Jesus loved them (and loves you), but I never ever want to come across as forcing my beliefs on others. I joined a Christian club (Campus Crusade for Christ) when I went to community college, and I was trained on how to “evangelize” to other students and co-workers on campus by handing out spiritual tracts that explains the Gospel in simple terms. I was still not comfortable with it, chalking it up to evangelism not being my spiritual gift, and not wanting to be lumped alongside other Christians, who can be extremely judgmental and hypocritical. Even if a Christian is not outright trying to convert an unbeliever, the unbeliever still may feel like they are just another project to the Christian. I never ever want others to feel that way. I love and believe in God but I also love learning about others’ beliefs.
Still, Jesus said in Matthew 28:19 to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son [Jesus] and of the Holy Spirit”. I may never ever be comfortable with going up to random people or acquaintances and handing Gospel tracts. I will never be like my uncles, inserting “God is good!” in almost every conversation, or start discussing spiritual matters with everyone I know. But I can use my writing and blogging as an avenue to inspire others about my faith in Christ. Yeah, my blog is primarily a beauty and lifestyle blog but I want to also incorporate deeper things and nuggets of wisdom about my faith. As much as I love makeup, fashion, and fitness, those things are fleeting. They bring happiness, but God’s love brings me a deep unexplainable joy, knowing He died on the cross even when I don’t deserve it. I am fascinated with how Jesus spent time with the lowest of the low in society when He walked on Earth, while the Pharisees (what most Republicans would be in Jesus’ day) scorned Him for doing so.
Another thing I am not comfortable with is the slogan, “Christians are not perfect, just forgiven” because it still implies that Christians are supposedly “better” than everyone else by being forgiven. I am just like everyone else, or probably worse because I stumble every single day. I always struggle with the greatest commandment, “to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36–40). I am not the most patient person, and I get annoyed with others easily (even if I try not to show it). Certain people just really grate on my gears. Still, because Jesus loves them and has died for them, if I am claiming that I follow Him, then I have to love them too. The good news is that the more I pray to God, the more grace and wisdom He gives me. He also gives me the heart for others and to be less selfish.
I know that it can be cliche to start new goals or resolutions for the new year, but I genuinely do want to re-nurture my faith and relationship with God. I will open up my 2 devotional apps, Jesus Calling and Forward Day by Day every morning for that strength to get me through the day. I also want to start a prayer journal, and pray for certain things and people, and write down specific verses to memorize (especially ones about anxiety, because I do suffer from it). Cecilio and I have been praying together more often, which is something we hardly did when we were dating. It has helped us become closer too! Though we haven’t attended as much as we want or should, we consider Trinity Episcopal Cathedral our home church, especially because that is where we got married.
The closer I draw to Him, the more peace and joy in my heart He gives me.
I will be posting more faith-based topics and about His love, and be less ashamed of it. I don’t know how you feel about it, but hopefully you do find them helpful and inspiring. Because God loves you whether you believe or not, you have a purpose in your life and you matter to Him and so many other people.
Hannah is a travel writer, graphic designer, and the founder/editor of Hannah on Horizon. She is based in Sacramento, California, living with her husband and two adorable dogs. She shares tips on how to experience luxury travel on any budget, and how to maximize time at each trip or destination, no matter what your budget or amount of vacation time at work. She enjoys making you feel like you have visited each destination with her through her storytelling and informative writing style.