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My Easter Story

Basically, I spent my Easter cleaning earwax and being overwhelmed by God’s endless grace.

Can you keep a secret?

This is just between the two of us.

My biggest insecurity is that I think I’m untalented.

I know . . . that’s probably something very insensitive for me to say. Because I guess the truth is, there are actually so many things I can do. But for some reason, deep inside, I feel like I’m just not good enough for anything.

This Easter, I felt God reach out to me where I was, and gave me a beautiful reminder that I’ve been graced with something greater than being able to do something.

Every year, our church has a grand Easter celebration. This year, it was going to be in MOA Arena. And the coolest thing was they were calling all the young people to audition for the music team, because they wanted to make a statement and everything.

I was really nervous and excited because they announced there was gonna be auditions. I had never auditioned for anything, but I knew I really wanted to.

It was only later when they said they were only going to accept singer auditions, and for the band, they were gonna handpick it.

My heart sank because I knew I wouldn’t be picked.

Sure, I can play drums, keys, guitar, whatever, but you see the problem is, I’m just not good enough compared to everyone else. There are so many better young drummers, keyboardists, and guitarists from our church.

Later, the director of the entire event contacted me. No, I wasn’t chosen. Instead, my fear was confirmed.

“Ben, I need you for this year’s Grand Easter Feast by the tech.”

I don’t mind doing behind-the-scenes things! In fact, I normally do the lights for our church’s big events. But you see, I have a friend who became a lot better than me at lights, so he was picked for that.

Instead, I had a very special job: operating the brand new in-ear monitoring system the church bought.

Sounds cool right? But in actuality, the bulk of my job was to clean them. It was my responsibility to clean the earbuds of the band and singers after they used it.

I felt it was a slap on the face confirming how useless I am.

I wasn’t good enough for anything, so I had to settle for cleaning the good enough people’s earwax off their eadbuds.

It sounds funny, but it was really difficult hearing all these voices in my head . . . the voices telling me how much I sucked, how untalented I was, that I was this useless. I would breathe a heavy sigh as I would clean an earbud with Q-tips and alcohol.

My heart was sobbing because the worship team was creating beautiful, musical melodies and I couldn’t help but furiously compare myself to each one of them. “Why can’t I be that good?” They were all so gifted, so talented. I was only good for removing earwax.

Of course I didn’t want to let anyone know that, so I held my guard up, and just kept scrubbing earwax.

Suddenly, things changed, seemingly for the better. Another friend of mine was assigned to manage the in-ear monitoring system, and the director called me.

The director asked me to sit next to the sound guy, and told me to start giving cues to him on how the music should sound. That was a big deal for me.

The sound guy was super accommodating, and was teaching me how to operate the board, until at some point, I was doing it myself.

I thought to myself . . . YES. FINALLY. OH MY GOODNESS. I’M DOING SOMETHING.

And man, IT WAS GREAT. I felt smug and powerful adjusting everyone to how I wanted it to sound.

I was releasing my inner Chainsmokers and there I was, turning the knobs and faders and throwing in “compression” and “reverb” and whatnot (without really knowing what the heck I’m doing)

It was fantastic! Until I messed up. There was this one speaker who went on stage and I forgot to un-mute his mic in the nick of time.

The director talked to me and said he changed his mind and it would be better to let the sound guy do his job. For a great reason though, he said he didn’t want people to lay the blame on me, if I messed up. After all it was my first time and it was a huge event.

He asked me to just stick to telling the sound guy which mic needs to be turned on or off.

To be fair, that was definitely a great call. Didn’t make me feel any less terrible though.

It was not just back to square one, there were three other guys already doing that at the same time. Every time I’d say “Kuya Nestor, mic 3 please,” three other guys already said it before me. I was in square negative one. Kinda felt like i was in square negative infinity if there was such a thing.

I felt completely useless.

I moved to the side of the tech booth, and stood there.

Little did I know, God was speaking to me.

You see, I felt helpless standing there, watching everyone doing great while I was doing nothing. But in the midst of it all, God was not making me feel useless, he was making me available.

Instead of being so busy trying to be this and be that, I was open to receiving God’s love.

And suddenly I was hearing His voice.

He was telling me how much He loved me.

And I was starting to understand something I heard a long time ago:

“God isn’t asking want more for him, he wants more of you.”

It made me realise, God just wanted to spend time with me???

