When I think about new beginnings, I remember how God rescued me from backsliding.

In high school, I was so on fire for God. I was always present in campus ministry activities and even conducted my discipleship group meetings in church and outside church. This continued in college where I served the Lord as an active youth leader in a Christian organization on campus. Back then, a lot of people knew me because of the passion I had for Jesus and the Gospel of salvation. But things started to go wrong when I began to entertain small compromises in my life. I entered a relationship that was out of God’s season with a woman who also served in the organization. I knew even then that I was not ready to enter a relationship because I was still dealing with personal issues such as insecurity and pornography addiction. Additionally, I was still studying.

Costly Distraction

I knew that our relationship was wrong. People around me, especially those at church, disapproved of our relationship. I didn’t listen to them and still followed the desires of my heart. I left the Christian organization on campus, and did things that tainted my reputation as a Christian leader. Furthermore, I abandoned those I was discipling.

My girlfriend and I got disconnected from  all our Christian involvements and started to live on our own terms. I had fully committed myself to her because I loved her and unknowingly made her the god of my life. I forgot about God’s call for me, and I no longer cared about God.

Light at a Dark Time

During the pandemic, our relationship faced challenges that inevitably led us to break up. I made her the center of my life, and consequently, our break-up left me empty. I had no riches; I was not involved in ministry; I wasn’t part of any church; and my reputation was ruined. I was miserable and full of pain. In my despair, I asked God to kill me so that I wouldn’t experience the pain.

But Jesus rescued me. He sent me Christian friends and used them to pull me out of the grave. One day, my best friend gave me a promise card which said, “God can restore everything.”

I felt God impress the following words on my heart: “I will restore everything to you, even your calling; everything that you’ve lost, I will restore. Just come and follow me again.” I knew that God was really trying to redeem me at that time, because apart from the promise card, I could also hear Him speak during moments when I did choose to pray and read the Bible.

I cried the moment that promise was released to me, because I knew I was not worthy of His redemption. But that was the only way that I could come out of my grave. I responded to the Lord’s invitation. I chose to follow Jesus, and this time, I fully surrendered to Him. From that moment on, I enthroned Jesus as Lord of my life.

Jesus’ Work of Restoration

I have been following Jesus again without knowing where He would lead me. All I know is that He is my only hope, and that He alone is capable of truly loving me.

Growing stronger in the Lord, I have volunteered in a missionary group and started my own online discipleship group. True to His word to me, God has restored everything: He gave me a church that I get to call my home and my family, and He led me to friends who are helping me in my walk with Christ.

Now I’m serving Jesus as a youth leader in church. I share my testimonies with the youth, and I teach them about the Bible and the wisdom I learned from my experience. My pastor also has given me an opportunity to speak at youth conferences. Outside the church activities, I’m sharing the gospel by preaching in public places such as in jeepneys, buses, and trains.

I know I am not yet where God envisions me fully to be, but I’m on my way there. He is working in me. There are still promises from Him that have yet to be fulfilled, but I believe that at His appointed season, these things will happen.

The Ultimate Blessing

One thing I learned is that my God– He is my reward. Having Jesus in my life is my ultimate blessing. He has been restoring everything that was stolen, taken, or destroyed. He can also do this for you.

Fully surrender your life to Him. He is the God of new beginnings, and He will be with you wherever you go. There’s no sin too great and no struggle too big from which the Lord God cannot save us.

If you are facing a new beginning in your life right now, know that God is trustworthy. Take this as an opportunity to know Him more and experience Him in greater depths. I realize that walking with Him daily is a choice: we decide if we will surrender to Him or not.

Cavin Joshua Cadag

Cavin Joshua Cadag is a registered electrical engineer by profession and an electrical design engineer at GNQ Industrial and Contracting Corporation. He is a youth leader at Church so Blessed Quezon City and is a part of several missionary groups that seek to share the Good News to the whole nation. He is a lover of Jesus and a friend of the Holy Spirit. He is also strong and courageous because the Lord is with him.