Who is This Jesus
Feb 26, 2023 | by The Fellowship
I was born in the Philippines. Shortly after, my father made his way to the United States, joined the Navy, and our family moved to Japan. Because we relocated innumerable times, it was difficult to develop relationships. Socially, I was stunted. I was also a fat kid, eating for comfort and to medicate my pain.
I cannot recall my father ever telling me he loved me or was proud of me. He often reminded me how much I screwed things up and how worthless I was. How I yearned for love and affection from my father who was prone to violence and addiction, often manic or depressed. On a few occasions, I thought my dad would kill me. When I was about five, he held me by my overalls off our 5th story balcony. Several times, he pressed the blade of a knife against my throat and used it to lift me off my feet.
As an adolescent, I found comfort in isolation and indulging in things my parents permitted without limit: food, sleep, television, reading, video games. I discovered how to numb myself and experience relief through alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and pornography. I was constantly burdened with a deep sadness that would not go away.
Then I started noticing commercials of sad people becoming happy by taking a pill. I familiarized myself with the symptoms of depression and shared just enough with a psychologist to get a prescription. The medicine made me feel numb, but not happy like the commercials. There must be a better way, I thought.
At 16, I saw on TV a man telling how he changed from a sad, overweight, broke nobody to a happy, fit somebody with everything he could desire through some life principles he would share for a price. I jumped onto the self-help train.
Over time, I started seeing results. Physically, I was getting into shape. Emotionally, I was moving forward and growing. My appetite was insatiable for improving myself, building wealth, and exerting influence.
At 18, I met a beautiful woman whom I could imagine sharing a life with. I earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and we married when I was 28. Blessed with two children and promising careers, it seemed we were living the American dream. On the surface all was well. Underneath, I continued addictive behaviors to avoid pain – alcohol, gambling and pornography. My desires became insatiable, consuming me and impacting my family.
Nearing my mid-thirties, I was miserable and so was my wife. We contemplated divorce. She began having suicidal thoughts. It disturbed me that the most loving person I knew thought the world would be better off without her.
God began revealing Himself to my wife. One day she invited me to church. It had good music, and the people were perky and smiled a lot. We started learning how to communicate, things were improving, and I ‘played’ my church role … just enough.
It felt like I had figured out life. We were prospering. Physically, I was very fit and quite pleased with myself -- considering what my childhood had been.
In 2015, my family took a trip to the Philippines. While there, I became severely ill with a high fever, inability to eat, and my whole body in searing pain. Two weeks and twenty pounds lighter, the symptoms subsided.
Our family returned to California where I began experiencing horrendous headaches. Despite intensive testing, doctors could find no cause.
I felt like I was losing my mind. Acting and saying things that were out of character, I took on several personalities, all disturbing, one clearly demonic. It was like someone else was in control of my words and actions, like I was watching a movie.
My wife took me to psychologists and psychiatrists, pastors, and priests, Buddhist monks, witchdoctors, witches, spiritists, and anyone who would pray over me. Young in Christ, she sought help everywhere. Nothing changed.
On March 6, 2015, I realized that I was lost, powerless, and without hope. I could not cure myself and neither could anyone else. I closed my eyes and turned to Jesus Christ. Quietly, under my breath, I called out to Him and asked Him to bring me back. “Just bring me back,” I whispered.
In that moment, I knew He healed me. Over the next few days, the voices quieted, I regained control of my mind and body, and my senses were restored. Everyone marveled at the speed of my recovery -- as did I!
“Who is this Jesus that healed me?” is the question I was left with. My wife and I confessed Christ as Lord, and we were baptized together. My appetite for the world diminished as my appetite for Christ grew. Many of my addictions like gambling and alcohol just up and left. Through a men’s group, much prayer, support from my wife and my brothers in Christ who share the same addiction, I became sober from pornography.
Jesus restored my wife, our marriage, our family. Seven years later, I have found nothing that fills me up like God. Through Christ, I discovered the great love of a father who supplies everything I need. Christ continues to restore me to the man He created me to be! Christ opened my eyes to the truth, and I am not turning back!
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”