My Lukewarm Childhood
I grew up in a Bible-believing community because my mother was already attending a local church when I was born. My mother made sure I grew up attending church choir, children’s Sunday school, daily vacation bible school, and other church activities. I attended all of these only because I didn’t want my mother to spank me if I refused to go. I knew a lot of songs and verses, but I didn’t have a genuine relationship with God. Away from home and church, I was a wild brat; a worldly person who was only a Christian on Sundays.
At the age of 11, I went with my church mates to Zambales to attend a youth camp where I first felt the presence of God. The preacher talked about being an instrument that God would use for His purposes. After the session, my team counselor took me to the seashore. She made me face the sea and pointed to the horizon. She said, “God is calling you to a journey with Him.” I gave God my “yes,” and she prayed for me as we sat on a boat by the shore. However, after the camp, I just forgot about this, and it was as if it never happened at all.
At the age of 12, I almost died due to dengue. At the hospital deathbed, while my nose bled, I hid under the blanket with tears in my eyes. I sang and prayed, “God, if You heal me, I will spend the rest of my life for you.” Then I was healed instantly!
But then, I forgot Him again. At the age of 14, I became rebellious against my parents. I tried different vices and misbehaved to the point that church leaders couldn’t tame me anymore. Thus, my father sent me back to my mother’s province in Magpet, North Cotabato. But I only became worse. My life was a total mess. I couldn’t find a reason to live. I tried to commit suicide many times but failed because of God’s supernatural interventions.
One day, a group of young people invited me to attend a youth revival with them. My mother pleaded with me to attend. I wasn’t sure what “revival” was all about, but I went because I thought it was the best place to commit suicide since no one knew me there. At the venue, I stayed outside the church with a blade in hand. I was about to take my own life when the worship leader sang the song, “I Offer My Life” by Don Moen:
“All that I am, All that I have
I lay them down before you, Oh Lord
All my regrets, all my acclaim
The joy and the pain, I’m making them yours. Lord, I offer my life to You
Everything I’ve been through, use it for Your glory. Lord, I offer my days to You
Lifting my praise to You, as a pleasing sacrifice. Lord, I offer you my life.”
(Songwriters: Don Moen and Claire Cloninger)
Then I found myself in front of the altar with a prayer, “Lord, give me a reason to live and I
will live.” That day God finally caught me. On my 15th birthday, I surrendered my life wholly to Christ not because my mother forced me, not because I was persuaded by a speaker, and not because I needed healing. I surrendered because I encountered God’s love for me.
Changing for the Better
When my parents saw the change in my life, they took me back to Manila to finish my education. However, I received a prophecy that God was going to use me as a voice for the youth at Revival. I knew in my heart that this would happen in Mindanao. I was to serve there.
I told my parents and they got mad. Nevertheless they still bought me a ticket bound for Mindanao. My faith in Jesus Christ caused me to leave my family and travel alone via ship at the age of 15. It was scary. But I knew that there was no turning back after truly surrendering my life to Christ. En route to Mindanao, a strong typhoon hit. Together with other passengers, I got stranded at the port. I felt afraid and I wondered if I made a sound decision.
What happens next to Star Maglajos? Find out in Part 2 of “The Cost of the Cause” here, in One Voice Magazine!