My name is Lezar. Iâ€™m 23 and IÂ was born in the Philippines.Â Along with my sister andÂ brother, I was given the privilege of growingÂ up in a Christian home, although inÂ my late teens I did not consider my homeÂ a blessing.
We immigrated to Canada when I wasÂ three years old. We were surrounded byÂ family and friends. I enjoyed my childhoodÂ in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We wentÂ to church every Sunday, and I attendedÂ a Christian school. I accepted what myÂ parents taught me. I memorized BibleÂ verses, sang songs, and learned about BibleÂ stories. I just accepted everything as it wasÂ given to me.
In 2001, my parents decided to moveÂ to Lethbridge, Alberta. They liked theÂ church there and felt it would benefit theirÂ spiritual lives. I was confused, upset andÂ angry. There were hundreds of churches inÂ Winnipeg including the one we attended.Â What was wrong with them? We hadÂ friends, family, a house and jobs – whyÂ leave? I was still only 13 years old so I wasÂ dragged along in the move.
I started to adjust to life in LethbridgeÂ but then conflict came into the church weÂ were attending. I thought about all we hadÂ left behind to come to this broken churchÂ and became very resentful. I began to hateÂ my parents, hate Christians and hate God.Â Throughout my later teenage years andÂ early twenties, I sought the meaning of lifeÂ and death. I questioned my purpose in lifeÂ and the existence of God. I felt purposeless.
The more I thought about it, theÂ more helpless and hopeless I felt.Â In 2009 my brother, Elijah died inÂ an accident. It was so unexpected. HereÂ was yet another example of the fragileÂ and temporal nature of life. What wasÂ the point of living, if life was pointless,Â uncertain and uncontrollable? The followingÂ year I couldnâ€™t handle life anymore.Â My hatred burned strongly within me.Â I wanted revenge against my parents.Â Indifferent to all consequences, I plannedÂ on taking something dear to them, theirÂ daughter, my sister, Leia.
The night I tried to carry out my plan,Â God had His plan. Face to face withÂ my sister, I froze, unable to harm her.Â Through Godâ€™s divine providence, HeÂ prevented such a tragic outcome. PraiseÂ the Lord! I was carried away by the policeÂ and eventually found myself in a mentalÂ health facility. I was diagnosed withÂ clinical depression.
I thought of myself as innocent; everybodyÂ else was to blame for my bitterness.Â Knowing that I couldnâ€™t kill anyone else,Â I planned to kill myself. I was going toÂ show everyone the consequence for whatÂ they had done to me.
In January, 2012 I stood in my room,Â lighter in one hand and fuel in the other.Â I was going to burn to death. God hadÂ something else in store for me. I fled theÂ house, unable to endure the thick, blackÂ smoke. My eyes blinded, I had to feel myÂ way out of the house. Even though I hadÂ barricaded the exits, I was able to make itÂ outside. There I collapsed on the ground.
Then I was whisked away by paramedics.Â I awoke an entire month later. I hadÂ sunk to my lowest point. I had lost myÂ possessions, my health and my freedom. IÂ was stuck in a hospital bed with the prospectÂ of prison before me. I had no hope.
Fortunately, I have been blessed withÂ strong Christian parents who visited meÂ often. Unlike me, they were filled withÂ hope. My dad held strongly to RomansÂ 8:28, which he constantly shared withÂ me. â€œWe know that all things work togetherÂ for good to those who love God.â€Â God had already begun to work in me.Â Just a month earlier, I angrily shut upÂ anyone who tried to speak to me of theÂ Bible. Yet now, I wanted to know Him.Â I wanted the hope He gives, but I was Â doubtful and confused. I wasnâ€™t sure IÂ could be saved.
One of my visiting friends gave me aÂ Bible. He suggested I start to read theÂ Gospel of John. Right in the first chapter,Â a verse touched me. â€œThe next day JohnÂ saw Jesus coming toward him, and said,Â â€œBehold! The Lamb of God who takes awayÂ the sin of the world! â€(John 1:29).Â I cried. Oh, how powerful, how lovingÂ is this God! He takes away the sin ofÂ the world! Before, I shunned a God whoÂ created my tragic existence but now IÂ wanted to worship Him. He is so gloriousÂ and magnificent in every way. I continuedÂ to read John, and after finishing it,Â after seeing the burden Christ bore forÂ our sins, after reading of His gloriousÂ resurrection, I prayed. I asked the LordÂ for forgiveness and repented of my sins -Â of my hatred.
I would be lying if I were to say that itÂ will all be easy from now on. I am still inÂ hospital, unsure of what is going to happen.Â My new faith may waver and I mayÂ struggle but I know that it is all worthÂ it. In the end, I will be able to be in HisÂ glorious presence forever.
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