#myVictoryStory: Passion for passion

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-1Imagine giving up your passion, your friends, and your career in one blow. In 2004, I did it.

For as long as I can remember, I have one solid passion: music. I loved to listen to songs, and I loved to sing. I would make weekly charts – the first #1 song on that chart was Wilson Phillips’s Release Me – and I would follow the Billboard charts, tracking the hit songs of the week on the Hot 100. Imagine my joy when I became a DJ in 1999, landing a weekly gig on LA 105.9, a Metro Manila radio station that allowed me to track the Top 5o songs of the week!

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 9.10.06 AMMy own dreams of singing came true in 1995, when I was a sophomore in college, and I joined a group of a capella singers called ReVerse. For the next four years, I was in Cloud 9, and the seven men who were in the group became my barkada, my band of blood brothers. In 1998, after most of us graduated from college, we picked up instruments and began playing R&B at bars professionally. I may have been the geeky odd man out, but those men accepted me as their own. For the next five years, we were inseparable.

In 2001, I became a Christian, and God slowly started to mold me according to His ways. Slowly, I found that I was starting to become uncomfortable with the music I was playing on the radio show, and with music we were playing with ReVerse, which had since renamed itself to Release. I loved the boys of Release, but I was not enjoying the music I was playing. The music was taking its toll on my faith walk.

I am reminded of Romans 12:2, which tells us, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And Jesus was renewing my mind, and He was asking:

What is more important to you? Me, or your music? Me or your career? Me, or your friends?

My heart couldn’t wrestle with it any longer, and I decided to give them up. All of them. It wasn’t easy. I told Release I needed to leave the group because my family schedule couldn’t handle it – it just seemed easier than to admit I wasn’t comfortable with the music we were singing – and I told my bosses at LA 105.9 that I couldn’t stay with them any longer.

After that, I felt much better, and I’d given up on those passions. I missed the boys terribly, and my life slowly started to revolve around my family and my church. But Psalm 37:4 says, Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart, and God wasn’t done with me. Years and years later, when the time was right, God restored, and wow, did He restore!

  • He restored my passion for music, but re-focused it on music that glorifies Him. I’m now a DJ on Saved Radio FM, a radio program that plays Christian music, which I love!Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 9.11.39 AM
  • He restored my friendships with the Release men. I may not see them often, but our friendship is strong, and we still see each other at weddings and get-togethers. He has also given me other friends, couples who speak in to my life, and for those relationships, I will always be grateful.
  • He restored my career. In 2008, I started working for Victory Philippines full-time. I love my job and I love the people I work with.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so satisfied with where I am, than where I am today. When Jesus Christ became Lord of my life, He really took control, and it was hard to give up on people and things that weren’t my Lord. But when I did, oh, did He surprise me, and how. I am 100% confident that you will enjoy the same ride if and when you give your lives to Christ. The Bible tells us in Jeremiah that God has plans to prosper us, not to harm us, and to give us hope and a future, and if there’s anything I’ve learned in the 12 years I’ve walked with Him, is that His plans are better than my own, and when I trust Him and make Him my Lord, I’m in for the ride of my life.

Won’t you join me and make Jesus your passion?

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This blog post is in response to the Week 1 question, “What was your toughest Lordship decision that turned out to be worth it?,” from #myVictoryStory, a testimony activity of Victory Philippines. For more information on #myVictoryStory, click here, and to read other responses to this week’s question on Lordship, please click here.