This is an article I wrote in early 2005. Though I know this posting seems rather belated right now, I still would like to share it. After all, the lesson of this article is something I am still learning every day.
I passed my sixteenth birthday on August 3, 2004. Before the actual day came, many people asked how old I was turning. When I answered, they all reacted, “Oh, sweet sixteen!” I laughed along with everybody else. Deep inside, however, I was feeling down. I sadly thought how I probably wouldn’t have a year of “sweet sixteen.” Like other girls, I had my share of crushes, but I couldn’t imagine anyone liking me.
I spent my birthday at home that year without any cakes or gifts. In the evening, I wrote in my journal:
“Lord, You are the Lover of my soul. I pray that this year be a year of special sweetness between You and me. Please fill me with Your beauty. Lord, please keep me from focusing on how many and what kind of material gifts I receive. Instead, please help me offer my life to You as a small gift in return for sixteen years of grace. Lord, I thank You for today. The day was not spent in pomp or gaiety. It was not built around me. It was a very simple birthday without the slightest celebration. Yet Lord, if You enable me to keep my commitments of purity, love, and devotion, this can be one of the sweetest birthdays of my life.”
November 21, 2004 was one of the happiest days of my life. After undergoing ten weeks of baptismal class, I was officially baptized as a member of UECMalabon. As I stood before people to pledge my devotion to Christ, I felt His love in my heart. I knew then that God has answered my prayer. With Jesus as the Lover of my soul, I would definitely have my “sweet sixteen.”