You see, this whole time, I was putting my identity in my service, and what I could give . . . but God wanted to remind me that my real identity is being a child of God.

My internal sobbing became external sobbing. I realised I was separating myself from the love of God because I thought I wasn’t worthy enough.

But despite my lack of worthiness, God loved me still. Wow.

I think we don’t put to thought too much the idea of how God loves you “despite who you are.” We should though. Because sometimes, we don’t realise that God’s doing just that; that Easter weekend, he was loving me despite who I am.

Despite my self-centeredness. Despite my selfishness. Despite my insecurity.

God met me where I was, and told me:

Bene, you don’t need to be selfish. You don’t need to be insecure. You don’t need to be self-centered. I love you more than you think. I love you more than you know. I love you more than this.

I realised I didn’t need to prove anything, and whatever I was trying to prove was me being afraid that I wasn’t enough for God. I wasn’t enough for love. I wasn’t enough to be accepted. What a bunch of lies.

It’s so funny that out of all possible times I could feel that way, it was during Holy Week. The week where God went out of His way to show how much He loves us.

So everything I went through (in fact, if I told you the whole story how everything led up to where I am right now, I’d have to split into several parts because it’s just too long), was just God’s crazy way of meeting me where I was. He wanted made me experience personally what it means to be loved DESPITE who I am.

He tore down each wall, each insecurity, each stronghold of pride in me, so that I could feel what it meant to be truly loved.

To make me available.

To make me open.

To make me realise that more than anything, I don’t need to identify or prove myself as anything but a child of God.

To cut the long story short, there I was. Because there was room in my heart, my full attention was on the sermon. The speaker was talking about how great God’s love is.

And I would like to highlight a certain portion of that message.

I believe God’s love is not like a cheap freebie totebag with cheap memorabilia given to the attendees of a concert. God’s love is personal. Your name is written on the bag. Your name is written on God’s heart.

He will go down to your level, He will go such far lengths and such vast reaches just to pursue you.

The Easter story is a timeless one. But what makes it timeless is that God is at work right now bringing Easter into your life. What do I mean by that? God will do anything, literally anything, to love you. Just like how He went out of His way just to love me.

He gave me what I really needed. If I think about it, He didn’t just want me to be happy or contented or satisfied. He wanted to love me. He wanted to get rid of my insecurities (and I think I’m making good progress because I’m able to write about it right now). He wanted to get rid of my pride. He wanted to get rid of the things that were preventing His love from coming in.

That is so much better than getting to mix the audio, or playing drums, or anything really. God gave me more than I thought I could have ever wanted.

Up to now, I’m still overwhelmed.

Wrapping up:

As we were singing the response song (i was more of screaming at the top of my lungs complete with tears and mucus dripping from my face), Declare Your Victory, God wasn’t just satisfied from claiming His victory over the world. He wanted to claim the victory of my heart. That’s a whole different thing.

And God looks at you the same way.

He wants to love you in a personal way. So if right now, you feel useless, unimportant, disabled, insecure, unworthy, whatever label you call yourself . . . be very excited. Because there’s a huge chance that God is in the process of making you available to the wonders of His love.

I’m looking forward to reading your Easter story.

Bene

PS. A few weeks later, this happened.

18216831_10209181712767594_5014122182027641396_oI actually got to play drums in MOA Arena. That’s a whole different story entirely, but I just want to say that God is truly, truly, truly faithful. I have no other words for this, really.

PPS. I really want to hear your Easter stories too. Post on instagram your testimony, tag me (bene.sanchez), and put in your caption #easterstory. I’ll feature it if it’s really good! Actually, even if isn’t really good. A great priest I look up to, Fr. Bob McConaghy always ends his masses by saying “sometimes, you are the only Gospel a person will read in a day.” God can use that story of yours to bless someone! So if God’s pushing you to share something, go share it!

PPPS. I want to thank you for taking the time to stop scrolling your Facebook feed and reading my blog. I truly appreciate the attention you give. I know I haven’t been faithful with the “Every Wednesday” blog posts, and yet you’re still here. Thank you, thank you, thank you. So yeah, see you next Wednesday! *fingers crossed*

 

24 thoughts on “My Easter Story

  • Wow!!! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 Praise God for your Easter story 😇 I’m so blessed! This gave me an inspiration to keep moving forward as a campus missionary. Galing!

