GRACE I have amply heard stories of how God moved in the lives of people I know, and I have even seen the tangible result of some of them. God revealed himself to my friends through epiphanies, through their conscience, and most of the time, through the hands of His people. I have personally experienced God’s love abundantly on many occasions, but I would like to point out a period of my life where He showed me that He loves me unconditionally. A period of my life where God said that He loved me, His sweet voice still echoing to this day. This is the story of how I experienced God’s love through my father. I was excited. Somehow, I passed the auditions to be a student in one of the most prestigious music conservatories in the Philippines. It was a moment of pure bliss. I only needed to take the entrance examinations for formalities because of a remarkable grade in the auditions. It started well. I took a liking to this new world; treating each day as a brand-new adventure. I made a ton of friends, and we were making music, just having fun like nobody’s business. I did exceptionally well on most of my classes except one which I failed due to tardiness which eventually led to absences. Towards the 2nd year of Music College, failing a single class worsened to losing half of all the units I was taking. I hid the situation from my parents who were overseas, and my history of consistently being on top of my class back in high school probably led them to expect that I would not let myself drop to such a low point. The fire was slowly fading; the sparkle in my eyes was gone. Music used to be a “want to”, now I considered it as a “have to”. I was not planted in a church. My selfishness took the best of me. I only did the things when I wanted to do them. I lost all sense of responsibility. I made excuses and let myself wallow in self-pity. I hung out with the wrong crowd because it was “fun”. I was running down a dangerous track at full speed. By the 3rd year of college, I tried to save myself by shifting to Musical theatre hoping that it would ignite my love for music once more, but that did not seem to work. Inevitably, I failed all my classes due to absences; I will not be allowed to enrol in the coming term. I had no choice but to tell my father. The news broke his heart, and he was devastated. He told me to come to Australia to start anew. Upon my arrival to the land down under, my father picked me up at the airport with a huge smile on his face. After a little over two years of just phone calls, I can say that he was happy to see me. We talked about my situation once, and he never brought it up again. My father just wanted me to see my faults and shortcomings to learn from it, and he never rubbed it on my face. I wasted almost three years of my life, and he was so calm about it. I expected more aggression, maybe a little bit of hate. It was clear that God’s grace is abundant in my father’s heart. The ripple effect of God’s grace passed through my dad, and he let me experience how grace can affect a life. I broke my father’s heart, but he still wanted to help me to get back to my feet, he wanted to help me fix myself. My father made me see that I may fail a thousand times, but God’s grace will never run out, it will always be there to support you until you realise that all you can do is to try to be better. God loves me, and he showed me through my father’s exhibition of His grace. LUKE 9:62 (NIV) Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NIV) 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. Lamentations 3:22-23 English Standard Version (ESV) 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.