Thank you, parents

by Jem

I woke up to great news. The Reproductive Health Bill just ‘hurdled past’ the second reading here in our country.

Idk why but moments after hearing (reading) the news, I thought of my Daddy and how excited I was to talk to him about it. My dad is a pastor and I practically grew up in church, listening to worship songs and watching my dad preach. Both he and my mom are faithful servants of the Lord and now they are handling a congregation that is yet to grow even more. They have also been very caring and attentive parents despite the demands of their ministry. Of course, being Born Again Christians and leaders, they raised me, my sister and brother to fear God. We read our Bibles and memorized verses. We all prayed together in the morning and during meals. On Sundays we knew to wake up early and get ready for church. The ministry has brought us to Davao when I was really young then back to Manila and now to Baguio. But everywhere we went I was surrounded by God-fearing and God-loving members who watched me grow up, guided by the Word and the will of the Lord.

I am thankful to my parents for raising me up not only as a pastor’s kid but more importantly, God’s kid.

But of course, eventually I had to grow up and when it was time for me to go to college, I passed in my dream school, the premiere state university of the country, where I am studying now. Initially, though, there were a lot of concerns as to how I was going to handle all the pressure from the ‘liberals’ in our school. There were lots of activists in my school. My faith was going to be tested big time. It would be better to stay close to my family so that they can watch over me and my beliefs… I understood where they were coming from but I wasn’t going to give up my dreams for fears that were exactly merely that: fears.

And my parents supported this choice and my education one hundred percent.

I’m sure they probably had the same fears as the others but coupled with that was their trust in me. I was going to stand firm in my beliefs. I wasn’t going to be swayed that easily. I had fifteen years of ‘training’ for whatever blows were coming. I am glad they knew that.

But more than that, I was and still am really happy because they recognize that even if my beliefs start to change, even if I begin to question the things I grew up believing, even if my faith gets shaken, I had to learn things for myself. I am in college, I am practically a grown-up and it was time I made decisions and learned lessons on my own. It was time to get hurt, to struggle, to resist temptations and find my way through life alone.

Of course they were still there to guide me. And I have been very inquisitive lately. But they don’t flinch when I ask them about same-sex marriage or divorce or abortion and what was so wrong with them. They aren’t scandalized when I ask why God did this or that and how I think it’s quite unfair of Him. They understand. And they try to answer me and guide me as best as they can. But they also let the back of the bicycle go and watch me pedal as hard as I can to keep my balance because they know that it was something they had to do someday.

And I am finding answers. I am figuring things out on my own.

And my Daddy and Mommy not shoving the medicine down my throat when I seemed to be sick, when I didn’t seem to be my usual self, when I wasn’t the girl they raised me up to be, made it easier.

So thank you, parents.