by Yoanna Dela Cruz
Hello! I’m Yoanna and I’m from NYP social work. Before SHINE, I thought I had a strong relationship with God. I was active in church and community and went for mass often. But behind all that service and joy, I buried all my pains within me. I was keeping my struggles away from God because I felt that I was the one responsible for my own actions. Although I knew God loved me so much, I walked away from him because I felt the burden was mine to carry alone. It was hidden behind this facade of an outgoing, happy go lucky girl. I was leading a faithless faith.
During SHINE, there was a session on the Holy Spirit where there was a checklist if whether we lived life with the spirit. I was surprised because I realised I didn’t. How could someone who knew God loved me, not be a person in the spirit? When we had the outpouring, I was expecting a joyful experience where I could praise God for his love for me. Instead, The spirit revealed to me the all the pains I’ve buried within me. It made me realise that God truly knew my pain even though I never surrendered it to him. As I cried, I felt like I was a child crying for her father. Kneeling on the floor, I felt his embrace and him rubbing my shoulder reassuringly as I cried. He was present with me in my pain.
I said I didn’t want to carry this pain without him as SHINE drew to a close. But I learnt that he wouldn’t leave just because SHINE ended. Instead, I look forward to breaking down any of the walls around my heart. There is nothing I can hide from the Father, he just wants me to surrender everything to him. I commit to walking with the Spirit, wholly and truthfully.
From my own experience, here is my invitation for you: God knows and feels your pain and still loves you. I invite you to stop hiding your pain and to be vulnerable to his endless and saving love.