  • That was one amazing testimony bene. Thank you for being honest. May God continue to work in you and use you to bring more young people into His embrace. Stay focused on Him and you’ll never go astray. Hugs to you!
    -Ate Krizia

  • I can totally relate to your story, Bene. I sometimes feel that way too. *Sigh. haha! But yeah, we are all God’s children! Praise God!

  • Sincerity x Humility. This is just what this world needs. So much love from God through you, Ben. #ing ❤️

  • Brilliant, heart felt, grace filled, Spirit led. Your road from Easter to your personal Emmaus is captured with such honesty, integrity and yes, humility. Am so proud of you. In Acts 2 we are told old men (me) will dream dreams and young men(You) will see visions. Thank you for this vision. This old man learned much from your Easter Story.

    • Praise God! Truly honoured to know you read my little sharing. Thank you Fr. Bob for your time! Thank you for always inspiring me.

  • Thank you Bene. I cried. I could be your grand ma and you may think you are just writing for the youth. Today a day before mothers day I chanced upon your post and even at my age I do still ask if I have done enough or may be did the wrong things raising my children, in my service, in my work etc etc. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU 💖

  • Oh Bene , you dont have any idea how blessed I am reading your Easter story.. the moment my eyes gazed on the first sentence of your post, I was attached to it and I didnt notice im reading the whole story. Im a regular attendee of The Feast and once served in the music ministry however things arent in my control when I’ve found out that my mom has cancer. So, i decided going home but still following The Feast through social media. I even introduced the Feast here in Tacloban Leyte and Geese! My colleagues loved it.

    After i read your story, I have two realizations. I have to appreciate small things and be amazed how wonderful life is. GOD is indeed sooooo awesome.

    I cant thank you enough for helping me just by merely reading your story. Aside from the inspiration it gives i also learned on how you construct sentenes and ideas. You know i have this dream of becoming a public speaker and it has been my passion ever since. In one way or another you have helped me with the magic of words you used in your story and i believe me i read it multiple times and im loving it.

    Thank you Bene. I maybe a complete stranger but God used your story to bless me mightily. BLESS YOU – Cesar

  • What a story. Wow. I cant believe im saying this but, thank you Kuya Bene for making me realise that God makes me, makes US available. I will always remember this story. God bless you Kuya Bene, more stories!!✨🙌

  • now i know why you’re amazing. really.
    am a reader of people, and i know when ‘i should not ‘mind’ you. and those times are the times when you are either ‘full of …, grappling with your ‘labels’, or simply ‘full of yourself’…but, i always look forward to that ‘big big toothy smile of yours’, and know immediately that every thing is right with your world, and that God ‘met you where you were’…! and that, down there, inside you…, is a simply wonderful, and truly amazing guy. why?
    cuz you love God. and that’s it. no questions ask. !
    love you bene…

  • Grabe!!! <3 Thank you Bene for sharing your story <3 Thank your inspiring us and reminding us what people usually feels when we base ourselves on our service, our self worth according to the world. But what really matters is our worth through God's heart. Thank you for reminding me about Martha and Mary. That at times, we are called to be Mary, called to sit with Him, be with Him, and be loved by Him. And for Him, that is enough. Thank you for being my Gospel today. <3

    • Grabe! I didn’t realise that when I was sharing that message . . . God was going to make me experience that on a deeper level. Thank you for reading!

  • Thank you Bene. Really inspiring super duper. Two thumbs up 😃 Grabe.. like father like son talaga.. #angelindisguise

  • Thank you for sharing, Bene. I can just imagine the pressure you feel from everyone and everything else. But after reading this I feel God telling me to tell you that, I remember Bro. George and Bro. Didoy saying this: choose to love and choose love. Whenever you feel insecure, worthless, choose to love and praise God because as the apostle Paul told us when we are weak, God is strong in us (2 Corinthians 12:10). This experience of yours is very important not just for you but for all the hundreds maybe even thousands of people in this world feeling the same thing.

    Most of the time we think that the the “importance” and quantity of the task we do increases our value but as God said in Ephesians, we are one body but each do a specific part to build the church. Other tasks may not be as critical as the others but I believe, are equally important. Social media doesn’t help as well. We try to post things to gain likes and hashtag everything with #goals. But what should be our goal, really? John 13:34-35 says:
    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” So no matter what we do and how much we want to do, let’s choose love. Let’s choose to hear His voice and to continue being available for Christ.

    Thanks once again, Bene!

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