This April, I was given the privilege to share my testimony in the college camp – WIRED – that was held by JZone, our youth group in CCF. Just wanted to share how awesome God has been my life, and how awesome my life is yet to be, as He continues to work in me. :)
Born into no typical Christian family, it had always been ingrained in my mind that I was a cut above the rest. I was able to enjoy what you may call the “high life,” because of who my relatives are and the supposed status of my family. Aside from that, I was born eldest – Ate – responsible, authority, the example for my three younger siblings to follow. I knew what a person like me deserved and I was determined to get it every single time. Needless to say, I was very very proud, and I never wanted to admit it, which justified my pride even more.
I was taught that sin was intolerable and I had to be excellent in all that I did. For Jesus, of course. But more often than not, that “for Jesus,” was something I’d always use to cover up the real reason why I always gave what I thought was my best, because truthfully, it wasn’t. I’d settle for mediocre work. As long as I knew that it looked like my best, it would be okay.
Every year of my grade school and high school life, I received honors for finishing with high grades, and at church, I was considered one of the “holy” people, cause I seemed so in-tune with the Lord, and it was like nothing had gotten me down before. To everyone, my “criminal record” was nil, nada – didn’t exist.
But, what many people didn’t know was that the straight and bump-less road which seemed to be my life, was full of potholes and misplaced asphalt. A series of events led my family on a downhill spiral, we lost lots of money, and since then have not been able to live the life that I had grown up so accustomed to.
I kept my cool and did not let many know about the situation of my family, because I didn’t want them to look at us differently, with pity or the intention to help. So, I was the same smiling Tahnee that everyone knew, but I took my anger out on my family. Our relationships at home suffered, and although we still looked like the close family that we were before, I knew deep inside that we weren’t. I was mad at my parents, because they disappointed me. In my mind, I had never disappointed them, so what gave them the right.
When third year high school came around, I started looking for love from other people, enter high school crush – Boy A. But it didn’t last long, because another guy – Boy B – came along and I thought he was better. The whole thing ended up a mess when Boy A tried to “win me back” and succeeded. I ended up hurting a lot of friends, most especially Boy B.
At this point, I was also presented with many ministry opportunities in Jzone, which I took on with the mindset that this was going to make me more popular, and this was going to up my level of holiness in the eyes of other people. Again, my pride got the best of me.
So, I had the boy of my dreams, I was getting really good grades, and I was so active in ministry. My life was perfect, or so everybody thought. What they didn’t know was that I was living a double life to the extreme extent, when the only one who could see the other side of me was God and myself. I struggled with lying to my parents, and held a bitter grudge against my dad, I was lazy at home and excused my mediocrity in my studies, I also shared an unlabeled relationship with Boy A cause we both knew that now wasn’t the time, but neither of us wanted to let it go either. I used to pray to God and say, “Lord, if you don’t want him in my life, you can take him away.” But I knew deep down inside that that was something I DID NOT WANT.
But God answers prayers, and well, He works in mysterious ways. When my fourth year came around the boy of my dreams graduated, and so did our relationship. He slowly stopped talking to me, and making the effort to see me. When it was my turn to graduate and move on to college, he was almost totally indifferent. I was in so much pain. I cared for him and thought that he cared for me too, but it didn’t seem like it.
I bottled up my feelings yet again, and would cry it all out when I was alone. I was angry at him, because it was already the second time he’d “left me” without warning, but I was angrier at myself because I let something like that happen to me again.
I was teased that no one would be interested in me because I was boring and weird and though it was all a joke, this made me so insecure with how I looked, how I dressed and how I would act around others. I never shared how I felt with anyone because I didn’t want them to see how weak and insignificant my situation made me feel. Though I never showed it, I was heartbroken.
Tired and desperate, I tried looking for love again, and this time, I finally looked to God. I was so broken and tired from putting up the façade that I was “okay” and happy all the time, because honestly, I am not. During one of my devotions, God led me to Psalm 139:13-14, 17-18, which reads,
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
I knew this verse ever since I was a child but something struck me like it never had before. I kept trying to look for love and acceptance from other people, totally ignoring the arms of Jesus, which were reaching out to pull me out of the darkness that I was so enveloped in.
When I finally realized this, together with God, I started to walk the path He so lovingly laid out for me. I lost a few friends whom I thought would be there for me, but God has given me pure joy in having real friends. He allowed so many loving people to enter my life. People who wouldn’t judge me and made me feel accepted. He also helped me open up to mom about my feelings and later on to my D12, and they were all there to love me no matter what.
Since then, God has blessed me with even more opportunities to serve him as a host in the programs ministry, one of the events designers for Jzone, and as a part of the games committee for most retreats. I started out with just 4 girls but now, He has blessed me with 13 lovely high school girls to disciple and 2 who are entering college, who listen to me despite my hyperness (HAHAHA). And through leading them, I was able to experience even more of God’s love. He has also helped me ask for forgiveness from Boy B and has helped me let go of Boy A… Hehe. Praise God, I am now good friends with the both of them. And He has taught me to love my family despite all the imperfections each one of us has.
Most of all, I have learned how to lower my pride; that it is normal to be human and weird and although it’s not that okay to make mistakes, it is more than okay to get up, climb into the arms of Jesus, and let him do the walking, because there should be no me – there is no me. Only Him.
I feel like I went through the slowest most painful learning process ever, nevertheless I am happy to say that I am most definitely a work in progress. I still struggle with my insecurities and doing devos regularly, but praise the Lord who is never going to give up on me – He who is faithful, despite the gajillion times I haven’t been. For “he who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
My name is Tahnee Buizon – a Jesus zone – and I am WIRED. To God be all the glory. :)