Return to Me
Michelle Badajos | Philippines
I’m Michelle Badajos. Since I was a kid, I’m very much active in all the ministries of the church. Even a teacher in DVBS. A leader in discipleship. A leader to young people. I accepted the Lord Jesus Christ October, 1996 and then I baptized 1997. But that time when I accepted Him, something is missing. I still couldn’t assure my salvation. That’s why after committing sins again and again, I always ask for forgiveness. “Lord, please forgive me for I have sinned.” But and then, commit sin again. And after that, ask for forgiveness, without ending. And I asked myself, I said, “When would I finish accepting?” Because it seemed normal to me. “Jesus Christ was already in me, I already accepted Him but why did it seem something is lacking.’ And then all those who asked me, since I am a leader in church and very active, they asked me, “Are you truly save?” I told them, “Yes!” That’s what I was holding on. But I was only lying to myself. But I was only hiding it. Just to have something to say, have something to answer that “Yes! I’m saved.” But not. And then, when my husband shared the experience of Pastor Gary in Tagaytay, I said, “Wow!” That became a blessing to me. I said, “Lord, this maybe it. Maybe, this is the answer for me to find the question.” But I was wondering because, I said, I was still holding on to the, “I accept you. I accept you!” I was still holding on to that. I said, “They received salvation in their lives, and I was also like that. Why can’t I feel what they felt? Why is it that there’s no joy in me?” I said, “Why is it like that? We’re different. I couldn’t even enjoy. That I couldn’t even feel what they felt.” That I told to Pastor Sanz, my husband, “I really want to attend to the conference.” I said, “Maybe, my questions will be answered here, which are really in my heart. I held on for so long yet I am not even sure of it. We will attend.” Then, we attended. He said, Pastor Gary said that, “You just need to be humble. Humble yourself. Focus. Don’t be distracted with anything. You just listen.” I followed that, from the first day. “It seemed like it was nothing new to me.” I said like that. “Creation. Oh, I learned that.” I appreciated it because I gained additional knowledge. But it seemed, it’s normal. But the burden of searching for the answers to my questions were still there. And the second day, they talked about sin. After the sermon, I was crying to my husband. I told him, “I will now go to hell.” That time I don’t even know how to pray. Even though I really know how to do it before. Even calling God, I couldn’t even do it. Because I knew that I was not His child. As what pastor said, I am a devil’s child. I was deeply hurt by that, I said, “I no longer have hope.” Because this was the only hope as to why I’m living. “But it was gone, Lord. If it was only because of sin, I no longer…. I didn’t reach the requirement.” “To be perfect. To be pure.” “No. I am not that. Lord, I’m really becoming paranoid.” I was telling to my husband that, “No… I think I’m insane. Hay, I cannot stay still.” I feel like running to become relaxed. Just roll me there to remove my…” Mixed emotions. And “that’s it!” I reached the point wherein, this is the verse which I like. Which really touched me. In Isaiah 44:22, I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you. I was asking, I said, “How can I be saved?” Only this! He said, “Return to me for I have redeemed you.” He is only waiting for me. He’s just waiting for me. That I am already clean, because of Jesus Christ’s blood. I praise God. For He has big love for me. I bring all the praises and glory to God.